DJ, producer, label boss and activist : Ceri is one of the most prolific artists in the British electronic music scene. She answered some of our questions in connection with her participation in the 15th birthday of Electro News.
Hi Ceri ! Can you tell us how you got into electronic music and became a DJ?
I always loved music and dancing, and when I first discovered clubs, I felt ‘home’. I started to collect music myself, and then give DJing a try. When I started I didn’t know many people in the ‘scene’, and would often go out on my own, making friends on the dancefloors along the way. I played in small bars and clubs, in the hope it would lead to other things, and luckily it did. I then started to get booked for parties around London, and the UK, and had two residencies, where I would often play for 9 hours or more. This period was a great learning experience for me !
You’ve conducted masterclasses and lectures during the Amsterdam Dance Event festival : is it important for you to share your knowledge and actively participate in discussions about electronic music?
At ADE I ran a few Masterclasses on Music Production and also did a few talks on Mental and Physical Health. I do think it’s important to share knowledge in all these areas, as we are all on different journeys and can learn from each other.
I also think it is very important, especially for people new to the electronic music scene, to understand the history of it, not just from a musical and technological perspective, but also from a political and sociological one.
Your label, “Find Your Own“, also carries a name with a powerful message. What inspired you to choose this specific mantra?
I actually came up with the name for the label in a Kambo Ceremony (an animal medicine from the Amazon Jungle), and it represented to me that I had found my sound, and the sound that represented me. It also represented me honouring my intuition and doing what I believed in, even if other people told me not to, or didn’t ‘get it’.
You describe yourself as a “wellness advocate”: how do you manage to integrate a healthy lifestyle with a DJ schedule that can be demanding at times?
It is a lot harder to keep healthy as a DJ, than the average person. Obviously the sleep deprivation is part of the job, but I find I can counterbalance this by being good in all other areas. I have a very clean diet, don’t drink alcohol or use any narcotic drugs. I also take good supplements, do regular cleanses and detoxes, and support my mind, body and soul as much as I can. I also think doing a job you love is a great way to stay healthy, because it helps you feel good and gives you energy !
Generally, electronic music is frequently linked in the collective imagination with nightlife, substances, and so on. However, there is a growing number of individuals within this community who are embracing sobriety, kindness, and physical well-being. Do you believe that there is a shift in habits within the electronic music scene?
Yes, we have definitely seen this more recently for sure, for many reasons. I think it is happening at a societal level too. Like, in the 90’s heroin chic was in fashion, and now a lot of younger people are more health conscious at a much younger age. Our parents’ generation didn’t have the knowledge that we do and are a lot more resistant to change too. Whereas, I think people nowadays are more willing to learn about themselves and improve themselves where they can.
I also think it’s important to note that you CAN be around the electronic music scene sober, it can actually be very healing !
Production is also one of your main activities : do you have any upcoming projects ?
Yes, I have my online Music Production Masterclass that I run twice a year coming up in March. I help up and coming producers to also find their unique sound and trust in themselves.
I am also currently preparing the next releases for my label ‘Find Your Own Records’. The next one is out on Vinyl in Feb and features not one, but TWO remixes from one of my favourite French producers and DJ’s you can pre order the vinyl from Juno / Decks.de / Deejay / Phonica now!
As someone hailing from England, what are your thoughts on the French house and techno scene?
I am actually Welsh, Welsh blooded but English raised. I LOVE the french house and techno scene, there are so many amazing producers and DJ’s coming from France, some of my favourites include : D’Julz, Brawther, Laurent Garnier, Point G / DJ Gregory, and DJ Deep.
On January 26th, you’ll be sharing the stage with iconic artists such as Kerri Chandler, Chez Damier, and DJ Deep. How does that make you feel?
It feels amazing to play alongside these legends, who I respect so much, not just musically but personally as well. I have played alongside them many times, and it’s so beautiful that over the years, people who I once only knew because I loved their music, have now become friends and collaborators too. A special mention goes to Chez and Kerri, who have both given me some invaluable support and encouragement through some hard times recently.
Any final thoughts or words for Electro News on its 15th birthday?
Thank you for having me. I can’t wait to celebrate your birthday with you!
Thank you for your time and your answers !
Article également disponible en français ici