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How nightlife helped this Gen Z DJ find his direction in life

Taking part in any social activity or entertainment late at night until the early hours of the morning is called “nightlife.”

Often done in bars and clubs, it may sound fun, but “nightlife” sometimes still sparks negative reactions from some individuals as it is often associated with alcohol, drugs, and other vices.

But many of the nightlife-goers claim that this is their chance to unwind and take a break from all the activities of the week, or even a day.

Many simply socialize with their friends and meet new people who jam to the same kind of music, and hit the dance floor.

For 21-year-old Jose Shaq Kobe Cabusora, also known as DJ Kobeast, nightlife is not just about him taking a break — it’s about him finding the direction of his life.

Meet DJ Kobeast

Cabusora probably wouldn’t have met his alter ego if it’s not because of nightlife.

The freelance DJ and music producer has been a fan of heavy metal music since he was a kid. In fact, it was his childhood dream to form a band. 

But his step towards the nightlife was perhaps met with fate, as Cabusora mused that during his early days, he had assisted his dad’s sound system business. 

Determined to earn his own money, Cabusora did a part-time job on their family business when he was in high school. 

Part of his responsibilities was to carry speakers and roll wires, which gave him the chance to witness how DJs perform live. 

The atmosphere, the sound, and the spunky attitude that the DJs bring to the dance floor lured him in like the very beat of the music.

Plus, of course, certain perks of being the “main guy” to rock the floor.

“Actually nung una talaga, for the chicks lang eh kasi naiinggit ako sa mga DJs. Bababa ng stage, dami nilang chicks na humahabol,” Cabusora told republicasia.

“Pero ayon hanggang sa inaral ko siya, and na-in love ako eh, na-in love ako sobra,” he added.

As a student, Cabusora could not afford to attend expensive DJ schools. What he did to equip himself with skills was to film the DJs’ performances in the clubs he went to at night and started learning all the basics on his own.

Along the way of immersing himself into the DJ world, Cabusora eventually developed his own skills and built up his trademark.

That’s how DJ Kobeast came into life.

Cabusora acknowledged the big impact that nightlife made in his life. Without it, he said he might just be an ordinary kid who’s still figuring out his path and purpose in life.

“Tambay lang ako. Kasi before I got into DJing, before I got into nightlife, hindi ko alam direksyon ko eh. Hindi ko alam ano gusto ko paglaki. Hindi ko alam ano gusto kong gawin,” the nightlife DJ said. 

“Pero nung dumating ‘yung nightlife sa’kin, nung dumating yung DJing, nung nakita ko ‘tong magical world na to, nagka-vision na’ko. Sinabi ko agad sa sarili ko, dito na’ko mamamatay,” he continued.

Cabusora’s lifestyle changed when he got into DJing. He said it made him specifically conscious about the way he would  present himself to the public as a DJ.

“You have to standout. Kailangan mo alagaan sarili mo, the way you talk kasi makikipagusap ka sa iba’t ibang klase ng tao. So na-upgrade ko yung sarili ko into a better me kasi nga kailangan siya sa trabaho,” he stressed.

Balancing two worlds

Cabusora’s bustling nightlife takes a 180 degree turn when the sun rises. His alter ego sleeps and the regular student in him comes back.

He wakes up at 5 a.m. to prepare for school for an hour, then heads to his classes that starts at 7 a.m. until the afternoon.

“’Pag nasa DJing ako, pag inisip ko ‘yung class, makakapag-focus pa rin ako sa DJing. Pero pag nasa class ako, iniisip ko ‘yung DJing, ‘yung gig ko sa padating na gabi, ‘di na’ko makapag-focus kasi excited ako eh. Gusto ko na mag-innovate ng mga bago kong ipe-play, ng ipe-perform ko,” he explained.

After school at 3 p.m., Cabusora would go home straight to get at least three to four hours of rest, before he prepares for his gigs at 8 p.m. Other times, his school activities and meetings with sponsors and investors as a DJ overlap that he barely gets enough rest.

“Sobrang hirap. Oras talaga, time management. Lalo na kasi magsasalubong ‘yung school mo eh,and ‘yung gigs,” he said.

“Minsan naman hindi salubong, pero wala ka nang oras para matulog. Energy, pahinga mo, minsan magkaka-anxiety ka na sa health mo, akala mo ano nang nangyayari sa’yo,” he added.

This, however, did not stop him from pursuing his chosen path. While it can’t be denied how much of a challenge time management is for Cabusora, it did not win against his love and passion for DJing.

“‘Di ko siya tinitingnan na stressful, ‘di ko siya tinitingnan na nakakapagod or trabaho, nage-enjoy ako eh,” he said.

But the beat took a low and slow grind when the pandemic hit. 

“‘Yung mga connections ko sa industriya wala na. ‘Yung mga nagbu-book sa’kin sa industry, wala na. Total reset. So dun ko na-realize [na] it’s either panindigan ko ‘tong ginagawa ko ngayon, or bitawan ko na,” he said.

But while he’s on track with his goal, Cabusora made sure that this choice won’t affect his promise to his parents to finish his studies.

Nightlife as expression, escape

There’s not much of a difference between Cabusora’s personality in the morning and late at night.

While he’s more private during the daytime, he said he still wouldn’t describe himself as an introvert as he remains talkative with people in his university.  He’s just more active and sociable at night since he needs to market himself as a DJ.

“‘Pag ako nagpe-perform, I get lost. Kumbaga subconscious ko ‘yung gumagana,” Cabusora said.

He continued, “Nagfi-fist air ako, nagtatatalon, tinataas ko ‘yung kamay ko, nagma-mic ako, sumisigaw ako. ‘Di ko nadadama ‘yung pagod.”

There have been misconceptions about nightlife. One of the most common is that people engage in nightlife only for alcohol, drugs, sex, strip clubs, fights, and other vices, Cabusora said.

The nightlife DJ refuted this, saying that those things don’t really matter to those part of the nightlife. They go there to have fun and enjoy different genres of music such as hip hop, pop, EDM, house music, and even African beats.

“Nightlife is not bad, it’s an escape. For me ha, escape siya sa reyalidad for a bit,” Cabusora said.

“It’s more about the music talaga. People want to relax kasi escape ang nightlife eh. Kasi madalas niyo naman makikita sa nightlife college students, office people. Ayan ‘yung mga stressed sa school, stressed sa work. Gigimik sila para makapag-let off ng steam so that’s what makes them happy,” he said.

Keep moving forward

Cabusora’s life goal doesn’t end with him being a DJ. For him, it never gets enough.

“Hindi ko alam talaga yung pinaka-endgame ko sa ginagawa ko. Basta every time na may naa-achieve ako, alam ko kinabukasan may gusto na naman ako maatim,” he said.

Cabusora shared that his dream now is to have his own music festival, after achieving his goal of holding an event. Perhaps, after this, he would have his world tour.

“Ang gusto ko lang dire-diretso ako. Kumbaga mangyari na mangyayari,” the DJ said.

For those who are still figuring out the path they would take in life, Cabusora has only one piece of advice: perseverance.

People will arrive at bad decisions that may lead to failures, but this should not hinder them from moving forward in life.

“‘Pag bumabagsak ako and start ako sa zero, wala lang, diretso lang ulit. Diretso lang tingin ko, nagpe-persevere lang ako and ‘di ako nagrereklamo hanggang sa bigla-bigla mo na lang siya makikita,” he ended.



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