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Interview with Clodagh
Reported by clubchick
Submitted 12-02-04 14:28
From the funky beats of Ibiza, to the Celtic rhythms of Hackney…meet the new Irish female DJ with passion for her decks, her love for dancing and most of all her joie de vie
It all started with a DJ competition last year, first she was picked from 300 contestants down to 4, next she was playing alongside the likes of Sister Bliss, Mr C, Roni Size, Tom Middleton, Hernan Cattaneo, Tall Paul, Stanton Warriors & Express 2…. getting emails from the man himself, Carl Cox, and Misstress Barbara…..learned how to scratch & play on 3 decks. And not forgetting her most amazing achievement to date of playing at the final of ITV’s ‘The Joy of decks’ TV show @ Nation in Liverpool, to a crowd of 1000….and to top it all, she manages to put on the friendliest party in town with her best friends every few months, called Spiritualised. I know all you readers are already out of breath, me too, yes; she also fits in a day job as a Fitness Instructor!But no matter how busy or tired she is, Clodagh always puts on a fantastic performance and inspires everyone with her energetic sets, her huge smile and eclectic taste in music. She manages to give a performance that extra bit of magic and speaking of magic, she’s certainly learnt a lot of tricks from the cream of the crop!
My spies heard her saying at a recent party,“DJ’s should leave their attitudes & miserable faces at home…it’s a party for gods sake! Let’s have some fun”! How refreshing!
After such a whirlwind romance with her decks, this Irish girl’s DJing career has been catapulted into the limelight, and she’s ready for it!! Mr C's comment says it all – “this girls got Carl Cox potential!” Not bad for someone who has been mixing for just over 2 years!
It’s time that HF clubbers got to know some more about this very talented, bubbly DJ simply known as Clodagh
Hi Clodagh. Thanks a million for taking time out away from your crazy schedule. Can you tell us about the ITV show ‘The Joy of Decks’ you competed in last year?
Certainly Clubchick.. no problem! Talk about dreams coming true!This was one amazing experience & I still can’t believe it happened to me. I’m the kinda person that loves a challenge, so when I heard about the competition I said why not...I’d give it a go. I couldn’t believe it when I made it to the final 8 out of 300 entrants for the 6 part docu-series “The Joy of Decks” (which was shown on ITV1 & ITV2 in Nov/Dec 2003). The idea of the show was to turn 4 up & coming DJ’s into professional working DJ’s with guidance from a famous DJ (mentor).The overall prize for the lucky winner was a global tour with the Smirnoff Experience & a DJ agency contract for a year!
In the first show the final 8 DJ’s had an interview & played in front on the 4 mentors. Mr.C, Roni Size, Sister Bliss & Tom Middleton.They were all very nice & offered a lot of advice! I played a mixture of funky tribal tech house! Each mentor chose one person as their apprentice. I thought maybe tom or Mr.C might pick me as they really enjoyed my set, so when each of them picked someone else, my heart sank. I was really surprised when Sister Bliss picked me!!! & this was the start of my 3 month adventure. I played at BoraBora in Ibiza, Turnmills (The gallery) in London, Foundation (shindig) in Newcastle & Nation in Liverpool. I got to make my first track in a studio “Oiche Mhaith” (Good Night), an Irish Tribal House track. I got a DJ lesson from James Zabiela (No.11 DJ in the top 100 DJ’s!) I learned so much from this guy… check him out if you can. Scratch lessons from Siya from Ecletic Breaks and emails from Mistress Barbara & Carl Cox giving me advice! The final was held at Nation in Liverpool. I played a mixture of Hip Hop, House & Trance. This really was fantastic as it was the first time I played 3 decks & used samples on a CDJ in a club! I also did some scratching, & used effects units, all with a camera stuck in my face!! I played my heart out, sweated like a pig & rocked 1,000 people! I didn’t win but was told that I came a close second! This was an amazing experience as I’ve only been playing 2 years! If you want to read more check out www.thejoyofdecks.tv
Considering you grew up as a catholic girl in Ireland I’m sure you didn’t hear techno/tribal/ funky beats bangin from your parents bedroom How did this all begin, your passion for decks?
You’re dead right, I grew up in the countryside in the middle of Ireland. My nearest town, Athlone, is 3 miles away which had 2 discos then. They just played chart music, rock, pop & the dreaded ‘slow sets’, where they guys used to ask the girls out to dance and try to snog them on the dancefloor…and a warning, they still do it by the way! So growing up I was into commercial stuff, culture club, A-Ha, then discovered rock…R.E.M, Radiohead etc. I became a fitness Instructor and used to love teaching to commercial trance. I love to dance and always have done. So when I moved to London in 1999, my sisters took me out clubbing to my first big club. I was like ‘wow’, this is fantastic. This is what I’ve been missing all my life. I would never leave the floor all night long. Then I started thinking….god, maybe I could learn to DJ, and so I did.
