In Conversation with…DJ Rap
DJ Rap is a DJ whose history in the drum & bass scene goes back several decades and she was present at the genres inception and initial start, playing a major role in its rise and rise. Since those impressive beginnings and beyond, she has spread her musical and non-musical wings worldwide from her base in LA to take in so much, never losing focus when it comes to her music. With a string of appearances in the U.K both live and on the radio she is back in London with a renewed passion for her music and showing the world why she is so respected and adored in equal measure. We caught up with Rap to talk about her time back in London, the drum & bass scene and which artists she admires, how being a woman in a male-dominated scene has changed over the years, her musical starts and highlights of her career, new music and her infectious passion when it comes to the music she lives in a very informative and entertaining chat.
You’re back in London for a few gigs and radio appearances. How has that been so far and how does it feel to be back?
It’s been amazing, this is basically a pre-tour tour if you like. Come back, do a couple of really big shows, do a lot of press and let everybody know that I’m back, I’m doing my thing and I’m getting ready for my big tour in June which is when the main tour is. I’ve just been astonished, humbled and overwhelmed with complete joy with how kind everyone’s been and the amazing response I’ve had, I wasn’t expecting it, there’s been a lot of love put it that way! It’s not that I left drum & bass, I’ve been flying the flag in America and doing what I’ve been doing but it’s just been really, really humbling to see the response from other DJs and it’s been amazing. I’m having the best time of my life!
So you’ve been quite busy since you’ve been back!
Yeah, I’m here for three weeks in total and every day there’s press and a show and its not just about that, we’ve been connecting with people you know. It’s been crazy, I just bumped into Junior Tomlin and went to his art gallery and hung out with him, hung out with Uncle Dugs so every day is not just about business, it’s genuinely meeting people I haven’t seen for twenty years and it’s been amazing. Really fun.
You must be looking forward to playing at The Jungle Mania event this weekend alongside Hype, Kenny Ken and Jumping Jack Frost among many others?
I am, I’m in preparation for that. I spent all of yesterday just creating an intro so definitely looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun, I mean the gigs I’ve done were amazing. The Shelley’s reunion gig was huge and that was a lot of fun as well and doing this gig too.
Will you be playing all the old classics or will you be dropping some new stuff as well?
I’m going to mix it up definitely because, at Jungle Mania, I think you have to play some classics and I’m all about that too, it doesn’t have to be just about the new stuff. I think you have to play a bit of both.
Who are some of your favourite DJs from the early days to watch and who are some of the newer ones you’re feeling at the moment?
For me, Some of my favourite DJs will and always have been the same like Brockie, Fabio, I just love those guys. I listen to a lot of the podcasts when I’m in America. I’m always listening to the Playaz podcast and I just like that style very much, I’m very much into the rolling stuff, I love that. I listen to Rough Tempo a lot and they’ve always got great DJs on there that aren’t particularly famous but just really good quality DJs. I’m going to fly the flag for the girls because I think it’s important so I’m totally loving V Dubs, I think she’s an amazing DJ, a lot of fun and she really cares about other women DJs. It’s not just about taking what you can from the scene, it’s about sharing it and one of the things I love about her is that she does that and I think it’s nice when women champion other women instead of being in competition with them and tear them down, I think that’s really great. People like Charlotte Devaney who’s really in my corner & I love that she’s a champion of women, that’s great and Mollie Collins, Mrs Magoo. There’s a lot of talent out there and it’s just nice to see the girls doing their thing, but honestly, I’m addicted to Rough Tempo because every time I go there, you hear quality DJs consistently and it’s just where it’s at. Everybody just knows what they’re doing. My favourite producers? Voltage, Bladerunner, love those guys because that’s the kind of music I’m into but there’s so many. When I want to Hospital the other night, I was listening to Metrik with tears in my eyes because he played such beautiful music with lasers going off and hadn’t even had a drink but felt this is incredible! This beautiful event with thousands of people and just huge music. It was overwhelming because there’s nothing like that in the States so it was really, really wonderful to go as a fan and listen to your favourite people. I think it’s really important as a DJ not to forget that. I heard a really great quote that said when you’re on a flyer and you’re DJing, that’s who you are for those three or four hours you’re at a gig but the rest of the time, you mustn’t forget to be a fan and really enjoy it. For me that was important, to just go and see what’s going on. I wanted to spend three weeks here so I could really absorb London again so that would help with my production as I’m making music and putting it back on the scene. I wanted to absorb that whole a London vibe because there’s nowhere like it.
