- Mon, 2005-05-30 10:56
Annie Mac is engaging. Not only does she have fantastic hair and style, she spins superb tunes and has a gorgeous Irish accent. You want to hear what she has to say and what she has to play. So we did. I Like Music caught up with Annie Mac after witnessing her fabulous afternoon set at Homelands 2005.
Coming from a large musical family in Dublin, Annie’s first job in the industry was as a promoter at Shine, Dublin’s biggest techno club. There she was inspired by the likes of Laurent Garnier and Justin Robertson to go out and buy her first set of decks and subsequently taught herself to DJ. “I realised that my three favourite things in life were music, clubbing and talking shit. So it made sense to pursue a career in music radio and immerse myself in it,” says Annie.
By the time she approached Radio 1, Annie was juggling three jobs - a freelance broadcast assistant at BBC London, a radio and TV plugger and also worked at the Student Broadcasting Network producing and presenting two specialist music shows. Now you can hear her presenting the Annie Mac show on Radio One on Thursday evenings from 9pm til 11pm, wedged comfortably in between the wonderful Zane Lowe and brilliant Rob Da Bank.
I Like Music caught up with Annie to talk about Youth Music, Radio One and Turntablism.
ILM: You’re a supporter of Youth Music. The two winners, who played the opening sets, seemed to go down very well at Homelands today, and aged 16! Would you have liked that kind of opportunity?
Annie: I don’t think I’d have been able to do it. It’s so brave. I mean, the thing on their side is that they’re both really dedicated DJs and you can tell they’ve both got a real passion for it. Both Foley and Anthony are so focused on DJing, so to do that at such an early age, I can’t imagine how amazing that would be.
ILM: And who are you looking forward to seeing play today?
Annie: 2 Many DJs, and Pendulum, a drum and bass act who I really want to see DJ, because they’re music is amazing. I’ve missed The Bravery but wanted to see them to see how a band would go down.
ILM: You were inspired to DJ by the likes of Justin Robertson who you’re on the bill with here today. How does it feel being one of the crew with him, Annie Nightingale et al?
Annie: I don’t feel worthy of it yet to be honest. I don’t feel like I am worthy as a DJ yet. I’m starting to enjoy it though. I started DJing professionally at Radio One and in clubs around Christmas time, and for the first few months I was so scared and nervous I wasn’t even able to look up and smile at the crowd. But the last couple of months I’ve been practicing a bit and realized that stressing out is not getting me anywhere. I still really like Justin Robertson and those DJs. They’ve got 20 years of DJing on top of me. The one thing that I do have faith in is the tunes I play, because I love them, but in terms of technical mixing I’ve still got a lot to learn.
ILM: When you first started you say you couldn’t afford new records, so would buy old soul and funk 12”s second hand from charity shops to scratch with. How are your scratching skills these days? There are never any women in DMC finals, maybe you should enter for the UK?
Annie: That’s so funny; there’s no way I would ever be able to enter the DMC. I do scratching in the privacy of my own home, when I’m a bit drunk. I love hip hop and scratching and pretending to do, but in terms of actually being able to do that in front of a crowd, there’s no way. I’d love to be able to do it as the one thing I’ve always wanted to be able to do is scratch. You’re right, there’s no girls entering the DMC, but to be able to move your hands so fast you could hardly see them – now that’d be cool!