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Introducing: JAZZ

We quenched our curiosity with a chat with JAZZ before her set at Tessellate (Dis)connect

· Crate Mates Writings

You recently played at Strawberry Fields. How do you feel about playing in festival settings versus club settings?
I felt like Strawberry was more laid back and relaxed than playing in a club, and that I also had more freedom to plan a set around storytelling and conveying emotion through my selections. People came to the performance stage to sit, listen, and to enjoy the progression of the music.

You moved to Melbourne from Geelong. Tell us about the decision you made to move?
I was driving up to Melbourne for gigs every weekend and crashing on my mate’s couch for about 4 months, before I ended my lease and left my job in Geelong to move to Northcote. It became a real effort to motivate myself to drive for 2 hours to play a 1 hour gig, or to catch the first VLine home on a Sunday morning after staying up all night doing a graveyard shift. I’m so happy that I made the decision to move up, and I’m also aware of how privileged I am to be making things like music a priority in my life.

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How do the music scenes differ between Melbourne and Geelong?
Geelong’s music scene is quite diverse, and it keeps growing rapidly. In the club scene, there is a huge problem with diversity on lineups, with several venues going entire months without booking a femme identifying artist. Obviously this is still prevalent in Melbourne also, but I have never seen it at this magnitude before. It would be great to see some of the bookers step up and take issues like this seriously. I do however love the size of the music scene in Geelong compared to Melbourne. There are so many great and passionate bookers and venue owners who care a lot about fostering creativity and musical expression in Geelong. I love the sense of family, when you walk into the bar and know the DJ, your mates are working, and you recognise more than half of the faces on the dance floor. The Melbourne nightlife can be intimidating sometimes, so its refreshing to be around so many people you know.

Have you had any unforgettable moments in Melbourne and met any significant people?
Playing for Butter Sessions at their warehouse party was one of the highlights of this year. I’ve met so many great people over the course of the year, especially those who were willing to book me as a baby DJ from Geelong; big ups to Daydreams, Post Percy, High Ground and Crate Mates.

You’ve done mixes for the likes of Slow Burn and for Luen. How do you go about creating mixes?
I usually base a mix around a song or a sound that I’m liking at the time. It takes me a couple of months to put together a mix because I spend so long collecting records, tracks and sounds to help me complete the narrative. I love creating a build up and a lot of suspense in my mixes, so that it feels like you’ve been on a trip after listening to its entirety. My number one goal is to make people feel different or a little weird after listening to my music.

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You host Aeroplane Mode on Hope Street Radio, Hanging with the Birds on Skylab Radio an do slots on PBS. What do you enjoy most about radio and what do you find challenging?
I really love that the sole focus of radio is sharing music. As a huge perfectionist and also someone that is new to DJing, I find it refreshing to step away from the decks sometimes and be judged purely on my selection, not my skills. It’s really nice when people text in, or call the station to tell you they loved your music, or that the song you played has made their day. Community radio is a really beautiful and important thing, and so is the inclusiveness and diversity that it encourages within the music scene. Hardest challenge is trying to stay awake and alert until 6am when I’m doing the graveyard shift.

What are you hoping to bring to Tessellate (Dis)connect through your sound?
I’m excited to play very dark and bass-driven set. It will be my first club gig in a few weeks so I’m really keen to go hard and warm everyone up for the lizard king himself.

What's planned for 2020?
I really want to work on my club confidence, and I also want to build on my radio skills. I have a few gigs I’m really looking forward to; Something Unlimited Festival 2020, Club D’erange 5th Birthday and Daybreak Festival. Learning to make my own music is also something I want to work towards in 2020.