DJ Rob puts a lot of spin into his success

STEPHEN EASTON meets a local DJ with an emerging global reputation and 10,000 Facebook followers, most of them overseas

ELECTRONIC music producer Rob Targett couldn’t be happier with his decision to put his business career on pause and go full-tilt at making dance music.

Going by the name System Segue, the 34-year-old has been creating original tech house music for about two years, and he’s pretty amazed by the results: 17 tracks released by seven record labels in five different countries, nominations for a couple of industry awards and slots in big-name nightclubs on the Spanish party island of Ibiza.

“It’s any house DJ’s pinnacle goal to play in Ibiza, and when I started out I never ever thought I would come to that,” says Rob, who used to DJ under the name LYLT.

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Electronic music producer Rob Targett… “You play over there and it’s like people are infatuated with you. You’re a god, you know?” Photo by Gary Schafer

“I’m very goal-driven and that was kind of right up the top. To have music released was also pretty much right up the top and all of a sudden they’re all just falling into my lap.”

As LYLT he spent years mixing and modifying music by other producers at dance parties and nightclubs both in Sydney, where he grew up, and Canberra, where he was a regular on the decks at notorious former nightspot Lot 33.

“It’s rare that I play out now,” he says. “I’m in the process of working on a five-track EP that I’ve got coming out, and I’m going to do a national tour to promote that release. I’m hoping to bring another guy from Canberra with me, B-Tham.”

Rob started mixing vinyl records on turntables in Sydney, aged 16, prior to the digital revolution.

“Producing is sort of that ‘next step’ in this generation,” he explains. “It was always a dream of mine, but back when I was a DJ I never touched production.”

Where you are in the world is another thing that matters far less in the digital era.

“My style of music isn’t really appreciated as much locally as a lot of other genres… so I’ve launched myself overseas. I’ve got over 10,000 followers on Facebook, and 90 or 95 per cent of them are not from Australia. They’re all overseas.”

The songs he creates are for DJs to play on big sound systems, not for the radio, although he is moving in that direction.

Last year, System Segue was nominated for Best Electronic Dance Music Producer at the first MusicAct Annual Music Awards (MAMAs), and this year, for DJ/Producer of the Year at the MusicOz Australian Independent Music Awards.

The field is wide open these days for producers like Rob, who revel in the widespread embrace of electronic music. This year’s MAMAs, for example, featured no less than three electronic categories: house, electro and techno; bass music; and psychedelic.

He goes back to his Ibiza experience as a key turning point. It cost a large chunk of his savings, but he came back with new contacts and deals to release more of his tracks, and even proposed to his fiancee on the party island.

“If you play in Canberra you can get a lot of people who like your stuff, including a lot of friends, but you play over there and it’s like people are infatuated with you. You’re a god, you know? You’re playing this music that everyone’s just… words can’t explain.”

Wherever else System Segue takes him, Rob Targett is not going to die wondering.

System Segue is on several websites: iTunes, Beatport, Soundcloud and Facebook.

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