Croatian born artist DJ Jock is soon to take centre stage at Sea Star Festival in Umag, Croatia from 24-24th May, so we caught up with him to find out more about the person behind the decks and what he loves about his home country.
Tell us a bit about where you grew up?
I was born and raised in Split, which is second largest city in Croatia and largest city in Dalmatia region. Even though it's the second largest, it doesn't have too many people living there(around 200,000). It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is really well connected to the main islands.
The weather is perfect! Summer is really hot and the ideal time to spend hours on the beaches. Winter is not so cold, sometimes rainy and windy, which I like because I can stay at home and work on the new music without being interrupted.
I really love the city and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Every time when I go to play in some big European cities, I realize that I live in paradise.
Which is your favourite festival in Croatia?
Over the past few years there's been a big boom in the festivals on our coast. During the summer you can go to a different festival every single day. There are so many great festivals that its impossible to attend even 50% of them. That's what is great about it; you have festivals with totally different genres of music all around the coast. From house to techno, from edm to psytrance, from disco to hardstyle.
At this current time, there are more international promoters organising festivals than local ones because it's hard for local promoters to compete with huge international line-ups from festivals like Sonus, Defected, Dimensions and others.
One of my favourite festival is Moondance in Trogir, which is organised by one of the first promoters from this area Pero Fullhouse. Every year it offers a first class techno line up with names like Jeff Mills, Rodhad, Radio Slave, Oscar Mulero, Ben Sims, Octave One, Josh Wink, Jonas Kopp. Even the legendary Tresor club had its night on the festival and it was mindblowing.
Another great festival organised by a local promotor is Ego Free Festival which is held in the centre of the Split. It's a totally different style of festival! It's free and there are things to do for everyone. From young ones to older people. From rockers and metals to party people. I really love to go there; it's just so relaxing!
I would also like to mention LUZ Festival on beautiful island of Lastovo. Last year I played the first edition of the festival and it was magical. When you get onto the island, you just want to stay there forever. The island is not so populated, so there are so many unreal places there. The festival offers a campsite, so you can go there and sleep in the tent. Everyone should check it out definitely!
Must-see destination in Croatia?
That's a hard question. Croatia is simply amazing! There are so many destinations to visit. The coast is very beautiful, we have lots of islands, amazing beaches, unexplored nature. I would recommend visiting National Parks like Mljet, Kornati, Plitvička Jezera, Brijuni. There are also some very interesting historical sites like Diocletian Palace in Split, City Walls of Dubrovnik, Pula Amphitheatre, Walls of Ston.
What is your favourite underground rave spot?
In Split my favourite underground rave spot is Judino Drvo, underground club capacity for 300 people with great soundsystem.
Who are your favourite labels and promoters?
From labels that I love are U-Dig and Moondance Records, crews that should get a shout out are Underground Control and Taman Crew, they are doing a great job.
I started my own night called 'Roots' two years ago. We had some sick parties with Cristian Varela, Jon Rundell, Coyu, Sasha Carassi but I still keep it low for now as I don't have enough time because of the gigs and production, so I am just doing it 2-3 times a year.
Favourite venue that people need to check out in Croatia?
Boogaloo in Zagreb is one of my favourite venues to play in Croatia. Both main and small floor are really special, and line ups are really cool.
There are also many great venues like Judino Drvo, Central, Byblos in Porec, Revelin in Dubrovnik, Crkva in Rijeka..
If you have one day off at a festival, what do you get up to?
When I go to festival it's always about music and to hear DJs that I haven't had a chance to hear before, so it's always sleep on the beach in the afternoon to get refreshed and then straight to the festival again. Depends where you are, but with beaches you will never go wrong!
At Sea Star festival you will be playing alongside Techno icons like Nina Kraviz and Sven Vath. Who would your dream B2B be with and why?
Yes, can't wait for Sea Star. Last year was amazing! My dream B2B would probably be with Sasha as he is my favourite DJ.
If you had 24 hours to travel around Croatia what’s your top 3?
Must eat - Pašticada.
Pašticada is a stewed beef dish cooked in special sauce, popular in Croatia.
Must see - Pakleni Otoci.
The Pakleni or sometimes referred as Paklinski islands are located off the southwest coast of the island of Hvar, Croatia
Must Experience - Barbarinac Island Of Love.
A Small island retreat hidden on the outskirts of Split!
Finally, after a big night out do you go for some Čevape or a Burek?
Haha! Probably Burek and jogurt.
Burek(or Börek) is a family of baked filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough such as phyllo or yufka, of Anatolian origins and also found in the cuisines of the Balkans, Levant, Mediterranean, and other countries in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
Make sure you check him out at Sea Star Festival 2019. Full details below.
When: 24-25th May, 2019.
Where: Umag, Croatia.
Who's Playing: WU-TANG CLAN | Sven Väth | Nina Kraviz | Enrico Sangiuliano | Petar Dundov (live) | - DJ JOCK | Lawrence Klein & more.