Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Meet the DJ pushing the boundaries of Vancouver nightlife with innovative 'music experiences'

The creator of Vancouver's epic parties shares what the city's nightlife lacks.
kumo vancouver
Kumo is elevating Vancouver's nightlife through wild parties and raves, including a theatre rave on Sept. 24, 2022.

How did Vancouver end up ranked a top city in Canada for its nightclubs? The ranking raised a lot of eyebrows, so this DJ-founded Vancouver music and events company is hoping to change some minds.

Vancouver DJ Koji Aiken has been spinning at clubs and parties in Vancouver for around five years. During that time, he says he's tracked a recurring theme in Vancouver's nightlife. 

"What I've noticed is that there are people who go to clubs not really for the music but more to socialize and meet with other people," he tells Vancouver Is Awesome over the phone. 

It isn't a bad thing, Aiken notes. For many, being at the club is the only time Vancouverites see their friends. 

"Because Vancouver is such an expensive city, people don't have the luxury or the time or the money to be able to go out or even go to dinner, go on a little adventure, or do something on the weekdays," he adds. "There's just not enough time."

He explains that because clubs are Vancouverites' seemingly only chance to socialize, there is often disinterest in the music. Because of the disconnect between the cultural side of clubbing and the people, Aiken says, "all the music and all the clubs are all the same because it's easy and people know what to expect."

That's why Aiken wants to close the gap between the city and the cultural part of clubbing. 

That's where Kumo comes in. 

How Kumo brings music experiences to Vancouver

Aiken split his company's evolution into three parts: Volume 1 (V1) which was the company's conceptualization, Volume 2 (V2) which was the era of student parties, and Volume 3 (V3) which is Kumo as it is today.

When the DJ first started out, he played some nights at Library Square and worked with different events companies around the city. Gathering some experience, he figured he'd make his own gigs and created Kumo in 2019.

That summer was when Aiken realized Kumo's potential. "I realized this was beyond just me. I was creating opportunities for the people around me too."

After a semester of school, Kumo entered V2. Aiken began putting together parties, managing and booking DJs to throw student parties with UBC-based student partying organization called The Plug.

Shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down university parties, as well as other gatherings across the city, and Aiken turned to a multimedia studio to continue his work. He focused on streaming DJ live streams, performing all over Vancouver from boats to the SkyTrain

As the city began to slowly open up again, Aiken turned Kumo into a full-on music events company, entering V3. With his team, Kumo brought music experiences to the city unlike before with foam parties and other raves popping up around Vancouver, keeping the fun all summer long. 

Sure, anyone can just go to a club and dance to music. But that isn't what Kumo aims to do, which is to create experiences for both Vancouverites and DJs. 

"We're really trying to push the music and the artists and the culture around the music," he says. "We're not encouraging [people] to get like absolutely hammered and forget about all their problems."

Foam parties, boiler rooms, and Grouse Mountain

"Our whole goal of events is to create experiences for people [to] inspire them and get them to experience something that they've never experienced before," Aiken explains. 

These experiences include venues and stages that push the boundaries of Vancouver's festivals and nightlife.

When it comes to Aiken's dreams, they're sky-high or, perhaps, as high as B.C.'s mountains. "An idea of something that we want to do that would kind of push boundaries is throwing a full-on music festival on Grouse Mountain, or one of the mountains," he shares.

Though that really would elevate Vancouver's music scene, Aiken adds that for now the team is focused on smaller-scale parties of the same magnitude.

Aiken tells V.I.A that Kumo has plenty of parties in the making throughout the fall and up until New Year's Eve, including a Halloween party, an underground boiler room-style party, and a New Year's party. 

Theatre rave

This upcoming weekend is Kumo's next big party, called Project K.

Aiken shares that they plan to build a stage on the theatre stage to try and emulate music festival stages. The rave will also have a first aid and harm reduction team, which he adds should be incorporated at more clubs and events throughout Vancouver's nightlife. 

The theatre rave is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 24, starting at 10 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online

Aiken adds that he is thankful for everyone who's been supporting Kumo. "We really wouldn't be possible without the support of everyone who does follow us and support us. A big shout out to everyone who's helped us get to where we are," he says.