Music is Life: Yanik Coen
March 20, 2019 | The Creative Corner
interview / Yanik Coen | photography / @rollofilm photography
"Miami turned me into
Yanik Coen has been practicing the art of DJing for over a decade. He has traveled the world and played in some of the most exclusive venues. His extended experience as a DJ and producer added to an incomparable knowledge of music has allowed him to become a key element in the building success of Miami’s hot spot Kiki on The River. As not only a DJ but also Music Director, it is safe to say that this Montreal native has taken DJing to a whole other level in Miami. Here are a few questions he often gets from patrons:
How do you know all of this music? What's your background?
Music has always been extremely important in my family. Growing up, my dad was a huge Beatles, Rock’n’Roll and R&B fan and my mom a Gipsy Kings and Barry White fan with a massive collection of Disco records. You can also add to the list: Prince and of course, Michael Jackson. My ears were educated at a very young age. I also grew up watching my aunt dance to Samba rhythms. My dad’s side of the family being Moroccan & Jewish, that covers the Middle Eastern vibes. My mother is half Italian, born in Algeria. So I guess it was a combination of all those elements which formed my ear and built my unique style. Also, growing up in both Montreal and Paris, two of the most multicultural cities in the world, helped a lot.
Who are your biggest influences?
Definitely my family first and foremost. But as a primarily House DJ, focused a lot on technic and transitioning, I’d say that I really learned from the crème de la crème. The NYC, Chicago & Paris scenes are what educated me. Legends like Louie Vega, Erick Morillo, Bob Sinclar, Felix Da Housecat, RLP, StoneBridge. Those guys are very technical and masters at their craft. I only learned from the best.
Why do you think this format takes DJing and Kiki to a new level?
Music has been a huge part of our brand since day one. Some people only come to Kiki to have a few drinks and vibe. We definitely created a movement. Shortly after we opened in the summer of 2017, a lot of venues tried replicating our vibe which is great for our city, it makes everything better. But in my opinion, it just works best at Kiki, this music format added to the ambiance and waterfront views is magical.
How did you develop that format?
I’ve been thinking about this format for years and needed the perfect place to develop it. The reason why it works so well is very simple: I’m great at mixing House music. I usually use 3 to 4 decks (CDJs). I love looping on the fly, using acapellas or DJ tools. I basically took my technical skills and applied it to other genres. I don’t want to give out all my secrets, but that is what I do basically. The one dimensional DJ isn’t as efficient. Styles have merged and new sounds have been created so you really need to evolve as an artist and have fun with that.