There’s something in the water in Sydney right now that’s stirring up a pool of DJ’s that really know how to work a crowd from start to finish. For those of us that have been hot on the beat worthy trail of some of the finests sets in town, the name Chanel is one you would have definitely heard around the traps. Delving into the rap DJ game, she’s played some major gigs to include everything from her set at the 20th Biennale of Sydney, to representing the Goodgod Super Club and House of Mince at the Sydney Opera House through to hosting a monthly show on FBi Radio’s Click.
But, how did it all get started for the DJ formerly known as Baby Face Thrilla? “I made a really emotional mix with Ableton a few years ago and was asked to play a show from it, that was the first time I ever touched decks,” says Chanel. Now, a few years on and she’s released some banging collaborative tracks and supported some of her finest heroes “like Asmara, Le1f and MikeQ.” Working with the House of Mince crew from the very start she explains, “they’ve given me so much inspiration to keep on DJing with their incredible, life affirming parties.” Now, as she gears up to make it official with the team over at HoM, we get ready to see her dropping beats alongside Princess Nokia next month, but before she does that we caught up with Chanel to chat all things, well Chanel.
Word on the street is that you’re joining the Mince agency, can you tell us more about that?
They’ve already been my family, supporting me through the last few years, I feel like we’re being more officially wedded now. And that is so exciting to me, I couldn’t be more proud to have representation from an institution like House of Mince and honestly wouldn’t have said yes to anyone else.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your stuff before?
Rhythmically filthy, vocally obnoxious, celebratory of feminine energy.
What brought about the name change from Baby Face Thrilla to Chanel?
BFT was more reminiscent of a style and era I felt locked me into a box, which I no longer fit into. My birth name is Chanel and felt it was fitting vibe for what I play now – also beyond time I reclaimed my legal name, most friends only know me as Nellie. I also love names that are stupidly hard to google (laughs).
What inspires you about Sydney?
The underside, the side that supports all people irrespective of their stories, appearances or heritage and makes way for the less heard voices.
You’re set to support Princess Nokia at One of V MoVement’s next events. What can we expect?
Club ready femme MC’s and rhythms from Baltimore to Durban.
What are some of the top bangers on your playlist at the moment?
You’ve played some pretty rad gigs from spinning at Good God Small Club (now Hudson Ballroom) all the way to the 20th Biennale in Sydney. What has been a stand out so far?
I have so many good show memories it’s difficult to say only one, between playing the Sydney Opera House for Good god Super Club with Asmara, to the many (very loose) Friday’s in Good God’s front booth with many people I call family now – Atro, Strict Face, Slim Set, Kimchi Princi, Cache One, Air Max 97′, Eve crew/RY4, V Kim Venus X. I have had too much fun, no one should have this much fun, it should be illegal.
Sydney has got some pretty amazing women moving their way up the ranks in music of late. What are your thoughts on this?
Women understand sensuality, you can hear it. This moves dance floors. There are scenes that are thriving with the inclusion of female counterparts. These are the communities that will prosper.
You’ve worked on some banging collab tracks. How do these usually go down?
The blends I’ve made have been created through asking nascent MC’s for acapellas, such as Thast, which was really enjoyable as her hard work ended up getting picked up by FACT Magazine in the UK. It was through that blend and with the support from a few other producers in Europe remixing her work. You walk a fine line in DJing with appropriation and what is ethical behaviour as a DJ. On another occasion, a track was born through a ‘live remix’ three person DJ set my crew Low Ton did at the Biennale. That was a very fun and spontaneous approach.
If you could support any artist who would it be?
After the gig in March with V MoVement and The House of Mince what else have you got coming up in 2017?
I’m looking to delve more into edits and original production that will finally see the light of day in 2017.
Stay tuned to The House of Mince for more info <3