DJ-Producer and Student Alex Kushch on Supporting the Trans Community
Meet Alex Kushch, a Ukrainian Goa trance DJ, producer and Electronic Music Production & Performance student. Join him in supporting the FTM trans* community through his colourful music and events.
They say that creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvellous. Breaking through the material to connect to the soul. Or, for the non-spiritual, expressing your authentic self. Infinitely larger than skin, creativity is the greatest human organ there is. It drives our innate desire to shape the world around us, using consciousness as paintbrush, pen or musical instrument.
For Ukrainian Goa trance DJ and producer Alex Kushch, a.k.a. Art Alien, creativity is the ultimate trip; a way to transcend the physical reality and connect to a higher energy. His upcoming party NEBIDO Tribe (Capsule of L.I.F.E), named after a testosterone injection, is an extension of this passion. Through the medium of music and art, Alex aims to unite, support and empower the FTM trans* community.
Keen to learn more about his inspirational vision, we caught up with the Electronic Music Production & Performance Bachelor student for an interview.
“The idea was to show that extraordinary people can also be talented and we have a vision that nobody else has”
You’re new to Catalyst this year, but you’ve been DJing internationally for a while now. Can you tell us a bit about your musical journey?
At 13 years old, I went to a DJ school as my dream was to become a DJ like Swedish House Mafia. At 14, I wanted to take it further, so I joined a music production school. However, I have learnt most of my skills through my own experimentation. I’ve played a variety of styles in the past: EDM, progressive house, deep house, techno, Euro trance, minimal techno. But I fell in love with Goa trance when I first heard the track ‘Depart to Space Welcome to Goa.’ I decided to focus on this genre and its culture, combining music with art, as I’m also an artist. I spent a large part of my childhood doing ceramic sculptures and painting.
Now I want to make a living as a Goa trance producer, performer and psychedelic artist. I’m always sending booking requests to event managers so that I can play at club nights and festivals across the world. I moved to Berlin because I need to live in Europe to play regularly and sell art. It’s really hard to pursue your passion if you’re not living in a country where music and art is in demand.
We love your artist name. How would you describe your style?
It is a mixture of Goa trance (604 psy), tribal and a forest psy atmosphere, with occasional progressive basslines. I also add more vocals to the tracks than is usual in psychedelic trance – my own, Indian mantras and ethnic vocals. I am doing my best to develop my own style, FTM psy.
What brought you to Catalyst?
Berlin is a cool place for artists and musicians. I would also like to collaborate and improve myself as an artist, and learn how to make this my career. Catalyst is the most suitable school for me as it is very creative and out of the ordinary. I really like to study here. There are a lot of opportunities to improve as a professional musician and the teachers are ready to help and explain. Connections are also really important.
You’re holding a really special event at the end of this month. What were the inspirations behind it, and what do you hope to achieve?
NEBIDO Tribe (Capsule of L.I.F.E) is my conceptual party with an art exhibition and art shop. I was inspired by my own life experience as a FTM trans* guy. The idea was to show that extraordinary people can also be talented and we have a vision that nobody else has. I would also love to build a creative community for trans* guys.
“Being a part of this community helps you to find the right place in this material world. You should just be the best in whatever you are creating”
You’ve described creativity as spiritual therapy. How has being creative impacted on your life as a trans* guy?
Life experience shows that art is the best way to fight dysphoria. And psychedelic Goa trance music is really deep and spiritual. When I produce music, I dive into my feelings as if I were on a real trip. Being a part of this community helps you to find the right place in this material world. You should just be the best in whatever you are creating.
With the psychedelic atmosphere, there is always this sense of simultaneously connecting to both the inner and outer worlds. Why was it important for you to incorporate art such as body painting into the event?
By connecting the inner and outer worlds, we can find harmony and be ourselves. I have added body painting to this party because I would like to show society that trans* are beautiful. Beauty is not only the things that are so-called mainstream. Our souls are outside of this body and we are choosing not to live in the box that is called the “physical body.” We try to synchronise the body to the BPM, or rhythm, of our souls.
What are you currently working on, production-wise?
I am working on a track called ‘Trip on T.’ It’s a mixture of Goa, psychedelic and progressive basslines, Ukrainian folk vocals, tribal rhythm, Hindu and reggae vocals with a forest atmosphere in the background.
When and where can we attend NEBIDO Tribe?
The 19th of October from 10pm to 9am at Ficken 3000 (Urbanstrasse 70, 10967 Berlin). Check out the Facebook event page.
Awesome, thanks so much for talking to us!
Follow Alex Kushch on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud and Mixcloud.
Discover another of our students’ stories. In our Space to Create video series, singer and producer Rowan Edwards talks falling for Berlin’s creative energy amidst his favourite haunts of the city.