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PAUSE PRESS PLAY: DJ Edition

PAUSE PRESS PLAY: DJ Edition

PAUSE PRESS PLAY, THE DEBUT EDITION FOR DJ’S IS HERE! PRESSING PAUSE AND PLAY IS AN ACTION THAT WE’VE ALL BEEN DOING FOR MOST OF 2020, SO HERE’S A CURATED LIST OF VIBE CREATORS WHO HAVE MIXED AND BLENDED INTO OUR LIVES THIS YEAR.

SPECIAL THANKS TO CLARKS ORIGINALS

Meet the team

Photographer: Sabb Adams // @sabbadams
Videographer: Nakaash Hussain // @kashkam
Fashion Editors: Rhys Marcus Jay, Jen Eleto & Taija Leorelle // @rhysmarcusjay@jenelectro & @taijaleorelle
Fashion Assistants: Korede Alabi & Jodie Haworth // @lifeofkors@jodiehaworth
Set Designer: Jade Adeyemi // @adeyumyum
Set Design Assistant: Sofia MPanda // @mustbesofia

Meet Taylah:

CREDITS: Glasses – Anna-Karin Karlsson, Top – LA DoubleJ, Trousers- Norma Kamali, Shoes- Sophia Webster, Jewellery – Topshop

WHEN DID YOU START DJING?

I started DJing in 2017. Well, that’s when I put out my very first mix on Soundcloud. I was terrified lol.

WHAT DOES DJING MEAN TO YOU?

DJing really changed me. I was really shy before I started DJing. I didn’t really know how to hold a conversation and certainly couldn’t imagine being on a stage. So DJing for me means A LOT. It gave me confidence, I learned to not be terrified of social settings (since I literally live in the club lol) and gave me the opportunity to share the music that I love.

HAS THERE BEEN A VIVID MEMORY OF YOUR CAREER THAT HAS BEEN MOST MEMORABLE?

Yes! My first gig outside of my city. I had a booking in Helsinki, Finland and at this point I had never even been on a plane by myself. I remember accepting it like “yeah, cool, whatever” then the night before I was like: “Wait, I gotta get on this plane… by myself… then go to this gig, play, and stay in a hotel… by myself.” It’s not that long of a flight and might not seem too scary but that was a moment for me. Since then, I’ve played in Paris, Lille, Amsterdam and LA, but playing in Helsinki was so memorable because it was my first ever abroad gig travelling alone, and I had the best time.

IF YOU COULD ONLY LISTEN TO ONE GENRE OF MUSIC FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Wow. This is extremely tough for me to answer because I listen to like 1000 genres but if I really had to choose, I’d probably choose 80s Disco. I never play it out but it’s happy music that I could listen to forever.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO AN UPCOMING DJ STARTING OUT?

Don’t feel like you need to pick a genre and put yourself in a box. You don’t. People will respect you for your unique selection and taste in music. Also, use your own platforms and put yourself on. Throw your own parties and put yourself on the bill. Put mixes up on Soundcloud or Mix cloud. Don’t wait for anyone or anything.

WHAT’S NEXT AND IN STORE FOR YOU?

Well, COVID happened and I haven’t seen a club in a while, so I’ve been focusing on my radio station Plus 1 Radio. It was created to give new DJs a place to experiment, learn and grow as DJs. We’re currently on 60+ residents from London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Australia, Paris, The Philippines and more. My goal for the station is to build a community of DJs worldwide where DJs can play whatever they want and not feel like they need to shape and brand themselves as a certain type of DJ to be accepted by a platform.

Meet Aletha:

CREDITS: Earrings, Shirt & Shoes – Gucci, Skirt – Weekday, Stockings – Wolford

WHEN DID YOU START DJING?

I first started DJing in 2014

WHAT OR WHO WERE YOUR INITIAL INFLUENCES?

I was that Teen you found at all of the U18 raves, and the house parties with my older sister – that i shouldn’t have been at ha-ha. But one thing that was prominent about going to those events was that there were never any female DJs and always thought it looked easy enough to do.  My uncle is a DJ and at the age of 14 he gave me a really quick lesson on how to use a cross fader. 

But one of my biggest influences has been Rob Pursey who runs Southern Hospitality. I used to go to his events weekly and one day asked if he could teach me how to DJ and luckily enough that he did – I’ve been DJing ever since.

IF YOU COULD ONLY LISTEN TO ONE GENRE OF MUSIC FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

This is such a hard question! As I love so many different genres but if I had to choose one, it would have to be R&B.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’RE SPINNING ON THE DECKS WHEN WE RETURN BACK TO NORMAL?

Hmm this is a tough one but I’m looking forward to spinning Wizkid – Mighty Wine when things get back to Normal.

WHAT COMPONENTS MAKE A GOOD DJ, IN YOUR OPINION AND EXPERIENCE?

I think to be a good DJ you need to have a good ear, be up on your music and know how to read a crowd!

DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN STRATEGY TO GET THE CROWD PUMPED?

I always find that playing some classic 00’s R&B gets the crowd moving.

Meet Cassie:

CREDITS: Hat – Merve Bayindir, Top – Guess, Skirt – Elzinga, Shoes – Jimmy Choo, Jewellery – Topshop

COULD YOU SHARE WITH US WHEN YOU STARTED DJING?

