It’s safe to say our gyms wouldn’t be what they are without our resident DJs, which is why we’re celebrating them in our new DJ Spotlight feature. This month we chatted to Zachari Bach about his love of music, and how he came to be spinning the Gymbox decks.
How did you get into DJing?
When I was younger and training in track and field, I’d spend too much time flicking through music during my warm up, so I decided to try putting the tracks I liked into one long mix on my computer. At the time, I was also working as a freelance photographer. I didn’t have any knowledge of actual mixing and by chance met a DJ and friend who needed promo photos. In return for photos he gave me a few lessons, after which I bought my own equipment and spent many evenings practising and learning. I eventually made it out of my bedroom to the bars and clubs and have been part of the clubbing scene ever since!
Tell me about your career now – do you DJ full time or is it something you do alongside other work?
I would say I’m a full time DJ, yes. Most of my weekends are spent in a bar or club somewhere in the city, as well as DJing for Gymbox 3 nights a week at Victoria, Cannon Street & Farringdon. I’m also a promoter and event manager for two parties at Fire in Vauxhall, so the majority of my week consists of planning and preparing for the weekend ahead.
Do you have any big inspirations in the music world, and in what ways do they influence what you do?
There are two DJ/Producers with a record label that I adore, Chus & Ceballos (Stereo Productions) - their style and DJ sets are everything I love: a great groove, lots of percussion and tribal flava’s. They very much influence my style and it would be a dream to play alongside them at one of their events or, even better, to have a track I’ve made get on their label. Dreams can come true if you work hard for them. I’ve spoken to Chus a few times so am in contact…that’s maybe my New Years resolution for 2019!
What is it about DJing that you enjoy so much?
When you play a set that’s so well received with the crowd you get the best buzz. There’s so much music around too so it’s always fun to experiment and broaden your interests. I’ve been DJing for over 8 years now and always find I’m learning something new, mostly in technical abilities, but it’s something I enjoy a lot and plan to keep doing for many years to come.
What made you go for the role at Gymbox? Were you a member there before you started providing the music?
I was a member at Covent Garden before I got asked if I’d like to DJ for Gymbox. Terry Wedd, who was a General Manager at Bank and also a good friend of mine, asked if I was interested. I jumped at the opportunity. I started at Bank back in 2013 and eventually picked up a second DJ spot at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, then moved to Old Street before picking up a third spot at Farringdon. Recently, I’ve moved from Old Street to the brand new Cannon Street branch and I like it a lot.
What music are you into – is it what we’d expect (house etc.), or do you have some guilty pleasures?
I’m into a lot of music. My sets tend to focus around House, but that in itself has many sub genres: funky, deep, tech, disco influenced etc. I tend to mix a lot of it together in my sets. I grew up on 90’s R&B, Hip Hop & Dancehall, so they influence my sets. Occasionally I’ll play an R&B set, but it’s rare.
I’m not the biggest fan of today's current top 40 offerings, but occasionally the odd Ariana Grande track will break into my collection, mostly a remix of sorts. She’s my guilty pleasure!
What atmosphere do you try to create when you’re DJing?
It really depends, if it’s a bar or club, and generally what the music policy is. Some places like a more vocal & funk sound, whereas the after-hour clubs tend to be more bass heavy and underground. Overall, I like my sets to have a good uplifting beat. I can play a real underground set but it can still have a beat and a groove.
What’s your favourite thing about Gymbox?
Everything! Since I joined in 2013 I’ve never looked at another gym quite the same. Gymbox has a unique atmosphere and a great clientele dedicated to training and fitness. Over the years, I’ve worked with and met many of the staff members and have made some great friends. DJing there allows me to improve, and it’s always a nice buzz when members say they’ve enjoyed my set…it’s hard to say one thing, there’s so many!
Catch Zach DJing at Victoria on Monday, Cannon Street on Tuesday & Farringdon on Thursday nights.