We were lucky enough to have you perform at our Cirque Du Soul show in Manchester a few weeks ago. You absolutely smashed it! How did you find the show?
It was a great show, I really loved that room and I was glad I got to play it, it was a really good vibe.
From listening to your sets we can tell you’ve clearly got an extensive music collection. Do you remember the first record you ever owned and where you got it from?
100%. The first record I ever bought was Janet Jackson – ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’. I really wanted the instrumental version, so I bought the record as you used to get an instrumental version alongside the song, which was so exciting! I’m hoping I get to see her this year when she plays the UK – she’s one of my favourites.
After becoming a huge success in Australia, your own party, ‘Club COCO’ has made the journey from down under to Europe with your recent event at Corsica! What do you see as the future of Club COCO? Is this a name we’re going to be hearing more of?
Yeah, I think so. It was really great to finally do it over here – and it was really good as it attracted exactly the same kind of crowd I would get in Australia, where some people are 18 and others are in their 50s. Someone came up to me with their phone and showed me a message that said: “You know what you’re doing, I’m in my 40s and I love the vibe, this party is all I need right now.” It’s great to have that type of crowd and not just focus on young people or old people or any particular crowd, it’s just bringing everyone together for a lovely, different event. It’s not just one genre either – I always play really long sets at Club COCO, so I’ll play everything from RnB to Disco to House. Hopefully I’ll be able to create some festival stages in Australia – and I’d love to do that one day in Europe too.
You’re known for playing a variation of disco, house and boogie music. Do you have a curveball you sometimes throw into a set to catch people off guard?
Yeah definitely, something I really enjoy doing is at the end of the night, when a lot of DJs are playing really hard music, I like to play things slower – even down to 95 bpm. It’s a challenge that I love doing, and it’s my little curveball at the end of the night. If I can get people down for half-an-hour to an hour, I think it can make a really good night.
In the late 70s early 80s disco went through a bit of a rough patch with the rise of other underground sounds, notably house music in cities disco had previously pioneered in. What is it you think made disco music eventually stand the test of time amongst dance scenes?
I think the queer community kept it alive, honestly we have to thank their community for keeping it alive. If you go back and listen to interviews and the stories it’s just awful to hear what happened – as was some of the racism that went along with it. I think it’s always going to be a music for people who feel left out, and it’s really something that brings people together. It’s a genre where people find friends through the music, even myself. I didn’t have any disco friends to go out with and I found them all through Twitter. I think people will always gravitate towards that music if they need friends or need a kind of outlet. I think the genre will always be there, people say it’s dead or it’s this or that but I think its always been there and will always be here thanks to the queer community. It’s timeless and has stories and passion behind it which you can’t get in other genres.
You’ve got an amazing summer ahead of you in Europe with both festivals and club shows. We’ve got to ask…what’s your favourite European city to visit and why?
I think it’s got to be Lisbon, I feel like this is my city! I’m trying to live here at the moment and there’s just something about it that’s warm and I haven’t spent that much time here but I feel like it could be home one day definitely.
At El Dorado Festival last year we were honoured to have Sister Sledge headlining! This year we’re sticking to our disco roots with the incredible Kool & the Gang – who would you like to see headline the festival next year?
This is a bloody good one! Evelyn Champagne King is definitely who you need to book next year and I stand by her 100% as being one of the best acts i’ve seen live. I interviewed her on the radio the other day, I saw her perform about three or four years ago she is just incredible, so humble and she knows her shit! She was born to be a performer.
If you could do a b2b with anyone dead or alive who would your choose and why?
I think it would Frankie Knuckles in 1985, he’s someone you just want to have a big hug at the end of the set, he seemed like such a lovely person. Black Madonna has tweeted me before and often said that he was extremely motivating for women and used to really push female DJs, I really respect him for that it was a different time back then. His music has proven to be untouchable and I’m sure he would teach me a thing or two.
You have played alongside lineups with some incredible female talent including yourself! Who are your top three female DJs to watch out for at the moment?
There’s been so many for so long! For me DJ JNET is one of the favourites, she’s been DJing for about 25 years and if you ever need to have your heart warmed go and listen to one of her mixes! Also Rok Riley she’s been DJing for over 20 years and her knowledge is out of control! She is a beautiful person as well and it’s not just people who are good DJ’s, it’s people who are really good people and that can come across in their DJ sets as well, I think that’s really important. I also really love Josey Rebelle. She is the most important person in dance music right now. She’s really inspiring and her knowledge isn’t just in terms or genres like boogie music, jungle, her knowledge of how to put things together is mind blowing and I’m actually scared to play with her in a few weeks. Gender aside, to me she’s one of the best DJs in the world.