Jimmy Laing is an inspiration to follow your passion … originally working as a mechanic, Jimmy’s discovery of and love for Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has led to the establishment of a successful new career as a DJ. You can catch Jimmy at regular gigs all over NSW now – in Port Mac, Gunnedah, Tamworth, South West Rocks, on the Central Coast and in Sydney …
Hi Jimmy. What’s your association with the Port Macquarie area?
I have lived in the Camden Haven area, which is just south of Port Macquarie, for 24 years. I attended Newman’s College for high school in Port Macquarie. About one year after finishing college, I started as a DJ at Altitude Night Club, where I have held a residency for a number of years now.
I picked up a second residency at the Port Macquarie Hotel (The Macca) last year, which is another popular venue in Port Macquarie.
Where did your interest in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) begin?
I can remember I was with a few mates at a house party when I was 17, and one guy had his laptop there with a program called Virtual DJ. Once it was my turn to have a go, I really just couldn’t put it down, and it all kicked off from there – trying to find the hottest tracks to play and record my live mixes for my mates to listen to.
What do you think it is about this style of music – and being a DJ – that attracts you most?
The diversity of Electronic Dance Music has attracted me the most, as the options when producing or searching for new song is really endless. There is always something new popping up, new sounds being produced and forever changing, genres cycling.
You’ve taught yourself a lot of the “tricks” of the DJ trade – but you also underwent six weeks of training in Sydney a couple of years ago now. Tell us a bit about this training – where was it held, and what did you learn?
The training was held via The Academy Sydney, where I was taught how to beat match song, use effects while mixing songs together and how to use a program on my laptop to organise and prepare my music for upcoming gigs.
You’ve played at quite a few venues around Port Mac, including at Altitude Night Club and the Port Macquarie Hotel. Where are your regular gigs these days?
I am locked into regular gigs at The Courthouse Hotel in Gunnedah, The Albert Hotel in Tamworth and Sea Breeze Hotel in South West Rocks.
I have just recently picked up gigs on The Central Coast and in Sydney, which are yet to be announced.
You were also one of the stars at Lunar Electric’s inaugural Festival in January. What was it like playing at an outdoor festival, as opposed to playing the club scene?
Playing at Lunar Electric was such a big change from the club scene, as I was up on a stage, instead of a few feet away from the crowd. I performed just as I would in a club and loved interacting with the crowd from a higher viewpoint. Fun times!
Who/what are some of your biggest musical influences?
Some of my biggest influences with my career would have to be two of my mates, Jesse Bloch and Josh Hart. They have both helped me along and inspired me to follow in the same path as they are.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2018?
Over the past six years I have worked as a mechanic and played music on the weekends. I have recently resigned as a mechanic and would like to focus more on my music.
I plan to travel as much as I can while still teaching myself to produce music and play at as many new venues as possible that I can pick up along the way.
Where can we follow your career, or find out more about you?
Anyone can follow me on my Facebook page or Instagram; they both have regular updates on where I will be next and where my travels are taking me! https://www.facebook.com/dj.jimmylaing
Thanks Jimmy. Interview by Jo Robinson.