El Rizzy confidently lays claim to being the “fourth-best fitness DJ in Vancouver”. Yes, DJs at yoga are a thing now, and don’t pretend it’s any weirder than those classes with kittens, bunnies, or owls.
Admittedly, the Straight’s unflattering opinion of yoga is based entirely on the latest gaffes of Chip Wilson, the vapidness of anyone who speaks fondly of the Landmark Forum, and the ubiquity of goddesses doing King Pigeon poses on Tinder. The music being played in classes does little to improve this.
At best, you’re getting the New Age–y sounds of humpback whales mating and the dated electronic scores of Moby. It gets outright embarrassing if you go further down the yoga-playlist rabbit hole. Typically, you’ll hear a folksy acoustic cover of “Trap Queen” between a little Bon Iver and Krishna Das—the latter somehow manages to sound like a whiter version of Eddie Vedder as he belts out Hindu devotional hits.
Rob Station, as it reads on his business card, is helping to change this. He’s the music director and DJ for Distrikt Movement, and a fixture at yoga and fitness events around town. (If your idea of working out is walking to the corner store when you run out of smokes, you can frequently catch him throwing theme parties at Fortune Sound Club’s Livestock Room as well.) While chilled-out R&B and rap from the likes of D’Angelo, Drizzy, Flying Lotus, and Lauryn Hill may not help you attain enlightenment, at least you won’t be totally overcome with shame the next time your instructor tells you to “bliss out while pointing your booty to the heavens”. Namaste.
Best gig ever
Playing outdoor festivals always has that danger of the unknown. Everyone is dirty, most people are gooned out of their brains, and you get the types who you would never meet in a nightclub. Homeboy at this party in the mid-2000s proceeds to create a large enough swath in the crowd to drunk-krump like a human teeter-totter. I kept my eye on him as he proceeded to vomit all over himself, remove his shirt, and wave it around his head like a helicopter rotor. It is very rare that you can connect with someone on that level inside an establishment on the Granville strip.
Top track right now
“Work” from Rihanna, only because everyone in the venue has their own idea of what the lyrics are. A quick Google will tell you they are almost completely in Barbadian Bajan and Jamaican Patois, outside of the reach of most stagette parties.
A song that cleared the dance floor
Felt that “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang was a fun crowd-pleaser to play at a friend of a friend’s wedding, until I found out many of my friend of a friend’s uncles and aunts vocally did not want to “hear any very-bad-racial-slur music”. That day taught me how important a “racism” crate of AC/DC and Creedence is.
Favourite local producer
Pomo is now a world-famous Vancouver producer in his own right, and deserves all the attention. He also just produced “Am I Wrong” for Anderson. Paak’s 100-percent bananas album Malibu—and it is easily the best track on the disc.
What’s up with DJing while people do yoga?
It was never a plan. I had gotten burnt-out on DJing and had virtually stopped for a few years until my friend Alex Mazerolle asked me to help out with a new yoga and fitness studio she was starting with her business partner Jian Pablico. The Distrikt opened and gave me complete creative control to play anything I wanted during class once a month. Playing in clubs is always fun, but it can get tiring and formulaic if you let it. Crafting a set for people to do yoga to is very interesting and uses a completely different selection of my music library. It’s kind of like making an embarrassingly honest mixtape for a girl you like in high school. It’s kind of built up to the point where last summer I’m playing D’Angelo tracks and Gucci Mane instrumentals to 8,000 yogis at Lululemon’s Seawheeze Festival. I hate to admit it, but I’m a way more successful “fitness DJ” than real DJ. Also, it’s nice to finally find a place I can confidently wear women’s stretchy pants and not feel like a weirdo.
Oddest request you’ve ever received
I got tipped $80 at an NYC startup party to loudly declare over the mike that someone who arrived late “was a jackass”.