Just Her has had a massive 2017 and ends the year with a charity release on her Constant Circles imprint.
Hi Claire, we’ve premiered a track today from an EP you’re releasing for charity. Firstly congrats for doing something really positive like this. Can you tell us the reason you’ve done this along plus a little bit about the cause you’ll be supporting please?
Just Her: Those that follow me will know that I’m a BIG believer in the importance of compassion, kindness and helping others, so this kind of release was always something I had planned for my label Constant Circles since the outset.
I have been working with Brian (Allies for Everyone) for a while now and even though we live on opposite sides of the globe we have built a great friendship, where we spend a lot of time chatting and philosophising about the state of the industry, society and the world. He is an awesome guy and is on exactly the same page as me with this stuff, so the idea just came together super easily when we were discussing his next release on the label.
We both decided we wanted to try and give something back, and Brian actually chose the charity UNICEF because it is pretty prevalent in terms of the things that are happening in the world right now. It is also an international charity, so it reflects the fact that the contributors to this release are from all over the world. We curated a fantastic team, with remixes from Nandu & Sakorka, amazing artwork from Yvonne Cilia and mastering by Rob Small. Everyone involved donated their time & skills for the cause (thanks so much guys!).
Your profile is really starting to take off and we’ve noticed bookings are growing. How difficult was it getting people in the industry to take you seriously at first and what strategies did you use to get people’s attention?
Just Her: Thankyou! It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point but it finally feels like things are clicking now, with my own music and my label Constant Circles. People may or may not know that I was previously part of the duo Him_Self_Her, and we had a lot of success with tracks on Crosstown Rebels, an Essential New Tune on Radio 1 and so on. So the pressure to try and grow my solo project to a similar level was pretty high.
It was also frustrating that a lot of people assumed I didn’t make the music in the duo, as I’m female and was working with a guy, so I had a big point to prove in gaining recognition as a solo producer.
I think the important thing is to have a consistent output of music, but make sure that you produce tracks you love & want to play. There is so much music out there that it is important to be unique and not to just follow the trends.
We saw you calling out a post a guy had made on Charlotte De Witte’s live stream the other day.
Just Her: I initially called it out in a fun way, as it was quite an amusing and pretty cheesy comment that someone had made, but it had definite sexist undertones and it actually caused quite a heated discussion on my Facebook thread. It was a perfect example of a kind of ‘accidental’ sexism that happens to me a lot – for example the “Oh you are a DJ and you are a girl, well done!” kind of comments that I hear regularly. Or when male DJs ask me why I’m in the booth, or which of the guys I’m there with, which has happened a few times.
These are regular, open-minded people that make these accidental sexist assumptions. So I think it is really important that we keep talking about this and keep pushing for equality in the industry. A few males responded to my post by saying there isn’t really sexism now and there are lots of girls doing really well. As a female, I have to disagree – yes it is much better than it was, and there are a lot more successful females, which is awesome.. But we still have a long way to go to change that engrained sexist mindset and achieve true equality.
Personally I agree with what you said ‘music should have no gender’ and I was also a bit surprised when Eats Everything said the scene wasn’t as inclusive anymore (tolerant of gay people) as I personally believe the scene is bigger than it’s ever been and still anything goes in the underground. Is it perhaps that real clubbers are simply avoiding the big commercial tech house parties these days and opting for something a little less mainstream?
Just Her: It’s a tricky one – of course when a style of music becomes more “popular” then it can attract people that are not just there for the music, and the vibe can change a little from the truly inclusive and beautiful underground scene that we know and love, where literally anything goes. Fortunately the events I play at seem to be as inclusive as ever in terms of the crowds & vibe so personally, I don’t see it as being any less tolerant.
What’s been your biggest achievement this year or the release you’re most proud of?
Just Her: I guess the biggest release this year for me was my track “Follow You Down” on Global Underground. It is a really personal track, as it was one of the first productions that I ever sang my own vocals on. Before that, I had mainly written lyrics and vocals for other people to sing, so I was pretty nervous about my vocals being so in focus, but it actually got a great reaction. Having a release on Global Underground after following them for years and buying their albums was a pretty awesome career milestone, and it came with an Oliver Schories remix that absolutely smashed the Beatport charts!
Something else I was proud of this year was the art exhibition that I curated in London at Factory Fifteen, where we showcased the visual art from Constant Circles, as well as some guest artists, and had music performances from Saytek Live, myself & Blind Motive. It was a lot of work but we created something really unique. Of course I’m also super proud of the charity release that is happening right now.
What things do you feel need to change in this industry for real progress to happen?
Just Her: My biggest issue with the industry right now is the atmosphere of negativity that seems to be present, and growing. Actually not just across the industry, but across society as a whole, especially online. We talked earlier about the ethos of inclusivity and tolerance that forms the foundations of the dance music scene, and in some ways I feel that a part of that ethos is being lost through the atmosphere on social media. If I could change anything, I would encourage everyone to speak to each other with kindness and positivity; be polite even when we disagree, and be supportive of other people’s success. It’s just simple good manners really!
What new stuff can we expect from you soon
Just Her: I am finishing off this year with a remix on Exotic Refreshment that is currently climbing the Beatport charts, plus my remix of Allies For Everyone that is part of our charity release on Constant Circles.
Then I have lots of content coming early in 2018, including an EP on Sincopat, original tracks on Toolroom & Selador including a collab with Raw District, plus remixes on Lost Diaries, Oleeva Records and Constant Circles. One of the big things to look out for is an EP on Anjunadeep, which I’m just completing now, and a few other things that I can’t mention yet! Plus of course the label will be growing with new artists both musical & visual, as well as art exhibitions and music showcases in the pipeline.