After her first DAF gig in April 2010, New York resident LAUREN FLAX became one of Dick And Fanny favourite artists to work with. She has graced our decks several times and it’s with an immense pleasure that we are welcoming her again for our grand finale, this Saturday 4 October. Come celebrate our 5th birthday, Lauren’s birthday, and the UK release of “Pleasure Principle feat. Kim Ann Foxman” at our last ever Dick And Fanny event…
Lauren has been busy in the last few years from producing her own singles as well as working on her project CREEP with co-conspirator Lauren Dillard. The pair released their debut album, Echoes, last year, which features 14 different singers such as Sia, Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow, Tricky, Lou Rhodes of Lamb, Alejandra De La Deheza of School of Seven Bells, Dark Sister, Holly Miranda, Alpines, Planningtorock, Nina Sky and Romy xx. Lauren has also collaborated with a slew of international talent from Fischerspooner to Sia and has remixed bands including Le Tigre, MEN, Telephate and Heartsrevolution.
You grew up bathed in the awesome music scene of Detroit, didn’t you? Is that how you fell into this industry? What were you playing then?
I was definitely immersed in the rave / club scene at an early age in Detroit. House music was always there for me, but in the beginning I used to play Drum & Bass. After that I was really into electro like dopplereffekt, I-F, Adult., and so forth. House music took over though full time for the past 12 years or so.
Why did you decide to leave Detroit?
Well back then I just needed to function somewhere else. I decided to move to Chicago once I turned 21 to learn how to produce music with some friends of mine that had also moved there from Detroit. I could only handle a few years there though until I up and moved to New York City, which has been home ever since.
You are an internationally renowned DJ but most of us know you as a very talented producer as well. When did you start producing your own stuff?
Probably in 1999, but I don’t think I wrote anything worth while until many years later haha.
Did the release of “You’ve changed feat. Sia” mark a defining moment in your career and if so, how?
Well it was definitely my biggest release to date but I don’t think it would be where it is today if it weren’t for Sia. She’s just so wonderful and her voice is simply unmatched. I was very fortunate to work with her.
Another defining moment perhaps is the release of your album “Echoes” under CREEP INTL, which you produced with the other half of CREEP, Lauren Dillard. The album has the kind of ethereal beauty that transcends you into another world [get your copy here]. We absolutely love it. Your collaborations on it work so well. How did that come about? Did you write the tracks for these specific artists or did that come afterwards?
It was all a very organic process. It just started out with us writing music and asking friends to sing on them for fun. We didn’t really think people would pay much attention. When they did, we decided to just go for a full length. The music does come first and then we just sort of conjure which vocalist should sing on it.
What was the industry’s reaction to the release of your album?
I have no idea. I don’t think it’s healthy as an artist to pay too much attention to that kind of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I cave but it’s really best to just stay focused on your creativity.
We know how hard it can be for female artists to be respected and recognised. Was that why you decided to release “Echoes” under Creep Intl?
Honestly we only had a couple of labels we would trust to want to work with us and if they didn’t want to release it, then we would handle it ourselves and maintain complete creative control. That’s exactly what we did.
If you have any advice for the younger female musicians out there who admire your work, what would those be?
Don’t listen to anyone when they talk about male dominated blah blah. Just practice your craft, do the best you can, crave to learn more and share that knowledge. work together with others so you can grow even faster.
And of course, we can’t have this interview without mentioning your latest release, the wonderful “Pleasure Principle featuring our friend Kim Ann Foxman” [get your copy here]. We’re also beside ourselves that Dick And Fanny will be celebrating the UK release of the track. What’s the story behind that one?
It was just something fun I started a while back. I put it to the side for years until coming back to it. I ended up scrapping the entire first version and created what you hear now in about a day. I had asked Kim Ann to sing on it on the first go around years ago so I just used the vocals she had recorded before a popped them on my new version. It worked out so great, her voice is just perfect Janet.
And finally, do you have anything else up your sleeve that we can get our hands on in the near future?
More dance releases with more fun singers / rappers. You know how I just love those collaborations haha. Expect more from me on CREEP INTL very soon.
We cannot wait!!
So so looking forward to more coming from your talented self!
You can easily recognise The Lovely Jonjo when you see him. With his blonde curls and his sweet smile, he looks like an angel, simple as that. But what makes him even more recognisable is his talent in making people go crazy on the dance floor in the wee hours of the morning as we’ve experienced to our delight at Dick And Fanny. Jonjo has been in the music scene for many years now, throwing parties himself, including the infamous Hot Boy Dancing Spot with whom we’ve teamed up for our pre-NYE event at the Dalston Superstore back in December 2012. We’ve now invited Jonjo to play some tunes for us again at our event on Saturday 16 February and we took this opportunity to have a little catch up to see what’s new with him these days.
Hi Jonjo. How are you?
Yeah really good, I had a very chilled January but 2013 has jumped into gear now with your party coming up, I have work during London Fashion Week and also DJed at the Kraftwerk after party… so super excited.
Yeah, a busy start of the year indeed! You’ve been DJing for a while now, how did you start out and where?
Well, about 10 years ago I was managing and buying for a Japanese label, Super Lovers, and used to blow all my wages on music. I was really bored of retail and started to play at a few friends’ parties. Richard and Lili, who now own The George and Dragon used to come into my shop and said they were opening the pub and were looking for DJs. I jumped at the chance and started the now legendary (and very messy) Sunday there.
There really wasn’t much of the Shoreditch scene going on then so it really was quite special. I then later went on to do warm up for Erol Alkan at Trash on Mondays and the rest is history so to speak, ha.
Yep, we do remember those Sundays at The George, they were quite something! You then started the very popular Hot Boy Dancing Spot clubnight, what was your original idea for the club and did that live up to your expectations?
In my teens I was obsessed with Popstarz when it used to be in a warehouse in Angel called Paradise (this is going back to 1995 eeek). It was a real relief for me to fit into a crowd that was about music (indie then) and not the shiny mainstream Soho thing. Oh and snogging other cute indie boys on the dancefloor. There was always lots of kissing there.
Before I started HBDS I was playing over in Berlin a few times and loved how the parties were all about cute boys into music but kind of just hanging out in jeans and tees. HOT. So I tried to do the same here, think it does what it says on the tin, ha!
The boys will be happy to know that! So… on the music front of the night, what inspires your sets? If you had to give a musical flavour to the stuff you play, what would it be?
Well my mum and dad were punks and I started playing indie so I do like to keep it a little mixed up even though I play mainly electronic these days. I love to chuck in a little post punk and disco with techno bangers. We love the last silly hour at HBDS for maybe a bit of NIN or Marylin Manson? Whatever.
Besides being super active on the DJ and promoting side of things, do you also produce your own stuff?
I work with an engineer on all the Fashion show stuff I do but I’ve just gone back to school to teach myself and hopefully original Jonjo tunes are coming up soon.
Well, we’ll be sure to stay tuned for that. Looking back at 2012, what will you remember the most?
Playing the opening party of The Tanks at The Tate was a massive highlight as was playing in New York a few times and the Dalston Superstore and Durrr Boat parties in Crotia were too much fun.
Oh yeah you played at our friends’ Mandy Graves and Jools Palmer’s party The Bassment in New York and played with them at Dick And Fanny too, what a night it was!
So what are your plans for 2013?
I have a few new nights up my sleeve and think Ibiza and Glastonbury are also on the cards. Also we will be taking HBDS to the Venice Biennale once again this year in a sleazy disco.x.x.x
Awesome, thanks Jonjo, DAFers can’t wait to shake it on Saturday!
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