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EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE #009 – DJ PAULETTE

2015 October 23

EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE #009 – DJ PAULETTE

We are absolutely delighted and excited to have the legendary DJ Paulette step up to provide the 9th of our Lipstick Disco exclusive DJ mix series. A DJ who’s career has spun over two decades, she’s held residencies and regular guest slots at clubs and nights such as; The Hacienda, Ministry Of Sound, Queens Club Paris, Turnmills, Bagleys, Heaven, Queer Nation, Subterranea, The End, Fabric, Cocoon Frankfurt, Hotel Es Vive, Space and Ibiza Rocks and supported the cream of the dj establishment  –  from Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay, David Guetta, Laidback Luke, SHM, Afrojack, Bob Sinclar, Didier Sinclair, Fafa Monteco to Duke Dumont, Jaymo & Andy George, Junior Sanchez and Artwork. Her biog reads like the who’s who and where’s where of the dance industry. A true champion and defender of good music and a DJ who plays from her heart and soul.

DJ Paulettes record bag contains everything from rare grooves and funk to disco to house and techno, but for this months mix her crate digging has taken us back to our Disco and Funk-Soul roots with a live mix filled with timeless classics and rare treats. A 90 min journey which accelerates in speed and energy as it progresses. It’s an absolute gem from a true musical master.

We caught up with DJ Paulette for an insight into her early DJ days, some true nuggets about the scene past and present and a nod to some of her fave fellow female DJ’s.

Describe your sound in 5 words?
Vocals, funk, fusion, badass, basslines

Your career spans over an impressive two decades, but where did it all start? Where was your first DJ set? How did it come about? And describe how it felt.
My first official DJ date was at the No 1 club in Manchester in 1992. 1 Central St next door to the Police Station and across the road from the Town Hall and Central Library. I was already a long time regular there for probably 6 years and had been working as a go-go every Friday and Saturday when I started uni in 1991 but DJ’ing wasn’t something I’d considered doing until my friend Tommy put me forward for it. Adele (the organiser) had run out of money for a party she was launching and needed a dj, Tommy told her that I had loads of records, looked fierce and had a decent profile around town, plus I was a lot of fun. I’d never played a record on a sound system in a club before and wanted to do well so I was sick with nerves and drove the sound technician Ian mental asking for advice all night. 

In your early days you held a residency at the famous Hacienda club in Manchester, a venue that played a pivotal role in Dance and club history, but through the eyes of someone who played there, what was it that made the venue so special?
The guest list (I never paid and I never had a membership but I went regularly for years before I worked there), the people, the music, the djs, the visuals, the vjs, the love of music, the love of people, the doof doof doof doof of the beats on the fire exit door before you got into the club, the design, the space,the dancefloor, the pillars, the bar, the staff, the talent, the stainless steel toilets, the communal energy, the regularity, the who gives a f*ck let’s party attitude. And a few drugs. I loved that place.  There’s only one other club that even comes close and that was Pips, Manchester.

Since you first started DJ-ing, you must have seen a lot of changes in the club and DJ scene; do you think it was harder to establish yourself as a DJ back then or today & why?
When I started dj’ing it wasn’t a career choice, you were one up from the coat check and one down from the bar staff in the pecking order so you really had to want to be there and believe in what you were doing to do it. You had to love music and love playing records it. I don’t think it was easier or harder then, just not the done thing but I do think it was a more natural, organic development back in the day. There was nothing forced, nothing faked – if you were any good you rose through the ranks naturally. It didn’t matter whether you made records or you played them.  I actually think it’s easier now because everyone with a laptop and a soundcloud account is a dj / producer – whether they’ve played in a club and earned their chops or not. it’s over saturated and promoters don’t need to look far to fill their line ups

You’ve played at some of the world’s most prestigious clubs and parties, and I imagine you’ve had some pretty crazy DJ sets, but what’s been your most memorable?
So many so many – first record I played in the Gay Traitor at the Hacienda, first time I played in the main room at the Hacienda, or the Nervous records / Armani street parties in Miami WMC shutting down Collins Avenue … Or playing at the Olympic Stadium for Black and Blue Festival in Montreal 2003/4 or playing at an MTV Festival in 2002 with Felix Da Housecat, the Low Pressings crew and supporting an unknown Chris Liebing in Croatia before anyone knew how to spell it let alone get there and party. Virgin Records parties on the Champs Elysées for Radio FG, or the FG Parties on the Champs Des Mars or Place De La Republique for Radio FG. Or even playing warm up and afters for David Guetta at the massive Foire Aux Vins event in Colmar in 2009 – 15,000 people dressed In white – me in a multi-coloured tube dress and still rocking it despite being told I was NOT allowed to play half of the stuff I usually play before I went onstage. And then it’s none of these.

All things considered I think my arrival on the french club scene was the most spectacular début. 

