Interview with Embelina

Tell us about yourself, who are you and where do you come from?

I live in a sub-tropical paradise near Byron Bay, Australia and I have returned to DJing in 2021 after taking a long hiatus to raise my son Phoenix. I started as a vinyl DJ in 1999 and I have a decade of experience as a professional DJ. I lived and played internationally in the UK and Europe in the early 00’s. However, for most of my professional life, I have worked behind the scenes as an event organiser, publicist, manager, and mentor for independent artists. I love almost all genres of music, but EDM always holds a special place in my heart.

How was your passion for music born? Who are your idols?

I have always loved music. I’ve played in bands and written lots of original music throughout my life. I was introduced to DJing by Dan Walker from The Death Set (a NY based punk band) and I fell in love with it. We played Drum & Bass, Breakbeat and Hip Hop together. Dan was one of the great loves of my life and is an incredibly talented multi instrumentalist who has always inspired me with his devotion to music. His best friend Beau Velasco (RIP) taught me so much about life, music and art. Most of my former DJ idols have become colleagues and friends. Artists I currently admire are Claptone and Saison.

What kind of music do you do?

If I’m playing a long set, I sometimes start with some hip hop and block rockin’ funky beats around 110bpm and slowly build up to house music around 125bpm. I like disco, deep, minimal tech and funky house. My goal is to create one long seamless journey with the music that flows to keep the dance floor inspired and engaged. I love remixes of 80s and classic tracks as they can be uplifting at the right time. Living in a sub tropical climate, people enjoy fun, party music they can dance to outdoors.

What is the most important song for you? What message do you want to convey to the listener?

My favourite track to play is John Summit – Deep End (Sidepiece Remix) from Defected Records. The bass line is amazing, the vocal melody is perfection (and I am soooooo fussy about female vocals), the drops are intergalactic. It’s driving and deep and has a darkness to it that reminds me of my London club days. Every time I hear this song it makes my hairs stand on end. I can’t fault it! I want my audience to connect and share my intense passion for music when they hear it.

Why should a listener who doesnโ€™t know you listen to your music?

My goal as a DJ is simple. I just want people on the dance floor to have fun! If they lose themselves in the music, feel inspired, uplifted or transformed in some way then I have done my job. I am just a vessel for delivering a positive experience to people and if I remain focused on that, then I know I am being the best DJ I can be.

What are your future projects? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I only returned to DJing this year and in Australia the COVID restrictions have meant that many of my gigs were cancelled. My goal for the coming years is to only play gigs that really light me up and allow me to play the music I love. I want to play outdoor festivals and return to touring in future. In 5 years I want to be playing prime slots to packed dance floors once again.

Tell our readers a funny episode that happened in your career as an artist.

When I started DJing, it was a very male dominated industry. After a gig in Budapest, Hungary many years ago, I was interviewed by MTV Europe. I recall the interviewer asked me, ‘What does it feel like to be a female DJ playing alongside mostly male DJs?’ The only answer I could think of was, ‘It’s just like being a regular DJ, except I’m a girl.’ It seemed so ridiculous that it would even be a thing, but looking back I realise I was inspired to become a pro DJ because there weren’t many women doing it. I’ve always been rebellious like that.