DJ Sunday Girl - Interview
Who were your main musical influences growing up and what artists first grabbed your attention?
Music was a way of life in our house growing up; my parents are involved in musical theatre, so many a night I’d sit on the rehearsal room floor doing homework whilst Cole Porter was played repeatedly! That started a lifelong knack for remembering and listening out for lyrics.
I had a childhood hyperfixation on The Beatles. I went through their albums chronologically and since it was the pre Internet days, I would go to my local library to check out the very limited music books about them.
By the time I was an early teen I became obsessed with grunge and punk, which met their culmination in a love of riot girl sounds – Bikini Kill, The Breeders & Be Your Own Pet.
How and when did you get into DJing?
I didn’t have a lot of disposable income growing up, so my first foray into DJing was at 17 on burned / pirated CDs at the local rock bar and I was mostly playing punk.
My first time DJing 45s was a few years ago at The Blues Kitchen in Camden for Honky Tonk Thursdays. The event showcased a collective of incredible Americana artists.
Since then I’ve been really lucky to have DJed in support of some great acts. My highlight was playing at Red Rooster festival last year, held annually and showcasing some of the finest Roots & Americana acts.
I’m also proud to have DJed for Wanita who are a Women’s Vinyl Collective for charity & Queer C*ntry, a LGBTQI+ Honky Tonk Party. Both were really special events for me, it felt great to share the music I love in such safe and loving spaces. One of my favourite things about music and DJing, are their potential to build community and positive change.
You spin country, soul and rock and roll. What is it about those genres that draws you too them and what artists would you highlight for us to check out?
It’s actually always so hard to define the music we like because I think it’s fluid and situational. But my core 45 collection covers these genres, mainly from 1950s-1970s.
As a kid who’d gotten hooked on lyrics, I found that country music really grabbed my attention in later years. The tagline that’s often attributed to country is ‘three chords and the truth’. I always dug that..
Country music tells a story, it pulls no punches, it is sharp and it has a raw yet heartfelt feel to it sound wise. I especially love the women artists of the 60s and 70s. Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, & Sammi Smith – all telling tales of sorrow, poverty and defiance against a background of a changing America. These days you have artists like Nick Shoulders, Jaime Wyatt, Sierra Ferrell & Hannah Juanita, who play those authentic sounds with an updated progressive outlook.
Why do you love 45s?
It sounds unromantic to say ‘for the practicality’ but honestly it does make DJing in busy, dark venues more convenient ! And for the travelling campsite festival DJ, lugging a crate of LPs would not be fun!
Saying that, I do love the thrill of the dig through 45s when record shopping. I like bargain bins and often pull something out without much context but via a label I’ve heard good stuff on. Vanguard is a big favourite of mine.
What tips/advice do you have for any aspiring DJs?
I think it depends entirely on what they want to get out of DJing and collecting. DJs come in all forms and there is no one way to be.
Leonard Cohen said ‘Music is the emotional life of most people’ . So I think in all things DJ related; be it collecting or playing live or making mixes, let it come from the heart. Go at your own pace, dig through, weird genre listings on discogs – overall do it your way.