I am Jerrau. My surname is Oehlers, but that isn’t important. What’s more important is my DJ name: Jerrausama. The inspiration for this name draws from my passion for anime and Japanese culture. Sama is in Japanese a name for an important person. For example a president is called ”President Sama”.
I would describe myself as a calm person, but that changes when I hear great music. For example, when I hear an awesome track, I want share it with my friends immediately. It really gives me life. Music brings crazy emotions out. It started really early. I used to say to my friends: ”Yo, you should listen this track, this is sick”. Most of the times my friends responded very well: ”Yeah man, it’s dope”. That’s a great feeling.
Ever since I was little, I listened to underground music. I always had the urge to share my interest in certain kind of music with friens. I just wanted the people surrounding me to have a good time at a party.
I was always the guy who wanted to share music. In 2016, I was at ‘Triangle Festival’. At one point, the DJ played certain music and I thought: my music would also fit perfectly in here. I always had the feeling that I had to put on my music. After the festival there was an afterpary at someones home. I remember saying: ”Give me the aux cable”. We were with six or seven people. I had a playlist with unknown music. When I played it everyone thought it was really nice. At one point I thought: I can do this for six people, but how epic would it be if I did it for 200 or 2000 people. That’s how my idea to become a DJ arose. Two weeks later the same thing occured at another house party. That was the deciding factor to really do something with it.
When I really took the step to start DJing, I practiced for two months. I looked up YouTube tutorials. Shoutout to TLM by the way. His clips really helped me. He is just an Amsterdam based DJ. So if I ever meet him I will give him a bouquet of flowers. But anyways, I watched his videos every night. I tried out virtual DJing and I made some mixtapes. At one point I contacted an uncle of mine. He is also a DJ and often plays at weddings. My uncle had a DJ set and I took a couple of lessons. He gave me the tip to purchase a good laptop and a turntable, so I did that. I started working and saving money for the greater cause. Now I have a decent turntable and a MacBook.
Later, a friend and I got the amazing idea to start our own party. We wanted to hear our music in clubs. At that moment I just started as a DJ and I thought: I am not the best, no one is going to book me, so I’ll book myself at my own party.
It all started with Future Beats, but there are so many side branches. It’s a mix of Hip-Hop and inventive music. You often hear crazy kicks and beats that make you want to pull a sour face. Now, I am enriching my horizon. In a later stadium as a DJ, I also want to play House music under a different name. But the main focus for now is Future Beats and Trap.
90% Of the DJs nowadays, play the same kind of music. Me and the people in my community try to push and refresh music. The Netherlands might be a bit to small for my kind of music. So I aim to go international, to expand and to reach more people. Everything is possible when you set your mind to it.
It started when I made an appeal – for people who like the same kind of music as me – on Facebook. I gathered people for a group chat in which I asked people to share their music. At first, I was a bit insecure, because I thought no one would react on it, but at one point there were 40 people in the group chat. Everyone was very dedicated in the beginning. We were talking about what kind of parties we wanted to throw, and how we wanted to accomplish it. But things like that unfortunately don’t work for a long amount time. We started with 40 people and after a while there are only a few left. I understand it though. When things get serious and you have to roll up your sleeves, people shy away. It’s a commitment. Now, there are just three people left. Next edition of Lettuce will take place on the 15th of June in ‘De Melkweg’. It’s our one year anniversary, so be there.
A friend of mine, Travis, has helped me a lot in the beginning. Thanks to him it has been made possible to start this initiative. Our first party was at club Oak. It was crazy. After that, we had a party at club Air. Eventually the party concept moved to the Melkweg. Last edition was even sold out. Melkweg wants to grow along with us. So, as you see, if you really want something, everything is possible.
My friends inspire me te most. Many of them are producers. Everyone pushes each other to work harder and to get better. At parties, I also spin records of my friends. The pushing and supporting really inspires me. I am even making more music myself.
In terms of artists, Sam Gellaitry is my biggest inspiration. He is my number one artist. At one point I was at ADE, and I wanted to put on his song. I played it and my friends went crazy. Someone wanted to give me a fist bump. I was scrolling through my list, but I thought, okay, why not. I gave the guy a fist bump and when I looked up, I saw it was Sam Gellaitry. While I was playing his song, he came to greet me out of appreciation. It was such an awesome feeling. Afterwards I might have shed a tear.
Another important factor in the field of inspiration is a good friend of mine, Tim. During English classes on secundary school, we were always sent out of the classroom. We went home and just chilled together. At those moments, he introduced me to a whole new side of music that I did not know anything about yet.
You can see it as making a Spotify list, but there is a lot more to it. It is not as easy as it seems. You have to take into account the atmosphere and the audience. It’s your job as a DJ to make the best of it. You are the one who has the knowledge, the one who knows the trends, and that’s what you respond to. So I play songs from idols, my friends, but also just hits.
I think my taste in music is distinctive. Many people also like the fact that I go totally crazy when I’m out there. I am very energetic and get kind off sweaty after the set. Why shouldn’t you go all out? It’s the music you love to play after all. You have to think about the crowd though and find a balance.
I try to inspire people by just following a dream and showing that nothing is impossible. You have to work hard for what you want, but you also really have to believe in it. And off course, there are insecurities, but the show must go on. My first big gig was at Hoodstock. It was the first time that I had to play for such a big crowd and I was very nervous. Maybe it was because of the fact that the music was kind of basic before I started playing. Everyone sat on the ground. But when my tracks kicked in, everyone stood up and went crazy. There are always people who don’t appreciate what you do, but when most of them actually do, it’s a great feeling. After the set, I had to shed a tear. It was quite intense.
I also participated in a contest for a party at Paradiso, KLEAR. I had to send a mixtape and apparently it was a good one, because I won. This victory gave me the opportunity to play my music at KLEAR. I must admit, I shed a tear again. I am actually quite emotional when it comes to things like that.
Nothing is impossible. In fact, everything is possible. I expected to be at Appelsap festival in at least a year for instance, but it’s happening earlier than I expected, because upcoming summer I’ll be spinning some records at Appelsap.
I only have a Higher General Secondary Education diploma. School made me really unhappy. I was in a doubtful phase of my life and I thought: what am I going to do with my life? I had to do something as an outlet. DJing became the trigger. It all went so fast and I thought: hell yes, this goes according to plan. I expected
to DJ at festivals in a year or so, but this year I’m booked for 3 festivals, including one in Germany. So, you don’t need to go to school because you have to, but you do need to stay eager to learn and curious. Work hard for what you want to achieve. Nothing comes naturally. I hate sitting at home. I always have to be busy and I want to be productive every day.
I want to share my music at Sziget in five years, maybe even Coachella in seven years. You always have to dream big, right?
At the moment I can’t make a living out of it. It will always be a risk to fully commit to something, because you never know if you will get a breakthrough. One month you can get 10 bookings and the next month there’s only one. It’s unpredictable.
My first DJ lesson was on the 14th of March in 2017. So I am DJing for a bit more than a year now. The other day I had a show with Leafs. Before the gig I had to play for half an hour, to get the crowd in a good mood. After the show I had to play again. When I wanted to go backstage, some people came up to me and said: ”Damn, you were dope, can we take a picture with you?”. I was surprised and thought that they wanted to be on a picture with Leafs. So I told them that Leafs already was backstage. But they kept saying: ”No, we want a picture with you!”. I got very shy, but I actually think it was kinda cool. It’s amazing to get more appreciation for what you do and the steps you take, while I just think: I do what I like.