We chat to the lady herself as she warms up for her Dubai gig and shrugs off her label as only a 'female' DJ
This will be your first time in Dubai – got any expectations? I’ve heard that a really strong music scene has emerged over the past few years with a couple of clubs in particular making Dubai a real favourite DJ destination. I’m really excited actually because it’s one of the few places I’ve really wanted to play for a while. I can’t wait!
What can we expect from your set? I’m very passionate about the music I play – once I’m in my groove I really get into the party, so the energy will be bounced back and forth from dancefloor to booth. It’s a lot of fun for me so I obviously want everyone present to have a ball too.
You discovered the joy of dance music at the Haçienda in Manchester. Can you remember that pivotal moment? I remember walking in after spending hours in the queue and feeling this weird, new kind of excitement in my stomach. The sound hit me like a sledgehammer. I’d been obsessed with dance music since I was about eight years old, but this was a whole new experience. I remember knowing that my life would never be the same again, but I don’t think anybody knew just how important that whole clubbing movement was at the time.
Do you get sick of journos bringing up the female DJ thing all the time? Ha ha! I did start to get annoyed by it a few years ago, yes, but not any more. I understand now that there’s a ratio of about one female DJ to every 25 male DJs, so it does warrant talking about. In fact, I think the only other professions that have such an imbalance are brain surgeons and pilots! There are even fewer ladies at the top end, which I still find baffling.
What are you up to production-wise? I’m now producing with Pete Martin from Coburn under the name Dr Strangelove. We’ve got some tracks coming out soon: ‘Banshee’ and ‘Photograph’. And we’ve remixed A.Human, Infadels and David Guetta. I’m also going to be doing a lot more with Manumission this year and have a mix album in the pipeline.
What’s the best moment of your career to date? There are many, but what springs to mind first is playing the Space terrace in Ibiza in 2000 – they kept it open longer for me because it was such an amazing night, and then crowned me The Queen Of Space!
What’s your biggest DJing disaster? At a festival in Rio in 2004. I was playing on a big stage before X-Press 2 and they had about 24 decks, 38 CDs and 14 mixers. I was wearing stilettos – a rare occasion – and every time I turned around to change the record, my headphone cord quietly wrapped itself around my big pink high heels. On my last track of my set I went to walk around the stage and was pulled unceremoniously flat on my face, with most of the equipment flying off stage after me. X-Press-2 had spare decks and mixers, but I haven’t been invited back to Rio since.