We have a quick chat with Aussie DJ Rachel Andrews, top 10 finalist in EMI’s ‘She Can DJ’ project and resident at ‘Motel’ Club in Melbourne.
M: So Rachel, how did you first get into DJ’ing?
Rachel: I was working behind the bar at a club in Canberra and used to harass the DJ to show me how it all worked. I seemed to pick it up quickly so bought some decks, originally thinking it was a huge investment that was unlikely to pay off! It appears I was very wrong..
M: What were some of your original influences when you first started? Do they differ much from what you play today?
Rachel: Back when I started DJ’ing around 2005, compilations like HouSexy, Hed Kandi, Defected and Ministry of Sound Annuals were full of some deliciously good vocal house, but I’d have to say that late 90’s through to mid to late 2000’s is my favourite period of quality house music. Today, my influences are more varied; partly because of the way the scene has become more commercial, and partly because of the variety of gigs I play. I love to listen to deep house and techno and will take any opportunity to play that, but I’m also happy with uplifting vocal house and a few commercial tunes in between.
M: What’s the first track you ever bought?
Rachel: I think it was either a Madonna or Prince album on cassette, but that was back when I was about 7! I’d say it was probably Michael Gray – The Weekend…it’s got such a solid intro, and I learned to DJ with that track, over and over and over again..
M: Do you think there are any added pressures for a female DJ to make it in the club scene?
Rachel: No, I don’t think there’s really any difference in the club scene as EVERYONE I know seems to be a DJ!…but in all seriousness, I think (at least in Melbourne), as long as you play what people love to hear, it doesn’t make any difference if you’re a guy or a girl..and I like that.
M: What would you consider to be your best ever gig?
Rachel: There’s a few to choose from, but I’d say playing 35 stories up in Skybar in Kuala Lumpur with incredible views of the towers would be one, or maybe my set at Stereosonic last year under the biggest disco ball I’ve ever seen; I was just praying it didn’t fall on my head. Either that or warming up for Shapeshifters on new year’s day this year..
M: What are the best/worst aspects of being a DJ?
Rachel: Easily the best part is having an ability to influence someone’s life for a small moment, be it on the main stage in a big club and getting their hands in the air, or at a corporate function and setting the right mood so that people can’t stop talking about good the event was, I like to play a part in all of that. Worst? Probably having a full time job and then having to work on the weekend.. most of the time it’s great, but sometimes I just want to be on the dance floor!
M: Is there anyone you would love to DJ with?
Rachel: There are seriously loads of people, but I recently saw Nic Fanciulli play in Melbourne and decided then and there that if I could DJ with anyone it would be him, his music is infectious and so is his energy behind the decks, I’d love to be in the booth and be a part of that. Otherwise Miguel Migs as he’s a legend or Martin Solveig, simply because it would be all about everyone having fun!
M: Who have you enjoyed working with the most so far?
Rachel: Well at the moment, I’m signed to Konkrete Agency who manage all my bookings. I’ve been with them for almost a year and love being involved with such an amazing group of people.
M: What’s your favourite track of all-time?
Rachel: Oh wow..impossible to answer. It changes almost daily, but some that pop up frequently are Lola’s Theme by the Shapeshifters, Mark Fanciulli – The Tide (Joris Voorn Edit), Nuyorican Soul – I Am The Black Gold of the Sun, bit I love love love anything from Junior Jack, Deep Dish, Frankie Knuckles, Jamie Jones, or early Axwell stuff.
M: Rachel, thanks for taking the time to chat with Crossfadr, we know you have big things ahead and really look forward to seeing you playing some massive gigs this summer..
Can’t wait! See you on the dancefloor! Mwa.. x