Interview - BerryQyat [MK]
From an early age, music and the way sound works distract Stefan Milevski and challenge him to learn musical instruments. He soon began playing the double bass in the school orchestra, and later appeared as part of the city's mandolin orchestra. At the age of 12 he became acquainted with dance music, and as early as the following year he attended a number of rave events taking place in his hometown and delved deeply into electronic music. Stefan's curiosity to discover and merge new music, forms a unique basis for him to start DJing. Since 2015 he is a collector of "vinyl" records and his unique DJ sets and performances became a part of the most important clubs and events in Macedonia under the name "BerryQyat". His mix recipe flows through several house-based genres, followed by a playful groove and good dynamics.
Check out the new mix as you read the conversation with BerryQyat.
Roomania: Hi Stefan and welcome to "Roomania". To begin with, would you be able to tell us in more detail about your musical journey. How did you team up with the double bass and what did the rehearsal/performance in the school or later in the city mandolin orchestra look like?
Hello, first of all, I want to thank you for the invitation. I'm glad to be part of your "Roomania'' series in the new season of "Break Away" and I really broke away while recording this mix. My friendship with the double bass started in the 5th grade in the school orchestra. I played the mandolin first, but after two rehearsals I realized that the mandolin as an instrument was not for me and I switched to double bass. What I like about the double bass is that as an instrument it is leading in every composition, so that is how our friendship started. The rehearsals lasted about an hour, an hour and a half, and we rehearsed several compositions preparing for "Smotra" (competition between primary schools in the city) where we won first place for several years. After two years of friendship with the bass, I started playing in the city orchestra "Stiv Naumov" - Bitola, where I learned a lot more about composition. We traveled often with the city orchestra and participated in many competitions in Greece, Croatia, Serbia and always returned with a prize. Good times.
Roomania: Do you remember the first record that landed in your lap? Was it your choice or maybe a gift from a friend?
Of course I remember (it was not that long ago), maybe because of the way I got it. While walking through Amsterdam I entered a gift shop where you could find anything from souvenirs to chewing gum and all kinds of utensils to get high, and among all that many vinyl records. Fortunately, there was a turntable where you could hear the record. I spent an hour "digging" and I found a breakbeat record from the 1998 MOOG release of "What is a party" EP for "Dust 2 Dust records". Still one of my favorites.
Roomania: How many records does your music library hold and which genre is most represented in your vinyl collection?
My collection consists of about 200 records featuring a variety of home listening and disco music. The predominant genre is tech-minimal, butè I am still at the beginning and I want to expand it in many directions.
Roomania: We know that the issue of quality of digital or analog format is debatable and it depends on several factors. What do you think, which format is best and is the sound carrier crucial for a good party?
Everyone who is musically educated knows that the best sound carrier is vinyl, but it is not a decisive factor for a good party. Personally, it gives me more pleasure to turn and listen to records in a home atmosphere. At home I can pay more attention to acoustics, unlike in a club where other factors play a role, such as amplification, mixers, sound system and the like. For a good party, above all,è, you need to be able to convey good energy through the music you play. I think there are few who pay attention to where the sound comes from or feel the changes whether it is vinyl or digital format.
Roomania: Roomania: Your stage name is quite unique. What does "BerryQyat'' mean and how did this name come about?
The choice of name came by chance when I was invited by a friend to play music in his bar. Because we often use Turkish words in Bitola, I responded to the invitation with "Бериќат шо ќе пуштам" (roughly translated "Lucky me, I will play music"). After that followed the question of how to announce me and without hesitation I said "Bereket". Then I tried several variants in Cyrillic or Latin, and in the end I decided on "BerryQyat". Bereket does not actually have a direct translation, but I would briefly describe it with a few slogans I came up with: Not great, Not terrible - BerryQyat. Not much, not a little - BerryQyat. It can be used in many situations, I hope you understand the meaning. BerryQyat that you invited me to be part of your series.
Roomania: What inspires you and what is the recipe for your DJ mix?
