A crucial component of Grime culture, important in terms of their influence and preservation of music – DJs help to promote undiscovered voices to new audiences – bridging the gap between communities and inviting all to connect within a shared experience. Their ability to compile their own musical sets an opportunity to showcase creativity and a musical language unique to them. Establishing a career within a male dominated genre, award nominated DJ Kaylee Kay has performed for some of the UK’s well respected venues and radio stations including Rinse FM, Kiss FM, the O2 and is currently a resident DJ at Boxpark. Ahead of HighRise Theatre’s online Grime rave Lil.Miss.Lady where she’ll performing pre and post sets, Kaylee tells us more about what to expect from the show!
Hi Kaylee, you’ll be performing pre/post DJ sets for HighRise’s digital production Lil.Miss.Lady. How are you feeling ahead of the show?
I’m really looking forward to the show! I think during these uncertain times everyone needs a little pick-me-up and the show definitely provides that!! Good music, good vibes just pure entertainment! Plus I’m really looking for seeing everyone again… from a safe distance of course! Lol
The show is a part rave, part drama, taking the audience on a journey through the genres of UK Garage, Sub-Low, Funky House, Dubstep, genres that influenced the creation of Grime within the UK. Why is this story important within UK music history?
First of all as you pointed out the show takes you on a musical journey which depicts the evolution of Grime music. All the genres you mentioned have definitely influenced Grime which is important and why it was imperative they were included! Secondly, I think this story is particularly important as it highlights another element in the scene which is the struggles female artists faced in order to be noticed and respected. The thing I love most about this production aside from the music is the fact that the story focuses on a female protagonist. Women’s stories are often untold but women are also a massive part of the UK music industry in front of and behind the microphone!
What inspired you to take part in the production?
I was sent the casting call brief by the fabulous DJ and presenter Phoebe One. She said take a look at this I think it would be perfect for you!! When I read what the production was about I was like yeah! This is definitely a bit of me! I have to get involved! What I particularly loved about this production was the fact that it married my two favourite loves, grime music and DJing! That fact that I had to DJ as part of the show was awesome!
How have you collaborated with HighRise to realise the show?
Well before we actually started curating the mixes Dom really took the time to get to know me and my experiences in the scene. I think that definitely helped. We had many discussions about music and the different genres as well as other aesthetic elements such as fashion and other props like mobiles phones etc that were typical of the times. It was very nostalgic sharing our memories. Then when it got to curating the mixes we collaboratively worked out which songs we wanted to incorporate from the different years. It was hard narrowing it down but we got there in the end! Lol.
What was your journey to becoming a DJ?
The short version is, I wanted to be a radio presenter growing up. After being forced to go to uni by my Mum (Lol) I decided to study my passion so I did a degree in radio production. I noticed that a lot of my favourite presenters were also DJs. I grew up around a lot of DJs and often admired their skill and said to myself one day you are going to do that too! I got one of my friends to teach me and the rest is history!!! I started off mixing funky house then expanded from there.
How have you found having to adapt how you work during this unpredictable time and venue closures?
It sucks that venues are closed and we can’t party like we usually would. I did a couple of live sets on Instagram and a few mixes for radio stations and other platforms. The plus side is that this time has allowed me to be creative in other ways so I’ve picked up my flute again which is nice. I’ve also been quite lucky because I’m a resident at Boxpark I’ve still managed to pick up some sets here and there.
What can audiences expect from the show?
Audiences can expect energy and more energy!!! Lol but seriously, you can expect sick original music and a dope storyline! Trust me you won’t be disappointed! I’ve had such positive feedback from family and friends I’m confident everyone will enjoy it!
What would you like for audiences to take away from the show?
I want people to get acquainted with black UK music and the impact it has had on so many! Grime was an escape for a lot of the youth back in the day and I think it paved the way for so many artists now like the UK rappers and drillers! I also want it to send out a special message to females who want to rap or spit or DJ, it’s not impossible and although you may face many challenges my best advice is to just keep going!
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
Lil.Miss.Lady will be available to stream on Friday 23rd October from 8pm. To find out more about the production and to book tickets, visit here…