How do you feel that London has changed since you’ve been away or does it still have that same vibe?
Honestly, it’s the best question you could ask because I’ve been doing this for a long time and I felt that when I left, I was experimenting with what’s happening now. Twenty years on, if you look at ‘Learning Curve’, I was all about pushing boundaries and mixing tunes that had vocals. If you look at ‘Fuck With Your Head’, that could be considered a dubstep track. If you look at all the tunes I made, they were all about synthesising styles and back in those days, it was kind of unheard of. I feel that it went into a very technical stage where it was a bit tuneless and a bit vibeless, all about boys and how technically proficient they could be in the studio, which is fine, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the music at that time. I’m a singer-songwriter so I was all about really vibey tunes and wasn’t so interested in the technical aspect of it and I felt like I was musically impotent for a while so when I went to America, I explored everything that was calling me. I’m an artist, I make music, period, I don’t make just one thing. Now when I look at the music, I’m like oh my god, it’s amazing, it’s encapsulating all these different styles that people didn’t do before. People are doing what I was doing twenty years ago in the sense that they’re mixing in genres like house and techno with singing and vocals and I feel really glad that it’s grown to that point because I always thought it would. For me, the music now is the best I’ve ever heard. I just love it, it’s really interesting again and it’s vibey again. It’s just not formulated and people are remembering they need to create memories when they create tunes.
When you were doing music twenty years ago, the eclectic nature of it, was that what you were feeling at the time?
I think I’ve always been musically schizophrenic, I’ve never been one to put in a box. When I first started making music, I’m a classically trained pianist, I never ever felt like I was going to be a DJ, I thought I was going to be an actor or something. For me, music was just the way it came about in the rave scene, like ok this is amazing. It was house and acid house that got me into it, there wasn’t drum & bass then, it hadn’t been invented yet so I was into the acid house stuff. I love house music, I was playing Todd Terry, all that stuff and the Detroit sound and then it hit into happy hardcore and for me, it was like as new, exciting sounds came along, I kinda went with it. Really, at heart, I’m a rock chick. I love rock music and indie stuff. I was a mod! I got into all that stuff! It was all different kinds of music that influenced me. As an artist, I just wanted to explore everything and I just got bored when it all sounded the same, that to me was not what drum & bass was about and I feel it just got a bit static at one point. Now though it’s truly exciting again!
I think everything comes round again eventually.
It does, it comes in cycles. I call them sugar and salt cycles. If you look at modern pop music, one minute you’ve got boybands the next minute you’ve got Nirvana, the next minute you’ll have something again. I think it’s obviously reflective of what’s going on in society. If you’ve got a recession happening, you’ll notice stupid music happens ergo EDM. People want to forget their problems and get drunk and be idiots but we’re in a more thoughtful period of consciousness then the music becomes deeper and that’s reflective of what’s happening on the overground and the underground so it’s very interesting to me, what’s going on socially that’s kind of representative as well and for me, it feels that way. I think there’s a whole wave of consciousness right now and we’re really exploring things, whether it’s gender equality, sexism, me too, whatever it is, the environment and how we treat animals, all that stuff is happening at once right now and I think that’s pretty interesting and we’re getting interesting music again.
Definitely. Going back to what you said earlier with the eclecticism of your sets, do you look forward to playing purely drum & bass and jungle sets again?
