“It feels good”: Saoirse’s shift from DJ to producer has been a long time coming
The former BBC Radio 1 resident talks Body Movements, her Fabric Presents mix, trUst Records and music production
Saoirse in her studio. Image: Caleb Wissun-Bhide
Saoirse’s blue cap is embroidered with the statement: ‘I’m not a DJ’. But she’s one of the brightest DJ exports to come out of Ireland in recent years. Her rich, globally-sourced palate of dance music spans blistering techno and house – new and old – to bass and trance. Saoirse’s sound and style have taken her to the world’s greatest dancefloors, with her recent Fabric Presents mix providing yet another justification for this.
She’s also an event curator. In 2021, she set up Body Movements, an event with a focus on inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community, hosting a night at Printworks and, so far, three one-day festivals.
However, the former BBC Radio 1 resident is only just gearing up for what’s ahead. Having set up a record label, trUst, she’s beginning to delve into the world of music production, away from the decks. We find out about what Saoirse is using to make music, where she makes it and what advice she has for budding producers.
Saoirse, before we get into the details of your studio and how you use it, let’s talk about your life outside of music production. Tell us about Body Movements.
The wheels got into motion about four years ago but COVID held us back for a couple of years. We’re on our third festival edition now after this most recent edition in July.
Our goal with Body Movements was that it was representative of the full – as much as possible – spectrum of the queer community within clubbing culture. It definitely connected with the community, we get a lot of feedback from attendees that say they feel safe and accepted at BM.
What’s one tune you’re playing at the moment that excites both you and the crowd each time you play it?
I’ve been finishing a lot of sets with Leo Pol, Keep dancing. It’s fast, sexy and also really pretty, for those loved-up moments on the dancefloor.
Tell us about your Fabric Presents mix.
Fabric’s had such a big influence on my life. I’ve been on that dancefloor more times than I can actually count and they feel like a family to me. I don’t need to go there with anyone as I know I will have people there always. I’ve learned so much musically about what DJ I want to be from being within those walls. The mix tries to encapsulate all of those years I’ve spent in Fabric.
Let’s move on to production. A recent shift?
A long time coming! It feels good. I still have a lot to learn but it’s such a huge release for me writing music. I feel genuinely happy when I’m in the groove in the studio, like being in a little bubble. It’s meditative.
Have you always made music?
Yes but just messing around in my room really, more as a channel for release. Lockdown gave me the freedom to zone in on it, and improve my knowledge and understanding of all my gear. Sleeping in the studio, waking up and cracking on with it until late that night… surely I must be learning something?!
Tell us a bit about the studio.
I share a studio with a friend in Cambridge Heath. It’s cute and actually has windows which is rare!
How do you use your studio?
Sometimes I start a project on the road, just get a groove down and then I’ll usually bring those stems into my studio workflow and get some synths and effects on it, and of course listen to it really loud.
We have been looking at renting it out as I am away so much but still paying the full rent. But, who can you trust with your pride and joy?
What is your favourite piece of gear?
Probably the Kawai K5000. It’s the layers of texture it has. It has depth and it’s sparkly and spooky at the same time.
What’s the ethos behind your trUst record label and how did your recent Two Bruised Egos EP and upcoming release from Mella Dee tie into that?
trUst is music for the dancefloors, club tools, nothing more, nothing less. Ideally, something you play today and still in 10 years – tool-y music; essential.
What is your dream piece of gear and why?
The Sequential Prophet-5. It is delicious and I will own one… one day.
If you were left on a desert island, what one item would you take with you to make music with forever?
I would take a djembe.
What is your top piece of production advice?
Experiment. Also, when a track is feeling like it has legs but you just can’t get something right… push through it, and spend that extra painful 30 minutes working on it. It will, and often does, click.
Check out all of Saoirse’s music and mixes via her Soundcloud.
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