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My Day With Guy J

My Day With Guy J

Let me take you on a journey where getting “lost” is essentially a requirement for getting “found”.

In the days leading up to Guy J’s  April 22nd Toronto gig at Nest in Toronto, I was trying to muster up enough gumption to ask Oz Akgun of Ozmozis (Toronto’s leader in promoting world renowned DJs to our city) if I could possibly have a few moments with Guy. He said YES!

My original intentions were to delve into the typical session of formal, inquisitorial dialogue but much to my astonishment the Universe had something different planned for me. What began with a dinner invitation, unexpectedly led to a drive to Toronto Pearson International Airport, aka YYZ, to escort Guy J and Finland’s talented producer and master engineer CIDINC (who humbly introduces himself as Henry) to dinner. Side note, surprises are the Universe’s way of teaching and showing us that there is little to gain from our day to day existence when we have unrealistically high expectations of how life should play itself out for us.

I waited at the arrivals gate, trying not to be consumed by “fan-itis”, when Guy and Henry approach my car and I immediately jump out to greet them with a warm and welcoming Canadian hug.  No hesitation on their part in returning the same informal reception towards me.  My mind was on overdrive. I was trying to ask the right questions, or at least initiate some level of intellectual conversation that would keep them entertained and interested on the short drive to the city; however also trying to respect the fact that their journey to Toronto had been arduous, exhausting and long, and maybe they had no desire to engage in small talk with some random fan, let alone entertain typical questions from a writer. Both Guy and Henry were ultimate gentlemen, who displayed genuine interest in having a normal discourse with a crazy, yet witty chauffeur.

Our conversations ranged from frequency vibrations in music to being a vegetarian, to what would be the best places to travel with a small child.  Which led me into asking them if they had any children. Guy gleamed with love and enthusiasm every time he mentioned his 3-year old daughter.  It was refreshing to hear him talk about his family and the importance of maintaining a strong value system when it comes to what he does, and the people he surrounds himself with. I have always had such a high regard for Guy and his music and I have consistently and instinctively felt that there was something extraordinarily special about this musical soul. Our car ride secured my gut feelings to be on point! Guy J is not only a sophisticated and emotive producer in the electronic music industry but he effortlessly possesses those very same intrinsic qualities as a person, artist, partner and father.

I had good intentions to get us to dinner on time but I got “lost” in the excitement of getting to know both Guy and Henry better! Next thing I knew, we were on our way to Niagara Falls! Embarrassment and humility had me in it’s clutches! So my natural, hippie-self admitted to my GPS blunders and, I unabashedly remarked, “Guy, how do you feel about seeing the Falls?” Guy calmly responded with a chuckle and a remark of confidence, “Oh, I know they are beautiful.” Clearly, at this point, I knew I had to place my complete attention on getting all three of us to our intended dinner destination promptly. The dinner destination was finally found, and I had gotten us all there safe and sound.

Dinner conversation flowed easily, but ever so briefly, and the next thing I knew I was escorting Henry (aka CIDINC) back to his hotel to rest before his 3 a.m. set! This “behind the scenes” glimpse into the lives of artists like Guy J and CIDINC quickly left me realizing that life for them is as real as we think our own lives to be.

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Nest, Toronto, 12:30 am, and I arrive to a venue filled with pullulating Guy J enthusiasts. Everyone is being lulled into the plethora of sensual, hypnotic and deeply textured wondrous ambient sounds being created by Guy J.  It’s no wonder that his talents puts him leagues ahead of his peers in his field. Guy J is an ethereal music magician, who gently manages to put music fans in a state of peaceful, healing vibes, and I can assure you, I am not alone in this thinking, feeling and opinion.

Guy set the ultimate vibe for his colleague and friend, CIDINC, who keeps the pace alive, picking up where Guy left off. The crowd was in a trance! Everyone was relishing in the soul satiating deep underground energies of what the electronic culture was feeding them. I, like always, am floating past the thumping dance floor, to make my way behind the booth.

Here’s where once again the Universe invites me into its realm of surprises.  Let me preface things with the fact that people know me to be a very open-minded, unorthodox thinker and teacher who embraces and welcomes a shift in perspective at any time. That being said, this shift ends up happening when I see a few people making their way behind the decks to dance next to CIDINC in the midst of his set. Immediately I feel a stale energy….. I used to think all DJs/artists should allow or invite their fans to penetrate their field of personal space but after this experience I now  respectfully and undoubtedly believe differently. The repetitive question that crossed the threshold of my mind at that point was, “would I want someone hovering over me while I was working and trying to fully concentrate on doing my job?” I decided my answer would be an emphatic, “no, I wouldn’t.” Let my experience be your guide when it comes to “behind the decks” etiquette the next time you find yourself in the booth.

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The night comes to a resistant end at 5:30 a.m. and I leave with a feeling of sheer bliss and appreciation for the gifts the Universe bestowed upon me that particular evening.  The “welcome” hugs at the beginning of this journey were repeated with “see you soon, you guys were awesome, thank you!” hugs. What a journey this was! Toronto was blessed that evening with the magical musical talents of Guy J and CIDINC – thank you for the great vibes!

Namaskar,

Lula Gravel

Here’s Guy J playing at Nest 😉

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