Well, my sets are very eclectic in the sense that I play different genres of music wherever I’m based, but my sets aren’t eclectic when I play them. If I’m playing a drum & bass rave, then I’ll play drum & bass. If I’m playing a house rave, I’ll play tech house so I’m just able to play different genres of music and play with a band or live with a piano but when you’re actually playing at a gig, it’s that particular style of music and I’ll stay in that lane. It’s just that the records I make tend to be very eclectic, more than the DJ sets. If that makes sense? I’ve never gone to a drum & bass rave and played trance for example, I don’t do that but the music that I make has all kinds of influences in it, I don’t really stay in the lane there.
When you’re playing at raves, do you think that your rock background is important when it comes to the energy you give back to the crowd and the atmosphere you create in a live environment?
I think that any part of the music you make in your head, you’re thinking how would this affect a crowd, how would it affect people when they’re sober or they’re high. When they’re together in a big room, in a small room. I think every artist is imagining that when they’re making the music like, how will this affect people? Is this the kind of tune that going to make everybody freak out and throw their hands in the air? Or do you want this tune to be something people listen to in a car? Is it an emotional track that’s only to be heard privately? Or is something that’s an expression of your character? Or is this a tune that I put there to make everybody dance? I think definitely when I’m doing music for the live arena, I tend to think I’m in a rock concert. For me, it’s all about complete mayhem, madness and just being as energetic as possible. When I’m out on the decks, I’m out to destroy! I don’t want to play an educational set, I want to play a set where nobody’s played those tunes before and I want to play a set that makes you want to rip your fucking hair out, dance and go nuts! I’m a people DJ, you want to have a good time, that’s my job. For that time, you just want to forget everything and just have a beautiful memory you know.
I think it’s all about energy at the end of the day and I’m sure you’ll agree. I come from a rock and metal background as well but I always found that drum & bass raves had the same energy as punk, hardcore and metal shows. The music is different and the audiences danced differently but the energy levels were exactly the same.
It’s almost like Metallica but with faster BPMs! It’s the equivalent to rock music in the electronic world, yeah. That’s what’s I love about it, I’ve done many a stage dive haha so that energy is what it’s all about! It’s incredible, I don’t know about you but if I’m going to go to a concert, that’s the feeling I want. If I go and see Nine Inch Nails or Metallica, I expect to be losing my mind and that’s how I feel when I DJ.
Getting that response from the crowd?
Yeah, it’s all about that for me, as a DJ, as a performer, as a fan, everywhere.
When you originally moved to London, how did you get into the electronic music scene and pirate radio in the first place?
Initially, when I was very, very young I lived with my brother in Brighton. I left home at 14 and for a while, I stayed with my brother in Brighton and he was a DJ. I was definitely underage but he would take me to pubs and clubs and gigs that he was playing at and the first time he took me to a place, I remember they were playing ‘White Lines’ and I was hooked from then, I heard that record and I just followed him everywhere like the annoying little sister! Then, when I got my own small flat in London and I basically just started off making a record with a guy called Jeff B and he saw that I could play the piano and write songs and he produced this record called ‘Ambience’ and the band was called The Adored and it won praise from Mixmag and it just did really well. It was this weird little record and we decided to both go on different pirate radio stations to promote it. He was going to infiltrate Centreforce and my job was to get on Fantasy FM and Hype introduced me to Foxy. I’d be on Rave FM before that and that Cool Hand Flex who got me on there but I really wanted to be on a bigger station that had reach and that’s how the beginning of my career happened. Foxy accepted me as the first female on pirate radio stations and once I got on there, it was just a matter of learning how to mix and destroy on air. My very first gig was a Fantasy pub gig which was in a pub in the middle of Hackney. 600 people turned up for my very first gig and it was amazing!
How did the gig go?
It was supposed to be 100 people and I’ve never been so scared in my life! It was incredible! I remember the record I played first was a Todd Terry one. You’re on a pirate radio station and thousands of people are listening to you but it’s another thing to play live. Fantasy is where I cut my teeth and learnt how to mix on air. It was a lot of fun, I used to do a show with a girl called Stacey Tough as well and I gradually moved up the ranks from the graveyard shift to the main slot and it was just a lot of fun. A lot of us got our start on pirate radio stations.
