Renowned as one of Sydney’s most diverse and respected selectors, Mike Who’s skills behind the turntables are in increasingly high demand. Known for consistently serving up forward thinking & eclectic sets, his widely-sourced taste and deep Hip-Hop roots lend themselves to an assorted dance floor package spanning genres, generations and continents.
Regularly called upon to support the international heavyweights that come our way, chances are you have caught Mike warming the stage for everyone from J Rocc, Bonobo & Quantic to Flako, Andres, House Shoes & Peanut Butter Wolf through to Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow & Nightmares On Wax with tonnes more to heaving effect.
When not heating up our biggest stages, Who’s mixes (including the provocative Sucker for Love series) have been blogged by some of the largest publications around the world – racking up tens of thousands of plays and shedding another light on his diverse taste. On top of an increasingly-busy schedule that sees him play regular shows around the country and overseas, Mike has also held down a five year residency on FBi Radio’s coveted Wednesday sunset slot, shaping the taste of Sydney and broadcasting his finds to a huge number of listeners both home and abroad. Consistently outside the box Mike Who’s sets will always move feet and educate heads. From high-pressure international support slots, setting the perfect vibe at sunsetthrough to peak times festival sets & closing full rooms, Who’s got you covered.
Your a man of mystery, is this something thats connected to your DJ name?
I wouldn’t say mysterious, just low key, not big on photos, hype and all that, i’d rather let the music do the talking. Also Mike Who is based on people never being able to pronounce my last name which is Sicilian and a bit of a challenge for most.
Who is exactly is the man that is Mike Who once the lights go down and the speaker begin to roar?
I always just do me, play the music that I love and believe in, I try and always connect with punters as that’s what it’s all about, i’m super easy going!
What was the first vinyl record you purchased?
ATCQ – Low End Theory – What can I say it’s classic material. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find a group more influential than tribe as far as hip hop goes. The fact that their music is loved by people from Australia to Japan, Africa to Europe and back to NY is crazy. Low End Theory was a raw, stripped back and sample heavy album that opened my eyes and ears to a world of soul, funk & jazz through the samples they flipped. Rest In Peace Mutty Ranks!
How do you compare you past Bali performances to shows at home in Sydney?
There are similarities and differences I love sunset vibes in bali it’s really nice to be able to have 3 or 4 hours to move around and play what I love, that’s quite similar in a sense to my residencies at home at spots like the cellar door where i’ll play 4/5 hours and cover everything from soul, hip hop, disco, boogie, dusty house + African and Brazilian vibes. Only difference is I don’t have an incredible view like the beach clubs in Bali.
On the hip hop tip there are similarities with a few fun parties in Australia, I’m back to play Jenja with the homie Dubwill, It’s a nice room with a good crowd and sound system so it’s always nice coming back. I’m there to play good music that’s pretty much it, i’m no flying over to Bali to play no brainers or obvious tunes, so expect to hear something different!
How about Sydney vs some of the regular cities you play at around Australia? Which are?
Sydney is home and always will be, but we have a shitty government and corrupt politicians that are making it really hard for venues, promoters and punters to put on nights and have fun. We have a crazy amount of restrictions like the controversial lock out laws that have killed a huge part of our cities night life and economy. I could go on for days but the positive to all these restrictions is that people are still doing stuff and there are still so many amazing parties and people working harder than ever to make it happen.
I can’t really compare cities but Melbourne is a vibe and It’s always nice playing down there, crowds are open minded and you have so many options to check amazing locals on any given weekend. Adelaide is fun to play but much smaller with fewer venues and there is some really solid parties to play in Brisbane right now. It’s been ages since I’ve played in Perth but i’m keen to head back.
Current Top 5?
That’s always a tough question as I play and love so much different music. These are five tunes that have been constants in my sets for a little while…Some new, some old!
Thundercat – Them Changes – “A year old now but still a staple, those Isley bros drums and bassline never fail”
NkWorries – (Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge) – Link Up – ” Two of my favourites Paak & Knxwledge flipping the classic sun drenched cut Onda by Cassiano”
S.F.B – Burnin Up (Kon’s edit) – “Kon’s very own extension of the ultra rare joint Burnin Up – Kon and Amir’s off track comps put me onto some crazy records and also made me realise i’ll never be able to afford most of them.”
The Goods – Nightlife – “Brand new one from local Sydney Duo who are about to drop a split Ep. I heard the masters recently and it’s next level, get to know about The Goods!” https://soundcloud.com/personalbest/the-goods-nightlife-ft-bruce-hathcock
Henry Wu – Natural Complexion (feat. Tenderlonious) – ” I’m a huge fan of henry Wu and the whole 22a camps soulful broken vibes. This tune has been a staple in my sets for a while!”
How do you describle the perfect set up for you shows? The surroundings? The crowd? the set time and set length?
I’ll take two options on this one, Option 1 – On the club tip Dark room, working turntables with no feedback, a good sound system, 2/3 hour set & a open minded crowd! Simple as that.
Option 2 – Sunset vibes 3/4 hour, beachside, cold beer & an amazing sound system.
What are your plans outside of your show at Jenja’s Urbanised while in Bali?
I really want to head to the Gili Islands this time, i’ve never had the chance so i’m excited to get there this time.
Link us up with some places we can listen to some of your finest work for our readers to enjoy before your much anticipated return!
You can find a whole heap of mixes here
or listen to me every week on Wednesday sunset on FBi radio
Whats next for Mike Who?
Staying busy, plenty of gigs coming up, working on new mix for clothing label Sydney Romantics and hopefully as much travel as possible!