The main inspiration for me is definitely nature and the organic sounds it offers. As I explore new music, I focus on natural sounds. The recipe depends on the location and the time where I perform. I form an idea of how the music would fit in that space and time and that's how I define the mix. Some places fit rectilinear sets that are not entirely my style. I prefer to experiment with different sounds that match each other and sound good as a whole.
Roomania: What do you think about the new way of club culture? Can streams, podcasts and guest appearances on radio shows replace live performance? Is there a difference in music selection as a guest on a radio show and performing live?
Streams, podcasts and radio showsе are great, but there is no comparison with live performances. Music and people disconnected. Somehow, I am satisfied with this period because I collaborated with radio shows and recorded new podcasts. I met new fans through music with whom I will work closer. Live performances are limited, but it is more or less a good thing that something is being done. I hope that soon the club scene will return to normal. And of course there is a difference in music selection. For a mix for a radio show, I sit on a chair and carefully select and listen to tracks, while live performances are "go with the flow", where I bring a lot of music for every moment. What the DJ brings, the year doesn't bring.
Roomania: Soon before the covid crisis occurred, the club "Jagoda" in Bitola, where you were a resident DJ, appeared as a refreshment on the Macedonian electronic music scene. Do you think that with the emergence of this club, new energy and interest in rave culture have emerged? Tell us about the club, something that the public does not know? After the covid crisis, will we be able to dance there again?
"Jagoda Club '' was a great refreshment, above all for my home city where you couldn't continue anywhere after 1 AM, and also for the club scene in Macedonia. There was great interest among the listeners of electronic dance music, but also among the DJs from other cities who wanted to perform at the club. It was a great refreshment for me, both as an artist and as a fan of rave culture. For the first time I got the chance to share the DJ booth with world renowned "DJ Eddie Richards", on whom I left a good impression. Unfortunately, this refreshment lasted for a short time and with the appearance of the pandemic, all the projects and plans that were made were cancelled. I am happy that there is a young population that loves rave culture and I am sure that everyone is looking forward to returning to the dancefloor at "Jagoda Club". The club is ready and waiting for us to play in it again, and until then we will fill the music libraries with quality music.
Roomania: On your social networks, from the videos and pictures that you post, it is noticeable that you are an avid fan of rollerblading and extreme riding. How long have you had this hobby? Have you ever competed in a match of this type?
I can say that roller skates are my first love and that they changed my way of thinking and my whole life. From a young age I had a great desire to ride roller skates, but I did not have the opportunity to own roller skates until I was 14 years old, when I started earning money on my own. I worked in a car wash and I used my first salary to buy aggressive roller skates. I spent a lot of effort and time, but I got a lot more than that. I have participated in many competitions. In 2010, at the "Macedonian Inline Street Competition", I won 3rd place in the amateur category, which was attended by riders from all over the Balkans.
After 2012, the roller skating scene was slowly fading and only a few riders remained, which reduced motivation. I regret that I was not active for several years and got out of shape, but it is what it is. An unexpected motivation to get back into shape came to me in 2018, by a call from Bulgaria to participate in a competition in Sofia. I was with "Dimsuro", primarily for fun, but the experience with riders from all over Europe was also worth it. This was an amazing experience and I hope in the future of many such. I am also happy that we started a project with "BSC" (Bitola Skate Crew), which we hope to complete by the end of the year without serious injuries.
Roomania: What kind of music do you listen to most while rollerblading?
When I started riding, my biggest motivation was the "roller" videos, so from them I drew inspiration and music that then appeared on the videos. Each rider for himself, however, listened to different music. From thrash, metal and hip hop to "The Clash" and "Neuvelle Vague". As the years passed and I began to "dig" music, that habit changed because it took away my focus on riding. Now, after riding, I get a cold beer and enjoy good music.
Roomania: Finally, how would you describe your mix for "Roomania"?
My mix is a combination of vinyl and digital. I wanted to capture the moment of a day walk through space, through which there are peaceful and tense moments. At the end of that walk, everyone returns home happy and satisfied. You will understand what I am saying by listening to the mix. I hope you’ll enjoy it.