With you being the first female DJ on Fantasy, was there any resistance to you being a woman and has that changed in the years since?
I’m not one to really harp on about this whole gender thing because I always tell this to other females, of course, there’s sexism, of course, there are gender differences and there are discrepancies but as soon as you make a great record, that all goes away in the sense of no one can ignore when you make amazing productions. My thing is, rather than harp on about it, get in the fucking studio and make amazing music. That’s why I opened a music school and it’s predominantly to teach women production and the business side and all of it so that’s what Music Tech Collective is for. We launched four weeks ago and that’s my whole thing, to push forward and hammer home the point of production because I didn’t get to where I was just by DJing. You could be the best DJ in the world but you’re essentially a jukebox, you’re playing other people’s music. What you want to do is make records that are yours and if you look at the boys and how they run a tight ship and how they do everything, they’re incredibly brilliant at how they handle business and I watch them and I think, this is how you’ve got to run it so for me, yes I got a lot of blowback and yes it was difficult and all of that was hard and it it still is to a degree but at the same time, I got a lot of support. I think it was difficult because, how can I say this without a sounding like a megalomaniac?! I think if you don’t look like the back end of a bus and you’re kinda cute let’s say, you have to work harder to prove you’re talented. People say you got there because of your looks or you got there because you did this or you did that or you know someone. My thing was to dress up as a boy, wear a cap, never put any makeup on and just be as militant about not using anything and after a while when I got my record deal with Sony, I said fuck this. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, I know how good I am in the studio, I’ve sold three million records and I’m producing hit after hit so what does it matter how I look but it does matter as people are judgmental. Somebody asked me the other day, how many Harvey Weinstein moments have I had in the scene and I said I’ve had a lot of Me Too moments in my life but never from another DJ in England and never from a promoter in England, ever. All I’ve had is support is support from the DJs. Of course we’ve fought, of course, we’ve crossed swords. A lot of us haven’t agreed with what’s going on. Definitely, tempers have flared and all of that but these are my brothers, I love them. It’s an unbreakable bond so as far as I’m concerned, women harping about how tough it is, I haven’t got time for that. Let’s all help each other, just be great at what you do and let’s stop trying to outdo each other because that’s the problem. It’s not girls against men, it’s not us against them. Just be good in the studio. Who cares what’s going on gender-wise. Having said that, it can be a little bit of a men’s club, but again, if you make amazing music I don’t think that’s a barrier.
You mentioned the Music Tech Collective and how important the production side of things is for a music career. Was that the impetus behind starting that?
The idea for Music Tech Collective was because I wrote the curriculum for the biggest music school in LA when it comes to Ableton and production. As a female myself, I have gone through periods of time where you wake up at four in the morning and you can’t make a tune because you don’t know how to produce or relying on an engineer and it’s expensive. This is the early part of my career before I learned how to produce so I’ve always been gung-ho about learning how to do it properly myself and figuring it all out and I made a lot of mistakes so I didn’t want other people to go through that. I meet a lot of women in the classroom and they’re frightened to put their hand up and they’re scared of the technology or they don’t really embrace it in the same way because we’re brought up differently. When boys are brought up, they’re tearing their toys up with their dads, if they’re lucky enough to have a dad and women are brought up in a different way. For me it was very unique, being brought into the men’s world and having that seat if you like, that no one else had. With the boys, I was accepted right away because of how passionate I was and how serious I was so when I opened the school and was teaching in the other schools, I would see that a lot of the teachers, they were good but they were more about showing how amazing they were rather than making sure the person understood what they were being taught so when I opened my school and started private teaching, I made it my mission to do one on one and teach each person, wether it was boy or girl to teach them everything. It just got to too many students so I decided to set up the online school and do a business course so all the mistakes I made in my life like signing away my publishing for big records or not being paid or not understanding copyright, all that stuff I wanted to put in the course to say here’s thirty years of experience, this is what I know. I’ve never had a day job my whole life, as far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to find your own path but this is what I know to be true so I wanted to put these courses together. The online school has only been launched four weeks now and it’s flying, it’s been great. Privately I’ve been teaching for three years and that’s why I wanted to do it. The way I look at it is this scene has given me so much, what legacy am I going to leave behind? Am I just going to be a DJ who makes people dance or can I help in a way where I can encourage other people to go, this isn’t as difficult as I thought, I can do this and it can be affordable. I can spend £25000 to go to a school or I don’t even have to go to a school, I can learn in the comfort of my own home and have real mentorship at the same time. Anything you do that you care about is a good reason to do anything. It has to start because you’re passionate about it.
