"I do believe 2016 and onwards is a very good time to be an electronic producer and DJ. No time more than now have women had more say, influence and power. That's something to be very excited about." DJ KEYES..
1. HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED DJING?
2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL DJ STYLE AND WHO INFLUENCES YOUR MUSIC?
Trap, Hip Hop, Party would be the best way to describe myself. I am strongly influenced by Australian electronic music producers. We are paving the way internationally as well, you ask any American who is an electronic music enthusiast and they’ll all tell you the same thing. I also really enjoy pop music of late because the electronic and pop world are colliding hard and making some really cool shit.
3. YOU WON THE SYDNEY 2013 ‘YOUR SHOT’DJ COMPETITION. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE LEAD UP TO WINNING THE COMPETITION.
So the competition included a 6-week training course plus a whole lot of extra stuff. I worked really hard and travelled a lot for the competition so it went well and truly paid off.
4. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE PRIZES YOU WON FROM ‘YOU SHOT’ AND HOW HAS WINNING THIS PRESTIGIOUS COMPETITION HELPED TO BOOST YOUR CAREER AS A PROFESSIONAL DJ?
There are two weekends, a semi final and then a grand final. The winner gets a few really sweet gigs and a complete set up. I won a set at Stereosonic and a gig in Japan. The competition really helped me in terms of meeting new people who were important in the industry more than anything. People I met through that competition I still highly regard as my close friends. It’s an awesome networking opportunity, that’s what this industry is kind of all about.
5. LETS TALK GIGS. WHAT’S IT LIKE GETTING TO PLAY ALONGSIDE SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S BEST DJS LIKE PEKING DUCK, ALISON WONDERLAND… AND I’M SURE THERE’S A WHOLE HEAP MORE!! WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM EXPERIENCES LIKE THESE?
I mean its very nerve racking but then you meet these people and they become your friends and the nerves disappear. I will always have a soft spot for Australian artists for obvious reasons but I guess the biggest thing is that you walk away feeling that much more inspired! You get a sense of ‘maybe that could be me if I worked hard enough’ and you run with it. This industry is built on supporting one another and I truly believe we all do so.
6. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO PLAY AT SOME OF THE BEST NIGHT CLUBS IN AUSTRALIA AND WHICH ARE YOUR FAVOURITE VENUES TO PLAY AT?
It’s always a pleasure to earn money off something you genuinely enjoy doing. I really love smaller venues, they seem to be a lot more intimate. I enjoy the consistency of World Bar in ‘The Cross’ (Sydney) which I often play at and I also love Electric Circus in Adelaide. Melbourne and Perth are next on my hit list and The Helm is definitely my pick for Queensland.
7. FASHION QUESTION… WHAT DO YOUR USUAL DJ OUTFITS CONSIST OF AND WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO WEAR ON STAGE WHEN YOU PERFORM?
Something comfortable! I went through a stage where I dressed up, wore heels, tried to be a girl.. and hell no! Worst decision I ever made. I am naturally very much a tomboy so I just dress pretty casual. I like to make my make up and hair details nice and just wear neutrals or a black colour.. with flats 😉
8. HAVE YOU PLAYED AT ANY FESTIVALS?
9. DO YOU PREFER TO HAVE A SET PLAYLIST WHEN YOU ARE PERFORMING OR DO YOU EVER GO ON THE VIBE OF A CROWD?
Half and half. I like to have a few favourites ready to go whenever but I also do read the crowd a lot. You just know if they are vibing it or not. I always think its very important to play to the crowd rather than just what you want. Its finding a balance inbetween.
10. HOW DO YOU USUALLY LIKE TO TRANSITION BETWEEN TRACKS WHEN YOU PLAY LIVE?
I like continuity. I do enjoy djs who get up and then switch tempos by either dragging the track completely out or getting on the microphone. It doesn’t have any flow and the crowd knows that. I love a DJ who flows through a set without you ever really knowing it… that’s a good DJ. I also refer to key and key changes within tracks a lot. A track in D minor isn’t going to flow smoothly with a track in A major etc. That’s very important to remember.
11.BRACE YOURSELF.. HERE’S A BIG ONE WE ALL WANT TO KNOW… WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SYDNEY LOCK-OUT LAWS ONE YEAR ON?
Oh man, what a question! I could be here forever talking about this. All I will say is that I strongly believe that if you are a person who is a representative of a city (Mike Baird etc) you have a responsibility to respond. There have been marches, protests, petitions and a whole lot more for change and still we have seen no response. It’s like what are you even in that position for? The free travel paid by tax dollars?
