Baby Gee: On the record

Flooding Queensland’s shores for more than a decade with his unique brand of beats, while covering everything from tech trance to big room electro and jackin’ house, Baby Gee has profoundly dominated the local and the national dance arena. However, there has been a perceptible shift in Gee’s force of late. Famed as the rambunctious Fijian lad always keen for a bit of mischief, it seems Baby Gee may in fact be growing up. While his roguish character still dictates his mixes with the ever familiar cheeky grin permanently fixed to his face, you can’t help but notice a darker side emerging. Is this a sign of inevitable maturity, or is Baby Gee merely exploring the darker shades of his personality?

It is undeniable that Baby Gee fervently embraces life. Thanks to his Chinese-Fijian upbringing amidst the tranquil surroundings of Fiji’s sun, sand and coconuts, Baby Gee will be forever imprinted by the carefree, easy nature of his youth. A move to the cooler climate of Toowoomba would see Baby Gee bid adieu to Fiji’s island setting and adjust to a more boisterous Australian way of living. It was due to a System 6 gig in his teenage years that the path of a DJ would open up before him. A residency at Fortitude Valley’s Monastery Nightclub thrust forth his DJ talents in the Brisbane limelight, while the subsequent residency for Fridays @ Family would build his name as one of the country’s biggest name in trance.

His love for all things tech would result in a lengthy partnership with Central Station Records, honing his understanding of the record industry, particularly the production and remixing aspects. This association would propel his name around the country on the Central Energy compilations, leading to more lucrative contracts with other labels. Gee has since been diligent in his production techniques, working industriously alongside such local talents as vocalist Lil Leigh, DJs Danny T and Habebe, and of course, long time compatriot and Queensland luminary DJ tyDi on the GenneratioNext, Zulu and Bam Bam Musik labels. Particularly, his remix of tyDi’s Is It Cold has been in the Top 50 of the Aria charts for eleven weeks, reaching #30 in May; while a remix collaboration with Habebe for Danny T’s Chico is due in June, to be followed by an original mix featuring Lil Leigh’s vocals due out in October.

“I’ve really matured in my musical tastes,” Gee’s asserts. “I think I might be growing up – just a little bit though,” he smiles. “I’m always going to be Peter Pan. But I’ve noticed that I’m becoming more professional. I think I’ve become a bit moody with my music. When I play hard trance – that’s my darker side. I’m done with the up in the air euphoric style. I’ve gone more techy and proggy.”

And what does he achieve every time he get’s behind the decks? “The same thing I try and achieve every night I play,” Gee responds impishly. “World domination.” Switching to a more serious tone, Gee notes that “As long as I’m playing, I can play any style – whether in a small club to fifty people with dark minimal, or a large club with hard trance. As long as everyone’s having fun. I try to find that happy balance where I make them and me happy too. I love playing. I just hope I’m cool enough like Fat Boy Slim and playing at 55. I’m motivated because I love what I’m doing.”

Baby Gee may not spend too much time musing over the “good ole days” in his quest to conquer the world’s dancefloors and airwaves, but he will certainly be looking forward to pulling out his old bag of tricks for the closing set of The Return of Hakka, for Fridays @ Family, this Friday June 6. For this night, Harry K will revive his hard persona of the legendary Hakka to recall the heady days of hard dance anthems, followed by a banging Nick Skitz set with Gee closing the night, much in the same vein of the early days when the then fresh Gee star was on the rise. “I’ll be playing stuff when Wild FM was cool,” Gee claims. “I’m very interested to see what Hakka’s going to play. I’ll definitely be pulling out my old vinyl collection and grabbing tunes from 1994 – 2000. So get ready for a banging night!”

This event will be followed closely on the tails of yet another “banging night”, as Gee prepares for a support set to the world’s #1 DJ, Armin van Buuren. With a sell-out show for Armin’s only Queensland performance, Baby Gee will be opening the night at The Met on Thursday June 4. Gee promises, “I’ll be playing dirty, dark and techy – maybe some proggy techno,” just to get The Met’s dancefloor nicely warmed up for Dutch DJ/Producer Matt Deekay, before the evening finishes with a prolonged AvB set. “It’s always great when an international DJ comes to town. And I’m looking forward to playing on The Met’s system too. Queensland is up for something really special for this night,” Gee promises. “But that’s the thing about clubbing in Brisbane. We really do have the best clubbing in the country. We have the advantage of our clubbing being in the one precinct. And Brisbane DJs don’t seem to mind looking a little deeper to take things a little deeper. The southern states seem caught up in some electro stuff at the moment, but Brisbane is really standing out with their music integrity.”

At the mention of ‘the southern states,” the topic of the upcoming ITM50 looms before us. With three Queensland DJs breaking the Top 5 stronghold from the southern states in 2008, there is of course plenty of speculation as to whether the Sunshine State can come up with similar results again. “We have an incredible scene here with DJs like Habebe, Stafford Brothers, Danny T and of course tyDi really out there pushing the Queensland. I’m so relaxed when it comes to ITM50,” Gee admits sheepishly. “I really don’t put much effort into it. I am always dumbfounded every time it happens when I get to some high place. I expect to drop back this year,” Gee maintains. I’ve heard those exact same words already – in 2007 and 2008. “ITM50 is definitely awesome for the scene though – get’s everyone really involved. But,” Gee notes, perhaps as a caution to aspiring ITM50 wannabes, “you gotta know what [spam] to put out there and what not to.”

Catch Baby Gee this Thursday night supporting Armin van Buuiren’s massive show in Brisbane at The Met, as well as the following night at ‘Return of Hakka’ the following night at Fridays @ Family.