DJ, Vocalist, producer, purveyor of musical delights and prowess of the night, with over 10 years’ experience under her belt, it’s fair to say that MICHELLE MANETTI is a jack of all trades master of many. Her love of old skool sounds crosses from obsession to perversion and back again and can be clearly heard in her music. From London to Brighton, Ibiza to Australia, she has DJ’d and performed at many a club around the world. Both in the studio and on the decks she has worked alongside the likes of Joey Negro, Serge Santiago, Tom Neville, Howard Donald, Prok & Fitch, Sharp Boys, Sunset Strippers and Bryan Chambers.
Michelle Manetti will be gracing our decks again this coming Sunday 29 December at Dalston Superstore for our PRE-NYE’s bash. DAVE KENDRICK, LA GOSSE and DAVID OH, as well as DAF’s own Duchess of Pork and Sandra Le will also aim bringing about your best dance moves.
You’ve been working the musical scene for a while now, can you please tell us a bit about your musical journey?
It’s a long winding one, I’ve got a very musical family, we had a piano in my house that my mum played and three of my uncles were guitar and bass players so music would always feature in family gatherings from a young age, singing and playing instruments. During my youth I picked up a variety of musical instruments but never had the patience to follow many of them through, but singing was always something that just happened easily. I was in various choirs, singing groups and musicals in and outside of school and was intending to study musical theatre at drama school when I left college, but sadly my scholarship fell through. I ended up joining a function band and getting into session singing, spending time in recording studios. I had a thirst to make my own music and not just be the voice behind the recording, so decided to go and study music production at Uni. I realised that to be a good producer, it would be a good idea to know what a DJ looks for in a track and how it works on the dancefloor, so the DJ-ing came about as a happy accident. It paid my way through Uni, then everything else really kicked off from there…
Where can we listen to your vocal talent?
I have a number of recordings on my Soundcloud. A lot of them are from my band The Off Key Hat then a few tracks I’ve worked on as sessions or collaborations.
What are you working on at the moment? Any new productions coming out soon?
Yes indeed, I’ve just completed a few vocal collaborations, one with a producer called Shaklo, which is due for release in March, then a couple of others which are yet to have a release schedule. I’ve got some vocal collaborations which I’ll be working on early January, a couple of remixes to get stuck into and I’ll also finish up my own EP which will combine my own productions and vocals.
Wow, that’s a packed year ahead already, we can’t wait to hear these new releases!
Can you tell us about Lipstick Disco? Are you getting a lot of feedback on it?
Lipstick Disco is my music blog, for Deep House and Nu Disco. The initial idea behind the blog was to create a collective of fellow female musicians working in the same genre of music and to give us a platform to post about music we love, projects we’re working on, nights we’re playing at etc. At the moment it’s still just me running and writing for the blog, as I wanted to build its identity first, but there’s a number of girls that will hopefully come on board early next year. Since it’s been running, it’s had really great feedback, gained a lot of interest and respect within the industry and I get contacted regularly by various record companies, PR companies, labels, managers and artists themselves, who are looking for exposure through the blog to our regular followers.
This is great news, we do think it is a worthwhile initiative, we love it! Good luck with it all.
Finally, what’s in your bag for 2014?
To keep on keeping on! I want to work on more productions next year and get a few EP’s under my belt, gain more exposure and get some more gigs on foreign soil. I’m also hoping to expand the blog more and take it from a blog on the web to a proper brand. I’m possibly looking to start my own night in the near future too. Watch this space.
For sure! Thanks again Michelle, we can’t wait to have you back at the decks!
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We’re having a post-Christmas / Pre-NYE bash at Dalston Superstore on Sunday 29 December and we are delighted to have La Gosse play for us. La Gosse will be joined on the night by DAVE KENDRICK, MICHELLE MANETTI and DAVID OH. DAF’s own Duchess of Pork and Sandra Le will also give you an earful.
Your DJ name is La Gosse, which means “child”, right? How did that come about?
Yes it is! I always looked younger than my real age and act like a child, sometimes!
You started your musical career in France, how different is the dance music scene there from here?
Well, actually, I started my career in London nine years ago. In France I could say that I was only practicing. The London scene was more popular and eclectic than in France. France was very relaxed and more into electro than anything else.
What is your musical “parcours” and what made you move to the UK?
I was into music from a very young age… French Kiss – Lil Louis was my 1st 45 rpm record when I was 12!
I started to practice on decks in 2001, since then I never stopped. I came for one week holiday in London and I was hooked and then decided to move here. I worked in a pub and I was trying to find gigs at the same time. It is tough when you don’t know anyone. For a couple of years I couldn’t find many gigs and I missed DJing a lot… I actually thought of going back home. My friend came to see me at the pub and showed me and article in “One week to live” magazine. It was a competition for Test lounge @ Egg 2007. I was like “yea wicked, but do you really think this is real? they probably know already who is going to win!”… But I got selected and round after round I won. Eventually I received the winner’s prize from Test Lounge, which was a residency @ EGG’s breakfast club. I was so happy… From then on I got to play very often in lots of different clubs and I became resident at my favourite night in London, Retox @ Sosho… I miss it!
