Published October 1, 2021
The ever interesting Danish scene for electronic music is thriving because of passion and dedication from all its various actors: DJs, promoters, crews, bookers, audience etc. With this Spotlight series we tell you who to watch. You’ve probably already heard of N.E.GIRL. Friday 15 October she plays at Culture Box alongside DJ Paypal, Fap the Producer, Channel37, Malika Mahmoud and Roger.
Home town: Croydon, South London, UK
Story behind your moniker?
It’s kind of funny because growing up in London, “any girl” (how you pronounce N.E.GIRL) is a pretty insulting term. It refers to a girl who’s boring or basic. I took it, remixed the spelling – so it looked interesting on ﬂyers haha (all caps, no space) – and used it as an alias so I could have some anonymity, instead of using my real name. Ironically, being a DJ deﬁnitely isn’t boring. Its cool when i’m asked what the “n and e” stand for.. nothing really, hahah.
Please tell us about your background and how you fell in love with electronic music?
I’ll keep it short, because I can see myself writing a biography, but I grew up in South London and was surrounded by all types of people. I bounced between a kind of foster home and my family home, exposed to all kinds of cultures and music, from punk and techno to UK garage; traditional African music to gospel.
My ﬁrst experience with electronic music that left an impression on me was hearing pirate radio at my cousin’s house, while my Aunt would baby sit me. My cousins would get ready to go raving, doing the pre drink sess, I would sit in their bedroom and I remember being confused about why the radio DJ would cut the music and talk over the track, haha. This was probably the ﬁrst time I recognised what underground UK music was, and that this stuﬀ was homegrown and as good as the music from the US.
Describe your own music:
The music I play deﬁnitely has a red thread – there’s focus on the low ends, the bass. I’m deﬁnitely a soundsystem type of DJ and appreciate a bassline, because you get a physical response. The deeper the bassline, the better in my opinion.
There’s certain genres and scenes that have a lovely place in my heart. For example, the UK bass and Jamaican dancehall scene, as I went to a lot of these raves growing up. Exploring other genres and ﬁnding strong communities revolving around a particular sound is something that I’ve always done and continue to do. 10+ years later, I ﬁnd myself in Copenhagen playing my UK tunes to a lively trance crowd. I love it 🙂
Inspiration or inﬂuences as a musician/DJ?
I can’t really think who inspired me to start DJing. I’ve always collected music. When I was 13 I would go to internet cafes and download all kinds of stuﬀ (lol), but technically, I’m inspired by garage and grime DJs like EZ, grandmixxer, Jeremy Sylvester. They use the decks as an instrument, and the way they cut the tunes and transition while maintaining a high energy I try to do also.
What is the best advice you have had in your career?
Some of the best advice I’ve had has been to enjoy the process of being an “upcoming” artist. It’s about taking opportunities and recognising the timing. For me that was playing a lot of free gigs and actively seeking out diﬀerent nights and meeting new people. Also, to stay authentic to my sound, regardless of the booking – people will ﬁgure out the vibe, instead of trying to pander. And yea, just don’t be a dickhead in life. No one wants to work with someone who’s diﬃcult.
How do you see the Copenhagen underground scene and it’s community? And how do you see your own role in it?
The Copenhagen underground scene has pockets of strong communities, some of which have a clear political agenda, which I admire. From my experience, it’s been ﬂattering to play at the most unexpected venues and events. The genre crossing at these nights is bringing some fresh sounds and DJs to line ups, which is nice to see. Right now, I’m on a mission to push underground bass music and create club nights for diﬀerent communities, in venues such as Musik Loppen, Ved Siden AF and Pumpehuset, with lineups you wouldn’t expect.
What‘s your hopes and dreams for the future of the Danish electronic music scene?
My hope is that promoters and communities collaborate more to create nights that provide variety under one space. saying that, I also love a strictly 140 night, and hope underground promoters get access to more commercial spaces, so they can make money and bring up new talent.
You have been a volunteer at Loppen, one of the Copenhagen venues we love to collaborate with, tell us about that — what have you been doing there?
Loppen is my second family. Since volunteering I’ve organised an event, helped with PR and marketing, worked behind the bar and dabbled in some live visuals for a show once!
What have you been up to during the closure of nightlife?
I’ve been working on some other things I’m interested in like video editing and documentary ﬁlming. I’m still an amateur but I enjoy the process of learning by doing. Luckily, I’ve also played a few private gigs during the latter part of lock down, which was cool.
Any exciting projects in the pipeline for you?
I have a couple of club nights in Pumpehuset and Ved Siden Af coming up, as well as some video content I’ve been working on!
You are playing at Culture Box on Friday 15 October? What’s your feelings and expectations?
Dj Paypal is a legend and I’ve been collecting a lot more 160bpm dance tracks lately, from jungle to footwork. I’m excited to hear how he plays live and how the crowd reacts to his sound. I’m also keen to hear what the other DJs on the line up will play.
Get your tickets for Friday 15 October now.