What makes you stand out from the other female DJ’s on the dance scene today?
Yikes! Unfortunately I haven’t seen many female DJ’s, which is a shame as there really isn’t enough of us out there. But I think its my energy and feel that’s why I got picked for ‘The Joy of Decks’. Something happens to me when I hear music, it’s as if a switch flicks on in me and I get this huge rush of energy and turn into a complete mad woman. I can’t help it. I really want to bring people together, spread my good energy and make them have a fantastic time, through my music. That’s why I think people come to parties, to have fun. I’ve also been told that I’m a ‘technically daring’ DJ, I love to challenge myself, always pushing to be more creative with my DJing and my sets whether it be on 3 decks, using effects, CDJ’s, scratching or just playing around with the EQ’s. I’m not afraid to play different styles in one set. I’m definitely not there to look good or cool, as I usually end up looking a right mess by the end of my set, soaking wet. I see myself as a very down to earth and approachable person, none of this bullsh*t attitude!
As a DJ, why don’t you believe in the Sex, Drugs & rock ’n’ roll lifestyle?
I have nothing against that lifestyle but its just not the kind of person I am. I believe in looking after myself physically, mentally & spiritually. I hate feeling crap, so I try to avoid it. There’s not enough hours in the day to do all I want, and feeling crap just makes it worse. So no bad habits only my addiction to music. I spend all my money on records so couldn’t afford it anyway.
As an Irish girl living in London, do you have a good support network?
Yes, I have 2 fantastic sisters, Michelle & Maureen, who are the best in the world! They are the reason I moved to London and they introduced me to the club scene. They are so supportive. Also I have great support from the 1000’s of friends I have here. And especially to the Spiritualised crew especially Nacho & Terry and the party people, coming to all the gigs and always encouraging me.
How was the famous ‘Spiritualised’ party born?
I was travelling in Australia with my then boyfriend, Nacho, when we promised to buy decks when we returned to London. So we kept our promise, saved up, bought our decks and 2 weeks later in June 2001 we threw our first house party. We had 40 people squashed into our front room and ‘SPIRITUALISED’ was born! Every few months we threw bigger parties, in bigger venues. I can’t believe we’ll be celebrating our 3rd birthday this June. There are 5 people involved, Me, Nacho, Terry, Luke & Franky…we all met out clubbing in 1999 and we’ve got a lot of close friends involved too, from DJ’s to creative arty people. A lot of people still haven’t heard about Spiritualised, it’s mainly word of mouth because when someone comes once, they always come back. It’s such a buzz when people say ‘wow, you’ve got a special party here’! So come and get Spiritualised
What has been the biggest influence with regards to your music and your life?
The biggest influence in my life was definitely moving to London in 1999. I discovered a whole new me and a whole new life, clubbing and music. Through this scene I have met some fantastic people. All my closest friends I’ve met through clubbing over the years. We’ve all got music and dancing in common. I started going to all the trance parties, Pendragon etc. then I discovered the free techno party scene. So I started buying trance records, then added some techno, acid techno records and later started to buy house records.
With regards to being influenced by DJ’s, my biggest influence is DJ Jeff Amadeus [Squat records]. He was the first DJ I saw really working a mixer, he was technically amazing and when I saw him use 3 decks, I was like ‘man, I wanna do that’. Before that I thought a DJ could only play one style of music. I’ve learnt a lot from watching him. Other inspirations have been DJ Marky from Brazil, D’n’B DJ, I was blown away when I saw him play at Homelands last year. This guys energy is amazing. James Zabiela (breaks & prog rnb) got a DJ lesson from him and he’s such a creative energy. And of course Carl Cox! I’d love to meet him.
Your music has changed so much in the last year or so, are you happy with your change & where do you want to take it?
People change and music changes all the time. It would be very boring if everything stayed the same. It takes years for a DJ to find and develop their sound and to be honest; I’m still searching for mine. At the moment, in trance I love powerful hard, uplifting trance, like the German sounds. With techno, I love the tough tribal and acid sounds. In house music, I love the chunky, percussive sounds. I also have a few hip hop, d’n’b and breaks records. I love anything with a beat and I love to mix things up, if it’s a good record, why can’t it all be mixed up? It’s all dance music! As Roni Size says ‘It doesn’t matter as long as people are dancing’ I’m so open minded to music.
‘Oiche Mhaith’ (translates as ‘Good night’) is the tune you produced while on ‘The Joy of Decks’. Did you enjoy the experience; being in a studio and watching it all come together?
