Tempo man Lorcán McDonagh is headlining his own electronic dance music event in Belfast.

The student teacher is currently studying at Edgehill university in Liverpool, but his passion for dance music began in Belfast whilst a student at Queen’s University. “I used to go to small underground events, no more than 100 people” and he admits he was always fascinated by the dance music scene in Belfast.

Lorcán is a self-taught DJ having started out mixing on a second-hand deck that could be plugged into his laptop and allowed him to “just mix.” His process began by mixing two tracks together from DJ’s he admired. When he started a year ago, it was artists such as Green Velvet that he looked up to and he says his style has evolved since he began DJing a year ago. Commenting that he has “discovered more genres and niches”, Lorcán says he looks up to international artists such as Peach and Motor city drum ensemble. But his style has become more advanced. “Now, I want to understand why music is played at certain times, why certain tracks work well together or why you should play songs at a certain time in a set,” he said.

Having set his sights on creating his own event for Belfast, Lorcán launched ‘Danse’ on Friday, March 6.

Lorcán and his team plan to “intertwine dance, culture and history.”

The interest in incorporating history into his dance music comes from Mr. McDonagh studying to be a history teacher but also for his interest in the 90’s music scene in Belfast and “the underground music scene in places of conflict such as Northern Ireland, Berlin, and the Middle East.”

“If I ever went back to study a masters I’d do it in the music scene in Belfast and across the North in the 90s. In the midst of all the violence there was an explosion of culture and it’s where we get events like Shine”

Setting sights on the future, he plans to begin holding lectures and discussions from academics and DJs in Belfast in the future: “I’d like to invite them along and hear their experiences of the music scene in the 90s.”

The inspiration comes from other DJs in Belfast and on a wider scale organising mental health talks to help others in the industry.

He says he has felt welcomed by the Belfast electronic scene and feels ready to pursue dj-ing full time when he finishes his teacher training course: “I want to discover if there is a ceiling and how far I’ll go or else I’ll always wonder what could have been- and the teaching will always be there.”