Vladimir Putin's Official DJ, DJ FENIX Discusses Kremlin Security, Life In Russia And Plans For The U.S.

Vladimir Putin’s Official DJ, DJ Fenix Discusses Kremlin Security, Life In Russia And Plans For The U.S.

[A]n assassination that occurred in Russia over the weekend is threatening to destabilize Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Boris Nemtsov was a leader of the Russia – People’s Freedom Party since 2012. He served under former President Boris Yeltsin and supported policy that helped revive the post-Soviet Union economy.

Nemtsov was a vehement critic of Vladimir Putin, and many considered the 55-year-old a future candidate for the presidency of Russia.

Some are accusing Vladimir Putin of conspiring to kill an opposition leader.
Boris Nemtsov was assassinated in Russia last Friday.

Recently, Nemtsov openly criticized Putin for his perceived aggression in Ukraine after the two countries went to war over the disputed territory of Crimea.

Despite sanctions from the West, which are reportedly crippling the Russian economy, the government annexed Crimea last month.

The Ukrainian army, which was outgunned, withdrew from Crimea. Despite the military victory for Russia, the West considers annexation illegal.

Over the weekend, in the midst of the international crisis, Boris Nemtsov was assassinated blocks from the Kremlin.

On Friday, the Russian opposition leader was walking home from a restaurant with a girlfriend in Moscow.

As the pair strolled the heavily policed streets in the area surrounding the Kremlin, someone shot Nemtsov four times, from behind.

The only cameras that caught the slaying were taken from very far away. At the moment of the shooting, a snowplow blocks any view that might help identify the killer.

Many wonder how the FSB, the equivalent of the United States’ C.I.A., has no suspect over 72 hours after the assassination.

Vladimir Putin condemned the killings and called Nemtsov’s murder a “provocation.” However, many suspect the Kremlin was behind the assassination.


[P]olitics aside, the music scene hasn’t been impacted and at least that economy is still booming, according to the Kremlin’s official spinner, DJ Fenix.

DJ Fenix offered up a look at Russian life and the music industry as the international conflict over Crimea continues.

It is much different from the images broadcast in the United States, where the subject of Vladimir Putin, the war with Ukraine and Russian politics dominate the news nightly.

[Editors note: this interview was conducted before the assassination of Boris Nemtsov]

“It is huge, it is big, big festivals, its clubs. I’m really excited because the EDM industry grew out really fast in Russia,” DJ Fenix said with some help through his interpreter/manager, Rostik Rusev.

Fenix, born Alexander Mamonov, started his career in Moscow in 2004. He is a Hip-Hop/tech head who loves all types of genres of music.

DJ Fenix is Vladimir Putin’s “official” DJ. In November of 2014, Fenix became the first EDM DJ to play at the Kremlin.

“My father listened to music every day in our house. From Rock, like Led Zeppelin. I chose my own style when I started playing in clubs. I tried to find new records and I found house music and I really liked it,” DJ Fenix explained.

Interestingly, DJ Fenix’s father was a member of Russia’s feared FSB security apparatus, the successor to the KGB. His household was a normal one, and he was encouraged to pursue sports and attend college.

Soon after his debut as a DJ, Fenix hit the international scene and started winning awards for his sets while sharing stages with top DJ’s like Steve Aoki, Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto and others.

Last November, Fenix rocked the Kremlin as the first official DJ to ever play inside of the storied, 500-year-old building, during the Musicbox Awards.

The performance was an achievement for EDM and DJ culture and one of the best experiences DJ Fenix has had thus far in his career.

Security inside, and around the Kremlin was serious according to DJ Fenix and his manager, Rostik Rusev.

“It is serious. After clearance, we drove through the same gates the President drives through every day,” DJ Fenix explained.

Fenix won a 2012 Entertainment Media Awards and the “Best DJ” Award from Musicbox in 2014. This year he has intentions to spend more time in the United States this year performing at festivals, to showcase his sets that include up to five turntables going at once.

“Every day there’s something new coming out in the tech world. Every show I play on turntables. The laptop is only for videos,” said Fenix, explaining that he is also incorporating visuals into his sets.

Video production is a skill DJ Fenix picked up as a student at a performance art college in Moscow, where he studied directing and producing for film.

“It was one of the great experiences growing up. It wasn’t mathematics it was free expression,” Fenix said, remarking that he learned valuable skills that he integrates into his music, film and businesses.

“I have a big team…I trust everybody who is inside of my team. All the guys and girls on my team know exactly what they’re doing for projects,” DJ Fenix explained. “Fenix is not only me, it’s my team. It’s really important. If you have a team, you have everything.”