Brit DJ Philly hits Doha this month. We found out what to expect on the dance floor
How did you get started?
I was always completely obsessed by music from as young an age as I can remember - so being surrounded by music was something that was normal for me. Once I started University, a friend of mine was selling a set of record decks and I thought that it seemed like the next step up - I never looked back. I spent hours in my room listening, practicing, experimenting, and recording mixes. I may as well have been doing a degree in becoming a DJ!
What inspires you?
My early inspiration was all the different music I had around me - my father liked everything from Country & Western to opera, and my friends liked everything from Guns ‘n Roses to Madonna. I loved being able to choose what I wanted to listen to depending on my mood, what I was doing, or even the weather! My day to day inspiration for being a DJ is that unique moment you have at a gig when you mix a track in that nobody is expecting, but everyone loves. When you see and feel their surge of excitement and emotion at that very moment - it’s electric! This is what being a DJ is all about.
What’s on your ipod?
Oh wow, how long have we got? I still listen to almost every style of music, and love to mix artists and genres together to suit my mood. Right now I am loving Ben Howard’s album in the evening when I am relaxing and cooking something delicious. For the daytime I’m really getting into a new British artist called Wretch 32 who is a more interesting rapper than most of the big names coming out of the U.S. right now, and for those moments when I just want to have some fun I have recently decided to dust off my early Outkast albums.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Oh wow. . . I guess I can only tell the truth and admit to secretly loving Taylor Swift’s ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’. I’ve also been known to jump around to pretty much anything from the 80s!
What’s the hottest tune to play right this minute in clubs?
Duke Dumont featuring A.M.E. - Need u 100%
You’ve played for celebrities: is that different than performing for regular people?
In some ways it is no different - people just want to be happy and to hear music they like. Having said that, there usually is a layer of detail that comes with working for celebrities. They generally have teams of people working for them who want to control all the elements of the event. I remember P.Diddy wanted to approve not only what clothes I was going to wear, but also what make-up I would have on!
Does your DJ set change depending on where you are? What’s in store for Doha?
My set changes for each and every gig - sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, but it is always different. I like to approach each crowd and each gig with a fresh attitude and try to take them on a journey. What works for one group of people one night may not suit the crowd on the next night. For Doha, I plan to bring some London style and sound to the dance floor - lots of edgy, fun, and exciting tunes already in the bag. . . so I’m really excited!
What was it like breaking into DJing as a woman?
When I first became a female DJ about 10 years ago, there were hardly any female DJs. Being honest, most club promoters didn’t think I would be any good, and most record shops assumed I was there with my boyfriend. However, I just stuck to it and made sure that each and every time I did a gig I played the best set I could, and after a while people realised that I wasn’t just a token girl on the decks - I was there to play some really good music. Soon after I became the only female resident DJ at Chinawhite, and that was when people started taking me seriously and stopped making assumptions.
If you couldn’t DJ, what else would you want to do?
I used to be a professional chef, but I don’t think I’d go back to that - I love food too much to share it! I think I’d stay within music, and work more behind the scenes on big events.
DJ Philly plays exclusively at Coco Latté presents Sip, Splash & Twirl on June 21 at the Grand Hyatt. Tickets are QR150 including one free welcome drink, VIP tickets are QR400 including reserved seating and open bar, and deluxe QR1000 tickets include reserved seating, open bar, hotel room, breakfast in bed and late checkout. Party starts at 8pm. Call 7021 8096