The girl from the Australian sky is back with ‘Atlantis’ setting her sights firmly on America
Hey Helena, welcome back to DMCWORLD towers, well what a fabulous Summer you are having. You have been on tour around Europe for the past few months in preparation for festival season in your home country Australia. We were in the crowd in Ibiza Rocks when you were DJing, how has the white isle changed since you were last there?
“Hello DMCWORLD! Thankyou it’s good to be back! I’ve been having an awesome time in Europe so far and Ibiza was really fun, it’s been a few years since I was there last, Ushuaia was new to me, which is now one of my favourite venues, such sick parties! I checked out the F*ck Me I’m Famous night on the Monday and again with SHM on the Wednesday. The island had changed a fair bit since I was there – new clubs, bars, and general work on the town’s centre and buildings, it was surreal being back at first as I worked in Ibiza for two seasons, so I knew the island well, it was a bit strange getting used to it’s new look at first! Ibiza Rocks was a cool party, it was the Official Cream pre-party the night I played; for Laidback Luke and Eddie Halliwell. It was good, busy and a fun vibe, there were a lot of scoucer English hitting me up for CD’s all through my set, they cleaned me out. Thieving scallies!”
Apart from your set at one of the most famous venues in the world, what other clubs did you check out, who were the DJs that you shaking your thing to?
“I checked out Ushuaia to see Guetta, Afrojack and SHM both nights were amazing! Pacha I saw Eric Morillo, Dirty South and Steve Angello, three of my favourite DJ’s in one night, I love Pacha it’s one of the best venues in the world. It was a really good night! Amnesia this year I had the most fun, mainly because it was my best mates B’day so we went pretty large…Eddie Halliwell was ripping up the main room and Laidback Luke was dropping bombs on the terrace…it was one of the best sets I’ve heard him play. I actually think I danced non stop from the moment I got there till when the lights went up and the security kicked everyone out, it’s been a while since I’ve done that! I was only in Ibiza for 5 days, I then flew straight to Creamfields in the UK on the Saturday and I stayed and partied on in Manchester at my mate’s night on the Sunday. I flew to Ibiza via Amsterdam straight from Sydney, jetlagged to boot. It was a hectic week!”
What was your anthem of the summer?
“For me it was ‘Reload’ by Sebastian Ingrosso and Tommy Trash. It was dropped in most the sets I heard, it’s so catchy it has been ringing around my head ever since. I was hanging to get a copy of it! What an incredible track, by two outstanding producers, it’s my favourite track of the year so far.”
You are now signed to the Spin Artist agency in America – will the good people of the United States be seeing you over there soon?
“I hope so! I’m very excited to of been signed to Spin, it’s one of the best agencies in the world – home to Avicii, Armin Van Buuren, Benny Benassi, Hard Rock Sofa, Eric Prydz, ARTY, Swanky Tunes – a lot of producers I look up to, so it’s a real honour to sign with them – I’m in good company! At the moment we are pencilling tour dates for the first two weeks of December and blocking off February for a tour also. I can’t wait to tackle the US clubs, the scene is blowing up over there and I want to be a part of it. America is next on my agenda, I have my sights firmly set on getting out there to play, I keep seeing all the tweets from the guys out there playing the major clubs and festival’s and it’s killing me. ”
What was the key factor in signing to Spin?
“ My manager Jon Hanlon from Konkrete Agency in Australia is amazing and well connected with America, Spin showed an interest in what I was doing and we jumped at it obviously. They are one of the biggest and best agencies, so there was no hesitation in signing. I’m really looking forward to working with them. We are currently putting a game plan together and I’m working hard on releasing more quality music, so I can build my profile there as much as possible. ”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
1. Girl From The Sky – HELENA Ft: Mr Wilson. I’m mainly dropping the original and Dannic mix in my sets. Dannic nailed his mix, he is a major talent!
2. Reload – Sebastian Ingrosso and Tommy Trash. After finally getting my hands on it! Love!
3. Atlantis – HELENA. My next single I’ve been test driving this out – it’s sounding large!
4. Don’t You Worry Child – SHM. I just love this, so so good.
5. Iron – Calvin Harris and Nicky Romero. It’s a killer track and with these two together it was always going to be a hit.
6. Kangaroo – Sander Van Doorn, Julian Jordan. I love Sander’s stuff I play a lot of his tracks in my sets.
7. Here I Come – Sebastian Drums and Mitch Crown. A quality track, loving this.
8. Love and War – Wolfgang Garner. Wolfgang never does wrong, everything he does is outstanding.
9. Just Can’t Stay Away – Hard Rock Sofa, DJ Squire. I love the sounds and melody in this, a really cool track.
10. Spectrum – Zedd ft: Matthew Korma, (A-Trak and Clockwork Remix). I really like this, I’m playing the original and the A-Trak remix – also it is really fun!