I first started DJing about 2/3 years ago now. I used to be an assistant radio producer at KISS FM, and I had the chance to assist the likes of DJ EZ, Shortee blitz and MK & more. After seeing EZ and how he made the whole room move, with the energy and fun he was having whilst DJing, I was like: “Nahhh I have to learn.” I have always been someone to look for new music and my friends would always ask me for new songs, so it just made sense to DJ. So, I bought a controller at first and started practising in my room and making mixes to listen back to. I would always send them to DJ Donch to get his opinion on what I could do better. When I put out my first mix, my friend Chennessy hit me up to open up for his party ‘BIRDNOISE’ – I couldn’t believe at the time he wanted me to play as I had never played out before but since that gig, I haven’t stopped!

WAS THERE ANYTHING OR ANYONE IN PARTICULAR THAT INFLUENCED YOU?

I have always been surrounded by dope people that are in music but at time I would have to say going to parties like ‘BUMP’ DJ Motive, and Chennessy inspired me because they were so good and just had so much fun with it. Also, my dad had a friend called Adam who was big in the house scene and when I was younger, he used to get me to play on his Vinyl’s.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS THAT MAKE A GOOD DJ?

Since I have started DJing I have learnt so much with regards to the styles of DJing, crowds and more. I would say it is all about feeling the emotion of the crowd and enjoying it with them. You could be the most technically gifted DJ but if you are not reading the crowd and giving emotion in your set people will lose focus on what you are playing. I think being prepared and making sure your music catalogue is up to date is vital. And just practise!

IF YOU COULD ONLY LISTEN TO ONE GENRE OF MUSIC FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT ARE YOU CHOOSING?

This is a hard one for me, but I would have to say RNB, as much as I love hip-hop and my turn up music I can listen and stream RNB all day long, ha!

IS THERE A CERTAIN STRATEGY TO GET THE CROWD PUMPED?

It depends on the hour you play really. Personally, I like to create a build-up in my set so start of slow and climax with a bang.

WHAT DO YOU THINK 2021 HAS IN STORE FOR YOU AND YOUR CAREER?

2020 has been a very testing year as I had so much planned and had gigs booked abroad, however, it is the first time for people to take a break and think creatively and plan. Next year, I know it will be full of hard work and consistency and putting out all the ideas and TRAVEL! I have a lot in store so make sure to keep a look out.

Meet Ellie Prohan:

CREDITS: Earrings – Alessandra Rich, Top – Knits , Dress- Norma Kamali, Bag – KARA,
Shoes – Clarks Originals

WHEN DID YOU START DJING?

I started DJing probably about 6 years ago

See Also

WAS THERE ANYTHING OR ANYONE IN PARTICULAR THAT INFLUENCED YOU?

I was at a club night and saw a woman on the decks and the crowd was going wild and I was mesmerized, and I thought to myself I want to do that!

WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS THAT MAKE A GOOD DJ?

First and foremost, playing for the crowd and not for yourself. Second of all enjoy yourself and always make sure you have an up-to-date catalogue of music.

IF YOU COULD ONLY LISTEN TO ONE GENRE OF MUSIC FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT ARE YOU CHOOSING?

Rap music

IS THERE A CERTAIN STRATEGY TO GET THE CROWD PUMPED?

Engage with your crowd don’t be stush, respond to people when they are trying to speak with you and build a relationship with your audience.

WHAT DO YOU THINK 2021 HAS IN STORE FOR YOU?

Although I make a mind map every year with my manager how the years going to go and what we achieve in what order we never know but 2021 is the year of fun and people getting to know my journey, heritage and purpose more.

Meet Henrie:

CREDITS: Glasses – Anna-Karin Karlsson, Coat – Jakke, Top- Knits, Jeans – Gucci, Trainers – Clarks Originals, Bag – Jakke

WHEN DID YOU START DJING?

I started DJing in 2018

WHAT COMPONENTS MAKE A GOOD DJ, IN YOUR OPINION AND EXPERIENCE?

I think the component that makes a good DJ first and foremost is someone who is in love with the music that they play. I think it comes across so well to an audience when you play that you enjoy the music that you’re playing. Then, of course, there’s all the technical stuff. It’s each to their own in this department, but I think it’s super important to have your own style of mixing so that you’re separated from everyone else and so you’re noticed by your style.

DO YOU PREFER THE OLD-SCHOOL WAY OF DJING WITH VINYL OR THE MODERNISED WAY OF USING SOLELY TECHNOLOGY?

I actually learned on Vinyl but I DJ on CDJ’s. I really do love them however I use a USB to DJ and not my laptop. Still a bit old-school.

IN AN IDEAL WORLD WITHOUT COVID-19, LET’S PRETEND YOU HAVE A SET. WHAT’S THE USUAL PROCESS WHEN SELECTING MATERIAL, ETC?

Alright. So, I’d first start by downloading all the new music that has been released recently. Then, I’d see what song I can mix them into which people wouldn’t usually think, what genres i can cross and what boundaries I can break ha! That is almost every set.

WHAT’S THE LAST SONG YOU DOWNLOADED?

NSG x Unknown T – Kate Winslet

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2021?

If and when they open up outside, I would absolutely love to DJ abroad and multiple times. Maybe DJ some arenas and stadiums too, if God permits. 

Check out the guys at PAUSE here.

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