Interview with DJ Goldierocks

Sam Hall, aka DJ Goldierocks, accompanies USO on the decks at Classic Ibiza. She's DJ’d exclusively for the likes of Madonna, David Beckham and Richard Branson.

Thanks for taking the time out to chat to me before heading off to Antigua, is this business or pleasure?

It’s our first family holiday with our little son Rex… we love the Caribbean. I’ve worked extensively in Cuba DJing and broadcasting and spent a lot of my teenage years in Jamaica. We also got engaged in Barbados and decided to have a baby when we were in St Lucia! Bringing Rex, who’s now six months old, feels like a full circle moment. I also love to get away for a bit of zen time before the festival season begins.

We can’t wait for Classic Ibiza at Bowood, it has such an amazing vibe. What do you love about performing at the event?

I love doing the Classic Ibiza tour. As a DJ it’s an incredible thing to be part of - feels like you’re DJing inside a rocket ship! Surrounded by that incredible wall of sound - it’s just so much fun! I love the music - all killer no filler - and getting to perform to such vast, energetic and engaged crowds. It really makes me feel alive.

How did you get into DJ’ing?

I founded Goldierocks when I was a tender 19 year old, so almost 20 years ago… bonkers! I was at art school in London, rampaging round the city causing mischief. I also spent my gap year as an intern for John Peel on BBC Radio 1, working for various record labels, and doing work experience with the likes of NME.

I started a showcase club night, putting on hot new upcoming bands. We gave Bloc Party, The Killers and The Noisettes some of their first ever shows - I’ve got a good ear! To put in plainly, I couldn’t afford a DJ, so I gave it a go. The mixing was all over the place, but I had so much enthusiasm and Jack Daniels fuelled bravado, I would go crowd surfing off my decks, and just wanted everyone to have a really fun time. Someone from MTV spotted me and the rest is history…

How long does it take to create a set for Classic Ibiza, and do you have to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of music to do so?

We work on Classic Ibiza all year round and take the creative direction and pace of the show very seriously. So much work goes into it before we take it out on the road. Starting about a month after the last tour date - I normally escape to the real White Isle each September - the key team works on it through the winter. We then start rehearsing with the full orchestra in the spring.

You started out in music journalism and now you are travelling the world performing. What advice would you give anyone starting out, wanting to be a DJ.

Find your own authentic, unique voice and sound. Everyone has their own charisma, sparkle and vibration. You just have to be brave enough to work out what it is and channel it. Even performing music that people have heard a 100 times before - how you mix it, how you interact with the crowd, can completely re-invent something and make it feel as exciting as the first time you heard it.

You studied Drama and Theatrical arts at Uni and are well known for your energetic and theatrical shows. Was it a conscious decision to bring this element in, or do you just get lost in the music?

You can take the girl out of the theatre…

Can you describe the feeling of being on stage and seeing the crowd’s reactions to what you are playing?

Utter euphoria and connection. It’s such a joy and privilege to DJ to crowds this vast. Nothing makes me feel more present and energised than when we’re all singing and dancing along together, interacting and vibing off each other, and creating this moment in time… a little bit of magic.

What’s the strangest or craziest request you’ve had for performing?

Oh, the things I could tell you! Marriage proposals, bribes of all sorts and there was a police raid of a club in Bulgaria I was DJing in once… they all had machine guns and balaclavas on and asked me to stop the music… that was exciting!

Finally, can you remember a ‘pinch me’ moment where you are performing and think to yourself ‘how did I get here’?

DJing the opening ceremony of the London Paralympic Games in 2012. HRH, the late Queen Elizabeth II was in the audience, my dressing room was next to Stephen Hawking… just the most surreal but incredible, life affirming experience. Performing to 85,000 people in the arena and millions watching on telly across the world. Very, very proud to have been part of history and to represent Great Britain at such a significant and inspirational event.

This interview originally appeared in the May issue of InBath magazine.




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