For our third featured artist/streamer we are heading to the San Antonio, Texas (U.S) as we introduce to you, Sephi Hakubi!
Where are you from and where are you living now?
I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and lived there for the first half of my childhood, but then I would end up moving to Coral Springs, South Florida when I turned 9 years old. I joined the United States Air Force in 2004 was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii, back to Florida, and finally Texas where I have spent the last 11 years in San Antonio.
How did you come up with your DJ name?
I was first called Sephi early in high school and it pretty much stuck; I was named after the Final Fantasy character, Sephiroth but later the name eventually got attributed more to the Tree of Life diagram. Hakubi came a few years later to find a Japanese word to describe my spirit, which translates to “excellence”, or “the best”. Not saying that I am the best but rather I always try to be the best at everything I do and enjoy the journey getting there.
What’s your equipment list?
Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 (x2)
Linksys SE3005 Gigabit Switch
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT Headphones
Shure PG58 Microphone
Elgato Stream Deck XL
KRK Rokit 5 Monitors
Alienware Aurora R8
Intel Core i9-9900 @ 3.10Ghz
HyperX Fury DDR4 @ 64GB 3200Mhz
nVidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti @ 11GB
Elgato 4K60 Pro Capture Card
Focusrite Clarett 4Pre Audio Interface
Blue Snowball Microphone
Sony FDR-AX53 4K Ultra HD Handycam
Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam
Resolume Arena 7
Where did your musical journey begin?
January 1st, 2001 is when I knew I wanted to be involved in the Electronic Music community. I was 14 years old and living in Coral Springs, Florida when I saw a random and ambiguous advert to tune into 93.1FM. I forgot to tune in as the ball dropped but I remember tuning in that afternoon and my first song that I would hear on that station was “I’ll Fly With You (Bla Bla Bla Remix)” by Gigi D’Agostino, which I thought was the most beautiful song I’ve heard at the time. Soon after I’ve heard other very beautiful tunes like “I See Right Through To You” by DJ Encore & Engelina, “Rapture” by Iio, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue, “Nothing But You” by Paul van Dyk, “Feel the Beat” by Darude, and “Traffic” by Tiesto. From there I knew that I loved dance music and would listen to Party 93.1FM religiously, the station being dubbed “South Florida’s Pure Dance Channel. I would continue to listen to it on the internet after I moved to Hawaii following Air Force Basic Training and Tech School.
What made you decide to take up DJing?
I really love dance music and I wanted to be more involved than just listening to it and going to raves. I actually didn’t get to start DJing until 2006 when I lived in Hawaii as that’s when I got my hands on a Hercules DJ Console and learned what I could on my first controller. That same year, I attended my first Anime convention in Honolulu called Kawaii Kon where I learned raves take place at conventions, then and there I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I would later go on to play major Anime events and conventions like Fandom Con, San Japan, Ikkicon, Realms Con, Okashicon, Mechacon, Anime Oklahoma, and many more.
What are some of your interests/hobbies/passions outside of streaming/DJing?
I love Anime and have been watching Japanese animation since the 1990s, with Sailor Moon being my first anime series and then getting hooked with Dragon Ball and Ronin Warriors (originally Samurai Troopers). Anime later exploded into a pop-culture that involved cosplay, Japanese-pop music (J-Pop), and interest in Japanese culture overall. I also enjoy computer technology and am very interested in Cybersecurity and DevSecOps.
When did you start streaming on Twitch?
I want to say my first official Twitch show was on KILLSCREENdj’s channel for the Avalanche Virtual Festival in the Spring of 2020 followed by a few other virtual festivals on my label HakubiVerse’s channel but since the beginning of 2021, I would almost always stream exclusively on SephiHakubi.
Is there anything you really hope to accomplish in your life, whether it be related to music or not?
Although I’ve had and still have great success playing nightclubs opening for major artists across America, I’d love to focus more on anime events and eventually play conventions like Project A-Kon, Sakura-Con, Metrocon, Dragon Con, AnimeNext, Colossalcon etc. My ultimate dream would be to headline what is considered the Wrestlemania of anime conventions, Anime Expo in Los Angeles, especially since this event almost always falls on my birthday. I could probably retire the next day and be happy with my life and not worry about playing something like EDC or Ultra!
Who are some of your favourite streamers? Why?
Ok, I definitely need to start with DJBrisk. I’ve been a DJ for 16 years and listened to dance music for about 21 years and I thought I’ve heard it all. I found out about DJ Brisk through a virtual Twitch festival that some of my friends were playing at the start of the COVID pandemic and I stumbled onto Brisk’s channel. I found out that he spins Trance, Hardcore, House, and Drum & Bass etc and would discover tunes that I haven’t heard of in a long time, and in some cases, ever like Old Skool. I would describe DJ Brisk as my rave teacher and reminds me so much of my mentor and best family-friend, Shawn Jackson, who’s a Texas legend in his own right. Other favorites music streamers I enjoy watching are SK of SpinSpinSuper, DJBrady, Jimnicricket, AliceofSin, Hartshorn303, DJPepperJackJack303, djdtor, HazelZen, DarkstarrDJ, EDHIEDWARD, DJ_Kzar & DJ_JNote, DJ_Chef_Nguyen, djranz1989, Dj_Tynam0, Dj_Kaleo, HardcorePLUR, BrentSin, KILLSCREENdj, Sebris, MidnightSnacksFM, Protohippy, Baeritoki, Signs89, and DJCosine. As far as anyone else, I’d kick back and enjoy IcepickXIII, WastelanderTerra, Crumbreon, levanmarie, and EBroxas72. If nothing else, I’ll tune into OnlyMXC to have Most Extreme Elimination Challenge for ambience. 😀
What is your favourite genre to play? Why?
