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[My Weekender]: DJ Cavia

Catching up with Cavia, not only one of Shanghai's best hip-hop DJs, but also an avid cinephile and shrimp biscuit-enthusiast.
Last updated: 2015-11-09
Cavia is a hip hop DJ and a self-confessed "otaku". He won the China DMC DJ championship in 2008 and went on to represent the PRC at the DMC World Mixing Championships in London. Since then he has retired from the battle DJ scene but he still plays around town anywhere from JZ to dive bars.

Hey I'm Cavia, I'm a fake DJ and a professional businessman. People call me a 官二代 — guan er dai — "a second-generation government kid" 'cause my dad works for the government, and I feel good about it. Now I'm gonna introduce my weekend to you.

I’m an otaku, which is a Japanese term for guys who stay home all day watching anime and being useless. I don't go out that much. Friday for me is the movie and TV night. I used to watch a lot of South Park, the good ones, like season one to four when it's pure art. But the latest seasons are totally bullshit, so I’ve switched to The Sopranos. Sometimes I'll pick some Stanley Kubrick movies and let my girls do some shrimp biscuits for me. You know, I love Stanley Kubrick, girls and shrimp biscuits.

I only go out on Friday if there are really good shows, like Hip Hop Hijack, who brought DJ Scratch to Zeal last month. Tonight’s Kireek show at the new Mural is the thing I’m most excited about all month. Kireek are two Japanese DJs who won the DMC World Team Championship five times. I met both the DJs, Yasa and Hi-C, in London back in the 2008 when we all competed in the DMC World Finals. I know they've got crazy techniques on the turntable, and I really want to see them doing these champion sets again in Shanghai. Next Friday, December 14, I'll DJ with Caspa and Dynamite MC at Arkham. (Ed: tickets.) Shout out to Siesta and DeckFX who are bringing them here, and happy birthday Wonky Kong.

OK, back to Saturday. This is my busiest night of the week and a lot of fun for me because I often find myself pretending to be a real DJ at Shelter, JZ, Dada or some random “弄堂” wedding. Recently I did a lot of shows with Theo Croker's big band Afrosonic. You might have seen us at the JZ Festival this year. It featured the best jazz players in town like Nicholas McBride, Lawrence Ku and Anthony Ware, with MC Amine and singers Cherry Brown and Dana Shellmire. If I DJ at Shelter, it must be an Antidote party. The music there is more raw and dark. Shout out to my man Michael Ohlsson who took me in. And at Dada it’s usually Heatwolves and Caution's Love Bang. I play hippie house and hip-hop. If I'm not working, I'll probably go to the Shelter if there’s a Sub-Culture party or Siesta's Sweatshop, and Ben Huang has just re-launched the Yellow party at Shelter. The next Yellow is on December 22, you guys might wanna check it out 'cause the last one was CRAZY.

This Saturday I'll DJ with Mau Mau at Mao Livehouse for all y'all alcoholics (it’s a launch event for Bacardi Plus). After that, I’ll go straight to JZ's new place On Stage to see Heems of Das Racist . It's great that he could make it here 'cause when I heard they canceled the Asia tour I was heartbroken. And the article about their first China tour by Abe Deyo on SmartShanghai is good, too.

On Sundays, usually I don't know what to do. I was watching guitarist Jay Lee (李鑫) doing a rehearsal at Mao Livehouse's studio last week, and that was great. This weekend I might go find Andy Best to write some new songs for our new band. Sometimes I go digging. DJ B.O used to take me to an electronics market with a lot of CDs at really good prices and nice shop owners. For vinyl, I only go to Uptown , though I never understand what the owner Sacco says. He speaks too fast.

On Sunday night I'd like to go to 390, they have a weekly jam session with all these mad-skilled musicians. Last time I was there, I saw Han Han from the Duck Fight Goose singing My Way by Frank Sinatra. It was so touching. Everybody was crying. We got pretty drunk that night with Sophia and Brad, (曹先生和他媳妇大门). Good times.

If I don't go out on Sunday night I'll probably write down some ideas and stuff on my blog, It's all about critics, philosophy and aliens. I think my Chinese writing is 10 times better than my English, so if you can understand, feel free to practice your Chinese in my comment zone. Cheers y'all and have a nice weekend.