Disfunktion & Helena
If you haven’t been acquainted with Helena’s music, it won’t be long. This sultry Australian DJ/producer has already blown up the Australian scene and now has her eyes fixed on the states. With a few shows at WMC, some of you party goers have had a taste of her dance inducing beats. For those of you who haven’t, please take a minute to check out the fire she’s laying down.
While we tried to catch Helena in person out in Miami, we unfortunately couldn’t make ends meet. On the other hand, we’re still extremely excited to get to know Helena better. Check out what she had to say about who she’d like to work with, vegemite, and the always coveted In-n-Out burger.
TMN: Your remix of “Let it Out” just came out just a bit ago. Congratulations! Talk to us about how you approach a remix to make sure that you maintain the original feel, but still add your own personal flare.
Helena: Thank you! Yes there has been a great buzz around the “Let it Out” remix and an awesome crowd reaction every time I drop it in my sets, the remix itself was a fairly easy one, as when you have a vocal the quality of what Amba Shepherd delivers, it makes the job a lot easier.
With a remix you have to keep enough of the original track for it to be recognisable, but you have to make your own imprint on it.
So keep elements that you like from the original and add in then your sound to make it your own.
TMN: You started djing when you were 14 years old, but only really taking it seriously since 2003. What has been the biggest surprise in both your personal career and the music industry so far?
Helena: I think the biggest surprise for me in my personal career, is that my hobby became my profession, I didn’t set out to become a DJ nor did I ever imagine I would get so far.
I just loved music, it all happened very organically you could say, which i guess is the best way to be. And also makes me extremely lucky that something I loved I was able to make a career out of. Not many can say that.
Biggest surprise in the music industry so far, for me is the US – for them to embrace “EDM” (that word makes me cringe ha) but for them to embrace dance music and move away from R&B and hip hop as so mainstream is the real surprise, I didn’t think that would ever happen. And as much as some may knock him – David Guetta has opened doors for alot of artists in the US, people have a lot to thank him for.
TMN: You’ve traveled all over the world playing your music. What are your top 3 cities to play in? Do you tend to lean more towards Oz because of the home field crowd?
Helena: My top 3 places to play;
1. Ibiza (this still has to be my no 1) there is a buzz on this place that just gets me every time. I love it!
2. Miami (I had the best time playing in Miami this year, it has to be one of my favourite places now to play!) And I was there a month earlier this year also playing Mansion club which was also insane.
3. Brisbane (Not my home town of Sydney) but Brisbane in Australia. I have had the sickest shows in this city, I love the crowds, clubs and vibe here. One of my favourite places to play for sure.
I have some shows pencilled this year though in Brazil and greek Islands which is supposed to be insane, it will be my first time there, so really looking forward to that for sure!
TMN: How do the crowds differ for you in Australia compared to here in the states? Is it a noticeable difference?
Helena: The crowds in the US are a bit more excitable than the Australian crowds, the US crowds will go out their way more to find you on social networks and interact with you how much they enjoyed the set etc.
Where as the Australian crowds it’s not new to them. They are far more likely to find you to say they didn’t like something then to say they did. They are a tougher crowd to please as they are more educated. But that’s fine for me as i know them all well now and have found my place with them and i’ve got my regular spots that i play where i have some amazing shows.
The US market it’s pretty new, so you drop tracks past 2-3 years old and they don’t really know it, which is crazy.
TMN: Who would you love to collaborate right now?
Helena: Knife Party would be pretty sick!
TMN: Which musicians inspire you?
Helena: Musically i’m inspired by the DJ’s/Producers closest to my sound, Steve Angello, Avicii, John Dahlback, Nicky Romero, Hardwell, Tommy Trash,Thomas Gold, Wolfgang Gartner, Eric Prydz I find all very inspiring.
TMN: You are stuck in an island for 3 months and unfortunately, your laptop can only play 3 individual tracks. What would those 3 tracks be?
Helena: Brown Sugar D’angelo, Oasis – Wonderwall, Redline – Wolfgang Gartner
TMN: Rapid Fire – Ok, this section would have obviously been much cooler in person, but we’ll still keep it in so our fans can get to know a little bit about you personally.
TMN: Are you a fan of Vegemite?
TMN: What’s your favorite food to eat when you come to the US?
Helena: In and Out Burger. (I wish)
TMN: Favorite indiginous Australian animal?
Helena: A koala!
TMN: If you ordered a beer, it would be a….
Helena: Pure Blonde, Low carb beer
TMN: If you ordered a shot, it would be a….
TMN: If your music were an animal, what would it be?
Helena: A lion.