As we’re all bunkered-up and locked into live DJ sets streamed online every weekend, I thought it would be an interesting angle to interview one of the UK’s top female DJs, LISA LOUD, about her love of music, fashion and Ibiza.
Lisa – How do you feel about flying the flag for women in a fairly male dominated industry?
Interestingly, when I started dj’ing it was amongst the most-free living fun loving movement, Acid house. So I hadn’t really realised that there was a male and female demographic as such. It was all about the music and the feeling of being part of something. Ibiza in the mid 80s showed me a sense of freedom and hedonism that had no boundaries. I wanted that life, I guess.
Given the explosion of acid house and its infection nation-wide, it became more apparent that there were fewer female DJs. In the early 90s I was travelling up and down the motorway to legendary clubs like Back to basics, the Hacienda and Venus in Nottingham, having a ball. Eventually, I created brands that promoted female DJ talent. Ciao Bella at Back to basics, Hello Gorgeous in London, Simply Darling in Dubai. I am a great supporter of female talent, but the music, the track selection and the ability to craft a DJ set is paramount.
Looking at the headliners now, I feel inspired that girls do what they love and have a voice through their musical talent. I love the female DJ touch and let’s face it, a girl delivering serious beats and telling a story through a set is rather appealing!
As a mother, how do you combine listening to promos etc and being a Mum to Tait?
Fortunately, my little boy has been around music since birth – before, in fact. I was at DC10 5 months pregnant and felt Tait move to Ricardo Villalobos and Clive henry – I was eating ginger biscuits to avoid the sickness, it was boiling in there.
Tait loves music. We have different tastes (what with YouTube and TickTock) but he knows what a house track is and actually really likes MY music. I do my best to make music and my work a part of the “fun” side of his life – we can often be found dancing around the kitchen and garden together.
I know you love fashion and Ibiza – how important are both in your life?
Well, Ibiza influenced my life as a DJ and music business professional, and fashion is my second love after music.
As a young girl from the Walworth road in South East London, I always wanted the best togs. I loved designer labels and made sure I earned my own money to be able to buy what I wanted. It never leaves you. If you have a style or an image, it’s with you forever. I still feel excited and seek out pieces that have my style. You can’t beat dressing up and feeling good, can you!
Ibiza was my playground from the mid 80s. I was working in the finance industry and travelled every weekend to Ibiza to see my mates and party… One year I just didn’t come back 🙂
I met the most amazing colourful people in Ibiza. I was a teenager, witnessing people from all over the UK who travelled to Europe to see DJs and party in locations that influenced their whole lives. It was the same for me, I was hooked and simply wanted to be that person – dancing in Ibiza, getting to Amnesia in a sports car, wearing all the fab clothes and listening to the most eclectic sounds from DJs that had never played in all the soul and rare groove clubs that we use to go to.
It was simply the epicentre of my life, and still influences everything I do.
I know you’ve been ill with Covid-19 – how has the virus affected life so far?
To have had the virus actually put a different perspective on everything for me. Tait and I had played by the rules and socially distanced, so I could barely understand how it had happened. I genuinely don’t think I have ever felt so unwell. I am a single mum and was negotiating the unknown, trying to be the best influence and show strength to my little boy, yet struggling to complete everyday tasks, cooking, the dishwasher opening the door to the postie… I was so weak, which was really frightening and was a huge mental and physical challenge. In the end Tait became a career, as such. I’m so proud of him and don’t know what I’d have done without him!
On a business level, my life this year was set up really well, I was very excited! A full diary containing so many fabulous gigs from March through to November. My business consultancy was also busy with ground-breaking projects. And in a puff of smoke everything was gone. On a business and financial level I am no different to so many, and feel for everyone out there in the hospitality industry. We will be the last to recover, but might we perhaps learn a lot from being stripped right back to basics? Everyone is equal at present. Let’s just hope there is humility and respect born out of this. Wouldn’t that be cool 🙂