From studying computers in Russia’s furthest east to partying with Kanye, via Instagram and Fashion Week: the Vladivostok DJ at the center of a very-2016 whirlwind shares snaps from his phone.
Check out previous Camera Rolls here.
After graduating from computer-programming school in Vladivostok, Cyber 69 moved from Russia’s most south-eastern province to Toronto at age 18.
Wanting to impress a girl on Instagram, he started producing trap mixes, set up a Soundcloud and hoped she would notice him. In the process, he caught the eye of Off-White and Been Trill’s Heron Preston and Virgil Abloh (who was featured in 032c’s Issue 29 What Is Radical? feature), who got in touch with him through Instagram and booked him to play. It was his first gig, and Kanye West and Drake were in the crowd.
The 23-year-old DJ was quickly adopted by the crew, producing mix-tapes for Abloh’s Off-White and Vfiles. Since then, Cyber 69 has appeared in editorials, teamed up with the Parisian brand NasaSeasons to create an “Outlaw” cap, and sported head-to-toe Yeezy during the last Paris Fashion Week. It’s the ultimate internet-age fairytale.
Oh, and he also got the girl.
Cyber 69 shares his camera roll in a texting session with 032c’s Eva Kelley while on tour in the US.
How important are material possessions to you?
Cyber 69: I like to give away pieces of my designs to friends. I have some newer things coming in soon.
What made you stay in Toronto?
Cyber 69: Good friends.
Do you miss your hometown?
Cyber 69: Yeah, It feels like a sacrifice for a dream.
You were first discovered through an Instagram DM. Is this your favourite network? Or is there a new Instagram which people should look into?
Cyber 69: vk.com is a really unappreciated social media presence. Basically, it’s like a Russian Facebook, plus you can download music and video content. You can find any track you want there. But I wouldn’t call it a new Instagram.
Russia is so vast, and you grew up in its most south-eastern province, seven time zones from Moscow. In Vladivostok, how connected did you feel to the capital and the western parts of Russia?
Cyber 69: For us, Moscow was the West because it’s so far. I’ve travelled to a a lot more places in Asia than I’ve been to in Russia.
How would you describe the music scene in Vladivostok to an outsider?
Cyber 69: I think that peoples ego’s aren’t as blown up in Vladivostok. Everyone is pretty chill. There is no trap scene. Everyone listens to techno and electro.
If you’re not from one of the handful of global metropolises, is it still hard to be connected to creative centers? Or has the internet obliterated these differences?
Cyber 69: It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you have good content, you will pop up in the world. You can always be in tune with culture through the internet.
How do you feel about Russia’s current politics?
Cyber 69: I’m boycotting the current world order. I have an outlaw hat.
Where is your main fanbase located?
Cyber 69: On the internet.
Your sound has a kind of dark tone, but with a lot of humor to it. How would you describe it?
Cyber 69: It’s a vibe of blending the future with the past. It’s a mix of the old-school sounds I heard when I was kid and new-age music.
You went to computer school in Russia. Did you play an instrument when you were younger?
Cyber 69: I used to play Metallica on my guitar. I miss that. I might cop a guitar when I get back home.
What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve done?
Cyber 69: Long-distance relationships are a nightmare.
What is your favorite selfie angle?
Cyber 69: Frontal, facing a mirror.
What does the term “hardcore” mean to you?
Cyber 69: In life, I think of someone as hardcore if they are constantly working. When it comes to music, hardcore is a fat bass at an underground party.