Local artist profile: Callum Rowe

January 21, 2024 BY

Vinyl fantasy: Callum says he caught the LP (long player) bug after visiting renowned café/bar/radio studio/production company Spiritland in London. Photo: SUPPLIED

THIS week we chat with local DJ Callum Rowe, a vinyl-only groove merchant who cites the legendary Avalanches as a “massive reason” he took up DJing to begin with.


What motivated you to become a DJ?

I have always had a big love of music. I have played instruments from an early age and a lot of core memories revolve around music festivals and concerts. My eldest brother took me to a Big Day Out music festival and it really started my love for it. He had started to collect vinyl and we shared a lot of great memories through music. He and I went to Spiritland in London, a great restaurant that plays only vinyl through this incredible hi-fi system, and I decided then that one day I would like to DJ on vinyl. Along comes COVID and I finally had enough down time to get started. I got all the equipment and set it up and started to teach myself. It’s grown from there.


How would you describe your style?

I have always loved house music, it’s just so perfect for so many occasions. My preference is to play piano house. A lot of the tracks I love come from crate digging in Melbourne when I get the chance. I like to create an ambiance that is perfect for a catch up with friends, a good drink and good times.


Which other DJs inspire you?

My biggest musical inspiration has, and always will be, The Avalanches. I start every set I play with Since I Left You as an ode to them. Their music is a massive reason I got into DJing as well. Having been able to see them play several sets exclusively on vinyl, I definitely try to bring a lot of their qualities to my sets and continue to expand on the ethereal nature of their music. Other producers I’m really big on at the moment are Jayda G, Barry Can’t Swim, Romy and Four Tet.


What are some highlights you have from your career?

Last year I was able to DJ at the Formula One in Melbourne. It was two crazy nine-hour sets on the Saturday and Sunday. I’ve also been really lucky to DJ many weddings, and being able to bring a

couple’s wedding to life through music and read a crowd is something I pride myself on. Hopefully this year sees plenty more moments to cherish.


Do you have any gigs coming up?

I am playing at Handle Bar on Sunday from 3pm. I plan to get pretty deep into the back catalogue of crate digs from over the years, so expect some music and artists you may not have heard before. The best way to keep up to date with gigs is on my Instagram @Callum Rowe.


What would you say to young regional aspiring DJs who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

I encourage anyone with any creative aspirations to chase their dreams. I have been fortunate enough to experience so many aspects of the creative industry, from acting, influencing to music. The creative industry is so welcoming and it has never been easier to make a start. So if you’re young and looking to get into any creative field, just get started. Reach out to someone and ask for guidance. The beauty of the digital age is the accessibility everyone has to so many different tools. Get started and enjoy what you do.