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Annie Mac Interview

Digitonic interview number two from the Electric Picnic was with Radio 1 DJ and all round lovely, lovely lady Miss Annie Mac - my first ever female DJ interview. I mean what’s up with that? Ladies get at those decks and let’s get some more high profile girlies on future line-ups!

Digitonic interview number two from the Electric Picnic was with Radio 1 DJ and all round lovely, lovely lady Miss Annie Mac - my first ever female DJ interview. I mean what’s up with that? Ladies get at those decks and let’s get some more high profile girlies on future line-ups!

JS: So, how did that go for you, did you enjoy it?

AM: Yeah it was deadly I loved it!

JS: It was a massive crowd for this time of the day which is excellent.

AM: Yeah, I know. When I went in there it was half full and my aim was to get it full, which it was by the end, so I’m really pleased.

JS: It certainly was, fair play! So let’s start by going back a bit to your clubbing baptism, which was mostly in Shine in Belfast, but do you have any old skool Dublin clubbing memories you can share with us?

AM: Yep! The Ormond Hotel was my first clubbing experience ever with my two best friends Simon and Keith. I went there, danced on a podium all night, came home dripping in sweat and my life was changed forever.

JS: That was it!

AM: That was it, and that was just before I went to college in Belfast so I just carried on up there. Then one summer in college I went and worked in the Front Lounge and did a lot of clubbing in The Kitchen.

JS: One of our favourite haunts as well. What a tragedy when it closed down.

AM: It really was.

JS: Now, as far as I know, you are the first female DJ we’ve had at Bodytonic in the Electric Picnic in four years (hope I’m right on this one).

AM: What, at Bodytonic?

JS: Yes

AM: (Gets very animated!) Well they should sort it out lads. Get the women in.

JS: It’s pretty bad I guess, when you think about it!

AM: Who was the last one?

JS: I think that great honour is all yours.

AM: WOW.

JS: So in terms of your journey to where you are today, a successful radio and club DJ, has it been more difficult being a girl, has it had any impact, good or bad on your career? It is such a male dominated world to work in.

AM: Oh completely yeah. It’s 99.9% men. I love men, so I think it’s great, I’m in my element! No people ask me that in interviews a lot, which is fair enough, but to be honest with you it’s only ever been nice being a woman. Men are kind of waiting for you to mess up at the beginning but as long as you can technically do it, when they realise that you can actually DJ there’s a level of respect there and you just get treated like any other DJ and that’s pretty much how I want to be treated. Not like a woman but just like a DJ. I mean it’s cool, a lot of the time promoters try and carry your bag for you and stuff like that, and they’re all very sweet like they’re not quite sure what to do with the girl but then they realise that I’m just like any other DJ and it’s all fine.

JS: So you played in Dublin recently, that was in Wax wasn’t it?

AM: Yeah that was amazing

JS: So was that your first Dublin gig, what took you so long?!

AM: I dunno I didn’t get booked! (laughs) Seriously it’s weird because I played this festival today at three o’clock in the afternoon and in England at the moment, because I’m on the radio over there I’ve got a much higher profile, so I played Creamfields in Liverpool last weekend and I was playing the headline slot, I had my own arena and I booked all the DJs myself. It’s just that I’ve progressed a lot more over there. So I feel like I’ve got loads of work to do here, which is really exciting. It’s really exciting for me today realising that all these people are only seeing me for the first time.

JS: Well you got a fantastic response, everyone seemed to be really enjoying it.

At this point I ask her about the Robot Rock remix she played and would she mind writing it down for me, which she’s only too happy to do!

AM: It’s all about B’more right now. I played a lot of Baltimore remixes probably about six or seven of the tunes I played are Baltimore remixes. It’s just really good fun music.

JS: And that kind of sound has really just started to break out over here in the last eighteen months or so, it’s certainly growing in popularity, so it was cool to hear that kind of set. Let’s talk about the business in general, what do people need to do to make a go of Djing as a career?

