One of the most respected DJ and Turntablist to ever come from our beloved island of Guam, DJ Supagi (Real Name: Gilbert Unas) is set to take the headling stage at EIF End of Summer! The former 671 resident has played EIF 2014 and 2016 before making waves as a Top 6 U.S. Finalist for the World renown DJ battle, Redbull 3Style, making DJ Supagi the first ever DJ from Guam to be ranked amongst some of the world’s elite. We recently caught up with Mr. DJ himself amidst his grand return home to discuss about music, DJ, and life in Seattle!
Hafa Adai DJ Supagi, how have you been and what have you been up to since your stellar performance at EIF back in 2016?!
I’ve been great, and I’m really excited to come back to my home island of Guam to perform! I’ve been keeping up the grinding playing shows/club sets here in the USA. Currently in the works with my music production, keeping things low key until(hopefully) 2019 when I’ll start releasing remixes/original tracks.
Tell us about your journey, the story of how it all happened for you, who were some of your early influences, and how did you eventually discover the passion and work ethic for DJ’ing and mastering the skills on the turntables?
It all started on Guam in 2008 when I started to fall in love with DJ’ing. I’ve always been into playing music as I was in a bunch of bands back home on Guam, as a guitarist, but mainly a drummer. Granted I was a “late bloomer” in the DJ community, I kept the essence of what real DJ’ing is with influences from all the dopest DJs on Guam like Lord Chris Berg, Dj JPogi, Dj Sylnt, who then later introduce me to the Red Bull 3Style in 2010, and I just fell in love with how intricate and complex their style of mixing was. It was also thanks to the “House Music” heads on Guam like Ronnie Perez, Clyde Harris, U-Dub, that help set the foundation of mixing House music. Later in 2013 I decided to take the risk and move to the USA to pursue my DJ career, and it was the best, most motivating decision I’ve made towards my career. Literally, don’t be afraid to take the risk and chase that dream, because you WILL make it if you work hard for it.
What is the overall music and party scene like in Seattle? Give us a little taste of what goes down in the pacific northwest?
Seattle is great. It’s a melting pot of every music, from hip-hop clubs, soul-funk nights that get jam-packed on a Monday, after hours strictly House Music clubs that’ll make people party out til 6 in the morning, Vegas style EDM clubs. I’ve been honored and grateful to play such venues, and Seattle greeted me with open arms when I moved here. I’m proud to say Seattle is my 2nd home.
What have been some of the challenges you faced in your quest in becoming a Top 6 finalist in the globally recognized DJ competition, Redbull 3Style? What was that experience like and what have you learned from it?
Anyone will tell you, Red Bull 3Style is the most prestige DJ battle in the world. I was very blessed to be one the top 6 USA finalists, repping Guam and Seattle. I was also very, VERY stressed haha. Long late night practicing, constant music searching, constant struggles wanting to pull my hair out when one part of my set didn’t go according to plan like it did in my melting mind of stress and frustration. But with all that being said, it made me even more of a better DJ than I was back then. Learning new ways to mix, programming, etc. I’m definitely still hungry for that title of being USA champion, and I’m not going to stop until I get that, bet.
What are some of the advice you can give to someone who is starting out in their DJ career from Ground zero.
Stay humble, hustle hard, stay hungry. There’s a lot of DJs I see how they think they’re the most amazing thing ever, or they’re doing big things, when they’re really just doing small things, and that will be the fall of them. I’ve done a good amount with my DJ career, and traveling to a bunch of places to DJ, and yet I still believe that I have a LONG way to go, and that’s what is making me hungry to chase that dream and get that big slice of cake at the end. Believe me when I say, there’s thousands of other people having the same dream as you, only difference is that they’re not you. Do you, keep practicing, get your name out there, pay your dues. Get inspiration from watching or listening to sets. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Also, don’t be a douche, because you will get called out, and someone better will embarrass you.
What are you most excited about coming home (asides playing at End of Summer)? What are some of your go-to spots when you get a chance to come home?
First thing first, as soon as I get off that plane, I’m getting me some McDonald’s breakfast. Portuguese sausage eggs and rice?! Oh how I’ve missed you so. Definitely going to stroll around the island, hit up the beaches, visit family and friends(Shouts to my best friends Dar and Dj Sylnt), get some pickled papaya from that Merizo Market(I forget the name), and just enjoy my short time there on the island.
You are well known in the local DJ community as a person on deck with all of the skills. What can the people of Guam expect from you when your name is called on stage to rock the house?
Playing some never before heard bootlegs I’ve been saving for Guam. A lot of high energy tracks that’ll definitely keep you busy. Just a lot of shenanigans to be unfolded. Can’t wait to DJ for you all again my Guam Peeps. See you soon at Electric Island Festival’s End of Summer event! (insert 100 emoji, fire emoji, hang loose emoji, insert all emojis) hahaha.
CATCH DJ SUPAGI AS HE HEADLINES EIF END OF SUMMER HAPPENING SATURDAY, AUGUST 25TH AT THE GLOBE. DISCOUNTED PRE-SALES ARE AVAILABLE NOW, CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!