The Kremlin is known for its two noticeable features: the distinctly Russian Orthodox architecture and the power that emanates from the seat of power it has held since it was built in the 13th century. Tonight, however, there will be a grand party — the Musicbox Awards — to celebrate the music from around the former Soviet countries at the Kremlin, and noted Russian disc jockey DJ Fenix will be on hand to play. This will be the first time a DJ has performed at an event like this in Russia, especially at the Kremlin. DJ Fenix knows the significance of this, calling it "very important for the EDM industry and DJs."
DJ Fenix, born Alexander Mamoniv, is familiar with the big stage. He has been DJ-ing for more then a decade around Europe and performed at Moscow's fashion week earlier in the year. His upbringing in a military family and as an Olympic volleyball player gave him valuable experience in being disciplined and how to treat your body right by "not taking any drugs, eating healthy and not drinking much alcohol."
He hangs with some Russian heavyweights, like Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, whom he met out while playing clubs in Moscow. Fenix said rather matter-of-factly, "We are friends because we are fans of the same team."
Fenix has been tabbed to produce the anthem for the Musicbox Awards, which he has also been nominated at for Best DJ. (It should be noted that all nominees are a part of the Russian music industry.) The anthem he has been hard at work creating over the past few years will premiere during the opening ceremony, with DJ Fenix helping to perform it. He will also be taking part in a performance during the middle of the award show as well.
As we saw during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Games, Russia is a country with a strong foundation in classical music and ballet, so this shift toward a DJ show, which is less interactive and more modern, is a big step for an award show like this. Fenix described the show as "DJ-centric," as he would play in the beginning and have a big part during the middle of the show as well.
As the Russians are with all things politics, Fenix is vague about which dignitaries will be there, pointing out that as is with all things regarding the dignitaries, "You never know if they will show up."
This applies to Vladimir Putin as well who was involved in the process of choosing him to perform at the show.
The dance music scene is not strong in Russia. A few internationally recognized producer/DJs have started to emerge from the Russian winter like Arty, Matisse & Sadko, Hard Rock Sofa and Swanky Tunes, but the scene at home has never been thriving like it has across the rest of Europe.
DJ Fenix notes the growth he has seen in Russia is epitomized with this upcoming show, saying, "10 years ago we played small clubs and now we are playing the Kremlin. If you had told me then that we would have played at the Kremlin, I would have told you, 'Forget about it.'"
Hopefully, we get some YouTube videos of Putin — if he shows up — shuffling to some tunes from Fenix. We already have him singing "Blueberry Hill," so maybe he would be adventurous enough to try his hand out at dancing to some electronic music.
Fenix is not totally sure what he will be playing at the Musicbox Awards. Fenix says he gets booked because "people know what he is going to play," which he mixes up between dance music, rock and hip-hop depending on what the crowd likes.
He writes the majority of his own music and has been preparing for this moment for a long time. The director has a "crazy idea" for the show, so we will see what DJ Fenix will be bringing to the Kremlin tonight.
Time to get out your dancing shoes, Russian dignitaries: DJ Fenix is taking over the Kremlin.
UPDATE: DJ Fenix took home the honor of best DJ. Congrats!