AM: I get emails every day from people asking me to listen to their mixtapes and I think the most important thing if you want to establish yourself as a DJ is to try and get a residency somewhere and if noone will take you as a resident in their club then start your own club. I find in the UK, especially at the moment there are so many small, brilliant clubs starting up by people who can’t be arsed going to massive clubs, paying loads of money in and then queuing for hours to leave their coats in. They’re just doing it themselves in their local pub upstairs or in the basement or whatever. So establish a kind of brand around yourself, be it a club night or a residency or something and then you just have to start booking DJs and then they’ll see what you can do and it goes from there. There’s no real fixed path. Obviously making music is really really important and most DJs out there who are successful will have their own productions. I’m a bit different because I’m on the radio so I’m lucky in that I have a profile, so I don’t need to make music as much as Id like to.

JS: Is it something you’d be interested in?

AM: Yeah definitely, down the line.

JS: Anyone you’d be keen to hook up with?

AM: No I’m too embarrassed, I just want to do it by myself first and make all my mistakes by myself and then move on!

JS: OK! Now you interviewed Daft Punk recently, what was that like?

AM: It was amazing. It was at the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park. I was really nervous, I thought they might have their robot heads on. So it was kind of like meeting Santa without his Santa outfit on, a bit disillusioning. So they were just two French guys, two regular guys. But they were lovely. Really, really intense and very French, very intelligent and just very nice. I put the interview out on the show and people really loved it.

JS: Cool, have you seen their movie?

AM: Yeah.

JS: What did you think of it?

AM: I thought it was beautiful, absolutely beautiful, but 45 minutes without any words……? You could easily watch it in fast forward. It’s a purely aesthetic thing and once you get your head around that and you don’t expect anything to happen really, it’s a lot easier to enjoy for that reason alone.

JS: I think maybe I need another stab at it! I was so confused by it first time around maybe I just didn’t get it! Anyway, moving on - in your sets, and this is something that came across today, you really like to mix things up and play across the genres, so musically what have you been really excited about this year? What has really jumped out at you?

AM: Ooooh let me see. I listen to all different kinds of music. There’s this girl called Feist, a Canadian singer I can’t stop listening to her album. Robin a Swedish singer, she’s got a track that’s number one in the UK at the moment, her album is also out of this world. In terms of dance music, like underground stuff, all the stuff coming out on the Dubsided label – Sinden, Count of Monte Cristal, all the Hervé stuff, all the Erol Alkan productions are amazing, ehmmm Switch, Solid Groove. Diplo is someone I’m playing a lot of. He’s just someone who’s got a real sense of fun, he finds all the right tracks and remixes them in a kind of B’more style, so he’s really good fun and he sends me stuff all the time and I play so much of his stuff out and on the radio.

JS: There has been a wealth of new stuff and new talent emerging it seems in the last couple of years, it’s an exciting time for new music.

AM: It really is.

JS: Now, let’s get to your Sunday night show. I was listening to a couple of your bloggers of the week the other day and some of them were pretty far out. Have you ever had any really crazy people on the show?

AM: You always get crazy people on the show, the Internet breeds crazy people! I’ve found the Sunday night show fascinating. It’s completely different from the Friday night show, it’s all about talking, rather than the music, so you’ve got nothing to hide behind. It’s just about lifestyles and cultures and mainly the Internet. And the Internet is just the craziest place in the world. My job is just to surf the net and find weird stuff and it’s absolutely fascinating and I love it. But yeah there’s been loads of crazy people. Noone scary just crazy in a really interesting way.

JS: Finally then. Recently you took a vow of silence for the whole day. How on earth did you manage that?

AM: I didn’t!

JS: Oh did you not?

AM: It was a lie! It’s all coming out now! We mocked it up over a few hours. We still gave the money to charity, but we mocked it up for the film. I couldn’t be silent for a whole day. My job is to talk shit!

JS: I was wondering to myself how on earth is that woman managing to keep silent for a whole entire day?

AM: No I couldn’t do it, you were right on that one!

JS: Well thank you so much for your time and chat just now.

AM: My pleasure, no problem.

And off she went to join her sis for a session!

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Comments

  • Tayor @ 18 Sep 2007 13:59

    bleedin women . you don't book them and they're moaning . then you book them and your told you dont book enough of them . then you book a load of them and you get given out too for not listening and pissing on the toilet seat. you can never win.....

  • timbosity @ 21 Sep 2007 11:04

    One of the best hour and a bit at ep; from 3 on sat afternoon; it was choice!!!

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