‘Girl From The Sky’ smashed charts all over the world, your new tune is entitled ‘Atlantis’ talk us through this future dance floor anthem…
“Girl from the Sky” being my debut single really smashed my expectations, it went to No 1 on the Australian charts for two weeks straight and was still in the top 10 nearly two months later! It also hit No. 11 in the UK charts which was amazing. I actually made history in Australia as the first female DJ/Producer to ever score a No 1, which was pretty cool! It’s really set the pace for me, my follow up tracks are in motion and my next single, ‘Atlantis’ is lined up to go – it’s a big room electro/prog musical monster. It’s got emotion, power and energy a really cool catchy melody, big sounds and a powerful drop. I am just finishing it up now and shopping it to the labels, hopefully it won’t be too long before it’s released. I have a lot of other original tracks in the works very near finished or waiting on vocals along with some collabs, more music is coming real soon.”
Australia is producing some incredible producers at the moment. Who are your current top 5 producers right now?
“My number 1 has to be Tommy Trash, he is absolutely killing it, his production, sounds and everything he is doing is world class, I’ve always been a massive supporter of his music.
Hook and Sling is a quality producer, he always manages to nail his tracks, I really dig his sound.
Tonight Only are amazing, GT and Sam make unique killer killer tracks, both are very talented.
PIXL is a new up and coming guy in Australia, you should definitely check out, he will massive, he remixed my last single and it cut through so hard!
And Peking Duck is also a new talent you should listen out for, these guys are on the money. I could list more easily, there are so many talented producers in Australia, when you think of the size of the population it’s pretty impressive the impact Australia has on the music scene worldwide. ”
You DJ’d at the mighty Gatecrasher on Saturday night in Birmingham in the UK. A friend of mine was very jealous of you having a drink with “some cute young DJ” at the bar at Malmaison – who was that? My money was on Nicky Romero…
“Haha OMG Dan you are sneaky, spies everywhere !! You can’t get away with anything these days! Yeah it was Nicky, we have been good friends for a few years, we toured Australia together when he was here last and we will again when he is over for the Big Day Out National Festival tour around Australia in January. He was playing Gatecrasher that night also along with Steve Angello, Max Vangelli and AN21. Nicky is a really cool guy we caught up for some drinks and then we went onto Gatecrasher, I watched his set before I played mine, he tore it up, was a fun night! ”
Tell us about the gig itself. This is the first time you have played in the UK in a while, has the crowd changed in anyway, did you have to adapt your set?
“The gig was incredible, it had sold out weeks ago and the main room was heaving. I was playing in the Mansion Room with my Brummie boys – Micky Slim, Rue and the RocknRolla crew I had a blast. The crowds were the same and I didn’t have to adapt my set at all, they were up for it, I played my usual style of big room progressive house/electro and it went down well. The sound system, pyro’s, cannons and visuals were amazing, Europe puts Australia to shame on the production efforts.”
How far ahead musically are the crowds in Europe than Australia – if at all?
“This used to be the case, Australia was really far behind musically when I first started playing there, it was pretty much commercial electro or die, but not so much any more, I think the crowds have evened out a lot. The DJ’s are educating the crowds more and with so many international’s touring on a regular basis through Australia, the clubber’s are opened up to all the new music from around the world and are hearing most of the same tracks as you are in Europe. Although Australia I think can still be a bit more commercial. Personally with my sets, I read the crowds and I find as long as I mix it up I can get away with pretty much anything, I adapt my sets where needed but if the crowd is with me I’ll just go all out on them.”
Birmingham is legendary for it’s after parties, where did you end up for the messy afters…?
“My super comfy bed at the Malmaison haha – I did have plans to hit the ‘RocknRolla’ after party, then I found out my set at GC wasn’t starting till 4am, by the time I left it was gone 5.30am, my temporary Dutch mobile was out of credit and it was too much of a mission to venture out phone-less at 6am looking for a party when I had to be up in 4 hours to get a train back to Bristol.” Next time for sure though, I love the after-hours parties in Birmingham, as you know Dan, they are legendary…”
Not many people know this, but you started your career at hard house bastion Sundissential – did any of the old faces come out and say hello?
“Yes I saw a few familiar faces in the crowd and people I know came down specifically to see us which was cool. For the record, I wasn’t DJing hard house at Sundissential – I was a manager/promoter, but I was spinning some house in the back room’s at these parties then, just for fun. It was surreal being in Gatecrasher as it’s the same venue I used to run parties in, so I know it very well. The manager of the venue was still there from the Sundissential days and Dave Lee who run’s Gatecrasher I’ve known for a long time from when I worked in the UK music industry. So it’s always good catching up and hanging with Dave.”