Happy Hardcore and Trance as those were the two genres that defined what a real rave was for me as that’s what was played when I went out to raves in the late 2000s and early 2010s. I would especially play it if it’s in Japanese. For my Trance fans, check out Cyber Trance and all the Ayumi Hamasaki Cyber Trance Remixes from the early 2000s.
What are some of the most memorable events you’ve participated in or streamed?
The best show I ever played may have been when I headlined Realms Con 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. I’ve attended Realms Con a few years prior to my debut and every time I’ve gone, I was always welcomed with PLUR with no bad vibes found anywhere. I also enjoyed that my team from Hard Dance Texas and I made San Antonio history by booking Fracus & Darwin for the first ever Nation of the Nightkids in 2019. San Antonio never had a major Hardcore act until that night of July 12th, 2019. As far as memorable streams, I’m not sure if I have what I call “defining moments” but I loved when I organized and streamed “Nation of the Nightkids Online” (Okashicon’s Virtual Rave), and “Dream Drop Revolution Online” (Realms Con’s Virtual Rave), both with all-star DJs and live-performers. I do have all of Dream Drop Revolution Online saved on the HakubiVerse file share for my Twitch Subscribers, which can be accessed following these instructions: https://sephihakubi.com/hakubiverse-vip/
What does Team Brisk mean to you?
Dom Toretto can tell you.
It was not too long ago that I recently got ‘made’ into Team Brisk but I’ve been around what I’ve called my family for almost 2 years. I’ve mentioned that I consider DJ Brisk my rave teacher and it’s always some kind of school session whenever I tune in. Interesting that I actually know and have worked with my “classmates” prior to me officially joining Team Brisk and it was this community that united us all. I have still yet to get familiar with many of the other members but I hope one day I get to play alongside all the members somewhere. I know Seattle has (had) a Summer Lovin’ Hardcore Campout featuring many Team Brisk DJs. I’ve fought many battles whether it’d be for my country, for my scenes, or simply against haters and misfortune, but whether I am a member or when I was an associate hanging out on Discord, Team Brisk has always been the one place that I actually feel safe.
What’s your favourite thing about DJing on Twitch?
Twitch has allowed me to do something creatively that I love and I express it on their platform. I also love the technology aspect of Twitch and like to tweak overlays and settings to deliver the best possible experience. Twitch also helps me keep in touch with friends that express themselves and are welcome to interaction where I wouldn’t otherwise know if they’re available to be interactive. I believe streaming has done wonders to give introverts a chance to express themselves on their terms and despite me being a big party animal, there are times where I have trouble leaving my house and being sociable.
What is a challenge you’ve faced as a DJ/streamer?
I am a very versatile DJ and like to play many genres however, I understand I have fans that only come for one or two of those genres and fall off when I don’t play what they expect. Furthermore, I want to get back into video games but I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one genre or series and like to try out many games, especially indie games. I do love Japanese RPGs and it’s safe to say I’ll spend my time on those but I may divide what I play into blocks so that there’s a little bit more consistency in the genre of games I play. As far as my DJ streams, I’ve compromised on playing House and Trance one week and Hard Dance on alternating weeks.
Do you have any special projects, streams or events you would like to tell us about?
I’m spending some time this year working on House music and I’m on target for releasing “Kaizen”, which is due around October this year. HakubiVerse is also going to be hosting the 4th San AnTokyo: A Night in Crystal San AnTokyo anime rave on August 6th in San Antonio, Texas featuring fellow Team Brisk member and Hardcore legend, Jimni Cricket. I’ll also be celebrating my 36th birthday with a Twitch ‘stream-a-thon’ kicking on Thursday, June 30th at 10PM CDT. I will commence regular gaming streams July 15th on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays (although I haven’t decided what to play yet, suggestions are welcome!). I’m also down for any raid trains that anyone wants me to take part in, please let me know.
Is there anyone you’d like to shout out and/or thank?
First and foremost my wife and partner whether it’d be in business or battle, Amethyst Hakubi, who’s worked so hard keeping me sane and somehow making nice out of tough situations. Of course Shawn Jackson who I never expected that he would be friends with a nobody like me, let alone become my mentor and who I’d look up to as an older brother or father-figure. Also to promoters that I’ve worked with in my almost two-decade career, Elmo Ramos, Alana Young, Donnie Wilson, Shane Quade, Protohippy and Leah, Simba Esqueleto, Max Shafer, Melissa Henderson, Stan Dahlin, Javier Torres, Brian Deharo (DJ Cosmic), Alex Eidson, and Marlon Stodghill (Rave in Paradise) for believing in me and giving me the chances to bring the Pure Dance Renaissance wherever I can. Finally my fellow mates in Texas keeping raves real here: Sebris, Eduardo Serrano, Brandon Legacy, Baeritoki, Raulie Smilez, Tynam0, Timebomb, Eric Monster, Prblmz, Gilbert Carrizales, Signs, Kaos The Spacecadet, Pamdemonium, Pinky, Armani Berlin, Planetari, GeneviveXO (fka Miss Genafire), Kawaii Club, Reno, Pearl Grey, DJ R.O.C.K.M.A.N., Elevon, DJ Flex NY (who I swore was featured on a flyer with Brisk way back in the day), Mighty Monkz, Josiah “DLo” Lopez, Kevin Brown, G-Hound, Munark, Jazzy, Burst, Sunbro, Blanche, C-Squared/Duck.E, and of course the JDS Lasers and Fat Stream crews. I really enjoyed this crazy adventure and everyone I’ve met along the way and hope to continue on these adventures for a very long long time. Bless!
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