You are deep into producing now, as well as DJing, what are the flavours of your productions?
Deep house underground beats. Sexy and groovy… With my brother we call it “S.S.S” Sexy, Solid and Serious lol.
You have also set up a record label with your brother; can you tell us more about this project?
Yes, my brother came to join me in London in 2001 and we started to produce together under an aka called Siblings. Together we worked for 8 months to produce 7 tracks, which were meant to form an album project called *Martine records. It turned out that none of the labels we really liked and sent the tracks to were getting back to us. So we thought, why not have our own label instead of giving away tracks to smaller, random labels. Martine records was born. So far we have had 9 releases, 3 have been charted and played by Luciano, Carola and John Digweed, and we have remixes by Hanfry Martinez, Just be and Nils Hess.
*The name Martine records is a tribute to our mum, it’s her name.
What are your plans for 2014?
More releases and hopefully a little bit more exposure. We run a night called TIME every Wednesday @ Union club, Vauxhall. It’s been going on for 3 months and it has been great from the start. TIME is a mid-week party with real house heads. A more mature crowd. The atmosphere you experience is proper at TIME. It starts at 1am and we finish well into Thursday mornings… sometimes 10am!
We also have a new after hours project called Le Crazy starting in February at Rena, next door to Fabric in Farringdon. That will be every Saturday morning from 5am. Also our very latest release is out on Martine recs. 09 and it’s called “6:00AM”. It’s a dancefloor inspired deep underground track that the crowds seem to love! You can check it out on our soundcloud page. So 2014 is looking busy already!!
We look forward to it!
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If you know Dick And Fanny just a little you will know that we have been major fans of Kim Ann Foxman from the beginning. In fact, the only reason why the night ever came to life was because she accepted our invite to come and play for us in London. The rest is history but certainly not our admiration for Kim Ann and we are honoured that she came to our decks more than once. She will be back again for a pre-NYE party we are throwing on the 28th of December at Dalston Superstore with the awesome Hot Boy Dancing Spot crew.
For the ones who were hibernating for the past few years, Kim Ann became prominent on the international dance scene with her collaboration with Andy Butler and his disco dance project Hercules And Love Affair. Kim Ann launched her singing career somewhat serendipitously but is now entirely recognised not only as a talented DJ but also as an established producer. Kim Ann launched her solo career about two years ago and has also collaborated with some of the best music producers around including KiNK/Neville Watson and Layo & Bushwhacka.
We caught up with her before her DJ gig to see where she’s at and what’s coming up for 2013.
Hi Kim Ann, we are so super excited that you are coming back to play for us again. How are you? We’ve followed you by way of Instagram during your holidays in Hawaii. It looked absolutely stunning but did you manage to get a proper rest or were those ‘working holidays’?
Oh that was pure vacation. I’m from Hawaii and I hadn’t been back in almost 4 years so I was extra excited to be there. Plus, I luckily was able to escape hurricane Sandy just in time. We went to all my favorite beaches and waterfalls, and I ate my way through the island. I love the food there so much.
We’re fast approaching the end of the year and looking back at 2012, what will you remember the most from the past year and why?
I will remember honey boo boo child because she drinks go go juice, and I will remember the world saying a sad good-bye to Whitney Houston – I love Whitney R.I.P. In my own experience of 2012, I enjoyed my first year living in the East Village and making my new place really cozy. I won’t forget my Hawaiian vacation because it was the first vacation I really took in years, and obsessing over the TV series Homeland because it was my favorite show of 2012.
What did you find the most challenging and what did you do to overcome it?
I somehow for some strange reason had to play before a Euro dance trance DJ who was really nice – BUT, he played music that sounded like Celine Dion trance. It was really so far from my world and I wasn’t even aware of who he was or what kind of music he played. Good thing I didn’t know till after I was done with my set the first night. I was wondering why the crowd wasn’t responding to House very much and I felt like they were waiting for me to do crazy stunts, as if I needed fire on stage and pom pom palms and high kicks and air horns. They wanted a spectacle. The next night I was a bit more concerned because I knew what to expect. So – I just drank vodka as fast as I could before I went on and tried to play the most epic music I had in my genre and element. Luckily my girlfriend was with me so I was able to giggle about the whole situation with her. I think finding humor in it helped me get through it.
We know that the world of music production isn’t always sympathetic to female producers. Do you feel you have to prove yourself twice as much as all the guy DJs out there? Have you had to develop specific strategies to counter this reality and if so do you have any tips for all the women out there who are trying to make a place for themselves in this male-dominated scene?
