No DJ plays their first show in an auditorium full of thousands of screaming fans. Well, not one that we can recall. Which is why events like the Beat Battle in Ballard are essential for the lesser-known artists of the electronic music world. Last Saturday at Substation, six local DJs had an opportunity to show their stuff and compete for a 30-minute spot on c89.5 and a cash prize. The Beat Battle, hosted by DJ Flave, was a night that embodied the energy of up-and-comers and the accompanying support necessary to make it happen.
All six gave a full-effort performance, but DJ Zeekenex (Toby Froelich, of Ellensburg) stole the show and went on to win the battle. The crowd could not help but pull themselves off their stools and safe-spots along the wall to dance and jump around to his mix of dubstep, hardstyle, trap and DnB. The heart of Zeekenex’s set came from the energy he exuded, jumping and dancing along with the crowd, while still delivering a solid mix. You could feel his passion in the music, and it made for a memorable show. There wasn’t a person on the dance floor who didn’t have a smile on their face.
While attendance was a bit low on the night, everyone was upbeat, friendly and having a good time; the kind of open-minded vibes you want to see in a space supporting new artists. Like Zeekenex, we heard DJs pull from all genres, ranging from hardstyle classics to Missy Elliot’s Get Your Freak On. No matter the style of music or the size of the crowd, there was someone on the dance floor supporting the nonstop show put on by these young mixers.
The Beat Battle was an overall accomplished night for these six local DJs and the growing venue Substation. Any show that sends home happy, tired (but replenished) guests can be called a success. Make sure to check out Zeekenex’s newest track, Bubble Riot, available for download, and tune in for his set this week on c89.5’s The Foreplay with DJ Flave (exact date TBD).
Where do you go to find the up-and-coming artists of the electronic dance music world? Share your secrets below!