10 Shocking Facts About Your Favorite DJs

Class is in session and, once again, we’re dropping some surprising knowledge and shocking facts about today’s hottest electronic dance music artists. We’ve already given you a prerequisite course, 10 Fun EDM Facts That You Probably Do Not Know, and we’re back with more shocking, off-the-wall facts that you’d never expected about your favorite DJs.

Listen up and scroll down because you’re about to get schooled with these shocking facts.

Kaskade spent two years as a missionary in Japan (speaks Japanese fluently).

Hailing Kaskade on the Japanese War Flag
Hailing Kaskade on the Japanese War Flag

Kaskade (Ryan Raddon), is one of the most popular electronic DJs and producers on this planet, but did you know that at the age of 19, before his musical career took off, he ventured on a two-year full-time mission in Japan?  During his time overseas, he also held a brief position as a Japanese tour guide and learned the language fluently, which he still speaks (on a conversational level) today. 面白い

Diplo was once a teacher in Philadelphia.

Today's Diplo, yesterday's Philadelphia school teacher
Today’s Diplo, yesterday’s Philadelphia school teacher

Yes, this one is true. Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz) taught literature and math to kids with behavioral problems in an after school care program in Philadelphia.  Although he may have one of the most grueling schedules of today’s electronic artists, it was nothing compared to teaching, saying: “I think that I quit my old job as a school teacher in Philly because it’s such a demanding job.”

Skrillex used to be the lead singer of the post-hardcore band From First to Last.

Skrillex front lines From First To Last, Circa 2004
Skrillex front lines From First To Last, Circa 2004

Believe it or not — Long-haired LA-native Skrillex (Sonny Moore) became the lead singer of From First to Last in 2004.  During his time with the band, they recorded two studio albums (Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count, 2004, and Heroine, 2006).  In 2007, Moore opted to leave the band to pursue a solo career.  Between then and now, he pulled together a new band, joined a big-time tour gig, made a magazine cover, and (finally) transformed his musical career into the electronic scene — and we think it suits him much better!

Steve Aoki schooled American swimmer Michael Phelps in DJing.

In one of Miami’s hottest venues, LIV Nightclub, Steve Aoki hosted a private and educational DJ lesson to Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time. Although Steve Aoki may be better known for his crowd surfing, his swimming abilities are on another level. In return for the one-on-one DJing session, Aoki received gold medal-worthy swimming lessons.

 RL Grime and Clockwork are the same guy.

Playing the who's who with RL Grime and Clockwork
Playing the who’s who with RL Grime and Clockwork

A man who produces music and DJs under two monikers? But why? RL Grime and Clockwork (both Henry Steinway) uses these two names to put out two very different musical works.  Under RL Grime, he drops his harder, bassier, and trappier side.  While using his Clockwork persona, he keeps it more charming, melodic and tribal with a dash of big room house for custom festival-ready bounce. It’s like the best kind of alias you can have.

Laidback Luke is a gold medalist in Kung Fu.

Laidback Luke bring home the gold at the international Plum Blossom Kung Fu tournament
Laidback Luke brings home the gold at the international Plum Blossom Kung Fu tournament

Laidback Luke, born Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen, is an extraordinarily disciplined man with a number of outstanding talents.   Recently, Mr. Luke brought home four gold and one silver medal from the Annual Plum Blossom International Federation Martial Arts Championship.  During his early years, there was a strong love for the art, saying: “As a kid, I was always into martial arts. I grew up doing karate and when I hit puberty, I just kind of forgot it and focused on music more.”

Fatboy Slim used to be a drummer and a lead vocalist in the band Disque Attack.

Fatboy Slim drops the mic from Disque Attack.
Fatboy Slim drops the mic from Disque Attack.

Fatboy Slim’s (Norman Quentin Cook) musical career spans over four decades, starting in the late 70s when he was a drummer and a lead vocalist for a band called Disque Attack.  Striking the age of 18, after becoming an extraordinarily popular DJ in the thriving Brighton club scene as DJ Quentox (The OX that Rocks), Slim dropped the mic in his drumming and singing career to pursue the art of electronic music. He released his first solo album in 1989 and has been tearing up the game ever since, still relevant in today’s industry.

Deadmau5 guest starred in an episode of CSI.

Deadmau5 kills it in a CSI cameo
Deadmau5 kills it in a CSI cameo

Season 11 (Episode 2)  of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation may have been Deadmau5’s (Joel Thomas Zimmerman) big break on the telly, but we’re thankful he’s sticking to the music.  While most of the show’s fans were busy setting their focus on the episode’s pool party-wrecking shark, electronic music fans were probably more in tune with the mouse ears (no acting skills required) behind the decks in one of the first scenes.

Dada Life met at Disneyland.

A big thanks to Disneyland for Dada Life
A big thanks to Disneyland for Dada Life

During an unsuspecting day at Disneyland, Olle Cornéer and Stefan Engblom (Dada Life) overheard one another in the crowds speaking Swedish.  After making acquaintance and chatting at the park, they decided to keep in touch and eventually made the decision to create a track together (once back in Sweden).  Both were already making dance music on a solo basis, but they figured they’d pair their talents (and we’re thankful they did).

Carl Cox was DJ Magazine’s first publicly-voted #1 Top 100 DJ (1997).

Carl Cox: Forever DJ Magazine's first #1 Top 100 DJs
Carl Cox: Forever DJ Magazine’s first #1 Top 100 DJs

Although DJ Magazine was founded in 1991, the publication didn’t launch their publicly-voted Top 100 DJs list until 1999.  During that year, British house, techno, DJ, and producer Carl Cox landed the #1 spot, Paul Oakenfold the #2 spot, and Sasha the #3 spot.  Mr. Cox, that’s a title to be proud of — especially since you’re still killing it on underground stages across the globe today.

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