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Kisscut has been DJing for a short period of time since stepping into the drum and bass world in 2011 but has been making waves, so we decided to catch up with her on her achievements so far.
Thanks for taking the time out to be featured for our Ladies of DNB series.
Thanks for having me! It's a real pleasure!
Tell us a little about where you are from and how it all started for you?
Well I was about 13/14 when I started listening to drum and bass and it was one of my best friends at the time who really got me into it. I'm from Peterborough near Cambridge which at one point had a thriving scene for dnb although I was too young to get into any of the clubs at the time. It was only until I got to about 15, 16 I managed to sneak in to the odd venue and hearing the difference of it coming through a real sound system was when I developed my true appreciation for drum and bass! Before all that I was a little metalhead...and not the Goldie kind! ;)
What inspired you to play DNB over any other genre?
To be honest drum and bass pretty much just had it for me especially the techy and liquid stuff. I think one of the first tunes I truly fell in love with was Inner City Life. Even though it was made like 3 years after I was born it sounded beautiful to me and since then I became a big lover of Metalheadz and labels like Exit. I started to really get into jungle as well but it's more of a genre I enjoy listening to other people play and mix which I can just dance to or vibe off! Tech and neurofunk will always be up there for me though and something I can never get bored of! I'm not sure whether it’s the intricacy of the drums or the deep rolling basslines but I’ve never experienced the emotions and feelings I get from listening to that side of dnb! I also think it's quite a challenging genre to mix so that just adds to the pleasure and enjoyment for me.
What was your first set up?
My first set up was a pair of limited edition CDJ400's! I learnt how to play vinyl at the Subbass academy in London for a while when I was 18 and got to grips with using cd decks at the same time, so when it came to buying my first set up and noticing how most of the clubs these days mainly accommodate for digital - I went with the times to be fair!
What is your set up now?
My current set up is 2 x CDJ200s + DJM900 Nexus and 2 x Technics SLMRK2 1210s. So I have gone up in the world in the last few years! My purse is usually blowing dust and moths at me these days though!
Do you think the cost of DJing and equipment puts some people off?
Yeah I do! I had to get a loan for my first pair of decks and they were far from cheap! Even my current setup has taken me quite a few years to save up for. For a lot of people it's just not financially feasible spending thousands of pounds on equipment but the good thing is you can get controllers and stuff with everything built in for a reasonable price these days, along with finance options to get the industry standard gear. So it's not all bad I guess!
Are you fond of any other genres?
Yeah I like quite a mixture of stuff to be honest despite drum and bass over ruling 95% of my collection! I grew up with a very musical background. My dad used to play all around the UK at folk music festivals with his brothers when I was young up so I was always exposed to lots of live guitars and banjos and I used to listen to bands like the Dixie Chicks and Alison Krauss! I've always been a big lover of classical too. Particularly the piano! Which is why I think I’m also very big into artists like DJ Shadow and Calibre :)
You won a competition to play on a KISS FM night in Cambridge. Can you tell us more?
Yeah I couldn't believe it when I found out I’d won a slot! It was only a little local jobby with DJ Justin Wilkes and DJ Pioneer headlining in the main room along with a few support acts. I was in the second room with 5 other DJ's who were all playing various genres. I remember the event was quite an early one and finished at 2 in the morning so the promoter put me on last being the only dnb act. Everyone was still skanking by then which is the main thing! And the set up and stage was wicked. A gig I’ll always remember :)
Who are your favourite DJs and MCs?
Crikey that’s a hard one! It would be easier for me to list my favourite producers rather than DJ's! If i were to pick a top 5 list of all 3 i would have to say DJ's: Andy C, Friction, Spor, Noisia, High Contrast. Producers: Break, Calibre, Noisia, Mefjus, Enei. MC's: SP, Loqui, DRS, Skittles, Coppa
You played your first headline gig at Medicine Bar in Middlesbrough this year. Was it mainly Neurofunk or did you play across the spectrum?
I started off with a more liquid jungle vibe and slowly worked it into the rollers ending the show on Dead Limit :) It was a wicked little gig and although there wasn't as many people as it was expected it was a nice intimate evening and thoroughly enjoyed my set. I met some great people too! Some of the local boys are really talented and the promoter was diamond for putting us up! I know they don't have much of a scene up there either so it's nice to see a group of heads get together to enjoy some good music!
How do you feel about the segregation of styles of DNB?
I think this is a quite a touchy subject to a lot of people in the scene! I think with certain events it's great to have a diverse line up of DJ's because it keeps the night interesting. I personally tend to go for more neuro and tech orientated nights but if there's a bit of jungle thrown in there and some nice soulful music I love it and will be dancing all night. Some jump up I don't mind but I’m not too keen on the current day stuff so I tend to avoid those parties where I can! Some of the older crowd it may be better for them having designated nights on, but all in all I don't see there being a problem with events just catering for all styles of dnb if it’s going to pull a large crowd and has something for everyone. It seems like the most logical thing to do!
What do you think about the ratio of men to women on line ups?
