Meet the underground talent of Sónar: Heidi
Already in its 23rd year, Barcelona’s Sónar festival has become a fixture in electronic and advanced music, uniting the very best of creativity, technology and business. The 2017 edition edition looks to be the festival’s most promising offering yet, featuring an even greater array of delectable house and techno acts as well as some formidable headliners such as Damian Lazarus, DJ Shadow, Jon Hopkins and Nina Kraviz. To dig a bit deeper into the lineup, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the bill for a mini interview series ahead of the festival.
Best known as a trailblazer in today’s house and techno realm, Heidi launched her prosperous career just over a decade ago while learning the tricks of the trade under Berlin-based duo M.A.N.D.Y. From there she moved on to host her own radio show on BBC Radio 1, “In New DJs We Trust,” which has since evolved into a permanent residency that takes place each Thursday evening.
Heidi stands as the quintessential example of the benefits hard work, dedication, and holding the utmost passion for what she does. She embodies an unyielding energy that has afforded her extraordinary opportunities throughout her career such as spearheading a label, Jackathon Jams, and hosting her own Jackathon party series across the globe.
Read our interview with Heidi below, and catch her at Sónar June 15-17. Tickets are still available here.
What was the turning point for you when you decided to make the leap of faith and create a career around music?
I guess it was around 2005/2006. I was still running Phonica Records with Simon Rigg and there was a moment with some friends at an after party floating around in a pool with my best mates after my first gig in Ibiza. They convinced me to take that leap. I was DJ’ing on weekends and working all week in the shop and it was too much. I was mega scared but I guess I made the right leap at the right time. I believe if I waited any longer I might not be where I am today.
What was your first label release, and would you still play it in a show?
I did a record with my then-boyfriend called “Vejer” on Get Physical in 2006. It was 1 of the only 3 tracks i ever made. Haha. It was for my first Ibiza mix compilation for the club Monza that also came out on Get Physical.
What was your very first gig like, and how would you compare it to the shows you play today?
Hmmmm. That’s sort of hard to remember. My first away gig that really meant something to me was in Berlin at the now-defunct Bar 25. This was when Berlin was still a bit rough and raw and anything went. The city has changed a lot since then. I just remember being at the club for almost 3 days. I saved a woman from drowning in the Spree, then saw her on the dance floor the next day still wrapped in some dirty rug I found to wrap her up when we pulled her out. Shit was so real back then. I have some incredible memories from that time.
Do you have any rituals ahead of each performance, or do you prefer to dive right in?
I dive straight in. Always. I’m there to give everyone 110% and that’s what I do. Some people have said to me – and i’m not sure if you can publish this – but they say I go straight in with the dick and no foreplay. Somehow I take that as a compliment. Haha.
What are you looking forward to most about Sónar?
To actually playing after being a very hard working DJ/record label boss/party organiser/radio presenter for the past 12 years. I was like, “FINALLY IT’S HAPPENED TO ME.” CeCe Peniston all the way.
If you were to choose three artists to see at Sónar, who would they be?
I would try and see people I never get a chance to watch. I definitely want to check out the new Soulwax live show. They bring their triple A game every time I’ve seen them and I love the new album. I would like to see Benji B. Although we both had shows on Radio 1 I have never seen him play and I know he has incredible taste and variety in his music. I would also like to watch Fat Freddy’s Drop. I caught half of their show at Lost Paradise festival on NYE in Australia this year and they blew me away. I love their vibe.
If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2017, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out?
A song by Prince. Not sure which one as it would have to fit with the vibe I went for but I put Erotic City in my last Essential Mix towards the end.
2017 marks Heidi’s seventh year in Barcelona, and one year since the relaunch of her Jackathon Jams label. Listen to the latest release on her imprint, “Time & Attention,” below: