There is no denying that party’s and music go hand in hand and the top priority for Queensland’s Bonka is just this- oh, with a few added bottles of Fireball to ignite the situation! The duo made up of Lachlan and Connor is two flamingly excited DJ/producers who have been known to tear down walls in clubs upon the delivery of their slick main room and mashup wars on the frequent. Notably one of Australia’s most sought-after lords of mash-up, Bonka has it nailed with paragons like The Chainsmokers, Timmy Trumpet, Deorro, Tujamo, Tommy Trash, TJR and more sprinkling their sets with a well infused Bonka lead while also owning their explosive live shows across the country. Signed to Catch Management and the aligned record label, Bonka haven’t taken the stale ol’ road through electronic music, but have instead aggressively taken their sound with notorious mash-ups right to where they need to be- on dance floors and in the playlists of fellow electronic icons. Their debut original ‘Can’t Stop’ featuring American top liner Whiskey Pete partied its way straight into the iTunes top 10 and #9 on the ARIA club chart while their follow up ‘Like This’ reached an epic #5 on the ARIA Club Chart and stormed its way to #6 on the Beatport Big Room Charts. Blazing the full musical empire for their fans, Bonka also blast out a monthly show ‘Let’s Go Bonkas’ featuring their own recipes alongside guest spots by A list DJ’s from around the globe.
When did you guys decide to create ‘Bonka’?
We actually came up with the idea to do a duo back in 2014. We were playing at a house party and started having a jam together. It got a bit wild and the idea was thrown around – ‘Why don’t we start a duo?” From there we played at another house party together and had a great time doing it so from that point, we never played apart and BONKA was born.
What brought the idea to life? Was DJing and producing what you always wanted to do with your lives?
DJing to us was a hobby and a little side hustle during high school that turned into a full time job. Producing was just the next level in terms of progression as DJs and has helped us progress to firstly interstate and now becoming internationally touring DJs.
Why did you decide to name yourselves ‘Bonka’?
Well the story goes, Connor was listening to Bonkers by Dizzie Rascal and was at the time looking for a DJ name and he sort of put two and two together and it turned out great to be honest!
Can you tell us about what got you into electronic music?
The thing that first got us into electronic music was probably hearing it for the first time; it was energy that it gives you that you can’t get from other types of music. To this day when a song comes on that we haven’t heard before and you get goose bumps it gets us excited to play it to a crowd and we get to see more people with the same feeling from it that we got.
You’re known for your mashup wars – what got you into doing mashup’s and why do you think it’s so popular?
Mashups are great especially for us because we have really short attention spans haha! We started making little mashups ect when we were just learning the basics in music production, and seeing as we love lots of different types of music. By putting as many different genres of music with as many different vocals both new and old it keeps not only ourselves but our crowds entertained and constantly getting things they don’t expect.
What’s the No.1 piece of advice you’d give up & coming DJ’s/producers that see what you’re doing and want the same for themselves?
Be unique, do your own thing, as that’s the only way to differentiate yourselves in such a competitive industry, which may mean the music you play or the way you play it! As long as you work hard and keep pushing yourself toward your goal there is literally nothing that anyone cant achieve!
Will you have any supporting acts that you can share with us?
Well we are always supported by some of the countries best resident DJs at the various clubs we play at! But where possible we love having legends such as Benibee, Tenzin, Spitfire and Method on board at our shows whenever we can steal them away from their respective busy touring schedules.
During your time in the industry, have you ever had any issues with haters? If so, what do you do about them? Do you just ignore them?
I think anyone who is progressing in any field or endeavour has had haters at one point or another, but the only thing you can really do is just keep doing whatever is moving you forward. Obviously it can be upsetting when you either hear or see people not enjoying something you put your heart and soul into and it’s a real shame that people can’t recognise when people are giving their all. However, nobody is loved by absolutely everyone. As long as you do the best you can and be the best person you can be, you can rest easy.
Even though you have already achieved so much guys, what else can we expect from you in the future?
Ah the future! Pretty exciting times in the BONKA camp to be honest. We have lots of music on the way! Lots of exciting things going on in the background in terms of shows and growing our brand with a few milestones being ticked off to see the year out.
What advice would you give to our readers if they would like to follow their dreams of becoming a DJ/Producer?
The only advice we can ever give anyone is literally: “You get out what you put in”. If you’re willing to put in the work, sacrifice friendships, blood sweat and tears, the late nights, the tough sets, the ups and downs of this tumultuous industry, then anything is really possible, and I know it sounds super cliché but there are no shortcuts in this gig. What you have is what you have earned.