Was it ever a conscious decision to go into music?
I always loved music, but I never knew I could have a career in it. I thought I could have a career in fashion, but I never saw what I could do in it – when you’re a person of trans experience, like me, especially a trans woman of colour, you don’t see yourself anywhere. So, I just kept studying. You can’t go to school to be a DJ; I just knew that I loved music, clothing and style, and somehow, somewhere, I was going to manifest something. For many years, I didn’t know what that was. I was so ostracised as a teenager, so fashion magazines, disco records and pop records were my friends. I had many odd jobs while I continued to study style and fashion and buy records – I always say it was a curiosity that turned into an obsession, that turned into a hobby, that turned into a craft, that turned into a profession.
Everything that I have manifested has come from love – the love of music or fashion – and willing myself to be in these spaces, to know the best DJs and the best creatives in fashion, having the knowledge and blowing people’s minds with the shit that I knew. Everything that I have been able to achieve in my life has purely been from the love of it, just wanting to be part of the conversation.
How do you want your DJ sets to make people feel?
I think one of the great things about music is that, if it touches you, it’s uncontrollable. I just want people to get out of their head, out of their egos and let themselves go – leave all hang-ups at the door, [and have] no shame about how their body expresses itself. It’s freedom. In the words of Nina Simone: freedom is no fear.
Do you find it challenging to feel inspired and find spaces that you’re interested in performing at?
Before I had the success that I have, yes, it was a challenge because I had to build my name and my profile. I never would have imagined that, as a trans woman of colour, I would be collaborating with Comme des Garçons, or I would be able to headline festivals or create my own parties. [I hosted] Full Fantasy for four weeks in four different venues around London, and the last one was Back Girl Magic, for female-identified women of colour. Me being trans, [joined by] cis and non-binary women, we were able to collectively sell out a venue in London. I thought that was so historic and telling of how young people think and where things can go – you can’t stop a moment whose time has come.
How would you say club culture has changed over recent years?
I love when people talk about ‘underground’ – for me, underground ended when the internet started. Underground used to be word-of-mouth, research, subculture and finding a tribe, and now people do that digitally, everything’s available and there’s no sense of discovery. I think one of the things that has happened with technology and social media is that people only go for what they know or what they like. I think it’s also important to see what you don’t like, how people think differently than you or challenge you on your beliefs.