What’s the reaction been like so far with the school and the online tutorials?
I follow up with every single person who signs up for the school and ask them for their feedback and what they think of the courses. Is there anything they think I could improve on and so far the feedback is really good. We do focus groups as well and most people are just really, really happy that I’m doing it and they’re interested to see what my take on it is. I think it’s also going to take some time for people to trust what you’re giving them is a good product so it’s all about taking time and building. I’ve been doing this for two years with the school and it’s only be launched online for four weeks. I wasn’t expecting it to have gone as well as it has straight away but it has. The response has been overwhelming, we’ve had a lot of press on the school and I can’t complain. I’m looking to partner up in England and start that here as well and I think that people see me as a matriarch of the scene! I get called that a lot which is really funny as everything time I hear that I think of a giant elephant, who’s the head of the herd! Listen, if that’s my legacy, to encourage people and help them on their journey, wouldn’t that be amazing to say that you’ve done that. I think that’s awesome. It’s not just teaching people Ableton and production, it’s the business side too and the next one I’m launching in a month is an advanced drum & bass course and I’m going to bring different artists in and we’re then going to do a trance course and a house course so it’ll be all these different genres and we’re going to do a lot of different stuff so I’m excited but it takes time as I do all the editing myself so one hour video takes five hours of editing for me. I do it all myself you see so it’s definitely a labour of love. The Ableton course took me seven months as it’s forty-five videos, nine hours of learning. It’s a complete A-Z of Ableton. It’s like me teaching you photoshop by video! The amount of editing! It’s worth it though.
You’re still based in Los Angeles primarily.
Yeah, I’ve been there for seventeen years!
What’s the electronic music scene like over there at the moment? Is EDM still as big?
No, people are kinda over that now, thank god! The music there is getting good, again it’s much more thoughtful. It went through a really stupid stage. Honestly, that’s why I’d didn’t do any music for a few years. Around 2011 when EDM started, I was just like fuck this! I can’t bear it, what the hell has happened to everything that I love?! I always thought EDM stood for extremely drunk motherfuckers! I just couldn’t understand the music at all. I just didn’t like it but hey that’s the way it goes right? I think now it’s better, definitely. Can I say there is some great EDM, it’s not all bad.
What about drum & bass in LA. Is that still resolutely an underground scene?
Unfortunately, the drum & bass side of things is really, really not great there. It’s really small. There’s a couple of things but that’s about it. It’s probably healthier in Toronto and places like that but it’s not great, not at all.
I suppose it’s better in the big cities but America so big.
I live in Hollywood and there’s Respect club that happens every Thursday, that’s really the only great club here. I would say it’s more about festivals in the USA. If you were offered a multi-million dollar deal with Sony and you had gone as far as you could go in the scene and you were told you could explore all these different genres and work with whoever you want from Hans Zimmer to BT to Erick Morillo to Marc Isham, all these different people, you would do it too. It definitely got me was worth going there but at the same time there’s nothing like it here!
Would you ever move back to London?
