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Meet Jaden Darchon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaden Darchon.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Where I am now is entirely a culmination of fortunate events and interactions with truly beautiful and fantastic souls of creation. I am lucky!

There were tough circumstances in my childhood that gave me the tools and perspective that allow me to do what I do today — something I didn’t fully appreciate the value of until many years later.

My younger brother and I ended up spending several years in shelters and foster homes in the Bay Area. These circumstances were quite tough in that I was never really accepted as I was — my parents are of Native American, European and Indian ancestry and so I have physical features from each of these backgrounds. Because of this, everyone from teachers to caretakers to peers had something to say about what I “was”. As a result, I had a very isolated upbringing — my foster parents didn’t care for either my brother or myself and I spent years wandering the streets without a single friend in the world. This is the plight of so many children that come from adverse home situations and doubly so for those from diverse backgrounds.

My father (who I love beyond words) did the absolute best any human could to support us during these difficult years. There were legal situations going on at the time that precluded his ability to be there for us, but these were all thrown out as they had absolutely no basis in reality. In fact, our ordeal was much more difficult for him than it was for us. As soon as the universe permitted, he went above and beyond to give us the guidance and support we required at that time, and I am thankful. Some parents may irk their responsibilities or compromise their values, but he did not. He did not complain and he most certainly did not waver; I look to him as a shining example of resilience and virtue.

Now, what I’m going to say may shock you — I am thankful for these years. This time gave me the chance to practice perspective, introspection, resilience and awareness. These circumstances gave me the opportunity to (begin to) realize the power we all have within — determination. Faith in the spirit.

Every being on this earth has a “zero point energy” of the soul that is indivisible and unsurmountable.

There was another life-changing result of the chaos of my upbringing — a single constant factor that kept me grounded. It’s going to sound silly, but video games were a fantastic life enhancement for me! Specifically, ones with a creative aspect (looking at you Unreal Engine!)

Over the course of about 14 years, I was blessed to work with many powerful creators online and create a ton of different 3D models, landscapes and simple game modifications. There are so many role models I have to thank here — Casey Campbell (a ridiculously dedicated test engineer and Creative), Marco Hulden (a genius programmer), Smirftsch (the most resilient code maintainer) and so many more. To them I say — thank you for sharing your creative spirit with me. You inspire me and I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

Creating through game design was my way of defining reality because reality around me was far from ideal. My friends and I created the places we couldn’t experience in reality — snowy mountain peaks, (roughly) functional cities and futuristic towns in the sky. Those years of shared creation kindled my love of creation. This was a unique experience that I owe my life as I know it today to!

After high school, I attended UCSD (thank you to my father and UCSD’s financial aid dept. for doing everything possible to make this a reality for me; I would not be here without that commitment!) and ultimately went with a major in Computer Engineering. This was inspired by years of digital creation I was allowed to embrace in my upbringing. Originally, I wanted to design video games from the ground up (full engine design to retail product), but I grew to love digital hardware design thanks to the powerful inspiration of my first digital design Professor Tajana Simunic Rosing. She is a determined, brilliant creator and to her I say thank you Professor Rosing for allowing my life to take the course it has. I must also thank Todor Mollov (an engineering genius, to be completely frank!) and Professor Steven Swanson for working long hours with me and putting up with my (admittedly inane) hardware questions. I was granted tremendous opportunity at UCSD to appreciate the beautiful world of hardware design. I am thankful beyond words for all of this.

After UCSD, I started working at Pico Digital (now ATX Networks) and met the brightest, kindest and most lovely engineers I could have ever asked for. The environment that Pico had had a “wild west” character to it and allowed for full range of creative experimentation to get the job done — I LOVED it! On top of this, I had the best boss I could have ever asked for — Paul Cooper. He is more than a boss to me, he is both friend and family. As anyone coming out of school can attest to, the real world is a very different place from the academic one! Paul and Pico team were compassionately patient with me and gave me the tools both in and out of the office to not just be a good engineer but to be a happy human being. Thank you Paul, I would not be here without you. I must also thank Steve Herbold (the most meticulous, friendly and professional hardware engineer), Lowell E Teschmacher (the most passionate and determined software engineer) and Brian Trexel (the most charismatic and resilient engineering manager).

In my galaxy of inspiration you form the brightest constellations.

It was around this time (working with Pico) that I began to become more involved with the furry community. In brief, it is a community of individuals who choose anthropomorphic characters to represent themselves as they see fit. This notion really spoke to me because, quite simply, I am already quite at home with the concept of creating one’s own reality. Here, I found another way to express myself authentically, particularly through my alter-ego (“fursona”) design (see photos) which takes inspiration from Star Trek (Geordi Laforge is awesome!) and Roman Ruler type influence. His name is Jaden Darchon (Dark + Archon – Roman Ruler) and he is from the Dark Planet of Lumania (a planet with a decaying orbit about its sun). I took his name on as my own and brought him to manifest on Earth. I also met my partner Jay (a manifestation of pure Giving and Love whose support of my dream is immeasurable!) through the community and I am undoubtedly the luckiest cat from here to Alpha Centauri! I attended my first convention in 2015 (Califur) and it was here that I was inspired by the colorful and vibrantly fantastic dance nights to become a DJ.

This is how the power of music took hold in my life.