What people are forgetting is the facts about why the lock out laws were passed in the first place. Every single ‘king hit’ or ‘coward punch’ incident that happened happened OUTSIDE a venue BEFORE midnight. So why punish everyone else? People have a right to a night life because it’s a release for a lot of people. Not only that, lets look at what we are serving in our bottle shops, bars etc. You can now buy vodka Redbull ON TAP in some places. Am I the only one who sees a massive issue with that? Here you have a stimulant and a depressive drug being mixed to create a tired angry drunk person who is staying awake longer.
I would also like to add the convenience of the casinos being exempt from these laws. I smell foul behavior and I know I am not the only one. Someone somewhere has been paid big money to ensure casinos can stay open. It’s super corrupt and tragic if you’re asking me. Completely fucked up and majority of people don’t see it, which is devastating. You have 15,000 + in a protest the other week in Sydney and still no response from Mike Baird. Pathetic.
12. WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGED YOU FACE AS A DJ?
Time management. I am also a full time high school teacher and sometimes I become very exhausted. So that’s a big one for me.
13. YOU HAVE A DEGREE IN EDUCATION. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR ANYONE OUT THERE FOLLOWING THEIR PASSION AND CHASING THEIR DREAM JOB, IN REGARDS TO EDUCATION? DO YOU STILL THINK THAT IT’S IMPORTANT TO GAIN OTHER QUALIFICATIONS IN THE PROCESS OF STRIVING TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAM JOB, ESPECIALLY IN A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY?
Absolutely, you 1000% need a back up plan. If it wasn’t for teaching I wouldn’t be able to buy nessacary equipment, resources etc for DJing. Its all about balance. I consider myself a massive multipotentialite (someone who has potential qualities in multiple fields) and don’t see myself actually staying within teaching forever but doing something else with it. I love the students though, they crack me up. Their ideas are so fresh and creative it honestly drives me a little. Gives me more energy.
14. WHAT TUNES ARE YOU DIGGING AT THE MOMENT AND WHAT’S YOUR LATEST MIXTAPE CONSIST OF?
Basically anything by Slumberjack, Enchsway and Troyboi are my favourites. Alison Wonderland and Dillon Francis can do no wrong as well. I love Australian acts like I said and they inspire me the most so I support them massively. I am also very excited for Peking Duk’s new album (I have a feeling it will be massive indeed haha).
I also enjoy the mass between pop culture and electronic music that is happening. I have listened to Rhiannas new album a hundred times already and the single ‘Work’ is actually my least favourite. She has so many other trap, bass sounds going on that I am seriously vibing hard.
15. DO YOU THINK BEING A WOMEN MEANS FACING MORE OBSTACLES IN THE DJ INDUSTRY?
I think there are many problems and challenges for both genders when it comes to Djing. If you’re persistent with something for long enough you will succeed no matter what your gender is. I do believe 2016 and onwards is a very good time to be an electronic producer and DJ. No time more than now have women had more say, influence and power. That’s something to be very excited about.
16. WE NEED TO RAISE STRONG AND INDEPENDENT WOMEN AND ENCOURAGE OUR EACH OTHER TO GO HARD AND CHASE OUR DREAMS. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ACHIEVING YOURS AND WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ALL WOMEN OUT THERE?
Often we value and determine ‘success’ as an outwardly thing. If we see someone become famous or do well with their brand publicly we associate that with success, especially with women. I think so many women DO achieve their dreams but not exactly in the public eye. Wouldn’t it be great if the world valued being a mother as a dream and achievement. I mean women literally bring life into the world and aren’t exactly congratulated or admired as someone in the public eye.
I personally wish success would be appreciated on many different levels. For me I’m certainly not done yet. I thought for a long time teaching was my career goal but it’s definitely not anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love the students, but it’s more the hierarchy and suppression of creativity in schools I have an issue with. So for my future I’m looking for more creative outlets, hence why I love music so much! It feels really good to be doing what you love, it’s very satisfying on many levels. My advice would be to truly figure out what you love. Travel overseas, date as many people as you can at once, stuff up, lose all your money and then gain all of it back however you need to do it. Just figure out what it is that you want. You may love being a mother, so if that’s your dream then that’s totally valid! You may want to be a presenter in the entertainment industry or work in film. If that’s your dream then that’s valid! It’s all the same in the end. My last piece of advice would be to remember everything is temporary. Absolutely everything. The shitty job you have, the crappy boyfriend/girlfriend who cheats on you, the bad diet you have or the position you’re stuck in, it’s all temporary. Anything can literally happen. And it will if you want it to, it will.
WISE WORDS OF ADVICE SPOKEN BY KEYES.
or CHECK OUT HER NEW MIX … IT’S PRETTY BANGING!