It was my first time ever in a studio and it was a great learning experience. I had this idea of making an Irish/tribal house track. I wanted to record an Irish dancer and an Irish bodhran (an Irish drum) playing live and incorporate this in my track. Everyone was telling me that as we only had about 2 days to make this, we wouldn’t have enough time to record live, but I was determined to do it, and yeah, it happened and it worked! The first day I worked with the sound engineer and we got the bones of the track together.The second day, Sister Bliss joined us and there was lots of pressure to complete the track, plus the cameras were filming. Sister Bliss added a lot of nice synthesiser sounds and other build up effects. I found it very frustrating as I’d never used LOGIC programme or any other music programme before. I played my track out for the first time at the Gallery at Turnmills and the crowd went crazy…that was a great feeling! This has made me want to do more, so I recently started a music production course, so watch out for some future wicked tunes!!
As a DJ and Organiser, what makes a good party?
So many components make a good party. But its down to the people, the music, the venue, décor, lights and most importantly, the vibe. What makes Spiritualised so special is that we’re all good friends who organise it, we love it. Whatever money we make we put it into the next party. We put a lot of effort into our decorations, making our own, spending 5 hours on the day of the party decorating the venue, creating a special vibe. We hire lights, projectors, bubble machines, backdrops. Everyone that DJ’s puts their heart & soul into it. We know our crowd, we play for them, and we know what they like. We charge very little between £5-10. When people see so much effort put in for such good value and great music, they definitely come back! Parties should be FUN! FUN! FUN!
Tell me about this all new female DJ agency “The Vinyl Vixens” that’s starting soon?
This is a fantastic new all female DJ agency to promote female DJ’s on the underground techno/trance scene. It gives us a chance to show how much we love our music & how serious we are about our passion! The idea is to highlight the female talent that is out there. It is “a collective of women within dance music who are as equally havin’ it” If you want to find out more info or for booking info cantact Rachel on +44 (0) 208 533 1717. or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out www.thevinylvixens.com coming soon!
What 2 vinyls are you in love with at the moment?
God, this is a real hard one. The first has to be Café del Mar, Energy 52..This is an oldie but I love it and think I always will. I would love to create something as legendary and effective as this tune. People always go crazy when I play it. It’s full of emotion! I just bought a tune by Calabria on Credence, it’s a chunky, funky, percussive track and when the sax or trumpet comes in, it’s just wicked! Excellent!
Who would you most like to work with and why?
It’d definitely be Carl Cox. He just seems such a genuinely nice guy and you can feel his love and passion for what he does. He just radiates good energy. When I was preparing for ‘The Joy of Decks’ final, I emailed Carl and Misstress Barbara looking for advice as I wanted to play 3 decks, and both of them replied! Carl sent his the day before the final and I was on cloud 9. He seems to have just a great attitude and told met o enjoy myself. I have the email stuck on my bedroom wall! He’s the no. 1 DJ in the world! When Mr C said that I’ve got Carl Cox potential on the first show, I nearly fainted! What a compliment. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, I’d love to work with DJ Jeff Amadeus [Squat records]. He definitely inspired me to be more technical and be creative.
What was the reaction from your family and friends in Ireland when ‘The Joy of Decks’ was on TV?
My parents were so proud! The local newspapers ran a few stories so all the neighbours were calling them up & there was a lot of excitement! It's quite funny because when i told my mom & my friends that I wanted to be a DJ they all thought i was crazy & that it was another hairbrain idea of mine. All my friends at home are all very settled, have houses, getting married, and having babies etc... So it was great to have been on "The Joy of Decks" to show them exactly what I can do, & they honestly were really delighted for me! I'm not so crazy after all & MOM, I'm sorry….I'll never be a secretary!!!
Now you’ve made your television debut, what are your plans for 2004?
I’m really excited about 2004! Taking part in the show gave me a lot of confidence, experience & made me realise that anything is possible once you put your mind to it. I’m really determined to make it as a DJ & rock crowds all over the world! I want to concentrate on my 3 decks, along with CDJ’s & effects units. Using re-edits, samples & mixing up different styles, I want to continue making my sets as creative & different as possible. I recently started a music production course so I can’t wait to start making some wicked tunes. I also have plans for my own record label!
We’ve lots of wicked parties planned with “Spiritualised” in 2004 so don’t miss out! & last but not least, I’m really interested in dong LIVE sets! God, there’s so much I want to learn… & so much equipment I want to get! I’m just gonna keep on going & try my best to give the big boys a run for their money!So watch out world, here I come!
Do you have any tips and tricks you can give to up and coming DJ’s or even for the pure beginner?
* Passion, Energy, Personality, Good Attitude, Creativity, Kick Ass Tunes & lots of practise... these make, for me... a Good DJ!
