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In the Life: Ale Maes
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2016-12-07

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Ale Maes has been a DJ for 5 years, the past three years as his full-time profession.

"Music is fuel for the soul," he said. "It's my dream, what I like to do, where I feel happy and fulfilled. I hope I can do this [forever]."

Maes in the DJ booth is the same as Maes on the dance floor. So yes, he is often dancing while DJing. And his music is driven to make people sweat, he said. His sounds are filled with drums, rhythmic vocals, swing and, well, all the standard house music sounds.

"When I see the dance floor, [with] people smiling, flirting [and] partying," that brings happiness, Maes said. "The music connects me to everyone on the dance floor [and the] connection fills my heart with joy."

Maes said one of his favorite gigs was during the 2015 Chicago Pride weekend. The weather forecast called for rain and storms all day that Sunday, so he admittedly was sad, expecting his crowd to be limited. "I went to sleep asking God for the sun to appear," he said.

Sure enough, that last Sunday in June 2015 "was one of the most beautiful days I've ever had," he said.

He played for eight hours on the rooftop of a Halsted Street apartment building.

Maes said he often works 10 hour-days several times a week, every week to fine-tune his sounds.

"The music changes every day, and as DJs we need to be attentive," Maes said.

"Chicago is one of the most important cities in the U.S. for DJs. Every weekend the best DJs in the gay scene perform here. Great [venues] and big parties make Chicago a landmark in electronic music. Chicago is, the world capital of house music."

And what if you weren't a DJ?

"I would [be] working [as an] industrial designer," he said.

But being a DJ is Maes' specialty, without question.

"We always want to evolve [as a DJ] and reach the biggest and best festivals," he said. "Playing big parties and nightclubs in the U.S. and Brazil makes me very happy. I always hope to keep growing and taking my music and joy to more people."

- Age: 36

- Local DJ gigs: Works regularly for SKIN Productions, at Hydrate, and elsewhere.

- Neighborhood: West Lake View

- Favorite TV shows: "At the moment, [favorites include] House of Cards [and] The Fall."

- Dream vacation: Thailand

- Little-known fact: "I do not know my father … Everything has a reason, [so] maybe not knowing [him] was good for me. Maybe a greater force moves me. I have no hurt or resentment [to or for him]. If he [reads] this interview, I'm here to be your friend."


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