Community Creatives | Conversation with Joseph Bondoc a.k.a sarkasm

Community Creatives | Conversation with Joseph Bondoc a.k.a sarkasm

July 28, 2022

In this installment of Community Creatives, STAY FRESH sat down with local Vancouver DJ and artist; Joseph Bondoc, also known as sarkasm, to discuss his beginnings behind his love of music, style inspirations and advice for youth. Joseph is most notable for his creative involvement with local Vancouver artists and events but has recently begun to receive much deserved attention as a top tier DJ. 

Joseph's involvement with the Vancouver community spans across many platforms, his extremely talented creative work can be seen alongside artists and brands such as CHRISTIAN JASON, Bandit Lounge, B:Drive and PUMPER MAG. After first speaking with Joseph, it was evident that his creative beginnings stemmed from fashion, sneaker and hip-hop culture. His genuine nature and open minded personality made our interview feel more like conversation rather than a formal meeting. When curating our collaborative playlist “Amalgamation”, Joseph’s strong rooted love for all genres of music is showcased perfectly as the Summer of '22 reaches its end. From music and sneakers to even speaking about tattoos, this conversation takes you into the creative mind of Joseph Bondoc.

 

SF: Hey J, could you introduce yourself to our community?

J: I’m Joseph Bondoc, a multidisciplinary designer, and DJ under the name “sarkasm”

I got “sarkasm” from my in-game name in my current and past life as a gamer lmfaoooooo. And just generally I am very sarcastic and ironic that it just made sense. Your IGN’s have to be short, concise and low syllable count yenno hahaha f**k.

SF: When did you first start DJing and what got you into it?

J: In high school my homies and I would love to throw mad parties and my best friend would borrow his homie’s Traktor S2 and spin dummmmmbb sh*t, whatever was poppin at high school parties lol. I’d casually hop on sometimes but never really took it seriously until the quarantine came. The opportunity to stay home allowed me to work on my craft. I learned how to properly beatmatch, set up a crate which led to me recording my first mixes on Bandit Lounge Radio.

SF: Who and what were some of your early music influences?

J: I grew up on lots of rock and metal from the endless hours of Guitar Hero whilst learning more and more about the hip-hop world through the influence of my older brother, who introduced me to MF Doom, Mos Def and many others at a young age.

When I started out as a DJ, Joe Kay was a huge inspiration in the way that I approached music. He taught me that music is about sharing and enjoying it together. It’s not about gatekeeping the hidden gems, nor is it about who spins the best sh*t. Work on your craft, transition smoothly and express yourself through the music you wanna bump!

SF: As one of the organizers for ‘Breakcore Drive’- How has this event connected you to the local creative community?

J: Running Breakcore Drive (stylized “B:DRIVE”) gave me the opportunity to spin the sh*t that I want, and connect with others who feel the same way. We’re heavy on deep house, techno, dnb, jungle, jersey club, all of that good shit with one goal in mind — to make y’all dance.

And it should be without judgement. I love going stupid, yenno.

One thing is that we are a team of POC throwing a dance music event, which I feel is missing in the Vancouver scene.

SF: With you being involved in the music industry, how do you find motivation to stay passionate about music?

J: I find motivation just by randomly finding dope songs and thinking “people gotta hear this sh*t”. 

If one were to lose motivation with music, that stems from not creating/spinning the shit that you wanna spin. It should be purely your music taste that you wanna share, and not others. That would lead you to making it feel like a job. Unless you’re a wedding dj, or something, idk. 

SF: What is your creative process when it comes to creating a Mix or Playlist?

J: I’m constantly crate searching, whether it's on spotify, soulseek, soundcloud, or checking out other mixes. I’m not afraid to ask the song name, or to shazam, and definitely not afraid to dance out a cool track everywhere I go. It’s my music way of soaking in “everything”

If you know me, then you would know that I LOVE making playlists. I organize my playlists in 3 categories; genres, moods, and crates.

Moods: I throw together different tracks of varying genres that evoke a certain mood

Genres: Different songs of the same genre which helps me consolidate those tracks and expand my knowledge in said genre

Crates: A combination of everything together with the purpose of playing that good sh*t live. 

SF: What was the inspiration behind the name ‘Amalgamation’ and track selection for the playlist?

J: I chose “Amalgamation” cause it best represents the music that I listen to; f**king everything.

Everything that I would count as “good sh*t”

SF: How has music, art or design influenced your own personal style?

J: My personal style is influenced through art through colour theory, (or the lack of colour, really) and the general rule of, hell, not having any rules. Just like how music, art and design can be built up to be proper, and at the same time, anarchist. Order and chaos.

For example my tattoos are currently influenced by my all time favourite music (James Taylor and Bjork). Shout out Marlon and Bronte y’all the goats fr.

However, my personal style lately has been a lot of vintage and random pieces that I like, or on the contrary, borderline utilitarian and contemporary; representative of the genreless music that I spin (I play whatever I want haha). I wear the f**k out of my clothes, rarely will I keep anything pristine. Wearing my clothes to me is a sense of care.

Art, design, and clothing are a key component to the music that I spin. You need to stimulate your sense of hearing in order to appreciate the mundane things in life. 

SF: What about fashion or sneakers allows you to truly express yourself?

J: Being able to pick out clothing and sneakers that you truly enjoy regardless of what others think is what I believe is true “fashion”. I truly express that by buying vintage. Yes, you can look at the S-listers and rock whatever they’re wearing, but if you find yourself at a vintage shop and you pick something out that you truly like, by any means make that your thing.

Wearing pre-loved clothing enables you to find shit that you’ll never find in a retail store nowadays, and the concept of wearing something that someone before you is another way of embracing your influences. A bunch of people’s styles together in order to create your style.

SF: Who are some of your favorite artists that influence you?

J: Hard a** question. I guess currently it would have to be everything mixed by Yoruba Soul, TOKYOPILL, LTJ Bukem. God I f**king love Jersey Club, I need to hear more of that in our city.

Also that new Kodak album is insane.

Of all time it would have to include Rage Against the Machine, Lil Ugly Mane (SpaceghostPurpp, RAIDER KLAN), Bjork, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar.

SF: Is there a particular event/space you love to play at?

J:
Been running B:DRIVE at 2Track Entertainment (shouts out to yall <3)

I’d love to spin in a club setting for sure like Fortune Sound Club purely for the capacity size and the sound system. 

SF: Which other creative endeavours are you passionate about?

J:
Before B:DRIVE I was always venturing different passion projects, my main one being PUMPER MAG, a publication revolving around local creatives and cool asf people that we wanna feature in an slow life inspired, editorial heavy outlet.

SF: What advice would you give to younger creatives who would like to follow in your footsteps?

J: Don’t put your influences on a pedestal; even if that means me. Put your head down, and do your thing, Make sure that sh*t makes you happy, and never forget about the people who helped get you there. 

From my experience, negative reinforcement does NOT work, and there is no such thing as giving too much love and “coddling”. You need to be happy, and feel good about yourself in order to keep on creating and doing the things you love.

Find your head in the clouds, and create that balance of coming back grounded down onto earth.

SF: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

J: Hopefully alive and still playing dope sh*t and creating dope sh*t! Vague answer especially from a dreamer like me but I currently live in the present nowadays. <3

Special Thanks to

Listen to the STAY FRESH Summer Playlist: Amalgamation by sarkasm now 

 

  
Interview by: KJ Mishra
Photography by: Jason Chow
Graphic Design by: Matthew Chan

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