I think there is a much smaller proportion of women to men in the scene but hopefully that won't always be the case as we are growing! It would be nice to see more names on line ups because there are a lot of talented females out there that don't get enough credit or exposure and are complete badgirls behind the decks! That's why things like this are brilliant because it allows them to get more recognition and gets people talking! I'm starting to get to know a lot of very impressive females in the UK and other countries that love it just as much as we do over here. Some are making some serious noise right now! One of my favourite up and coming producers at the moment is Australia's Laydee Virus. She's managed to develop her own rolling techy sound which is right up my street! Also Gibralter's Basscake who I think has also been interviewed by you? She’s a heavy DJ and a proper top gal (Looking to get on some b2b business with her next year) My 2 Essex girls Lady Nikki absolute darling from Rough Tempo and Bassline Beenie who hosts the well-known jungle fuelled Soundclash Sundays also on Rough Tempo. :) Finally there's my other junglist beauty from my ends Bonnie Blaze who is certainly making some waves! Catch myself and her at WCBC fest next year!
You played in Prague this summer, for Let It Roll on the Shredder Stage. Were you nervous and what was your first experience of being out of the UK like?
Let It Roll was an utterly amazing experience. Not just the fact I got to play there but the whole atmosphere, the layout, the music, everything about it was just incredible. My gig was at half 5 in the morning so it was quite surreal as the sun was coming up you'd think it was noon! But there was still a decent crowd and the vibe was great! I wasn't as nervous as I was struggling to stay awake haha! But I'm 100% going back just for the festival every year without fail now :) Nothing can top that for me!
You Co-run your label, which started this year. Can you tell us more about that and artists coming up?
Well it's still in its very early stages. I'm not doing radio so much now days so it gives me a bit more time to focus on getting the brand Neurology off the ground with the others. It was only started a few months ago so right now we have a logo, some social media channels and a promotional page for people to share their mixes and music on. We're going to work hard on building it from the bottom before chucking all our weight at it. But we have been in talks with some big influences in the scene that are keen to get involved so keep your eyes peeled for more details! Our first event is likely to take place middle of next year!
Have you started producing?
I'm trying to get to grips with Ableton Live 9 at the moment so I’m constantly liaising with friends and getting production tips off youtube! It comes with some great built in tools for EQing and FX and I’ve just got hold of a plug-in called Camel Phat which is wicked fun to play around with! So it's going well and although it's a slow process I’m learning quite quickly! :) I don't think I’ll be firing out any badass EP's just yet though! ;)
Do you think producing helps running a label and supporting your label artists?
Absolutely! I think labels open doorways for aspiring producers and artists. Not only is it a platform for them to get more visibility from their music but it offers security and more opportunities to play out! Our aim with the label will be to target the up and coming producers and DJ's as it's not easy to get noticed by the big boys. You’re helping each other in some respects as well so it makes sense to try and get as many keen and driven people involved as possible I think!
If not, what software do you use to record your mixes?
To record my music I used to use the free software Audacity but the last few months I’ve been using Soundforge. Both are equally capable of recording a good mix with good quality but SoundForge has a few more perks! It’s easier to navigate too!
What residencies are you now holding?
I'm only holding my Neurology residency at the moment as I’m taking some time out from gigs and stuff to focus more on my production but I have been in talks of getting a couple of monthly radio slots on Transmission Radio and a brand new movement called AudioPorn So there will be more details to announce on those soon hopefully! I've just moved back to my parents as well so once my dad has finished helping me build my desk and stands for all my equipment I can really get going again! What gigs have you got coming up for the rest of this year? I'd had some good gigs this summer right up until the end of September, but it's all quietened down now! I was meant to be playing at a charity festival in Wales for McMillan Cancer in November but I believe it’s been postponed till next year now. So nothing lined up as of yet but It's going to be quite nice taking some time out for the winter to be honest!
What are your goals for 2016?
I've got a really good feeling about 2016 to be honest! Definitely get a bigger handle on my production and try and get the label off the ground! I'm still quite young as well though so despite how much I would love to just quit my day job and spend the next year on nothing but the tunes, I figured I should make the most of my youth and plan to go travelling soon :) I've done a lot of networking at events this year as well and have met some wicked people in the process that have not only opened doors but turned into some great mates too! So they'll be more of that and I think there's a lot of adventures to come - musically and personally! :)
What are you drinking from the bar?
Well I don't really drink because I usually end up like the exorcist the next day haha! But if I do then it's usually a Koppaberg or a Rekordilig! Berry Tasty Indeed!
What do you do like to do to relax?
Get really high and listen to dnb of course! Oh and eat shit loads of chocolate and cake cause I’m an absolute fiend!
Any shouts or thanks?
Well a massive thanks to you and all the team at dnbmuzik first of all! Big shout out to my best mates Michaela, Ant Instant, Munky & Garrie Pacal. My family of course! All the Ipswich, Universal Drumz and Neurology crew, Peterborough and Middlesbrough lot, All the Essex bound family and everyone else who has supported me in my musical journey so far :) It means a lot and I seriously can't thank you enough! <3
Twitter : https://twitter.com/djkisscut
Facebook Link https://www.facebook.com/DjKisscut
nterview by Missrepresent