Behind the decks with Missrepresent

Missrepresent talks about throwing up before sets, her passion for vinyl and what it's really like being a female drum & bass DJ.

So, who exactly is Missrepresent?
I’m originally from Berkshire, but live in Gloucestershire now and have been DJing for about five years.

And how did your DJ name come about?
Well, I was thinking of names which started with miss, and since misrepresent means to wrongly represent I thought it was quite apt for me. It stuck quite quickly and while I did think of using my real name most people can’t pronounce or spell it, so it might have posed a few problems.

Do you think being a female DJ has had an impact upon your experience in the industry?
I don’t think it matters if you’re male or female. I’ve got some funny stories, mainly regarding men having a strong opinion on what a female DJ should look like. One MC told me I looked scruffy and that as a female DJ I should make an effort. After that I purposely played with no make-up on whatsoever – I don’t think it should matter what sex you are or what you look like – it’s about the music.

Are you resident anywhere?
I am a resident for Unity London in Luton, Devotion, Bedlam Valve and High Rollerz in Swindon, Break in Bristol, Ocean Rooms in Leamington, Crackers in Gloucester and in Germany. I play at a range of nights up and down the UK, mainly for independent promoters.

What’s your style?
Bouncy, underground and energetic.

What kind of music can people expect to hear when you are DJing?
Dancefloor jump up drum & bass. I like a bit of liquid and mix it up a little darker, depending on the crowd, the country and my mood. Different clubs vary, especially abroad. I’ve also started playing breaks this year, and have played about five live break sets now.

Laptop or decks?
My home studio is set-up with three Technics turntables and one Technics CDJ. I don’t like the idea of using laptops for live sets, as I really do believe that when DJs pre-pitch and pre-mix it defeats the whole point. You might as well not have a DJ. I’m also pretty wary about the legitimacy of music stored on laptops!

Vinyl, CDs or MP3s?
Vinyl all the way! I generally get given a lot of vinyl from labels and producers and it’s my preferred medium. Vinyl is quicker to mix, it lasts longer and it’s malleable. It also holds its value – if a tune is on vinyl then it’s worth it. If a tune is sent to me before it’s been made into vinyl then I will play it as a CD, and if that’s going down well I’ll get it cut to a dubplate.

I don’t think live music should be played using MP3 software or iPods, mainly because it’s a bit of a cop out – its also lazy and people playing these MP3s generally haven’t received them legit. It’s really down to personal preference, but drum & bass was built upon a scene of vinyl and call me a vinyl purist, but the scene needs DJs to sustain that. It’s also a unique music scene, and one of the biggest underground music scenes in the world, and still predominately uses vinyl. A lot of us will do anything to save that medium.

While I’m on it, people who play MP3s say how easy it is to play – but in drum & bass it isn’t. Vinyl is still the medium a majority of drum & bass music is released on. I really do believe you get what you pay for. If everyone spent money on music to support the producers, then the quality of the music will stay like it has done for years. There’s so much to it all, I could write a book!

The hottest tunes that you can’t stop playing right now?
‘Dubs’ from Modified Motion, Deval, Phantasy, Mutated Formz, Music Hertz, Heist…

Your all time favourite track?
A tune Garry T in Gloucester gave me called ‘Friday’ by Capone.

A song guaranteed to get people on the dance floor?
‘My Dog’ by Erb N Dub and Micky Finn, which should be released by the end of this year.

Is being a DJ a great job to attract the opposite sex?
No! Drunken men generally aren’t sexy. Before it was banned the smell of smoke at least masked the smell of BO and bad breath. There are a lot of cute men out there on the dancefloor though – I do enjoy watching the crowds.

Any particularly memorable moments in your career?
One of the best sights I’ve seen was in Lisbon, Portgual – I played in front of crowd of about 800 people and from the decks it looked like a sea of lighters. It was pretty magical.

Career highlight?
Being asked back again and again to play abroad, especially playing on the valve sound system for the fifth time. Headlining in Poland, Portugal, and in the USA… Having fun, skiba, harry shotta and Krafty on my set last Saturday in Unity… getting some of the fattest drum & bass dubs sent to me to drop on some of the sickest sound systems in the UK ! There are too many to highlight. Every set with a crowd going off is a highlight – my music career has been consistently full of highs to be honest. I think I am really very, very lucky.

Career low point?
I really can’t think of one – bar my records getting drinks all over them last Saturday! And the fact I throw up quite a lot before I play in front of large crowds, as I get a bit nervous sometimes. The nights we used to run were pretty hard work and miserable sometimes due to some of the ungrateful people it attracted, but that was all in the past… the team I work with now really give 100 per cent and are excellent DJs.

Burning ambition?
To play in front of 10,000 people at a beach party – somewhere like Thailand with the sun coming up and white sand or on a massive yacht – again somewhere hot and sexy.

Which club would you play at if you had a choice of anywhere in the world?
Brunel rooms in Swindon – the place is like home to me. I love the crowd, I love the management team and I’ve played for the club and four independent promoters there now – the place has a lot to say for my DJ career.

DJ inspiration?
When I first started DJing I really looked up to Nicky Blackmarket, not that I still don’t now, and remember him sat in my living room chatting about playing away that weekend in Germany. At that moment I knew I wanted to travel the world. Donovan Smith was a great help too – he got me up on a set of decks and really gave me the confidence to taking my DJing further. Also Phantasy – he really is a mentor and I can’t tell you how much the guy does for the scene and everyone around him. I also have to thank Hash, my old boss from Dominos Pizza, for sorting me out with my first set of decks and giving me the push I needed!

Any advice for aspiring DJs?
Be yourself and don’t forget the people who have helped you, your roots and where you come from.

Your favourite club night in Gloucestershire?
Every first Friday of the month at Crackers in Gloucester. Drum & bass baby!

© SoGlos
Monday 10 September 2007

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