Felix Da Housecat recounts his worst ever clubbing experience - a jungle rave gone very wrong
It’s funny because I’ve been DJing for a long time and this thing that happened occurred this year on New Years Eve. I want to say from the outset that I’ve been gigging in Brazil for 15 years and it’s one of my absolute favourite places to play. São Paulo is kicking, but I’m sorry to say that the worst thing that ever happened to me took place in that beautiful country.
Basically I was doing some dates in Brazil and I was taking a break in Búzios. The next gig got cancelled and, us DJs, we’re used to things getting cancelled, so I wasn’t really trippin’ on that. The gig after was meant to be in the middle of the jungle So I had a choice: I could stay in this incredible city, in this lavish hotel, walking the beautiful streets in my Havaianas sandals, working on my tan. Or I could go to the jungle. Now I hadn't been paid for this gig yet so I didn't have to go, but the promoter said “oh we can pay you when you get here”. This seemed pretty fishy, but I’m a trusting guy, so I’m like, “OK lets get on a plane and go.”
After a two hour drive to Rio, we hopped a plane, landed and then it was another two hour drive after that. Now the first hour, that was a dream – a nice smooth road, through amazing country. The second hour though - that was off the fuckin’ road. I’m talking every bump – you’re feeling it. This is like half forest, half jungle with little mini Amazon lakes – think Apocalypse Now, but beautiful. Now I only usually get carsick when I’m reading or on my phone, so I’m doing none of that shit, but I’m still nearly throwing up every five minutes. I don’t want to get all #DJscomplaining, but I was like, “can’t we get a chopper there?” Surely that’d make more sense than driving through the fuckin' jungle.
We get to the hotel and it's this beautiful place, but damn is it remote. I was meant to have two rooms – one for me, one for my tour manager. And of course, we only had one room. So I thought “OK, no problem. I don’t mind sharing.” We get to the room and it’s tiny. My tour manager is this big, huge, muscle-bound man, put your face in the sand, kinda guy. He can barely fit in the room. Then the worst bit: the bathroom’s open plan to the room – you know, like a jail cell.
So if I wanna take a dump, my security guard is sitting right there beside me while I’m shitting. And I’m not one of those dudes on the sports team that’s shitting and showering with all the guys – I need my privacy! But we worked out a system where if I had to go, he’d leave the room and vice versa. So it was cool, but I was thinking, “why do I even have to deal with this? I’m Felix Da mother-fucking Housecat – he doesn’t have to deal with stuff like this, right?” Of course he does. All us DJs have to deal with stuff like this all the time.
Another thing us DJs have to do all the time is make a choice – do I eat or do I sleep? As we rarely have time to fit both in before a show. On this occasion I was so exhausted I tried to do both. So I had a nap for an hour, woke up and wanted to eat. I went to shower before dinner and as soon as I step into the shower. BAM! The power’s gone out. This is the middle of the jungle – I can’t see shit! So we gotta power up our laptops and use them for lights. Then, I realise this place is mosquito heaven. I’m talking like mos-qui-to-ville. So they’re all biting my ass while I’m showering and then I have to go sit down and eat my dinner by iPhone light while the mosquitos were feasting on my legs.
After dinner I go back to my room and I’m trying to find out when the gig is and when I’m getting paid. The promoter said he didn’t have my money with him - I’d get it at the gig and that a boat would be coming to pick me up in a few hours to take me there. Now I’m a realist, I didn’t believe him. But I’m in this hotel in the jungle, in the dark. No phone signal. No Wi-Fi. I'm so off the grid it’s like an episode of Lost. So there’s nothing else I can do but go back to my room, sit in the dark and wait.
Around 2AM I get a knock on the door and they’re like “OK Felix, time to go.” We walk down to the boat and I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe a speed boat or something. But this was like something from the apocalypse – some shit where you have to balance yourself on the edge so it doesn’t flip over. Now I’m not into boats - I’m into Diddy’s boat, I’m into boat parties, but I’m not into pitch-black, 2AM dingy trips through the jungle!
So we finally arrive on the island and NOBODIES AT THE PARTY. It’s not even half full. That that doesn’t bother me. I ask for my money, they say they’re working on it. That doesn’t bother me. I get to my set up and guess what. They don’t have the right mixer. This is where the diva comes out. The only things on my rider is a Pioneer Nexus 900 and some mezcal. I need that mixer to play and they don’t have it. And they don’t have any mezcal. If you don’t have either of those things, you’ve fucked up. This is when it all hits me – I could be sitting in Buzios right now. I could be chilling like a villain with a horse named Dillon!
I go to the promoter, “you know that’s not the right mixer, right?” He’s like “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll go find one for you.” – in the middle of the jungle at half three in the mother fucking morning! He leaves to find the mixer. I sit down, and I’m so sober. I haven’t had a champagne or a mezcal. Nothing. This is New Years, bro! The promoter comes back and says, “I’m sorry. It’s four in the morning. We can’t find a mixer”. I said “Oh really now, how bizarre.” So I can’t play, but the promoter, he’s asking me; “look, Felix can you get up and just show everyone that you’re here? Just stand up there.” I’m like, “we’re on a mother fucking island. They already know I’m here. I’m the only black guy on this landmass!“ I ask him to put me on a boat back to the hotel. There’s no more boats. They forgot to pay the boatmen and they’re not coming back until 11AM.
They took me to this house that belonged to this woman, who owned the island. I sat down on her porch and she’s telling me about how she put her money into the party and how they’d fucked her over too. They’d fucked everybody! They’ve destroyed her land, her house, they’ve not paid her. She was pissed. Just then I clock these girls - these model-type girls. They’re bending over and shitting on her plants, pissing on her lawn, it's awful. She sees it and starts crying profusely. I felt so bad for her! While I’m consoling her my tour manager comes over, “Felix, there’s a boat leaving, we have to get on this boat.” So I hug this poor woman and starting running towards the shore. I’m sprinting man. My boat’s already taking off, I’m in the water, I’m up to my knees. I can’t get my equipment wet, I can’t miss this boat. I’m RUINING my Jordan’s. I get in the boat we get back to the hotel.
It turns out the promoters haven’t paid for the hotel and they’re trying to kick me out of my room. I have to go talk to the owner of the hotel. They said the promoter hadn’t paid them. They hadn't paid anybody. They hadn’t paid the hotel. They hadn’t paid the boat guys. They hadn’t paid me. I still haven’t got paid! So luckily the hotel manager took pity on me and let me stay, then she drove me to the airport the next day. I've never been more happy to get on a plane!
And the worst thing is, I could’ve avoided all of that if I had have followed my gut, but us DJs we always follow the futility; we follow things through to the end.
08 May 2015