SHONKY – BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL

Anyone with an x in their name is a badass. Take for example, Xena the Warrior Princess, Jimi Hendrix, Dexter, or Keex. Rad madcaps all in their own right regardless of their x names mostly being made-up.  So, being born with a real x in your name just means you’re all the more badass: Xavier Cugat, Alexander the Great, and Olivier Ducreux serve to exemplify this preposterous claim of mine.  To be fair, it does take a big ego to fulfill this tag but it also allows them to be direct and efficient in all they do, acting with a general disregard to the standards of others which results in a personal code that’s just straight gangsta. 


The ear to ear grin that's glued to Mr. Ducreux’s face while he’s playing, is one indicator that djing is exactly what he’s meant to be doing.  Shonky, a nickname of his that has stuck since as long as he can remember, has got the stamina and determination of a supernatural.  I’ve often had the feeling that his attitude toward his own indestructibility lends strength and exuberance to his sets, overall style, and to the kind of life he leads.  He’s never one to pass up an after party with a bunch of randoms following a night of playing - be it in Ibiza, Noumea, or Berlin.  But just as intense as he is over the weekend, he is during the week as well - focused and diligent in the studio where he's fine-tuned his musical taste, vision, and work ethic.  He ceaselessly drops production bombs on us and in a rather suave fashion, smashes things up on dance floors in all the great cities every weekend as well.


That said, one might be inclined to make a few a-priori assumptions about Shonky, granted his nationality alone comes with an almost-automatic burden of unpleasant stereotypes.  Add successful DJ into the mix and you’ve got a cocky globe-trotting Parisian gigolo.  Sounds like a crippling disease that has no cure.  Refreshingly, with Mr. Ducreux, those French stereotypes of being pretentious, whiny, and disingenuous don't apply.  Not once throughout the dinner Anastasia, he, and I cooked and shared was there anything even mildly self-aggrandising that came from him.  He admitted straight away - "I don't cook well but look, I’ve chosen the wine."  One might expect a typical French guy to elaborate and brag, but this guy actually does the opposite.  On top of being more than adequately truthful, Shonky can be seriously hard on himself.  Maybe all of the brutal honesty and self-directed criticism help fuel his maniacal drive to create and to do so in top form.   He explains that he never misses a weekly trip to the record shop where he listens to music for hours, before deciding on the gems that will come home with him.  He tells us that just yesterday he bought a slightly higher than average 11 records. 


There’s a certain excitement that lights up in his face, showing his anxiousness to play one.  He takes a moment to set it up perfectly and then comes back speaking quickly and at ease, seemingly remarking upon everything that enters his head without hesitation or fear of offending anyone.  He’s always cracking jokes at himself and others and never makes you wonder what's going on inside that head of his because he basically lays it all out on the table.  What’s special about him is not just that he’s a solid producer and DJ, Shonky’s malleable nature, general frankness with which he speaks, and his openness to new horizons have all contributed to his success over the years.  Music is ultimately at the core of everything he does.  Despite the afters, the crazy girls, the temptations, and the traveling, Shonky has a realistic grip on just how to survive and prevail in this megalomaniacal world and shows that there will be no slowing down until he achieves all he’s set out to.


Text: Yasmin Martinelli | Photography: Anastasia Loginova

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