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Hi to DJ HAAi – the new Phonox Resident

2016 September 21
by Michelle Manetti


When Phonox opened it’s doors in September last year, it seemed to be the breath of fresh air the London Club scene was craving, Funktion one Soundsystem and world-class DJs, One-dancefloor, One Love. Fridays would see one Guest DJ or Act take the decks alone all night, a task they say ‘separates the truly talented from the rest’ while Saturdays are in the hands of the club’s resident DJ, who is joined every week by secret unannounced guests. A young relatively unknown Jasper James stepped up as the first Phonox resident and in the year since his residency started, he’s gone on to achieve big things, now ready to spread his wings it’s ready for a new Saturday resident to take his place… Make room for DJ HAAi.

A week last Friday, Phonox announced the following on their Facebook page.

HAAi- will play every week for the indefinite future. Though she will be joined by special guests they’ll never be announced – she will be front and centre.

Though HAAi- has little profile outside the realm of East London, she’s no stranger to a residency. Holding it down at Dalston’s Ridley Road Market Bar for the past two years, she’s honed her craft at the helm of a heaving dancefloor, with seven hour sets each week.

It is a very conscious decision when enlisting someone for the role of Phonox’s resident, that it not be about the size of their profile but what in our eyes matters most, sheer talent’

So of course, we wanted to catch up with her to find out a bit more about her residency and how it came about:

So big thanks for chatting to us at Lipstick Disco and of course hugest congrats on the new residency at Phonox. Now the first question I’m dying to ask, what’s the story behind your DJ name? It’s the name of an old favourite song of mine from an Indonesian Psych band Called Panbers. I always though it would be a great name for a project… and here we are.

It also means shark in Dutch which I kinda like.

Nice, cool track too! So of course, let’s cut straight to the chase, so how did the residency at Phonox come about? I played the club on two consecutive weeks back in May supporting Jacques Greene and had a great time. The guys at Columbo Group asked me to play a couple of other day parties  over the summer and I slowly saw the main bookers coming into Ridley Road Market Bar where I have my current residency. It all kind of came from there. I had that and a couple other things on the burner at the time, but I was aching to play back at Phonox.

So your predecessor, Jasper James the first Phonox Saturday night resident, was at the time an unknown DJ carefully plucked from seemingly nowhere and has now gone onto big things, including being crowned The ‘Breakthrough DJ Of The Year’ by DJ Mag, voted into the top 5 for the same award by Mixmag and breaking into the prestigious RA top 100 DJ list, so what are you hoping to achieve with your residency? He has definitely gone above and beyond with his residency and is such a great DJ. He comes from good stock too (his father started seminal Glasgow club Sub Club).

At the moment I’m just focusing on throwing the best possible party every Saturday and getting some super exciting guests in, we’ll see about the rest. I just want to have a blast with all the people who come down, hopefully a bit of touring and some festival slots would be a vibe for next summer.

Well we certainly wish you big things too. So There’s already quite a tasty line-up scheduled for the Fridays, but the Saturdays are always ‘secret guests’ do you know who’s on the bill in advance, or will they spring it on you last min? I’ll definitely get a heads up about the guests. It’ll definitely be a different kind of prep when you’re playing with someone you haven’t played with before.

Can you just give us a little whisper, or a clue of who out of the forthcoming guests you’re most excited to share the decks with? I have to keep that one top secret. It’ll be worth the wait though 😉

Will you get a say, or be able to recommend DJ’s to play alongside you? Yes definitely had many conversations with the Phonox bookers about who they suggest and who I’d love to have in, including friends and heroes.

That’s pretty exciting! The Secret Saturday guests have all been quite varied in terms of sound and styles, will you adapt your sets accordingly or stay true to your own sound? A bit of both. I think it’d be great to play with people who share a certain style or taste, but am super excited to play with people where the set is a little newer and more challenging for me. You learn so much from those ones.

Can you give us a little sneaky peak into some tunage we might expect from you, and give us the top three tracks you’re most excited to try out on the Phonox dance floor.

I’m really enjoying this one at the moment…

This will be a great sleazy late night vibe…

This will definitely getting a spin…

Exciting stuff, three gems there, so when does it all kick off, when’s your debut set? The Debut is October 8th, I think it’s going to be one hell of a party!

For sure, we don’t doubt that for a second!!! Now have you decided on your opening song yet? & if so what is it? Haven’t quite worked it out, but I’ll be keeping that a secret too. I’ve been focussing on what the final song will be for the last set of my current residency at Ridley Road Market Bar on October 1st. I have a couple ideas for that but I get a little welled up overtime I play them.

Well it all sounds super exciting and we wish you all the best with the closing set at Ridley, the opening set at Phonox and the residency! I’m sure we’ll be hearing from you again alot more.

So if you fancy heading down to catch HAAi’s opening set at Phonox, you can grab tickets from RA here.

And for a taster of what’s to come, check out her live mix from her set at Dalston Superstore


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