Q&A with rising star Sally C

Sally C is a superb talent fast on the rise right now, and for good reason. The Belfast-born, Scotland-raised, Berlin-based talent is bagging shows at the likes of Sub Club, Printworks, Phonox, Griessmühle, Chalet, and About Blank, along with a number of festival appearances this summer including FLY Open Air in Scotland. Her love for the late 80s/early 90s house and timeless second-hand vinyl finds has helped her carve her own spot in the Berlin club scene, differentiating herself from the eternal techno on offer in the musical capital. Her inimitable style caught the attention of Dusky who have roped her in for two of their DUSKY PRESENTS shows this month, joining them in London this Friday and in Manchester on the 29th. We caught up with her to hear all about what’s going on in her world, and what tracks we can expect to hear her dropping at the weekend…

Hey Sally, thanks for chatting with Decoded Magazine. Your sets are such a lively eclectic mix of genres and beats. How did you get into music in the first place? Do you think that the way you play now has been influenced by your upbringing and the music that was around you, or is it miles away from what you heard growing up?

Music was always a big part of my upbringing; my parents have a nice record collection – there was always music on somewhere. We used to road trip to France every year and have R.E.M, The Police or the Red Hot Chili Peppers blasting (they were my ultimate favourite band growing up). My brother had a big influence on my music taste too, he introduced me to electronic music and hip hop at a young age. He was my cool older brother who sent me old fabric live CDs when he lived in London and burnt copies of Nightmares on Wax, Jurassic 5, Roni Size etc for me. I would say my records (and digging) have shaped the way I play the most, but I definitely have my family to thank for instilling that music blood and passion into me which is so important.

You’re currently living in Berlin. What is the best thing and what’s the worst thing about living in one of the electronic music capitals?

Yep, I’ve been here for four years it’s an amazing place to live. Music is so vast and accessible here which is the main reason I moved – to be surrounded by a different and much bigger music and club culture. The obvious best thing is getting to go see so many different DJs and heroes at clubs like Berghain and Greissmühle and dance for hours on end but really the absolute best thing is sharing this experience and journey with my pals like Cromby, Brame & Hamo and Or:la. We all met here actually which is nice as we’re all from different parts of Ireland but we motivate each other a lot and we’re all away every weekend so it’s nice to have a bit of home away from home when we’re all back.

I thought, when I moved here, the worst thing would be that it is so over saturated with artists and it would be hard to break through that. But everyone is just doing their own thing here, carving their own routes in this music world and it’s been so refreshing meeting so many different DJs, producers, visual artists, dancers and collectives. It’s very motivating once you get past the initial fear that you’re ‘just another DJ in Berlin’.

That’s really two good things but hey!

You’re joining Dusky for two of their DUSKY PRESENTS dates across the UK; London this Friday 22nd, and Manchester Fri 29th March. What’s your relationship like with the guys?

Yes, I can’t wait for the shows, I’m very grateful to them for having me on board! They are absolutely lovely guys, I met them in Newcastle last year when I was flustering to fix my record bag that had broken haha. They seem to be refreshed by the Irish talent coming up, KETTAMA is playing too in London, they had Cromby on in Leeds and Brame & Hamo joined for the Bristol show.

How do you think the UK crowd differs from that in Berlin?

UK crowds have on average around six hours to party, dance and do whatever due to licensing laws, so they will jam pack that into those six hours and get super fucked up. Whereas in Berlin, the clubs are open all weekend (and week) so there is no rush, they are a lot calmer in a way but have a lot more stamina. Also, phones :( so many PHONES IN THE CROWD get them away. Berlin clubs you have to put a sticker on your phone’s camera as you walk in the club. It creates a nicer and more enriching experience for the dancers and for the DJ. I would love to see a shift in that at some point in the UK.

Have you got any special tracks up your sleeve that you can give us a peek at beforehand? What’s a track that rarely (if ever) leaves your record collection?

The new Tony Moralez EP is fire, will probably be playing that at some point, and Mr G – ‘I’m Dirty’ never leaves my record bag.

What’s next for Sally C?

I have a pretty busy schedule for the rest of the year, and I guess lots of festivals in the summer. Hitting up Lovebox, Parklife, Boomtown, Lost&Found, Melt, Subcultuur Hemelvaart, Life Festival and something special at AVA Festival… can’t wait!

‘Catch Sally C at DUSKY PRESENTS at E1 London on 22nd March and Gorilla, Manchester on 29th March’.

About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are travel, wine, and eating too much good food!