Evan Chandler spent his first 27 years in Brisbane, Australia, before he started thinking it would be “cool” to see what life is like in another country.
But two years ago, when he decided to move to Canada, expanding his musical reach was just one element in the mix. “I chose Vancouver because it’s right near Squamish and right near Whistler: worldclass rock climbing, world-class snowboarding,” he says. “Apart from all that, the music scene here is incredible. It was a good move for me career-wise to expose myself to the Canadian crowd a bit more, and meet a lot of other cool people around Canada to collaborate with.”
For those unfamiliar with the name, Chandler is better known to a worldwide fan base under his DJ handle: Slynk.
Already popular on his home turf, at just 20 years of age, Chandler landed an invitation to perform at the iconic Shambala Music Festival, in British Columbia’s West Kootenay region. “It was my first time overseas, and my first time ever playing a festival.”
Chandler uses an earthy expression involving bricks to convey the state of his nerves before taking the stage in front of a sea of people pumped with what organizers of the annual event in the Fractal Forest refer to as Shambalove. “Apparently I did a good job, because they’ve invited me back several times.”
As a youngster, Chandler spent some time learning various instruments before turning to electronic music production. “When I was about 15, I discovered some software that allowed you to do that on computer, and I was hooked. I was really, really hooked. Now I’m 29 and still hooked,” he says. “It was great, because I could be the whole band. I could write an entire song – drums, bass, keys, guitar. I could do it all myself, and have control over the entire musical spectrum in the song,” he says.
About half of Chandler’s output is original material, but it often entails a lot of intricate sampling and editing, such as one “rewarding” remix he considers a classic example of his style. “I took the Young Black Teenagers’ song “Tap the Bottle” and I used some wizardry to extract the a cappella, because an a cappella doesn’t exist for that song,” he explains. “I put the a cappella on top of Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces”, and then put a big drum line on top of it, and a big bass line. “That song is probably my one of my favourites, because no one else has done anything with “Tap the Bottle”, even though it’s a really popular song. No one has been able to extract the a cappella the way that I have.”
Chandler gets great satisfaction from watching a crowd enjoy itself to something he’s spent “hours and hours, weeks sometimes” writing, when he does finally “DJ it out” before a live audience.
This weekend, in the persona of Slynk, he will display his musical “wizardry” as headliner of the Paradise Electronic Music Festival.
The dancers may not number in the thousands, but that won’t prevent him from enjoying the kind of interaction he associates with audiences in his adopted country. “Canadian crowds, especially, really appreciate what I’m actually doing onstage behind my decks. Because they’re watching, they’re listening, they’re interacting with me. “I like it when there’s a sample in the song that says ‘make some noise’, or ‘put your hands up’, and they go ahead and put their hands up, or whatever,” he says. “A lot of other places in the world, that doesn’t really happen most of the time.”
The festival runs from 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 29 until 5 a.m. on Sunday at Kettley’s Canyon. More information is on the Paradise Music Festival Facebook page.
To learn more about Slynk, including his latest album, Front Yard Futon, check out his Facebook page, or look for his music and tutorials on YouTube or SoundCloud.
We received a question from one of our readers and thought we should add this NOTE:
The shuttle will pick up at Superstore parking lot at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight.
It will also drop off at the same location at 6:45 p.m., 9:45 p.m., 00:45 a.m. and the next morning at 10:30 am.
Co-coordinator/ Paradise Music Festival