From Mongolia to Dublin: Itgel Yo’s Sonic Odyssey in Electronic MusicAugust 29, 2023
In this insightful interview, we delve into the captivating journey of a rising star in Dublin’s electronic music scene, Itgel Yo, who hails from the far reaches of Mongolia.
Itgel Yo’s story is a testament to the universal language of music, transcending borders and cultures. From the vibrant streets of Ulaanbaatar to the eclectic clubs of Dublin, Itgel Yo’s path is one of ambition, resilience, and a relentless passion for techno beats.
With his unique blend of melodic techno and an unwavering desire to make people move, Itgel Yo has quickly carved out a niche for himself in Dublin’s thriving underground music scene. Join us as Itgel Yo shares his remarkable odyssey, his influences from Mongolia, and his plans to bring the Dublin sound back to his homeland, bridging the gap between the two worlds through the power of electronic music.
M: Yo, tell us your backstory and the fact that you come from Mongolia, which is completely unique in Dublin clubbing, as regards DJs making a name for themselves.
Y: First reason I came here is that I wanted to improve my English and 2nd, every DJs journey is different. In the beginning, my Dublin’s journey was really new, such as culture, peoples music taste, crowd etc. So I followed the music, and I feel that the Dublin electronic music scene is similar to Berlin, and lastly, it’s easy to get a visa to come live here.
M: For the people you left behind in Mongolia, they see you as super successful. Who was your musical influence in Mongolia? How did you get into dance music?
Y: My friends were DJs and graphic designers at a Mongolian electronic music label. They were the main influence on me. And also studying at the Music and Dance College in Mongolia as a pianist.
M: Where in Mongolia are you from?
Y: I’m from the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. There are around 2 million people in the city, but the Mongolian population is 3 million; everyone lives in the capital. In the beginning, when I started DJing, it was quite hard because some people don’t like electronic music or techno. After the 1990s electronic music has risen in Mongolia but
when I started DJing electronic music was at a standstill
And most clubs wanted to put commercial music, and I wanted to change that.
M: What was the initial inspiration? Was it a track or something that happened? What was the spark?
Y: For me, it was Rebekah, the queen of techno. Also HVOB they are an electronic music live-performance band.
M: How did you start learning to play the piano? Was it at the same time you started discovering a passion for electronic music, or was it before?
Y: It started when I was in Mongolian Music and Dance college. I started piano when I was 5 till I was 11. I worked as a bartender at ‘Basement’ underground club for a while, and I heard one guy that was playing techno, and that’s where it all started.
M: How did you go from an underground club in Mongolia to doing well in Dublin? You started making a really good name for yourself; people respect you and so on, how fast did that happen? Why Dublin and not somewhere else?
Y: Maybe I’m just a lucky guy. As I mentioned in the beginning of the interview, the Dublin music scene is very similar to Berlin. I made my own collective named ‘Sexy international ravers’. And I really want to thank PYG (Pygmalion). Because PYG is my first place that i played.
And my funny fact is my full name is Itgel. But my name changed when I moved here because my Mongolian name is too hard for most people here, so I became Yo, haha.
M: When did you arrive here?
Y: Just 9 months ago.
M: And people are already talking about you!
Y: When I moved here, I was looking for a job, and I made 2 different CVs; 1 for DJ stuff and 1 for regular. I think I dropped my CV absolutely everywhere, and the first one to contact me back was Pygmalion.
I played melodic techno and house, and people really liked it, so it helped me so much
M: Oh man, that’s the sick, amazing first show, haha. And what came out of it after that?
Y: I was always trying to go to rave parties, and after a while, I met the people organizing them, I talked to them, sent them my mixes, and asked me if I could play for them in Bow Lane, and I said yes. The Pawnshop is the last place I played in Dublin, with the don Syl Black.
M: You really have an unusual path; you have a platform to be successful. Can you tell me about your sound? Are you producing as well?
Y: It depends on the place, people, and the event, but my favorite is hypnotic techno and hard techno. And yes, I’m a producer and singer in an electronic music band named Y.O.
M: How would you describe your music then?
Y: I would say electronic because it encompasses all genres; house, tech house, techno, hard techno.
M: There’s a sense of responsibility for you now because you left Mongolia to arrive in Europe; you’ve been successful, interviewed with a magazine, and so on. Now that you are going back, are you going to use that to maybe leverage up the scene in Mongolia? Are you going to try to get involved with the clubs in Mongolia?
Y: Yes, of course, I am really inspired by Dublin, and I will try to for sure.
M: A lot of artists don’t get recognized in their own country. Do you feel it will be the same for you?
Y: Yes, I would. I think I will do some teaching when I’m back, and I will try to do something productive out of it.
I’m not sure what is waiting for me back home, but I’m looking forward to it
M: Can you tell us about your collaboration with Syl and this Acid Berlin thing you are going to play tonight?
Y: It is going to be hard techno where I’ll finish at 180 bpm. If you feel the crowd, they don’t care about the bpm, it’s a journey, you know. I remember my 2nd gig here was a Hotbox event at the Sound House, and the sound engineer guy connected me with an Electronic Party, and after that, it was Bowlane with DJ Pierr, so then he invited me to his own event, and now here at PawnShop!
The most iconic event I did here was a Free Party which is “Teknival’ from Injector events (KTG) and it was incredible.
M: You should be proud of yourself. Such a pleasure to meet you, man!
Y: Nice one man.