You’re particularly inspired by microdosing, aren’t you? How does this help your creative process?
I am a big fan. I had done a bit of research on this during lockdown when I was battling writer’s block. I mentioned it to a friend and he recommended it, so I gave it a try and haven’t looked back since. It’s like tunnel vision when I create. As if nothing else in the room mattered. I do a lot of things when I microdose.
You also practice mindfulness and meditation. How hard is it to do these things in the nightlife industry? Or do you find that the two go hand in hand?
I regularly go to the London Buddhist Center in Bethnal Green. It’s a great place to go during the day for an hour of meditation to disconnect and reset. I feel like my creative output is naturally influenced by the occupation of my mind. If I have a lot on my mind or if I’m busy with other things it affects my flow and for me flow is one of the states to be in when approaching any creative process.
Your Boiler Room at AVA last year became something of a revelation – how did you feel playing that set? How did Julian Simmons introduce you?
Yes, it was great to play Boiler Room again. I had done one for the first time a few years ago with my mate Cromby at the AVA festival so it was special to play again. The festival itself is a real family affair. My best mate Evan hosted the stage and my dad picked up the DJs from the airport. I’m not going to lie, when Big Julian came out, it calmed my nerves. In a weird way, it helped me relax and unwind a bit.
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Do you think representing Northern Ireland is important? even if you live in London?
100%. One thing about the Irish is that they are extremely proud of their roots. We all grew up together in a segregated town, but we all came together through our passion and love for rave. Unfortunately, due to the draconian laws enacted by ejection politicians, there is a limit to the progress nightlife can make at home. Many people flee the nest to cities like London and Berlin in search of better opportunities. I see my NI friends around the world doing their job and it fills me with pride. We are a small island but we have so much talent. This is why AVA is so important to the city. They organize conferences, organize emerging artists + DJ competitions. It’s not just a rave, it’s a movement.
Can you tell us about your first musical experiences within NI? And how do they influence your music now?
One of my first musical experiences was when my parents “grounded” me. I used to be a bit of an asshole during my teenage years so when I got punished I would have to spend the weekend listening to their “terrible music” which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. They introduced me to such a diverse range of artists, from Kraftwerk to Simple Minds to Earth Wind and Fire. I would say that was the beginning of my musical education. I used to listen to a pirate radio station every weekend called Energy 106 in my dad’s car. When I was 16, I got to go to my first rave and that was it. I was hooked. Throughout my late teens, I was going to Shine, which was instrumental in the NI scene. I was lucky enough to become a resident there when I cut my teeth warming up for big DJs. The current trend of house and techno reminds me a lot of nostalgia for my early rave days.
Can you tell us about this playlist?
This playlist was created from tracks I played on my radio show on Balamii. I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery over the past 2 years and realized that I was leaning more towards the harder progressive house of the early 90s in my sets. The songs in this playlist are extremely nostalgic, an emotion that I have felt a lot recently.