I've been following this competition every year and I even applied once before (back in 2013) with no success. I applied again this year, thinking to myself "whatever will be, will be", I was lucky enough to have so many friends voting for my mix. When I found out that I'm in the top 5 Romanian finalists I was so happy, I knew this was the beginning of some great, and so it was!
All 5 of us (Romanian contestants) were invited for the mix-off event in Cluj, Romania which was held at Delahoya Festival. I was very pleased to meet the other 4 contestants, the jury, the organisers and also the local press, It was a full day with many experiences. After we all took to the decks, I won the mix-off and I felt very honoured, but i did not quite realise what was actually happening until I arrived in Ibiza for the bootcamp.
Fast forward to Ibiza, after arriving on the island, myself, Lollino and DVICE were taken straight to Ibiza Sonica, as we were the first to arrive and we had to play 30 minutes each at Ibiza Sonica. We knew about this beforehand, but the experience was unexpected, we had really chemistry between the 3 of us and it was good to meet the BURN crew and our Sonica host, Graham Sahara. That is a day I will never forget.
I knew what I wanted to get from the bootcamp, but I didn't necessarily know what to expect from it. The lecturers were great and informative, what we learned from the guests and mentors is something that is current and can be applied to our careers right away. I think all of us struggle at the end of the day, with the same questions such as: how can we get ourselves out there in front of our audience? How can we better manage our time? How can we be great at this craft? How can we engage better with our communities? and how to have a successful career in this fast changing industry? All these questions were tackled during our lectures.
The challenges that we were given pushed us to our limits, almost every day and brought our true selves to the surface. A good example of this is compressing the music/mood you would normally play in a few hours in a club in just 15 minutes in front of Dubfire and more. This wasn't an easy task, the pressure was on big time! I really enjoyed the remix challenges for which I've got the second place for one of them and the Carl Cox back2back challenge where I played with Mira Joo (Hungary), for which we've got the first place.
I was pleased with the overall experience and I see this as 3 weeks packed with proper electronic music industry education and valuable networking. Besides this, meeting all our mentors, getting feedback from them and having them acknowledge us was truly uplifting. Some of the contacts we've made there will most likely play important roles in our artist careers at some point.
I feel lucky to have had this opportunity, meeting all these amazing people and learning from them. Every single person I met in this contest had some special to me. Now I am back home, taking in all these experiences, learnings and connections, being a step ahead in my career, with many ideas and future prospects.