A massive set coming up for you at ADE in Amsterdam this month at the Slackers, what are you looking forward to over there? Why do you love this city?
“I’ve fallen in love with Amsterdam, it’s such a cool city. I’ve been living in an apartment on the Amstel river, I don’t want to leave it! It’s a really beautiful city with a dark seedy side to it too, it’s a lot of fun. I don’t smoke weed, so that’s no interest Haha. But I was introduced to Stroopwafels, they are EPIC. I only have a few more weeks here then I’m heading back to Sydney, I’m playing the Slackers show on the 18th Oct during ADE which will be fun! I’m joining Style of Eye, Mightyfools and Dem Slackers on the line up, so it’s set to be a good night! ”
Tell us about the studio work you have been doing with Basto recently…
“I have been working on a few collabs while I have been based in Holland. I’ve got one in the works with Basto, the Disfunktion boys and Nilson. All of them are very talented and nice guys, we have been having fun in the studio, making beats, the one with Disfunktion is pretty much finished and it slams. I was on this really strict detox while I was in the studio with Disfunktion eating only 5 types of vegetables for 10 days which was punishing. I had the boys snacking on cucumbers and tomato’s in the studio, so we named the collab DETOX – it seemed pretty appropriate! The collab with Basto we started today and it’s sounding phat, great energy and a sick drop, I’m really pumped about it. We pretty much finished the writing of it in one day and we’ll be finishing it next week at my temporary studio in Amsterdam when he comes up for ADE. And my collab with Nilson I am starting this week, I’m heading to his studio in Amsterdam, Nilson is a really good new upcoming talent…I’m a big fan of his work and I play a lot of his tracks. So I’m excited to see what we can do!”
You have just been back to see you family in Bristol, you live on the other side of the world – how often do you get to see them, does Skype play a big part of your life?
“My family is all over, my mum and sister are in Australia so I see them a fair bit. My Dad lives in Spain and my brother, his wife and my niece live in Bristol – where I was born. I get to see them about once a year. It’s rare that I see everyone in one place at one time. Skype is the best, it plays a big part in my life to keep in touch with friends and family. I was with my 88 year old Grandad at the weekend in the UK, he recently added me on Facebook and was quizzing me about some status I posted at 5am, he then wanted me to give him a lesson on twitter! Social networking for me is really important not just for music press/promotion but for keeping tabs on everyone, sometimes though you forget you have your Grandad on Facebook!”
What are the big festivals in Australia you are looking forward to over the next few months…?
“The Australian festivals are unreal, some of the best in the world. Coming up next we have Stereosonic in November which is the largest festival in Australia for 60,000 people, I’ll be playing the Sydney show of the festival. Last year I played second main stage for Carl Cox and Friends before Empire of the Sun which was insane. Such an incredible atmosphere. Christmas Day in Sydney I always play the Sunburnt Festival on Bondi Beach to 6000 people, mainly English and Irish travellers at this going nuts in the sun on the big day. It’s one of my favourite gigs of the year. After that I have Big Day Out Festival tour in January, Red Hot Chilli Peppers are the main headliners along with the Killers, I am playing the national tour in all states, in the Boiler room with Kaskade, Nicky Romero, Bloody Beetroots and Morgan Page. I can’t wait for this, Big Day out is one of the biggest and longest running festival’s in Australia, it was a big honour to be one of the few local’s asked to play the national tour. ”
What is the strangest request you have ever had from a clubber whilst Djing?
“I can’t think of THE strangest but I’ve had a lot of really random stuff, drunk people thinking you are a cloakroom trying to pay you to hang their coats, people asking for vodka Redbulls thinking you are a bar. I’ve had requests to sign peoples heads in permanent markers, marriage propsals and of course there are the ridiculous music requests, I’ve heard them all as have most DJ’s. ”
What are your favourite clubs to play at the moment down under?
“My favourite clubs to play? In Brisbane it’s Family Nightclub, Family goes off with such a good crowd…I’ve had the best shows here. Platinum on the Gold Coast is off the hook, it slams, the best club in the country. Last time I played a 4 hour set without even realising it was going off, I was in the zone so just kept throwing it down, the best night. In Sydney the new Marquee is doing it for me. I have a show there soon after I return from Europe. I seem to play in Melbourne more than any other city, the best club to play there I find is Billboards. Australia is so big, It’s full on touring there, I’ve really appreciated how close everything is being back in Europe. I clock up a lot of air miles in Australia each week playing gigs.”
And finally, what is the strangest place you heard ‘Girl From The Sky’ playing?
“In a chemist in Australia, it was so random and unexpected. I burst out laughing so loud in the shop and couldn’t stop. Everyone was starring at me! ”