Anna Kiss – Interview
Written by Maximus Aurelius
February 2, 2010 10:01 am
Anna Kiss is no stranger to the DJ circuit, in the last decade she’s played at most of the kingpin UK clubs including Ministry, Pacha, Egg and more. She’s also played in Ibiza at famous venues including Es Paradis and Eden Rooms, and worldwide she has played in the USA, China, India, Pakistan and all over Europe. But it is perhaps not her live performances she’s most well known for. Anna is the star of her own radio show, Lip Locked, every week on di.fm where she shares a schedule that includes Armin Van Buuren and Above & Beyond. We decided to catch up with one of the stars of EDM radio.
Max: When did you first get into being a DJ, how did it come about?
Anna: I must have been born a DJ as when I was 5 I used to enjoy recording things more than playing with toys! I started collecting vinyl when I was 8 years old. At 16 I did a weekly radio show on college radio for 2 years.. then after that I was just lucky enough to live in flat shares with people that had decks, which is where I really put the practice in. I dated a fantastic DJ/Producer who gave me some great tips, and eventually I gained the confidence to go for my lifelong dream. I bought some Technics and soon after landed a weekly show on London pirate ‘Freeze FM’. A year later I decided to work a Summer as a resident DJ in Ayia Napa, where I played House & Garage at several bars & clubs – and the rest, as they say, is history!
Max: Whats your favourite piece of equipment? Are you a traditionalist who loves their vinyl, or are you in with the times and always keen to move forward with technology?
Anna: My DJM800 is my pride and joy!
While vinyl will always be great, I am a CDJ girl now. What you can do with CDJs is so much better! I only go back to vinyl to play some of the classics, and usually after a set I’m grateful to get back onto my CDJs! I think it’s very important to keep up with technology, there are some DJs who shun the internet and wont move on from vinyl, but they are only holding themselves back by doing that. Technology is a huge part of what we do so it’s very important to have an interest in new things. Personally I want to push my production forward, so I will devote my time to that, instead of DJ performance with Serato or Ableton.
Max: Who in the dance music industry commands the most amount of respect from you?
Anna: Anyone who pushes themselves beyond their limits, who succeeds, and most importantly who remains down to earth, humble and with integrity.
Max: Is there a track you’d generally consider to be your all time favourite?
Anna: Oh there are just too many! Each track brings back memories and I like such a variety of dance music spanning decades that I can’t choose just one. Off the top of my head I think Armand Van Heldon – Sugar is Sweeter because I heard that on the dancefloor in Privilege Ibiza when it was first released in the 90s, and thats what started it all off for me. It’s more about what it represents than the track itself.
Max: We love to see a Female DJ. Do you find yourself the subject of any particular attention, positive or negative, surrounding you being a woman in a hugely male dominated profession? How would you say it has affected, if at all, your rise to prominence?
Anna: It’s six of one, half a dozen of another… Everyone thinks it’s easier being a female DJ, unless they ARE one!! Yeh we do get more breaks because we are a novelty – however, males in the scene rarely treat us on a level like one of the lads, and some females don’t give us a break because they don’t like competition. So it’s not as easy as people think. There are so many female DJs now I’m glad to see it is a lot more balanced, yet I am baffled that most gigs I see advertised don’t even have one female DJ on the bill. I wish gender didnt come into it at all, it’s about the music at the end of the day. I hope that my “rise to prominence” has been brought about by my skills, consistency, hard work and passion over the past 10 years – who knows if it would have been any different if I was a guy…
Max: Has anyone ever compared you at all to other Female DJs, for instance Lisa Lashes or Annie Mac?
Anna: No, never… (unless you are? lol*). I hope it’s because I’m unique!
Max: *We wouldn’t dream!
Max: Is there a DJ or Producer out there you’d be particularly keen on collaborating with?
Anna: Well, I am collaborating with the Heavy Duty Brothers this week, whos tunes I’ve been spinning on my Lip Locked radio shows for ages now, so I am very excited about that. I do have some other collabs in the pipeline but I can’t say anything just yet… And there are plans to work by myself a fair bit too, because I have loads of ideas and I feel I still need to develop my sound.
Max: What are your first memories of clubbing?
Anna: Ibiza 1995 and weekly jaunts to Gism/Peach at Camden Palace… The vibe back in those days was just amazing, I doubt it will ever be repeated. A funny memory I have of that era was of Judge Jules wearing my devil horns during his set. When I asked for them back at the end, he had completely forgotten he was wearing them hahaha!
Max: Do you have any other music tastes or hobbies that perhaps people would not have otherwise known about?
Anna: Well my music tastes have always been varied, and I’m also very fussy… If I dont like it, I can’t listen to it…
I love House, Tech House, Electro, Dubstep, Breaks, D&B, Jungle, Old Skool hardcore, Chill out, a bit of Indie stuff… but not all of each genre. It has to resonate with me… sound is used for healing after all, music is such a personal thing. As for things that you probably didnt know about me… I trained as an NLP & Hypnotherapy practitioner and I also do Reiki. Not that I have much time to practice, but I will soon be merging that side of things with my music, which will be exciting!
Max: Lastly, it’s a clichéd question, but what do you hope the future will bring for DJ Anna Kiss?
Anna: It’s so important to have goals, I set them for myself all the time. Just some of mine are:- to DJ in every continent (I only have Australasia & South America to go!), to release some absolute bangers of tracks and have the time to realise all my dreams, because i have so many ideas and things that I want to do! I also hope that I will be living in the warm sunshine once again…
Max: Thanks for your time Anna!
Annas January 2010 Mix!
Anna Kiss’ Lip Locked Radio Show is on every Tuesday 7PM GMT on di.fm Electro House Channel http://www.di.fm/calendar/event.php?event=14113
Visit her at http://www.djannakiss.com
Lip Locked Podcast http://www.djannakiss.com/component/weblinks/7/28.html
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