With their new single ‘All Your Love’ hitting the dance charts and a massive NYE show on the horizon, the boys from Bonka are ready to set the stage on fire with their impressive production and mash-up monstrosities bringing you bangers all night long! My City Life caught up for a chat with the local lads who are taking on the world's EDM scene and absolutely smashing it. If you want to party, dance and move your body, these dudes are ready to perform up a storm!
So, you guys have made a bit of a name for yourself being mash-up DJs. I found listening to your tracks that you’ve got a bit of a different style. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Lochie: Our style of mash-up is taking things from various genres like trap electro, house or R&B and bending them into different things by changing BPM, pitching them up and down, cutting vocals to pieces and using those elements in a way that complements our show which is all about energy.
Con: We take the best bits out.
Lochie: It may not be something that is utilised much in the clubbing scene but we find a way to use it. Because we a) really like it b) been asked to or c) it just works.
You guys started working together playing at house parties a while back. How do you guys play together as a team? Can you tell me how that works?
Con: When we have gigs (and we're always away for gigs), there's probably a minimum of 3 days a week that we’ll be with each other.
Lochie: Say like after this, we’ll hit the gym, then head to Con's place, then we have 5 hours in the hotel room where we’ll work.
Con: Everything we’ve worked on during the week, we’ll bring together at that time.
Are there any Festivals you’d be keen to play at?
Festival X in Australia and even Ultra or Tomorrowland... something we could really thrive in. Wildlands festival looks pretty sick! That’d be fun to play. But yeah, Splendour in the Grass or something like that wouldn't work for us. Like we’re not that cool. Not saying we're not good at what we do, we’re just not “cool”.
Do you find that you get a lot of support being in your hometown or do you find it's elsewhere that you get more of a following?
Con: Definitely elsewhere because we have RINSED this place to pieces.
Lochie: We’ve done residency and played all over Brisbane.
Con: Last year we played at Eaton's Hill for New Year's Eve where we put a lot of money, effort and preparation into the show and we grew bulk fans from it.
And you are playing at Eaton's Hill again this New Year, right?
Con: Yeah yeah!
Lochie: And this year people are expecting the same, if not better. So, y’know we gotta bring it! It'll be awesome because we get a chance to put on an exhibition of what we’ve been working on for the past year. But, like we don't have the content or brand alignment that denotes being super “famous”. Like we don’t do massive collaborations, record deals or have songs being played on Triple J.
You did have your single “Focus” chart at number 1 on the Australian Dance Charts though AND you have done a recent collaboration with the Romantic Era… So that's quite a big collaboration, how did that come about?
She is amazing and she just sent us her vocals and we thought wow, this is dope. She could have been a bedroom singer for all I care but we heard her and thought, this is the one!
Are you starting to get more into the production of music?
Lochie: The producing thing is the main thing we do. The whole mash-up title or “endowment” upon us, that's to do with how we play… We’ve always been music producers but a part of growing and making our shows better was the implementation and production of better, more energetic mash-ups.
Con: Most DJs play mash-ups that go for 6 minutes and ours go for 45 seconds. It's very fast.
Lochie: Say a typical DJ set they’ll play 16/17 full songs of their own records which is awesome because they are well-known, well-produced and great to listen to. We play 160 records in a set and there's a lot going on. It's for the people, it’s not for us. We’re not there to showcase how good we are at writing music. We are there to entertain.
Are you on a label at the moment?
Lochie: We just signed a new record with Laidback Luke's label called Mixmash BOLD. Laidback Luke is kinda an industry legend. If our records are not picked up by someone bigger and better, we release them on our own label independently called Mr. White.
What is the best show you’ve put on?
Eaton's Hill New Year's day! That was wild.
Who are some of the DJs you're loving at the moment?
Dom Dolla, he is mint. Chris Lake is sick, Steve Aoki, Will Sparks, Chainsmokers - they put on a great show, just amazing entertainers, Disclosure for sure.
Do you guys play many festivals?
Yeah, overseas we play lots of festivals! With club shows, there's a lot more interaction, whereas festivals are more like a performance. When we perform our festival shows there's a lot of effort and extra pyrotechnics, fly in singers and dancers. It's a big spectacle.
So you guys have done quite a bit of traveling around then, so where have you been and where would you like to go next?
Con: Europe is the next stop for us for this year. Hopefully heading to Italy, Greece and Ibiza!
What are your future plans?
Lochie: To be the best we can be and hopefully that lands us with some of the best in the world. If we achieve all we can achieve and we don't make it, then we can't be mad about giving it your all. We’ve got so much to offer and we have a world-class performance.
Is that performance based on the production as well because it's clear you put on a great show!
Oh, it's all part of it! If you’re watching us and there's no lights, no fireworks, no CO2, it's kinda boring. The production plays a humongous part. Like Peking Duck spent their earnings from Stereosonic one year on production alone, and that was infinitely more valuable than the $50,000 paycheque as there was a viral video that came out of that. They played 'Darude' by Sandstorm which ending up coming back into the ARIA charts because of the video and it went number 1! In terms of production, it’s all the elements that make the show what it is.
Is there anything else on the Horizon?
We just started the 'All Your Love' tour, so the next 6 months we’ll be playing all around Australia.
We are shooting a video for ‘All your Love’ where our manager has come up with a concept and told us we had to grow mustaches. It’s going to be a bit like an 80’s dating show vibe, so that's why we are growing mustaches.
Well, we are looking forward to seeing that one, thanks for talking to us!
About the author
In 1999 I attended Livid Festival as a tiny teen, my love of music, festivals, arts and culture grew from that momentous moment. As much as I enjoy a gig, I dig getting out of town and escaping into nature exploring secret beaches and waterfalls. I decided at some point that I better get onto that Uni degree, hey? I lived in Freo for several years then came back to my hometown to attend QUT to get that BA in Media & Communications. Can catch me procrasta-cleaning, finding the perfectly ripe avo at the markets or laughing enthusiastically at the slightest of amusement.