Former student, Holly Jay, has just been signed to Six15 Artist Management
We are pleased to report that one of our former students has signed to the world renowned Six15 Artist Management company. Holly was a student on our Complete DJ Course under the guidance of our very own DJ Mark One. We talked to Holly about this exciting news…
Signed to Six15 Artist Management
Hi Holly! Congratulations – Do you want to talk to us about how that came about?
Yes, I was so excited to sign as I knew that Six15 worked extremely well with a lot of partners and gave DJs and live artists as much opportunity as they can. It all came about when I saw Tom Da Lips, perform in Warrington, my home town. I then saw a promotional video of him advertising his work on Facebook.
From here I messaged him asking how did he get into Six15, to which he replied, he is an owner and he wanted me to send my press pack over. So I did, which resulted in me gaining a guest slot at one of their Live Sessions events, which lead to me meeting with Tom, Carl Hanaghan and Kami C.
They enjoyed my guest set and liked my sound therefore, signing of the contract commenced!
That’s amazing! And what sort of opportunities have you gained since joining Six15 Artist Management?
I have been gigging as well as working and recently had my first international gig in Hong Kong DJing for HedKandi for the New Year. I have also been asked to join Six15 Artist Management in the studio to start producing, I am extremely excited!
I do a monthly Live Sessions residency at The Wine Bar in Stockton Heath and recently gained a monthly residency playing for Casa De La Musica event in Venus nightclub Manchester for Jon Fitz.
Wow, that’s a massive gig, what a cool way to start your time with Six15 Artist Management! Can you tell us what it was like DJing in Hong Kong, did anything stand out for you compared to DJing in the UK?
It was an amazing experience simply because I got to travel to the other side of the Earth. I was so overwhelmed finding out I bagged the gig but getting there was something else, especially when I had never flown over five hours or on my own before!
Pretty scary to be honest but when I got behind the decks, despite the tiredness, as soon as I mixed in my first song I could relax and enjoy playing the tunes the crowd would enjoy. They did thankfully as I was unsure of people having different taste in music with them living so far away from the UK.
Complete DJ Course
You studied the Complete DJ Course with us a while back, do you think that it helped you get to where you are now?
When I was studying the Complete DJ Course I loved a Monday night, purely because I got to spend it learning how to use a pair of CDJs the best way possible! My time on the course consisted of a huge variety of learning how to not only DJ but to understand the structure of a song, and that was the biggest benefit for me when playing individually in clubs as it helped me understand when best to mix in the next track.
I couldn’t thank Mark Lee (Mark One) enough for his time and effort he put in to each individual throughout the period of the programme! It was one of the most exciting stages of my life learning how to be an individual DJ that stands out from the rest.
What was the initial impetus to study the DJ Course, and could you have imagined that you’d come so far in three years?
I was motivated through wanting to perform. I had recently finished at Edge Hill University, studying Dance and Aerial Performance and wanted to be a dancer so I went to London, attempting to compete in auditions with many amazing dancers, only to be left understanding that the industry wasn’t what I expected it to be. I then found a Wowcher voucher for the weekend DJ taster course, loved it and went on to complete the 12 weeks. I did not expect to be where I am now. However, it definitely fulfilled my hunger to perform.
Being based in Warrington, did you find it tricky finding a scene, or opportunities to DJ to earn your stripes? What would you say to any budding DJs that may also come from a small-town scene, have you got any advice for them?
I totally understand what you’re saying as the opportunities within our area at the time of trying to progress were minimal. However, due to me being very confident when approaching others and making contacts with people in the industry I would recommend to never be shy in asking questions. We all start somewhere so when I would be on a night out I would ask the DJ if I could have a go, give my name and say add my DJ page on Facebook. This way I established myself within a variety of areas.
Also, it was people knowing people and spreading the word, recommending me to do events and then it carried on from here. Warrington as a town is also up and coming in the house and dance music scene which is great because I can showcase my skills to friends and family more easily.
Do you think that gender has come into play in your career so far, in either a positive or negative way?
Definitely positive, I think that being a female DJ is more unusual than being a male DJ as there aren’t as many about. Therefore, I have grabbed people’s attention more by being a girl but I’d like to think my talent as a DJ has also got me where I am today.
Time to talk tech. What’s your ideal setup to play on and why?
It’s got to be the Pioneer CDJ 2000 Nexus mixer. I was taught the basics on vinyl during the course and would love to increase my knowledge on this but I just love the fact I can carry my headphones and USBs to my gigs, as opposed to to hundreds of records or CDs. In terms of software I’ve been using Ableton and Logic to produce new tracks.
Where do you find new music and influences? Do you go clubbing a lot, or are you more of a late-night Discogs surfer?
A bit of both really. I don’t think that I will ever give up my late-night dancing shoes, as that’s where I got my passion for DJing from. I also spend a lot of time searching for music, whether it be listening to SoundCloud, MixCloud, Beatport charts, iTunes podcasts or new music on social media. I get excited for gigs as I know I get to spend time listening to music. It’s a as simple as that!
Which artists, DJs an/or labels have influenced your style of music?
My musical influences have come from a wide range or producers and DJs. At the minute I love Sonny Fodera, Dusky and any vocal house music tracks that are uplifting and usually include piano sounds. I have been heavily influenced by 90s classic house and remixes. Also, due to me DJing for HedKandi, I have been listening to their label a lot, alongside Ministry of Sound, Toolroom Records, Let There Be House and then Discopolis, which is the record label signing my debut track ‘Never Had Love’ by Sweet Female Attitude feat. Leanne Brown (Holly Jay Remix) soon to be released!
Finally, what have you got lined up this year – anything you can tell us about?
I’ve got a lot of gigs lined up in Ibiza this year, I’m also concentrating on writing and producing in the studio. Along with this is “some big news that I cannot disclose yet” – so watch this space!