* Let the music take over & show the people that you really love it! Show that it makes you really happy. Even when things are going wrong or the equipment breaks down, you’ve gotta be professional and not let it show - ‘cos you don’t want to spread your bad vibes into the party.
* When you’re sending Demos to promoters maybe even make 3 demos... 1. for warm up 2. main set and 3. for the end of the night! Lesley Wright, Editor of DJ Mag told me this, because a promoter will usually have booked a big name DJ for the Main Set, so you’d have more of a chance of getting booked for a warm up set or an end of the night set. Show them you can play at any time!!
* Play for free! get the experience! Every time you play out you learn something new!
* And girlies - please don’t be afraid to give it a go. I think it’s really a lack of confidence that stops more girls from playing!... WE REALLY CAN DO IT JUST AS GOOD AND EVEN BETTER THAN THE GUYS!!!
* The best advice I can give was given to me in an email from Carl Cox, the day before the big JOY OF DECKS FINAL in Liverpool... "Just play some kick ass tunes and have a lot of fun, because when you have fun, the people have fun with you!"
And finally, I’m sure many of the HF men would love to know if you’re single
Hey! … that’s for me to know & you to find out!!
[Clubchick: God, she’s cheeky!]
See Clodagh perform in her natural habitat (on stage) at the next Spiritualised party on Friday, 20 feb @ Electrowerk, Angel
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Other Features By clubchick:
Fiasco welcomes Deporpatas @ the River Bar & interview with Nacho
Interview with Ms ?
Witches, Elvis, horns - Must be the 'Spiritualised' Halloween Ball - 30 Oct
Ready for the TOXIK launch party? Let’s ask Ed Real if he is!
Review: Spiritualised Valentines Masked Ball @ Electrowerkz – Friday 20th Feb
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Cerberus on 16th Feb 2004 12:01.59
we shall no doubt be seeing your legendary energy on Friday!!
From: clodagh-techno tramp! on 16th Feb 2004 13:03.04
As always matie!!! Cu Friday!!! it's gonna be fun! fun! fun! & Thank you Clubchick for the wicked interview, you're a star!! Big Love! xxx
From: marcopilf on 16th Feb 2004 16:35.56
well done honey, I had the pleasure of mixing alongside you at the Stomp competition and loved your set.
From: RussT on 16th Feb 2004 18:37.26
Well done Clodagh, has been nice meeting you a couple of times over the last few weeks. Looking forward to your set at Subsonica - Russ
From: Lizzie Curious on 16th Feb 2004 21:55.25
what a brilliant interview - top marks & go for it girl, I think your enthusiasm shines thru in this interview and sounds like you are gonna go a long long way wiv your DJing :-)
From: Darz on 16th Feb 2004 22:32.01
Top interview, you go girl!!!
From: clodagh-techno tramp! on 17th Feb 2004 11:30.10
Wicked! thanks for all the support guys! xxx
From: Merc on 17th Feb 2004 15:16.31
gorgeous! Lots of to u & Spiritualised crew from Tokyo! What u have done its just... AMAZING!
From: clodagh-techno tramp! on 17th Feb 2004 22:55.35
Yo Tokyo Girl!! Thank you! yep it was a dream come true! hey when are you coming back?? xx
From: Luke Smith on 18th Feb 2004 23:37.54
Awesome review, It's been great throwing parties together, and cant wait for Friday @ electrowerkz. Its that time again, that time for SPIRITUALISED.
From: clodagh-techno tramp! on 19th Feb 2004 00:01.57
yeah! roll on friday !
From: clubchick on 19th Feb 2004 12:05.00
Thank God it's almost FRIDAY!! Looking 4ward to Spiritualised! sure it'll be a blast as always!
From: Luckyfuka on 21st Feb 2004 13:00.54
Hey great stuff. Luv ya HF log on name wikkid to meet ya @ Antiworld hope i didn't yap on TOO much
From: *Ting* on 22nd Feb 2004 03:48.15
Well done Clodagh, it's great to see you doing so well honey.
From: WEBBO on 22nd Feb 2004 21:29.47
great review keep up the good work
hopefully will get to see one of u sets in the near future
From: SonikBloo on 23rd Feb 2004 22:37.12
Wonderful interview and what an inspiration to all the up and coming DJ's out there! Can't wait to see you live Clodagh!
From: clodagh-techno tramp! on 24th Feb 2004 11:34.10
thanks very much everyone! yep, hope to meet ye all soon too! keep an eye out for the spiritualised parties & you'll catch me in full action! the next one will be sat 10th april @ fortress studios, old st! Thanks again for the support!! xx
From: Kromos on 27th Feb 2004 15:35.03
excellent review and well done on your dj success and see you on the 10th of april ! ! !