I sat down for a chat with Dom Whiting, the lockdown live stream sensation that has been rocking social media and even making it on to TV news. Why all the fuss? Because he mixes and broadcasts to the world whilst cycling through cities.
So far he’s made appearances in London, Bristol, Brighton (pictured below), Oxford, Beaconsfield, and this Saturday he’ll be making his debut visit to Cardiff.
What got you started on this? “Before the bike streams I did a couple of static streams, the first was on a roundabout.
I didn’t think it would come to anything. Maybe a couple of mates might tune in.
Everyone streams from their bedrooms but that won’t catch attention. A moving background that you can interact with is what was going to set me apart and it all stemmed from there.
I even did one at a McDonald’s drive-through.
One of my friends suggested the bike idea and the next morning I was hunting for equipment that would work.”
Talk me through the gear, what’s your set-up? “Initially, I had a rig set up on the back of a bike so I wouldn’t have to cycle but eventually I decided that the self-cycling would be more unique. It keeps me busy.
Now I ride a Christiania Bike (pictured right), which are popular bikes in Denmark. I also use a Pioneer XDJ 1, my iPhone with a lens and now I’ve upgraded to an RCA speaker and 60w battery. The battery life varies with how loud the speaker is, it can go the distance for 8 to 9 hours. Bit of overkill to be honest.
I bought a van to transport the bike, a 9-seater. I took some seats out and it gets the bike, my crew, and their bikes in too!
The camera was the hardest part, that was a long process of trial and error. I went through sleepless nights to sort that.”
Do you think lockdown has given you an opportunity to reach an audience you might not have had otherwise? “It’s definitely helped me think outside the box and filled a bit of the live music void that lockdown created. I’d even say without lockdown I wouldn’t have built the bike.
If I’d started this at the beginning of lockdown the hype might have died off but I’m trying to ride this wave of energy out of lockdown. I don’t want to be a one-hit-wonder.”
Talking about being a ‘one-hit-wonder’ more literally, have you had any collisions? “I’ve never come off it but I’ve definitely had some close calls! Brighton was a close call. When I brake it veers off to the left sometimes. I was going down this hill and speaking to someone on the mic. It was close. That would have been a fucking disaster.
Other than that, I almost tipped over in an underpass in Bristol.
Losing all the kit wouldn’t be worth the few seconds of viral content.
I guess having people cycling around you acts as a bit of a buffer to the traffic.
“Yeah, a few of them are doing photography as well but from now on I will be streaming from locations that have been chosen because there’ll be crowds.”
Have you had any legal trouble whilst doing these streams? “I surprisingly haven’t, the police haven’t bothered me. It’s just a bike. The only thing they could do me for might be the music volume or the camera pole.”
If anything was possible, what would be your dream city/location to do a bike stream from? “I’ve never actually thought about a dream location but I would like to go abroad. Hopefully, it’s going to happen and we can make something unique.
I’m surprised that no one else has beaten me to it. To me, this is nothing special. It isn’t special until I can’t do it, at which point I want to understand how I can do it. I’ve worked out how to do these ones, but my next challenge is taking this abroad.
If I had to name somewhere – Italy. It’s got that rustic look, that would be special. The scenery is important.”
I wonder what your experience will be like with drivers on the continent.
What can we expect from you in the future? “I want to hit the big cities, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, etc. In the more distant future, I’m going to go worldwide. I’m getting the recognition now, but I have the hunger to take it further.
I’m also going to expand into other genres and stop any chance of things feeling similar. I’ve touched on techno a few times already, but I’m also going to be streaming house and disco too.”
Any shout outs? “Definitely a big shout out to DNB Allstars and to the wider dnb scene that’s embraced what I’m doing.
Watch my socials for what I’ve got upcoming!”
Catch Dom doing his next cycling stream this Saturday in Cardiff, starting his route in Cardiff Bay. If you miss it, find it on his Youtube channel. For now, treat yourself to his live stream from Brighton.