DJ Jack Chang has been a ‘regular’ in the fetish party circuit ever since Oswin Struik, the former manager of Rob Berlin booked him for Project X in 2004, what later developed into the internationally celebrated PIG Party. He played at memorable party’s in the Hamburg leather scene and at Amsterdam Leatherpride and later at Playgrounds. More recently he was a much welcome guest at Darklands (formerly Leather & fetish Pride Belgium) in Antwerp.
A few days ago here on Alphatribe.com, Jack shared his collection of possible future jobs, a series of funny photoshopped images, envisioning him as Jack Sparrow or Mary Poppins (Mary Poppers as his followers started to call it). It was his way to engage people in positive thoughts with the help of a bit of humor. But behind that vale of pleasantry a more serious story takes place. Jack, being an artist, is part of the group of people that have the least favorable outlook in terms of work. The party industry is shattered with no current perspective on reopening the big clubs and parties where he turns the decks.
Alphatribe took the digital flight to Jack’s home in Frankfurt for a video call to have an up close and personal chat with one of the world’s most recognised fetish DJ’s.
What was your last gig?
Jack: “That was Rage, the main party at Darklands, the weekend before everything went in lockdown. I remember it well as it was not only the last party me and many other dj’s did, it was also genuinely fun. There was a lot of excitement throughout the venue. Not just the dance parties, but also the stage events, the talks and shows during the day. Everything came together in a level of programming that you would not get elsewhere. That puts people in a good mood and they were definitely up for it, as it should be at an event like that.”
How did you experience the lockdown yourself?
Jack: ”In the very beginning I was actually a bit relieved as I had been traveling a lot and it seemed that I was getting a short time off, away from traveling and staying up late. I thought it was only going to be for a few weeks. But as the news turned worse and worse, I realised that the situation was becoming much more severe than expected. It made me sit down and come up with a plan to get through lockdown. I needed structure for my personal wellbeing. I experienced very quickly that I wasn’t prepared to miss human contact for such a long time.
You found a way to channel some positivity throughout your series of ‘future jobs’.
Jack: “I found a lot of my friends in a very dark situation, mentally. That’s no surprise. I wanted to give them an opportunity to get away from the toxicity that this crisis has brought up, for instance on social media. My mind took me to Mary Poppins and Jack Sparrow among others as possible future jobs. And it seemed to work. People engaged in positive thoughts with the humour I brought, some making fun of the female roles I put my face on. But honestly, right now I would take any role, even the female ones. My close friends know I’m the last person to put makeup on or put on a dress, which, between lines, reveals the desperation people, like me, in the industry are facing.”
What plans did you enrolled to counter the cancelled gigs?
Jack: “First thing I did was to see a bunch of my old DJ equipment and replace it with new stuff which would allow me to livestream sets anywhere around the world. That marked the start of my virtual world tour which I’m doing at the moment. I stream a live set on social media at a time suitable to the host city of the event I am working with. That means sometimes I’m staying up very late or get out of bed very early. But it works and is getting on a roll lately.”
What is your first future (real life) gig?
Jack: “I honestly don’t know. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but being realistic I think it won’t happen in 2020. The big and often international parties where I play such as Darklands are at the very end of the line. They’re like the icing on the cake. First, countries need to be safe, travel bans lifted, etc … . That’s going to take a long time and those big events can’t run on local people only at let’s say a 50 percent of their capacity. A large part of my work comes from the US. I’m afraid it might take a very long time before the situation may clear up over there. I don’t think events will be the same like they used to. But in the meanwhile it’s important to stay positive and support each other to get through this. We’ll meet again!”
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