Music can be heard, but most importantly, it can be felt.
Peter Hoang, aka Dragon Hoang, is a deaf Techno DJ and producer born in Snina, Slovakia, who started to learn and play music as a DJ when he was 20 years old. He was (and still is) the only deaf DJ and producer in his home country, but the circumstances never stopped him from reaching the top.
His determination and hard work helped him become a well-respected figure on the domestic electronic music scene, with performances at top events in Slovakia. And today, Dragon Hoang is the No. 1 deaf techno DJ in the world and has been on the line-up of numerous renowned festivals and events, amongst which are Hardtechno Festival (AT), Silesia in Love (PL), Beefree (SK), Beats For Love (CZ), Free Summer (SK), Straight Beats (SK), We Love it Hard (HU), Techno Deaf (SK), Techno 4 Charity (CZ), Maydeaf (DE) and more.
1. Apart from being the No. 1 Deaf Techno DJ and producer in the world right now, how else would you describe Dragon Hoang to people who still haven’t heard of you?
Yes, that is right! I am a DJ who uses hearing aids. They help me hear the kicks and beats. I perceive music through vibrations, and I don't only mix but also produce my own work. I also release my music through the Techno label Deaf Records.
2. How would you describe your beginnings and what was the initial push that helped you dive into the music waters? When did you start mixing and producing your own music?
It all began in 2004 when a hearing friend of mine started teaching me commercial music at a local club, but in 2005, he had to close his club. Eventually, another friend, a DJ in Košice, started giving me training in electronic music. Soon, I trained myself to mix through various programs, like VirtualDJ and Traktor Pro.
In 2007 I started working as a DJ and soon began playing in one of the biggest techno clubs in Košice. In the beginning, I preferred Psytrance and Psychedelic Trance. However, after 2009 I changed my focus to Hard Techno and later to Techno.
In 2012, I started producing music, then learned FL Studio production software and more. Since then, I've played in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and other countries.
3. Are there any particular artists that have been your role models during your beginner phase? What names do you look up to today?
My techno favorites include the names David Moleon, Ben Sims, Goncalo M, A. Paul, Chris Liebing (Old Tracks), Jeff Mills, Gumja, Du´Art, while my favorite hard techno artists are Pet Duo, O.B.I., Viper XXL, Jason Little, Instigator, etc.
4. Why makes the Techno beats so special to you? Are there any specific Techno styles or other music genres you enjoy besides Techno?
I first started listening to trance and psytrance on VIVA and MTV. The Love Parade also played a massive role in developing my taste. In 2008, a friend gave me a Techno/Hard Techno CD. So, I would say I like it the most because I can feel the strong kicks and drums. I also like Oldschool Techno, Tribal Techno, Hardgroove, and Schranz. In 2019 I was also introduced to Hardtek, Hardcore, and Frenchcore, so it is safe to say I enjoy these genres too.
5. Can you make a parallel between the time when you began making music and now, in terms of acceptance and opportunities for the deaf community? In your opinion, what has been the most empowering to you?
Of course. Compared to the earlier years, now you can learn from Youtube. I have been watching YouTube tutorials on producing Techno music since 2012. Thankfully, I also have my friends who help me out, and that is also how I learned to work with FL Studio. I also learned about Kick, Clap, Hihat, Snare, Synth, etc.
6. Tell us more about your association with Deaf Rave? How does it feel to take part in such an amazing organization?
I first found out about Deaf Rave in 2013 when I saw a video of a DnB, Hip Hop, and Reggae Deaf Rave. I got interested, so I contacted Troi. That's how I learned that Deaf DJs from England played great music. Aside from that, Maydeaf from Germany is also a fantastic deaf techno rave organizer.
7. Would you like to share your goals and future plans with us?
My plan for this summer is to perform at a few Austrian, Czech and Slovenian clubs. I've been invited, but now I am just waiting for the final confirmation.