Well I’ve wanted to move back for the last five years but it’s just that I want to make sure that I’m not going backwards and I want to make sure that I am not going to end up in a situation where all I’m doing is just DJing because that was the problem before and obviously if you look at my IMDB page, I score for movies, I sing songs and write songs for other people. I’ve won gold records for Australian Idol. I do more than just DJ and I felt that in England, at that point I had made hit records but I was just driving up and down the motorway and I wasn’t really getting anywhere else. That was it, as far as I could go so when I got the record deal, it was here’s an opportunity to go higher so I took it. For me, it’s about, what can I do next? It’s been a beautiful ride because for all the ups and downs that I’ve had, you know I got to explore acting, I got to explore so many different types of music and it’s taken me all over the world twice and it’s been incredible. Having said that, it wasn’t until I started teaching because I literally took a break from music for a few years, I was just so burnt out from all the travelling, completely not a thing and when I started teaching and I was making examples in the classroom, I was thinking I should remember that, that’s actually pretty good! I started to get the little flames starting up again and I got offered a gig here about a year and a half ago and I came here and thought the music’s really good again! I didn’t know it was this good again and I started listening to podcasts an getting educated again in the world of what was happening. What I was doing twenty years ago, and even Fabio said to me. What you did twenty years ago is what is happening now and not only that but people are bringing back that vibe, that old school vibe and really Fabio had a long talk with me, and Frost too saying you should really think about this and those boys hooked me up with their agents and then we made a plan and we started working on that plan. I’ve been working on music and getting that ready. I’ve got some vinyl coming out, ‘Propa Dubs’ and that should be coming out in five or six weeks. That’s unreleased classic material from the dubplate era and some new stuff as well so just working hard at it. The bar is very, very high and I’m really interested in my productions and getting them to the level that they need to be in order to be accepted now because it’s a different game now. It’s extremely competitive and drum & bass producers are the best in the world so it’s not easy to make this music! I’ve got my work cut out for me but I’m loving it because it’s so challenging and I think that’s the thing for me. I’m not bored by it in any sense, I’m excited by this and I feel like it’s a real challenge again so I would move back here if it made sense but I think I’m the kind of person who needs to keep moving so I would probably keep a place in LA and travel back and forth. It is sunny there after all haha! I’d miss the nice weather!
The two labels that you run as well, Propa Talent and Impropa Talent. Have you got things going on with them as well?
Yeah, Propa Talent is always active. Impropa Talent is kinda on the shelf at the moment because I haven’t put any house music out for a while and I’ve just been so busy with Propa Talent. I’ve been putting out releases on that nonstop so even though nobody in England might know about it, they’ve been doing really well in America and every record I do gets a really high placement in the Beatport charts. We just had a big single out called ‘Good Life’ so every time I do something I make sure it makes some noise. Now my focus is more on the London sound so yeah, we’ll see what happens but Propa Talent is alive and well!
How do you balance everything that’s going on in your career as you have so much going on?
I don’t have a love life! I haven’t had a boyfriend for five years, it’s ridiculous, isn’t It! I don’t know, honestly, I work really hard because I’m obsessed with this and I’ve been obsessed with this since I was fifteen years old so I don’t look at it like work, I love what I do!
Do you feel like you’ve still got that same passion as you’ve always had?
Oh absolutely, definitely! I’d say I have more passion now than I’ve had before if that’s possible. I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface. I know that sounds weird but you know when you just feel like you ain’t seen nothing yet and it’s only bar wise I’m excited about it. It just feels like it’s so great. When I was at the Hospital Records event, I just thought how lucky am I to be here and to be experiencing this moment. How lucky to be who I am and just having this intense feeling of gratefulness for everything that this scene gives you and continues to give you. Thirty years on to feel that way, it’s incredible. What a gift. It’s a blessing!
It’s almost twenty years since your album Learning Curve was released, which was one of the first electronic music albums I ever bought! Will you be doing anything to mark that milestone?
