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In this month's edition of YKRA Faces, meet Andris Kurucz, DJ, party organizer and communications manager, based in Budapest. We sat down to talk about his work, life and what makes a party a hit. Read on for more!

Hi Andris, tell us a little about your job, what do you do? 

Actually, my work and hobbies overlap—but more on that later. Currently, I’m the communications manager of Turbina Cultural Center, a new community space and cultural venue in the 8th district of Budapest. It’s a multi-storey, multi-room block, where everything from concerts and exhibitions to food and workshops go hand in hand. My main job is building Turbina’s brand, and managing its strategy and direction. On a day-to-day basis, I lead the center’s communications strategy, as well as our small team—a graphic designer, a social media manager, and our program organizers. 

Turbina is still a fresh place, it’s been open for just under a year, but I took on the job as the concept behind it is super exciting. The building is huge—1300 m²—and it’s filled with concerts of all kinds of genres, exhibitions, dance and theater performances, artisan fairs, and lazy Sunday brunches. We’re also big on daytime parties, which last until 10pm, and this element gives the place an interesting vibe. The building includes a bistro, an exhibition space, and a small and a big hall for concerts, parties and performances. It’s so diverse, you could have lunch upstairs in the bistro, followed by a coffee with friends in the sunshine, and then move on to a daytime party downstairs. Turbina has a strong cultural mission, supporting a multidisciplinary experience. It’s definitely an exciting mix.

You mentioned your job and hobbies overlap, how?

When it comes to organizing parties, communications and music are intertwined and support each other well. I've been DJing for about 4 years, and it all started back when I felt the urge to listen to a lot of music, and a lot of different genres at once. 

I started going to parties at a young age when I was just 15. I would go to parties and focus on the setting and atmosphere of the place, it was like a field trip. I would study where the lights were placed and how the different types of sounds made an impact. I was interested in finding out what factors make a moment unforgettable.

Slowly but surely, I got to know more and more people in the music scene and I started doing communications for small parties and festivals, which developed organically into doing communications for bigger festivals and projects. Now, it's got to the point where I'm running a series of parties, and the main one is SANTSAT, a one-day outdoor mini-festival, with an attendance of 6-700 people.

What’s the story behind your backpack? 

My MATRA MINI backpack was a present from Balazs (YKRA’s founder) while I worked for the brand as a sales manager a few years ago. The back story is that I lived in Rio de Janeiro in 2014 and I was doing all kinds of odd jobs to make ends meet. While I was there, I met a really cool guy who had his own brand and designed longboards, furniture and backpacks, and I persuaded him to let me work for him—and we did, for 3-4 months. The brand’s philosophy, atmosphere and values were really similar to YKRA, so when I came back to Budapest, I deliberately got in touch with Balázs through a friend to mention how nice it would be to work together! This was back in 2016-2017, and I got the job. It was a great period in my career. 

What’s in your bag?

Philip K. Dick Book - I love science fiction, both the genre’s writers and books. Kurt Vonnegut is my favorite, and I've just started reading this book—it’s about the multiverse.

Headphones - These are my DJ headphones, but in reality, I use them for listening to my everyday music as well. It’s super lightweight and durable.

USB - I keep all my music on it, and I take it with me to gigs. I’m pretty forgetful, so the safest bet is to keep it on me wherever I go. 

Sound card - This card is also an essential for when I meet up with friends to play music—it helps with the recording and music production side of things.

YKRA MINI WALLET - It’s my go-to for festivals and parties, I use it all the time. I keep my ID, bank card and airpods in it, and thanks to its carabiner, it’s impossible to lose!

Sunglasses - They’re from KOMONO. It’s a brand I’ve been wanting to try for a while, I really like them.

Keys - I have a small scooter imported from Japan, and I keep its keys on me, including the key to its chain lock, as well as the key I use to get into the apartment where I keep it parked. It’s practical having all my keys in one place. 

Thai Herbal Inhaler - It’s the best. I bought it in Thailand, it's a herbal infusion mix good for congestion and refreshing yourself.

Photos by Botond Wertán

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