I took a class with the best DJ teacher in the world — Antonio Aguilera (DJ Yodah) of GlobalBPM and my entire life changed.

Yodah taught me from the ground up — I had never touched a turntable or mixer before in my life! I was absolutely hooked. When it comes to DJing, anyone can teach the basics to get someone “started”, but Yodah teaches the fundamentals in a way that is true to the artform — proper beatmatching, vinyl, phrasing, proper use of EQ… there is a lot that goes on “under the hood” that is easy to take for granted! Thank you Yodah for being a beacon of determination and inspiring me to hold true to one’s ideals. What I like most about Yodah is that he is all about helping people who can’t help themselves. He also deals in only the most powerful currency — smiles! I have been graciously allowed to be part of the Silent Revival team (a silent disco organization currently performing every Saturday in downtown!) and it has been one of the most positive, loving experiences I’ve ever been a part of. Silent Revival is driven by true heart-centered individuals; thank you Silent Revival for allowing me to be a part of your light.

After completing my sessions with GlobalBPM, I began to explore what DJing meant to me.

I took to (what can only be described as) an obsession with turntablism, following numerous amazing scratch DJs primarily on Instagram, watching DJ routines pretty much constantly. Turntablism proved to be spellbinding for me — but I had no idea they were doing what they were doing!

A few years ago, I discovered School of Scratch led by the wonderful Emma Holmes. She is not only an incredible scratch DJ but a true representation of passion and giving. The school of scratch community helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life (I was diagnosed with blood clots that would have proven fatal in the mid-term) and scratching kept me focused on creating.

I honestly don’t know where I would be today without School of Scratch.

I worked on scratching and mixing on my own time on a daily basis, which is part of the School of Scratch “100 Day Challenge.” What keeps me motivated is seeing everyone else get to it every single day and sharing in their wonderful deliberately manifested progress (thank you School of Scratch for allowing me to realize the power of deliberation!) I am currently on Day 341. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to train with this incredible community and still have a lot to learn!

I have recently discovered Fuzznet Music — a furry music label run by the fantastic Finn Raccoon — which is an extremely powerful project (they recently had an interview with Misha B. Barkin’ which I highly recommend checking out on YouTube!) There are so many incredible artists on Fuzznet! I was recently given the go-ahead to help promote their work and get these highly creative artists heard — a massive honor! Please consider giving them a listen on Spotify!

A dream of mine for six years — IndyFurCon 2021 has graciously invited me to perform at this year’s convention and I will have the (immeasurable!) honor of playing tracks from Fuzznet’s wonderful team there!

I would also like to take a moment to thank some of my biggest inspirations:
– Techniche for their team of pure love and otherworldly determination in manifesting the dark techno + house scene in San Diego.
– DJ Latina for being an amazing friend and manifestation of commitment.
– Steve Hardison for inspiring me through TBOLITNFL (#TBFDJITW).
– Zeno of Citium, Marcus Aurelius et al. for the timeless gift of stoic philosophy.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have definitely been challenges in DJing; but the secret is that all of these challenges, for me, were really just internal. Often we create competition for ourselves; we don’t need to Compete, just Create!

My perceived struggles were: too much competition, not being “unique” enough and focusing all about the “me.” Working with my life coach Emma Holmes during quarantine in 2020 allowed me the opportunity to thoroughly examine my motives.

Working with her completely changed my life and I am forever grateful.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a DJ with a keen interest in turntablism! Musically, I specialize in future bass, dubstep and reggaeton (midtempo).

One of my biggest things is pushing boundaries and doing things differently. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a tech background and I try to make use of this in my work (sometimes my work is so fun I question if it’s even right to call it work anymore to be honest)

Examples of this are:
– DJGame: Custom software to make a DJ “Game” for streaming (kind of like Dance Dance Revolution).
– Mario Bros on a Mixer: Software to play Super Mario Bros with a Pioneer S9 Mixer.
– Deeply immersive reactive visual design.

I pour my heart into everything I do as much as possible and doubly so when I’m representing other artists’ work (the highest honor).

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I’ve taken a fair amount of risks but am working on getting more comfortable with risk taking.

One risk I took was leaving one of my old engineering jobs (company not named) because of an unworkable environment. Financially, this was a risk, but mentally the job was sabotaging my creativity, hampering my DJ work. In my opinion, this wasn’t really a risk because I know that if something needs to get done, it will get done (I am thankful for my early years for teaching me the power of resilience.)

In my opinion, we must be careful in calling something a risk as this can mitigate/overlook the value of “failure.” The biggest risk you can take is doing nothing. We often do nothing because we’re afraid of “failure” and do not acknowledge the lessons learned from not meeting preset expectations.

Fear is a biological construct rooted in survivability. Technology has advanced far, far beyond what our biological systems have — exponentially so — so, when we view an action as being pared with risk that generates fear, this fear is often not appropriate.

For example, if you’re scared about “looking bad” by proposing a “bad” idea at a meeting, it’s because we are hardwired to equate social status with survivability. In the days of early man not being socially accepted meant to perish, quite literally.

Stoicism and behavioral psychology have opened my eyes to being able to manage perceptions around risk and live a fuller life.

Just Create! Everything else follows.

Pricing:

  • Free Service for Charity and Fundraising

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Image Credits:

Jon Bookout

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