In those days people weren’t allowed to play at Technoparade (the other outdoor Parisian party) because they weren’t french – so imagine being chosen to play at the bigger Solidays / Sidaction party? I was fresh from London, a known Ministry of Sound DJ, I barely spoke a word of french but had been rocking clubs with frightening regularity since I arrived. Anyway, I can’t really remember how I got the gig – I’d been playing weekly at Redlight and had a decent following so was becoming a name. It’s the only reason I can think of why I would be asked to play at the Solidays / Sidaction charity street party in 2005 alongside Etienne De Crecy and Bob Sinclar.  I remember doing the pre-event TV interview for TF1 and totally cocking it up. I just didn’t understand the french at all – ‘Pourquoi On S’en Fout’ it took me four goes to understand and then to say it.

I had decided to take CDs and not vinyl (I was carnival smart because I knew we were going to be on moving lorries driven through the streets of central Paris – and vinyl is an absolute no-no in those stop / start / weather dependent conditions). We were given a full police escort from Bastille to the trucks at the start of the parade in Denfert Rochereau. This was a short but high speed, one squad car in front, one behind, totally mental, through all the red lights, wrong side of the road in rush hour journey – BIGGEST RUSH EVER. Then I played a mix of tough vocal house and the new electro sound that was becoming my signature sound. I remember dropping Mason’s ‘Exceeder’ as we started the ascent from La Samaritaine onto the Pont Neuf –the sun came out as we hit the cobbles, the parade stopped and I had 30,000 people in front of me going batshit and jumping up and down in unison to the track.It was the first time I had played a street parade in Paris or in fact in France and was probably the first time that that record had been played anywhere as my friend Rainer Weichold had just sent it to me that weekend as an exclusive from Great Stuff Records. All the chips just fell in the right places at the right time.  As I handed over to Bob Sinclar in front of the Musée d’Orsay – he cued up his vinyl and the heavens opened. The technicians were running around like nutters to keep everything dry over the Technics. I felt so guilty … but I have never forgotten that and a lot of people who were in the crowd that day followed me loyally for years afterwards: some have even become personal friends.

Back in 2001 you were voted into the prestigious DJ Mag top 150 poll, every year there’s always an outcry about the lack female DJ’s on the list, this years list has just been released and only three women appear, do you think this is a true reflection on the DJ scene?
I don’t think any of these polls are a true reflection of talent per se or the dj scene any more which is why I don’t get upset about them or even actively take part any more. I see them more as a reflection of dj’ing as an industry and a brand, about marketing, PR, the power of social networks and the way that these and the internet as a whole decide whether artists stand or fall – and on a global scale. It’s about business, it’s not gender or music specific. The reason women aren’t in it is there are less women at the level where their careers are handled in these terms and they haven’t got anything like the same online presence.

Speaking of Female DJ’s here at Lipstick disco we like to give the girls a shout, so tell us who’s your favourite and most inspiring fellow female DJs?
So many that are super good …
Joyce Muniz for productions and dj’ing. She’s got so much freaking talent. Awesome lady.
I love Virginia Hogl and Steffi – they are independently great and their back to backs are always incredible.
Davina Moss has been a revelation for me here in Ibiza – I love her style and she proves that you can change your tack from trance to tech house, maintain credibility in both and do extremely well in both despite that change.
Nicole Moudaber – great dj, fantastic success story, hard work and years of graft really pay off.
Eva Pacifico and Suzy Suzuki – two of my favourite little techno terrors.
Cosmo – eclectic and a total perfectionist.
Jeannie Hopper – same as Cosmo.
DJ Heather and Honey Dijon (when Derrick Carter first came to London and played for Kenny Hawkes and Luke Solomon at Space, Bar Rumba, Heather and Honey Dijon came with him. Nuff said.)

You’ve lived in a few different places throughout your career so far, but recently settled in Ibiza, the clubbing Mecca, but what’s life like as a resident on the white isle?
Payesa slooooooooooooow – but in a good way. Winter through to Spring is the time to appreciate the island for its natural beauty, to appreciate your friends, to do all the things you were too busy to do in summer, to have a cheeky social life that you don’t have to spend all week paying for and to set your body clock to the Ibicenco rhythm of life. Summer is the crazy time that dashes that and your natural body clock to smithereens. LOLs.

We hear you’re heading to London in November and playing at Housewife on the 14th at 93 Feet East, what can we expect from your set?
Nothing like the selection I have given you for Lipstick Disco. At ‘Housewife’ I’ll be playing a deep / tech set so expect much wonky wrongness and wobbly bass lines from the likes of Suara, Desolat, Exploited, Truesoul, Drumcode, Get Physical, DFTD, Moda Black, Snatch! Loads more …

And finally, what’s your drink of choice?
Champagne – preferably Ruinart but will settle for Louis Roederer, Veuve or Bolli.
Vodka and apple juice. (Zubrowka best in this mix but Belvedere or Grey Goose also good 😉 )
Coffee Patron
Water
In that order …

so there you have it, if you ever get the chance to see Paulette play, buy her a glass of bubbles or a Vodka & Apple and prepare to dance, smile and enjoy. Here’s her mix in all it’s 90 min glory.

FOLLOW DJ PAULETTE: WEBSITE / SOUNDCLOUD / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / RA

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