I think it’s so rad when female DJs make it in the industry because it is super male dominated. Although I do believe it has been opening up over time a bit and there is more support, the truth is that it really is just a handful of women in a vast ocean of men. The hardest part is breaking in and being taken seriously as a proper DJ. You gotta have confidence and believe in yourself to swim with the boys in the industry. Of course it helps to be involved with producing music as well. On the bright side, I do find that once you make it, there is a ton of support because it is somewhat refreshing or novel for many people.
Besides releasing remixes, you’ve now released two EPs, Creature on MR INTL., which you produced with Andy Butler and Return It, out now on Needwant, which you wrote and produced yourself. What’s next?
Really just more singles, collaborations, remixes, and a solo album 🙂 🙂 I have my hands pretty filled right now.
Talking about collaborations, if you could work with anyone you wanted, who would be the next artist you’d want to work with and why?
I have a zillion answers for this question, it’s too hard to pick just one. I will pick Janet Jackson because she seems way unreachable and you said ANYONE. She was such a part of my growing up. It would be an epic honor.
What can we expect to hear on your album?
Dance jams of course and some sing-along slower jams too. It’s pretty much inspired by house, techno, freestyle, and R&B.
Looking ahead, what is going to be the biggest highlight (solo album apart) of 2013 for you?
Well, I think it will be cool to start putting together something with live elements – that will be exciting.
Thanks Kim Ann. We just cannot wait to see you on the 28th December at Dalston Superstore.
Have a listen to Kim Ann’s recent mix Skyline, it is a real gem and it will put you in the perfect mood to dance your socks off with us on Friday 28 December. See you on the dancefloor!
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We’ve known Nova for as long as she’s been working with some of the most influential bands of the past few years and we’ve known Lou of course as the keyboard player of the New Young Pony Club. The girls however have also been running a successful DJ duo Lou&Nova for many years in parallel. We’ve had a chat with them to hear more about their multifaceted lives and their future projects for 2013. Lou&Nova will be playing at our special event, which we’re throwing with Hot Boy Dancing Spot on 28th December at Dalston Superstore, alongside Kim Ann Foxman, The Lovely Jonjo, Hello Mozart and DAF’s Duchess of Pork.
What have you guys been working on this past year?
Nova: I have been away a lot working as a costume designer on commercial projects in Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and LA. While in London I’ve been working on my directing career and made a music video for Bloc Party‘s track Octopus.
You’ve been very productive indeed! How do you find the time to develop your DJ careers?
Lou: We’ve played together for 8 years and we have collected music since our teens so it’s part of our lives to follow music and to go out and play it at parties. DJ gigs are usually at night so we have plenty of time to do our other projects during the day.
Nova: We both get to travel a lot in our jobs so we get to be in different cities and clubs hearing new music. Working in music videos I get sent a lot of tracks and get to hear things before they come out so that helps a lot with DJ-ing.
What do you like playing on the dance floor and what do you wish your sets to evoke in people?
Lou: We love all kind of music so we play disco, electro, pop, soul, acid house, r&b, new-wave….it all depends on the type of party. We just want people to have a good time.
Nova: When I play I mainly want to evoke people to dance! We also play at a lot of events, premieres, openings and private views where we’re booked to play a specific genre of music related to the event – I love it when people come up to you and comment on loving the track or not hearing it played out in a while so they thank you for playing it, that’s always nice to hear.
What are your plans for 2013?
Lou: I’m releasing my Tomorrow’s World album in March which I’m super-excited about. Also releasing a New Sins remix and have a new single on the way.
Nova: I’ve just finished making a fashion film I directed for Hoxton Boutique, which will come out in the new year. There’s a few more music projects and videos I plan to direct that will be coming out throughout the year.
Have you already got DJ gigs lined-up in the New Year and where can we see you play next?
Lou: 2 days after Dick And Fanny x Hot Boy Dancing Spot we play at a warehouse party on New Year’s Eve. Then we start the year with a DJ set for Chloe in Paris in January, which we’re really looking forward to as it’s one of our favourite labels.
Nova: Yes the NYE warehouse party will be a great one. Secret Location not announced until NYE but I can reveal it’s by Broadway Market – keep tuned to our Facebook Page where we will release the details.
Hello Mozart is DJ resident at Hot Boy Dancing Spot and will be joining Kim Ann Foxman, The Lovely Jonjo, Lou&Nova and DAF’s Duchess of Pork for the joint Hot Boy Dancing Spot / Dick And Fanny extravaganza dance and fun night on Friday 28 December at Dalston Superstore. We had a quick chat with Hello Mozart to learn more about him before the gig. He’s also prepared a mini mix for all the hot boys and dicks and fannys out there, so enjoy!