Laura Jones @ Circoloco at DC-10, Ibiza (19/07/2012) (by Resident Advisor)
Laura Jones has had a rather sharp rise up the DJ ranks. Since falling in love with house and techno during a trip to Ibiza in 2005, she’s worked hard to make a name for herself and finally got her big break last year with one of my favorite tracks of 2011 – ‘Love In Me’. This summer she had her debut at DC10, the club where she first made the life-changing decision to get involved in music, and next month she releases her debut mix CD for her friend Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom label.
See what miss Jones has to say about her past, present and future.
How are you feeling about your debut at DC10 in Ibiza because I know that’s where it all started for you?
I’m a bit nervous, but really excited as well because it’s almost seven years to the day when I was stood on the terrace at DC10 and I went “Do you know what, I actually quite fancy this!”. I’ve always been a lover of music and the penny did literally drop that season – I’d left university and went out there for the season and I was so inspired by everything that I heard. I’d been into so many genres as a teenager and, there, I finally found what I was looking for.
What were you doing as a full-time job?
I was working in marketing part-time when I was at uni, then I went full-time when I graduated. I decided to get involved in the music thing when I came back from Ibiza and they were really understanding, I went to music college on a Monday and worked a Tuesday to Saturday week. It all worked out perfectly, it was only a crash course that I went on… it sounds a bit silly but it was just to learn how to DJ.
So when did you get to the point when you thought you could ditch marketing and do music full-time?
About three years in, I was getting despondent – this is only after DJing sporadically and doing a little bit of producing – after a while you start getting a bit negative and wondering ‘Is this really ever going to happen?’. I had some bad news about my health and found out about an eye condition that I have, so it all took a backseat for a while and wasn’t really a priority. Eventually I got back into the swing of things, just on weekends when I didn’t have anything else to do, I’d made about 13 or 14 tracks and I asked Gav which he thought had the most potential he told me to finish a particular group of tracks, sent them out to Matt Tolfrey and they got snapped up. They did a lot better than anticipated and I started thinking that I might be able to leave, around that time I got made redundant anyway! So everything worked out perfectly, I’m a big believer in fate now.
And how’s your health now?
My health is cool, it’s a degenerative thing so it’s slowly getting worse and I’m gradually losing my sight. But it’s cool, I’ve still got my ears. It holds me back a little bit at times, I think over the coming years there’s going to be a lot of adapting to do if I’m going to continue doing this, but it’s do-able I reckon. Even if it comes to a point where I have to play off a controller that I know like the back of my hand so there aren’t any overwhelming situations in darkened places and I can’t see my way around. There are ways and means around it, it’s not the end of the world. I’m trying to stay positive so…
It can take something like that to make you push yourself more than if you think you’ve got all the time in the world.
Yeah exactly, I do feel a bit like that, I feel like I’m up against more time-wise than your average person. But, while I feel I’m up against it, I take each day as it comes – obviously I want to keep growing and get to a position where I have assistants to help me so I don’t need to find my way around on my own. It sounds strange but the most challenging thing right now is actually finding my way to my hotel room [laughs]. Not finding my way around the DJ booth, just getting my arse to my hotel room. The lighting is quite bad in the lifts and corridors of these nice, swanky hotels. They’re going for the mood lighting when it’s like, “Actually, I can’t see right now”! [Laughs]
Moving on from that, how did ‘Love In Me’ come about?
It was one of the first few tracks I started, purely just a case of trial and error if I’m honest. It’s still like that now, I’m not that far along the curve yet where I’ve found the formula. A lot of DJs/producers get to a stage where they can knock out a tune in a couple of hours because they’ve found that formula… that’s quite cool if you want to have a similar theme among your tracks, but I’m always keen to produce a diverse array of tracks because I’m excited by a diverse array of tracks. ‘Love In Me’ started when I was playing around on the keyboard and the hook of the bassline came along, originally it sat a lot deeper in the mix but it made it all a bit muddy, then I put it a bit higher in the mix and it changed everything and gave everything a bit more space and brought it to life. I’m really pleased with it, I think a lot of people think it’s a load of samples but the beats are my own hits that I’ve looped.
Can you tell me a bit about your mix for Leftroom? I thought it was really coherent from beginning to end.
That’s exactly what I wanted. It was really stressful, obviously being my first one and, I don’t want to bore with the technicalities but it was the licensing. You have a long list of tracks you want to use, then you end up with a list of the ones you can use… plus with the remixes I commissioned, I didn’t know what I was going to get – I had confidence that they’d come up with great stuff, which they did, but it was a challenge in my mind to think, “How the fuck is this going to flow right?”. So I’m pleased that’s your perception, because that’s the goal but it’s not something I necessarily always aim to achieve, it’s just happened, so that’s cool.
Production-wise, I guess it helps having Gav as a partner?
Very much so yeah, we bounce ideas off each other and, also, it’s good to get someone else’s perspective because you can sit in the studio for hours on end banging your head against a brick wall over something thinking it’s a load of shite and then he’ll come in and go, “Nah, that’s actually really good” because he hasn’t heard it before. Similarly he’ll be working on something and I’ll be like, “I’m not so into that, but I like that”. It’s really really helpful, Gavin’s the reason I finished the first few tracks I did because he looked objectively at the ones I had half-done and chose the ones that had the most potential and I probably wouldn’t have been able to figure that out myself.
How did you you two get together?
We actually met in Ibiza as well.
That really is where the magic happens isn’t it!
Yeah it really is! We got introduced by Clive Henry, who’s a mutual friend of ours. It’s a funny story actually, Gavin was DJing at Es Vive and he was coming off the back of a long few days, I was just at the stage where I was getting into the whole thing. I was just out of a long-term relationship and I wasn’t looking for that at all. I was just into the music, being a total keen-o and going up to all the DJs going “What’s this tune? What’s this tune?”, absolutely annoying the hell out of everyone and I went up to him and asked him the name of a track he was playing (it was a Marc Houle track called ‘Has To Do’), later on that night we got chatting together with Clive and started seeing each other around. We became friends and, over time, it just happened naturally.
Catch LAURA JONES with TAMER MALKI at JULEP on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012!
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