Hello LouLou and thank you so much for granting us this interview. And we are so happy to have you with us.
Let’s start what do you think 😉
How did you get into DJing?
When I was working part time for a music store chain, I was fascinated by the DJ equipment, and vinyl collection. I always was an avid collector of music but I started purchasing some favorite/classic tunes on vinyl and in 2004 had my first pair of technics. I didn’t see it as a career then just something for fun but in 2005 I purchased more equipment and then it all started…..Before this I was a piano player, choir girl, and attended singing school during uni years so it was an interesting conversion to become a DJ. At the time there weren’t many “female” djs so I was able to make my own niche. Since then I’ve played around Australia, Asia, USA and Middle East.
Who were some of your influences when you started DJing?
I was friends with a lot of producers from Europe who were a big influence on me and just having their support was enough to influence me at the time. I’m more influenced by sound styles/genres and how they evolve rather than a particular producer because these change all the time especially as their sounds change/evolve. I mean I listened to so many styles back in the day from UK garage/step, drum n bass, jungle, breaks, acid house, happy hardcore J and progressive house as it was back then and not now. I feel very fortunate to have experienced these styles in their prime. I’m a 90s house fan at heart. This has a big influence in what I play now and what I produce.
Who would you think is the best ambassador for the genre you play?
OMG this question is difficult because there are so many that I respect! Noir comes to mind though. I’ve been a fan of his music for years. He encompasses everything in house music that I love. He’s really a one man band! DJ / Producer / A&R. As a DJ he is energetic and takes you on a journey of deep, tech / vocal and eclectic madness. As a producer his tracks are timeless, they are a fusion of the past and very much the present (his DJ sets reflects this as well)
Do you prefer DJing or producing?
I like to think of them as two completely separate ball games so I cannot say one is better than the other for me but I can list some pros and cons. The dynamics of both professions are very different and let me explain why. Aside from the mechanics of being a dj (which we all know) Djing is a very public experience. You are sharing a musical journey from start to finish with a captive audience. You are also sharing a piece of yourself (without sounding too deep). People have taken time out of their daily lives to listen to you so that’s a pretty special feeling and you are sharing your dedication and a part of your time with them. In Dubai however, the “DJ” experience is not the same as Djing in Europe, USA or Australia because we are governed by so many municipality laws which takes away some of the “fun”. Also djing to a variety of demographics and not repeat customers of whom you know what kind of music they like makes my djing experience different. On any given night I could be djing to an audience from ages of 21 through to… well really old because of the nature of this city draws tourists who frequent bars on their stay here. So knowing your audience isn’t that easy! But it also makes djing very colorful 😉
As far as producing, I believe it’s a very private experience. When you produce people don’t see the journey before the end product. For example they can’t see the creative process or the hours you pour into making a certain sound. They don’t see the fluctuations in your creative muse nor do they know the meaning behind the tracks you make. I think this is so important if you value music as art and not a commercial commodity. But because you really only share the end product which is taken on by a record company for sale, people will never know. So the journey before in making a track (whether it gets finished or not) is a very private experience. It’s also something I do at my own pace within my own time constraints and I can be who I want to be, I’m an arty person and trained in musical theory so the song writing process and coming up with concepts is what I enjoy the most. I write / compose my own songs and lyrics as well and for me that’s what makes me tick.
What is the best and worst part of being a DJ?
The best part is being able to play what I love to an appreciative audience. People always talk about the positives in the performance side of Djing but for me half the fun is researching tunes and being on top of new music and just when you think you know it all or have it all there are just more and more good tunes! The worst part is and I hate to dwell on this but being judged too quickly. Away from that, we DJs sacrifice time from loved ones to play late and long sets and we don’t get sick leave! The show goes on! Other small things like silly requests from party goers but I find this entertaining now haha.
Who would you love to DJ alongside with?
Kolombo and the LouLou Players!
You have been to Kuwait before in 2009 for Rave on Waves event, with Trilogy! I have been there too, How did you find Kuwait?
Yes I was booked to play with the Ronin and Nesta lads and it was my first time in Kuwait. Although Kuwait has a smaller music community its passion definitely makes up for it!
Everyone had a lot of energy and ear for underground sounds which is awesome.
