Star Eyes, the " Queen of Brooklyn Bass", DJ/Producer of Trouble & Bass and former editor-in-chief of XLR8R, is the Coco Electro mixer this week and what a fine job that gal did do. Check the podcast to listen again but now here is the delightful interview I had with madam herself.
When did you start djing/producing? What got you into it/ why did you start?
Records like The Prodigy first album, Orbital, Acen "Trip II the Moon," and 2 Bad Mice got me into DJing years ago. I was obsessed with the music and the culture and needed to be a part of it. I've worked on tracks on and off for years, but really got serious about it two years ago when I quit my day job to party rock full-time.
Who/what are your major influences?
My friends are probably the biggest day to day influence, but I dunno.. some specific to me I guess: jungle, purple, The Cure, Suburban Base records, Death Guild, E-40, Southside LA warehouse parties, strobes & fog, listening to music in cars, Trinere, nitrous oxide, Paper Rad, the beach, dropped Hondas, Twist & Amaze, Smurfs, UK grime, Scooby-Doo, Depeche Mode.
Who would you love to collaborate with? (1 realistic, 1 fantasy)
Anything is possible right? For the more realistic, Tomb Crew, Zola Jesus, or Riko. Fantasy would be E-40, Andrew Eldritch from Sisters of Mercy, Diamond from Crime Mobb, or Martin Gore.
Vinyl, CD or digital?
At the end of the day, vinyl. It never loses its charm.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on a gig?
The worst gig of my life was in Atlanta in the 90s with the Formation Records crew. The party had 10 people there, the fuses in the building kept blowing, there were pimps and prostitutes in my hotel parking lot, and I got to the airport only to find out the promoter didn't buy me a flight home. Somehow I ended up flying home in first-class for the first time and becoming good friends with John B, who I later collaborated with on some tracks.
What’s the best night out you’ve ever had?
An old-school rave night at Bagley's warehouse in London in about 1998 is pretty memorable. Also going to this club called The Hole in NYC before it closed. And I think it's fair to say that seeing The Prodigy, Moby, and Cybersonik in Hollywood Palladium in 1993 changed my whole life.
Where’s your favourite place to play? why?
Anywhere in England, especially Fabric in London and Stealth in Nottingham. People really respond to my music and as a result I feel like I can wild out and push the envelope. Plus, I love British food (weird I know).
Do you think anyone can learn to DJ and/or Produce? What’s your best tip for beginners?
Some people have more talent, rhythm, and ideas than others, but anyone with a passion can learn. My tips for those starting out: put in work, don't be afraid to ask questions/do research, and pay close attention to what your favorite DJ/producers are doing and learn from it. To be honest, I think hard work and sticking with it is more important than just raw talent in a lot of cases.
What do you listen to most in a track?
The bass, the bass, the bass.
What are you hoping to achieve in the long run/ whats your ambition?
I want to get to the point where I can play a full set of my own tracks that I am psyched on and possibly make an album or two. Collaborate with a lot more people, go DJ in Australia & New Zealand, and learn how to surf better.
Where will you be playing next/ what projects do you have lined up?
My next release, "The Night," is out mid-January on Trouble & Bass with remixes from Deathface, Hostage, Kkoee, and Bad Looks. I have some tracks with UFO! from San Francisco and some with Grizzly's 5kinandBone5 (under the name Dark Ages) that should be out in the near future. Several gigs on the U.S. West Coast and hopefully get to UK/EU around March 2012!
What are your favourite ways to find new tracks?
I get promos and check out online stores (Juno/Beatport/Boomkat/etc) just like everyone else. I also like to listen to the radio for ideas -- there's a lot of songs that have really wack lyrics but great instrumentals. I like to bring out old records from the collection and old songs people never really heard the first time around; they sound new again.
What’s the future of Dance music? Who do you think we should keep our ears out for?
I dont know what the future of dance music is -- that's what makes it so exciting and addictive! I think the technologies coming out from Serato, Native Instruments, Ableton, and so on are going to change what gets made (and how fast it gets made!). Some people I'm checking include Low Limit, Cosmic Revenge, Comma, Ursa Major, Wheez-ie, Clicks N Whistles, Bad Looks, D.O.K, Champion DJ, and of course all the people in my chart and my mix.
Why is music important?
Honestly, I feel like music has saved my life. There have been thousands of times when things were so messed up and getting lost in music was the only thing that made me feel better. It's a really important universal way of communicating and understanding that can have so many more shades than words. Since I started making music, the process has revealed a lot of interesting things to me about my personality.
What are your 10 of your favourite tracks at the moment?
Kingdom: Hood By Air Theme
Dark Ages: Evil Mind
Little Jinder: Whatever We Want (Kastle Remix)
J-Sweet: Can't Stop My Grime (Mr Mitch Remix)
UFO! & Kuru: Freak
Star Eyes & UFO!: Never Not
Star Eyes: The Night (Hostage Remix)
Sinden feat. B-Side: G Like Me (5kinandBone5 For the Streets Remix)
Tommy Kid: Pump Up the Bass
Tyga: Rack City
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