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Friday, 9 May 2014

Interview - Helena..!

Helena knows what she wants. FULL STOP. She is gorgeous, talented, ambitious and has her sights set on world domination. And its deserved...

We caught up with the GORGEOUS DJ/Producer earlier this week for a natty about her new single Levity, proving she's one of the boys, dropping big fat dirty beats, dancing to Queen and how the lock out has affected Sydney night life. It was a delight to interview the upcoming star, its the SnapCacklePop interview with Helena..!

Welcome to SCP, how you doing?
I'm doing great, thanks.

Firstly how has your mini tour been going? 
Amazing. I arrived on Thursday, I had a show in Soho (Sydney) on Friday, Saturday I was at The Vault in Melbourne which was really fun, then flew back to Sydney on Sunday, so the jet lag has been delayed but worth it.

How do the Australian crowds compare to those you have played to around the world?
Aussie crowds are GREAT. They are really a great party crowd and always really up for it. It's just been interesting for me after being out the country for so long, to see what music everyone is still into and what people are vibing on over here.

The American music scene ( Helena lives in LA) is very different to over here correct?
Yeah there are some differences. I think the lock out has affected Sydney big time. Playing at Soho on Friday, the warm up DJ was playing playing deep techy stuff and I was like "Wow". It would never have happened six months ago and a lot of things are shifting now in Sydney because of it.

And you are over promoting your new single Levity, tell us about it?
Levity is my brand new single with amazing vocals from Shawnee Taylor. Shawnee is most know for her tracks with Eric Morillo like Live Your Life and many others that are house classics. So when I had the backing track for Levity, I wanted to recreate the 1998 feeling house vibe and I wanted to combine the very euphoric breakdown with a more energetic drop. 

You do like your big drops!
I do! I'm a big room girl, I'm not going to lie, I love BIG dirty drops. [Laughs] The harder, the dirtier, the better. I do like all types of music, but I do generally play more of the harder side. I wanted to combine the 90's house element with the harder sound.

How did you decide on Shawnee?
When I thought of the track and the vocal, I thought of summer, a terrace, Ibiza, euphoric and a female vocalist.

We love the visual you just painted there!
Well I wanted a female that was strong and powerful, and then I was like "OMG I need Shawnee Taylor"

How well did you work together?
Well I got straight onto my manager and said "I need Shawnee Taylor". So he emailed her team and Shawnee said she loves the track and "Who is the dude[DJ]?". "Well its a girl" and Shawnee was like "Wow, I've been waiting my whole life for this to happen"

Mutual respect then?
Totally. She was so so excited to be working with a female producer. That in itself she said makes such a statement. That times are changing.

Do you think times are changing and we'll see a rise in female DJ's/Producers in such a male dominated market?

And have you had to change your "sound" to cross over into a more commercial market?
No. My "sound" has always remained the same. I'm big room, electro, progressive, hard stuff and vocal, and thats how I will continue to produce my music. With the tracks I release, I want them to be able to cross over, that you would never expect to hear on the radio. Music is changing though, Calvin Harris did a remix of Fat Boy Slim's Eat Sleep Rave Repeat and THAT is a massive filthy acid drop and its getting played on daytime radio. So there is a definite change in what is played on radio, electronic music is always played now.

So back to your new single Levity. Are you hoping for a No.1, like you achieved with Girl From The Sky?
Its more around getting my music out there. It would great to get another No.1 but that is just a super massive bonus that your track does well. However nice it would be, I'm not going to put pressure on a track by saying "OMG this has to be a No.1 single". People will either connect to the track or not and Levity has been doing great, it's had great support from DJs and Channel V & MTV have just picked it up and are supporting it. But whilst it makes it rounds, I'm already working on my next single.

Yes, totally. I don't like to sit on a track long.

So fellow DJ/Producer's Calvin Harris and Example have provided their own vocals on their hits, is this something we could see from you in the future?
No. The moment you start singing on tracks you put yourself in a whole different category. You become a pop star in a sense, or an artist. I want to be a DJ/Producer and I don't want any confusion about where I am in the market. I have no interest in doing vocals. 

Do you find you have prove yourself more as a female DJ/Producer, or is their mutual respect from your peers to do as well as you possible can?
You are always up against it because there's females in the market that put themselves out there and they are not taken seriously. It's about separating yourself and proving that you are a force and a talent. You are not just there because of your looks. I've been battling that and proving that all my career. We get this question a lot, yeah there are less females and I just think you need to get out there, don't cry about it, stop talking about it, you should just get out there and change it.

So you have this single now, is there an album on the horizon? 
I'm not really keen on doing an album as music moves so quickly, especially in dance music. Even though my genre is the same, my tastes on specific sounds are always changing in that genre. If I did an album I'd be sick of them within 6 months. I'd rather have my music on point.

And will you be back in Australia soon?
Well I have my Vegas residency coming up, so that will keep me busy...

OMG that is our fav city and we'll be there in July.
Well you HAVE to stay in touch and come see me whilst I am there.

It's at The Cromwell and it the only day party with 360 degree views of the whole city.

We are SOOO there!
Well it seems I have more shows there than any other resident, so it is great and I am so grateful. It's going to be HUGE year. We've also had Tomorrowland confirm which is MASSIVE. That was on my bucket list.

What else is on your bucket list?
A Beatport No.1 would be amazing. But mainly getting my profile to a point where I am a regular name across every festival around the world. At the moment you see the same top 30 DJs churned out at every major festival and I want to be amongst that.

So here are your Big 5 questions... ready
Bring it.

What do you love most coming back to Australia?
Bacon, eggs and coffee. The breakfast here are amazing. I'm sick of shrivelled dried bacon and florescent yellow eggs. And the coffee. Its filtered..! We are spoilt here.

What's one pop/dance tune that will get you on the dance floor every time?
Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody. It's so fun. You can't help but jump up and sing it.

What's the funniest thing that has happened to you whilst on tour?
I fell asleep in the DJ box in Japan. The jet lag just came over me and I just needed sleep. The promoter came up to me and said "You are on in 10 minuntes" and I replied "Excuse me, just give me 10 and I'll be good"

What is your idea of a great night out?
Well as I am in club ALL the time, it nice just to go out to a restaurant and hang with my girls and chat. It's a more chilled night and you don't have to shout at each other over the speaker. My weekends are so crazy.

If DJ Helena was abandoned on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?
My iPhone so I could call for help [Laughs]. My laptop as I can't be far away from it and my dog, Cloud Dog.

Um, why is your dog called Cloud Dog?
Coz he looks like a cloud of course. He is SOOOO fluffy. 

Well thank you so much Helena for sharing you music love and we wish you all the success
Thank you SnapCackle...POP..!

Helena's new single Levity is available on iTunes now..!

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