Sunday, July 5, 2015



On its sophomore year in the country, Red Bull Thre3style pitted six of the Philippines’ hottest DJs at the National Finals held last June 27 at the metro’s biggest club, Valkyrie.

At the epic night’s end, defending champion DJ Carlo Atendido bested fellow finalists in DJ-ing skills, technical wizardry, and the ability to keep the crowd moving for a second shot at representing the country at the World Championships to be held in Tokyo, Japan later this year. DJ Nikita del Rosario, also a national finalist from the Thre3style 2014 run, and DJ Miguel (de Borja), the youngest of the night’s participants, placed first and second runners-up respectively.

All six competitors, which included DJs Franco Zarate, K Groove (Kristian Hernandez), and Kouta Kutsuma, were given 15 minutes to impress the two judges, multiple DMC title holder DJ Shortkut and Vestax-ITF-DMC Champion VDJ Ta-Shi; and to rouse the Valkyrie crowd with various tracks, bold samples, and technical prowess.

The now two-time Thre3style champion already had the party throng up and moving for most of his set with seamless jumps from one genre to another, clever use of samples, and a body juggle. But he made sure to leave the stage with a strong impression and an audience screaming for more as he played part of Kanye West’s infamous 2011 Grammy acceptance speech that went, “Everybody wanted to know what I would do if I didn’t win… I guess we’ll never know.”

Of the daring choice, the young DJ said, “I liked really the ending. When I found that sample of Kanye West, I was like, ‘Dang it, I gotta use this. I gotta claim it. I gotta take it.’”
The 25-year-old admitted to feeling more pressure this time around; the exact opposite of his experience as an underdog the previous year. DJ Carlo took what he learned from that first competition appearance and added new dimensions, which he showcased at this year’s finals.

“I wanted to implement genres that people aren’t used to hearing in normal DJ sets here in the Philippines: future house, old school hip-hop, dancehall, and punk rock. And I sequenced these tracks in a balanced way. When I would play top 40, I would [follow it up with] dancehall, then top 40 again, then old school hip-hop, back to top 40, and so on. So I made the judges happy while I kept the audience interested and alive.”

First runner-up DJ Niki wowed the audience with a 15-minute mix that cut across genres and showed off his artistic sensibilities. “Actually, Thre3style has been my style during club sets and everywhere else. [It] shows [people] how to really rock a party. You really don’t have to stay in one genre, you have to experiment [and figure out] what people will like.”

The competition’s youngest bet, 18-year-old DJ Miguel, had higher hopes at the national finals but said that his second runner-up finish was a good start. He showed off his turntable skills to the hundreds gathered with a set made up of hip-hop, rock, house, electro, funk, and old school pop. “I visualized my tracks to progress up to a climax and end it with a bang. I didn’t want my set to be on a standard energy level.”

Now that the national champion has been declared, DJ Carlo is setting his sights on Japan and the world championship that eluded him last 2014. “Well, last year we got third [place]. So I’m hoping we can move up a slot or, you know, we get first. I’ll do my best – again – to represent us all.”
Head on over to to listen to the official mixes from the National Finals. 

About Fao Rani Yarte

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