Catching Up With John Dee [FCKSHT Squad]

Catching Up With John Dee [FCKSHT Squad]

Last year when I was attending ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) I settled in to a house with some other liked minded music loving people, some DJ’s, producers, event organizers, managers etc. As it always is during ADE you are there for meeting new people and doing new things. One of the people staying in the house was John. John is a producer/DJ from Germany called John Dee. During the days we stayed in Amsterdam we used to talk about life, music, future goals etc. Since John lives in Germany, about 6 hours drive away, we decided to keep in touch and the next time he would be playing close to me I would come over to see him play live.

A couple of weeks ago John contacted me that their crew “FCKSHT Squad” would be playing pretty close to me. The “FCKSHT Squad” is a collective from some various DJ’s that support each other and sets up their own events. John invited me to come over and check out their event. Since the location “Graefen” is only about 50 minutes away I didn’t hesitate to say yes to the invite. It was a great opportunity to go to a trap music event. Since I never been to one before this was a great opportunity.

The location was a 2 room location. You had a main room which hosted a hip hop event and a side room which was hosted by the “FCKSHT Squad”. It might have been the smaller of the 2 rooms but it had a great feel for the music that they played there all night. The room had this awesome boiler room feels to it, except that not many people could stand behind the DJ. Upon arriving John greeted me and talked for a bit about the fun we had in Amsterdam. Since he was the second DJ to play that night, I followed him and was ready to see what this night was all about. John calls himself a bass music DJ. The whole event was about, bass, drops, mosh pits and having a good time.

As the night progressed and other DJ’s (with or without an MC) went on to play their sets. I enjoyed watching the people dance to the music, most of them wearing face masks or bandanas mostly black or red. Over all black was the chosen color to wear that night. During their performance the “Red hood squad” even gave away numerous red face masks to the fans. Most fans eagerly grabbing one and putting them on. I can see that if you have never had any relation to this music that the people might seem scary but I can assure you that I have never seen friendlier people. During the various mosh pits, circles etc. when someone fell down everyone was making sure they got up safely. I must say that I honestly think that the whole trap/dub step genre wasn’t something for me. But a lot of tracks played that night I knew, since they have their vocals used from rock tracks. They use a vocal from for example a Nirvana track and then mix in a crazy drop and people like singing and dancing to it. John played a lot of those tracks and as the night progressed more heavy bass tracks where filling the room. A mix between bass, trap, dub step made the people dance. This is their church. The DJ was the master of ceremony and the people where his minions that he moved to his beat.

Main act of the night was the Red Hood squad. A project born from the love for trap music. It is where these kids started their project, on early mornings after the club closed and they still wanted to party in the early mornings. Now months later they have established themselves as serious producer/DJ’s with some nice releases (notably Klash and Armada) and gigs in the States and the Netherlands. Sharing the stage with heavy weights like SAY MY NAME, Borgore, Skellism and many more. Really looking forward what 2019 has in store for these guys.

Since John is also working on his way to the top I wanted to introduce him to you.

John, what is FCKSHT Squad and who come up with that?

FCKSHT is a DJ and producer collective which consists of bass- and trap music lovers all living in the east of Germany. All sharing one big dream of playing major festivals all around the globe. And that is kind of our credo – „ONE DREAM, ONE SQUAD“. Sven, a member of one of our leading artists „BLVCK N YELLOW“ , started throwing parties at the camping ground of regional major festivals like „SputnikSpringbreak“ and „SonneMondSterne“, which is a pretty common thing to do for a lot of small DJ’s and collectives attending the festival. Luckily we had a great spot near the festival entry and sometimes had more attendees than the official pre-party on a Thursday. That was pretty bonkers. It gave us the initial attention we needed to get a foot in the door, so to speak.

How did you come up with the idea for your project?

Well, it’s sounds so common but I believe for most artists it is just like that. I loved music and wanted to share it with other people. So at the age of 16, which if almost six years ago, I started to call myself „John Dee“ and slowly built some local reputation, which led to pretty amazing experiences so far.

What is difference between then and now?

Oh man, when I started, I’ve played like one show every three months or so. Slowly built a small fan base, but nothing to worthy of mentioning, until last year. I got the opportunity to play over 30 festivals all over Germany including Electrisize, Ruhr In Love and the main circus of the „SonneMondSterne“ festival, which was the first big event I’ve attended at the age of 16. It has always been a huge goal of mine to play that festivals and I debutedin a 7000 people capacity tent, that almost brought me to tears and I’m so thankful for this opportunity.

What are your thoughts on ADE?

ADE is just great. Best platform to meat new people in a very chilled environment. Everyone is there for one of two reason, to party or to make new friends. Even though I’m considering myself more of an introvert and not really doing myself a favor by smoking a little to much weed in Amsterdam (but hell it’s legal there!), it’s always great fun and ends up with getting to know great people like you.

Are there any new releases planned?

There are! Got a collaboration with my homies Blaze U and Foxon coming up on the 15th of February. On top of that I got some really amazing remixes by Not Your Dope, We Are Nuts and Blaze U for my latest single „Wanderer“ in the drawer, and I’m super pumped to put them out on the 8th of march. Just everyone hit the nail on the head.

What is your most memorable moment as a producer/DJ?

Love Sea Festival, which is next to a beautiful lake, comes to mind. I’ve had a pretty early back2back slot with my homie Foxon at the mainstage. I believe it was around 9pm or something like that. We’ve started in front of 50 people, then we got on the mic and said something like „We are Foxon and John Dee and if you are here to party just come a little closer“ and literally EVERYBODY streamed to the front of the stage, within five minutes there were like 3000 people in front of us. That was just nuts and I’m still having a hard time finding words for that.

Does it make a difference if you play a festival or a club?

Oh yeah, there is a big difference! In a club you are pretty close to everyone sometimes you can almost high five the people in the front row – haha! I love that! Festivals shows are hella different, usually, I do a little more preparation, just because there are lots of people in front of me and I want to make sure everybody will have a unique experience. Which doesn’t mean that is not true for clubs – it’s just different, you have to adopt a little more to the crowd. So more preparation usually does not equal a better set.

Do you have a special ritual you do before your gig?

Yes man, I do have a rituals. Sometimes, few minutes before the show, when you are excited, and yeah – that happens even after the 1000th show – you need to get out of your head and into your body. So I’m doing exercise like pushups, squats or a little spring on the spot right before the show to get the blood flowing, it really helps to just be there from the second you get behind the decks.

Links: John Dee:


Red Hood Squad:

Words By Thorsten Benders