Oh really! I know everybody does that stuff but I’ve never really thought about that to be honest with you. Maybe I should do a remix album. I don’t really think about those things like it’s been 25 years of Propa Talent this year. I guess I should be more business like about that stuff but I’ve never really felt of it as a business. The difference is that I don’t look at this, although it is a business, I don’t feel like it owes me a living. I kind of just go, how do I feel, what should I do based on that but I guess I’m just organically feeling my way and just so in love with the music that I don’t sit there and think about the strategy which is why it’s a good job I’ve got a manager and an agent now because they help put that plan into action. If I had my way, all I’d do is make music all day and never do anything else! When you’re making music in a studio, you enjoy listening to music, it’s your happy place and when you start treating it like a business, I certainly got pushed to my limits and that’s why I fell out of love with it for a while because once you’ve had a record deal and you’ve been worked to death and then you’ve been touring on top of that, I got to the point where I couldn’t go to an airport without wanting to throw up, I can’t stomach the thought of going to an airport anymore. You don’t want it to become such a business that you forget the love and why you got into it and that’s why I’m so cited about this now because I don’t want to DJ every weekend, I’m happy to do one to two or maybe three to four tours a year. One in Asia, One in Europe and so on. I want it to be special, I don’t want it to be every weekend doing the same thing. People will probably hate me for saying that but I’m still excited and the moment you aren’t passionate on the decks, you’re letting your fans down, they deserve better than you being bored. That’s not me and I always said the moment I get bored, I’ll step away and if I’m reignited then great and I’m lucky enough to be reignited. What do you think I should do with the Learning Curve album, do you think I should do something with it and mark it? I’m just curious.
A live performance of the album would be a great idea I’d say and as you say a remix album of all the tracks would be amazing.
That might be a cool idea actually, I wonder what someone like Voltage would do with a song like Good To Be Alive, that would be cool!
Yeah, bring it all around again!
Well, I’ll take your advice and I’ll definitely chew it over and see what we can come up with. I think I’ve got the rights to it now so I’m sure I can do that, it’d be fun.
Yeah, definitely and I think a lot of people would love to hear that!
Finally, you’ve achieved a hell of a lot in your career so far, what have been some of the undisputed highlights along the way?
You sound like a boxing champ haha! Highlights, god, so many. Do you know what, this sounds so funny but I think this is one of my highlights. Right now, this coming back and feeling so invigorated and so grateful and so loved by all the DJs, the response I’ve had, the people on the radio, meeting friends again I’ve haven’t seen. To me, this is a huge highlight. To be able to come back after that time and still be loved is amazing and obviously, I’ve got the typical highlights. Your first gig, the first thing you’ve achieved, the first woman to have a label, the first person to have an album label in the sense of the drum & bass scene. There’s a lot of firsts that I’ve done, best drum & bass album at the Music Winter Conference, playing Coachella, playing in front of 10,000 people at Electric Daisy, playing in Singapore, playing in Africa, playing everywhere. Those are all highlights but I think that the real highlight is coming out of it after all the low stuff and saying I’m still in love with this. I’m still standing. I’m still excited by it. To me, that’s a real highlight and being able to grow the branch into a tree with the music school and doing conferences and to pass the torch forward and to see new females come up is really amazing. All of that and to be able to still be alive after all the shit I put my body through and be sober, be healthy and happy, that’s a highlight for me so I look at highlights as not how successful you are as a business point but how successful you are as a human, so in that sense I’m pretty highlighted! I feel I’ve learned to appreciate the small things and I’ve been speaking to a few people about this and in my career, I’ve achieved amazing things. I’ve been on billboards for Calvin Klein, I’ve done commercials that have aired during the Super Bowl was playing, I’ve had highlights where I’ve been paid stupid money for gigs, I’ve had security, I’ve done all that but then I’ve lost it all. I’ve lost the house, I’ve lost everything I own when an agent embezzled me for ten years, I lost all my savings. I’ve lost everything and actually, I’m a better person for having lost everything because I took a lot of it for granted. I feel like, for fifteen years, my career was just going one way and then when you lose everything, you go another way and then you become really humble and you go, I’m so lucky to have this opportunity to play on radio, I’m so lucky that people still give a shit, I’m so lucky that people want me on their label. I’m so lucky that this is happening again. Even though I’ve earned it and people go you’re this or you’re that, you never sit there and go I’m a legend, nobody thinks that, you just think what can I do next and I guess that is a highlight, to still be valued so it’s very, very humbling and wonderful so for me that’s where I’m at and I just feel like, right let’s just fucking enjoy this the third, fourth time around, why not?!
Thanks for your time, it’s been amazing talking to you!
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