Would you visit it again if a promoter booked you?
Definitely, yes. I’ve been approached by people here who live in Kuwait and they have since kept in contact with me.
We know that you moved to DXB and you have been there for a while. How do you find the music scene in UAE? And what do you think about the audience?
When I first came to Dubai in 2009 I was a little shocked by the sheer size of the city and really had no idea where the “good” places to play were. It seemed a little cheesy and more focused on filling venues with pretty people. I didn’t feel any soul in this city. It was the audience that didn’t help matters in terms of what was being played! I really hate pretentious crowds. I steer clear of these places even as a DJ.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve noticed a lot of change and there seems to be more balance and something for everyone. Audiences seem more open minded to new sounds but I’m only speaking from where I play. I’m just thankful I don’t get music requests haha and where I play is mainly tourists not a Dubai crowd so the people coming from Europe (for example) appreciate what I play. I manage to cover a lot of ground in a 5 hour set I from chilled house, soulful, funky, groovy tech and deep and I do the same in all my shows to which the audience seems down for. But yeh overall there’s definitely been a shift in what people like to hear when they go out and tis a positive thing. It does help that we have a lot of talented DJs here who stay true to their sound. Regardless of what I prefer or what other Djs prefer, Dubai needs music for everyone we must remember this.
What has been your best show?
I’m indecisive about what I consider has been my best show. I have great memories of lots of shows and perhaps more due to the location which make them some of the best shows. I’ve played in some crazy places. I was the first Aussie DJ to perform in Vietnam 2007. The club was called “Nutz” (Sheraton Hotel) it was a crazy party which got shut down by the Vietnamese mafia and police after the New Year countdown! The multi-layer Zouk Club, Kuala Lumpur was amazing as well where I did a second gig just for VVIPs and Malaysian Royalty. In Lebanon I played in the northern mountains with bats flying around and guests with personal body guards. In Dubai, playing in Atmosphere, Armani Burj Khalifa the highest lounge/bar in the world definitely has its perks.
Where do you find the best audiences?
In underground clubs or genre specific bars where it’s about the music and not about glam and glitter ….
What is the best city that you have traveled to as a tourist?
It would have to be either London or Los Angeles… I love both cities!!
Is there a perfect set length, and if yes, how long would it be?
My opinion is tainted because I’ve been doing residencies in the Middle East since 2008 and the norm is 5-6hours per night. Prior to this I was doing 2-3hr sets. I believe in a 2-3hr set you can really showcase a good solid selection of tunes concisely that reflects your style. Depending on your audience, you either have the time to warm up nicely or you can dive straight in to aural madness.
What advice or tips would you give a young and upcoming DJ?
Learn the old way before buying dj software.… If you can’t play vinyl at least try a really old pair of CDJs and learn by ear not just beat matching but key matching as well. Listen to as much music as possible even if you prefer one genre it’s always good to listen to other music that you don’t necessary play out. Do it for the right reasons not just because “you love music” I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like music yet but that doesn’t mean we all have to be djs J If you’re in it for the right reasons you will remain focused and grateful for all the small or big opportunities that come your way. There’s too many djs and egos floating around no need to pollute the scene with more. With so many djs now you need to bring something different to the table as well these days. Also be prepared for the hard work that goes beyond just “Djing”. Ok congratulations you learned to DJ but then what? You’ve just crafted what anybody can potentially do but you need to be prepared for all the other hard work that comes with it. Hours of music research, making promos, press packs, emailing promoters, and repeating all these steps on a weekly basis until you need no further introduction. It also depends on your motive but if you expect to be relatively successful you need to be a good business person as well. Whereas if you’re just djing for fun, knowing how to market yourself isn’t a priority let’s face it. Don’t ever work for free or without some kind of remuneration. Know your worth so others will believe in you as well. Also be aware that when you play out, every event situation is going to be different. Expect to play on anything from the most unforgiving sound systems right through to the best as well. Having the right attitude, remaining professional and being consistent. Most of all have fun!
What are your goals for 2015?
Making more music and actually working with other artists, I have some other entrepreneurial concepts that I will be exploring not limited to but not necessarily music related. J I’ve also dived back into my art work. So I hope to do more with that as well.
Thank you so much was pleasure having you with us Lady 😀