Global Rotations is back for their first event of 2022 at The Night Owl and we were delighted to catch up with organiser Deena Grant (DJ Dee’ Cleo) to find out more about the event and her journey into Djing! Check out the interview below!
Q. How did your journey of Music start?
A. “Music has always been a part of my life ever since I could remember. My parents used to love playing music in the house quite a lot and quite loudly. I have memories of me sitting really close to the big speakers and feeling the vibration of the bass run through my body and loving it. A particular song which makes me nostalgic for dancing around my living room as a child, is Fire starter, Prodigy. Music played an integral part in my teens too. I’d spend hours making mixtapes and later youtube playlists, and playing them again and again. It was my form of escapism, I got so much joy and a cathartic feeling when playing music. Music literally was my sanctuary and still is.’’
Q. What 3 words would you use to describe your style of DJing?
A. “I’ve never really thought of my djing as a style per se so it‘s a bit difficult to come up with 3 words. But I guess it could be described as experimental in terms of mixing different genres and playing with the effects (which I’m still getting used to!). Secondly would be progressive because mainly I like to start slow and build on tempo and energy. Thirdly…Fun! I used to see videos of myself DJing and I’d look so rigid and focused so I definitely reminded myself to enjoy the music that I’m playing and have a dance.’’
Q. At this point in your career, what has been your most memorable moment so far?
A. “There’s been a few beautiful moments behind the decks since I started. But the most memorable was closing down The Roots Tropical tent after an amazing live band Soma Soma at Shambala Festival last year on the first night. It wasn’t long after we came out of lockdown, so not djing to a standing moving crowd for so long, it was kind of surreal seeing a big mass of people dancing, enjoying themselves freely. It was probably the biggest set I’ve done. It was seriously heartwarming to receive so much positive and kind feedback also as I was so nervous beforehand.’’
Q. Do you wish you had started DJing earlier than you did?
A. “I started learning about 8 years ago but took a break. So it seemed like a good time to start but I wish I had kept with it and not put it on pause for a few years. But I kind of felt like I always put myself in the
position of djing, even at school. I’d set up the projector and computer to play my playlists at lunch to the whole class room (whether they liked it or not lol).’’
Q. What advice would you give to people?
A.“Go for it! Build up your library and get really familiar with sounds you like. Go to workshops and open deck events ( Selextorhood have both). Meet like minded people, join a DJ community. Don’t compare yourself to other DJ’s as everyone has their own style and are at different stages of their journeys. Lastly, enjoy yourself and don’t take it too seriously!’’
Q. What interested you in joining Selextorhood?
A. “I really wanted to know more about the world of music and djing. Not really having many expectations, after my first talk and workshop I was intrigued to learn more and excited to be in a space with so many friendly aspiring female and gender minorities DJs who just inspired me. Being able to learn DJing and hear about the experiences of other female DJs and where they are now, definitely gave me that buzz to become more ingrained in the idea of playing music out in public. From being at Selextorhood workshop or event I felt supported, patience and it was non judgemental which was encouraging and endearing. I worked in bars and looking at the DJs who would play, there seemed to be a recurring theme. The industry seemed dominated by white males. It was so refreshing and encouraging to see females of colour at workshops, hosting the talks and killing it behind the decks at events.’’
Q. What makes Global Rotations the best event?
A. “It‘s a musical sensory haven, which is so unique to Birmingham as we aim to explore music from all continents, eras and genres whilst providing you sweet smells, enticing your eyes with ambient lights and colourful decorations. We offer open decks, allowing peeps at any level of djing to have go sharing their music with us on the decks. Our aim for every event is to create a safe space, where everyone feel comfortable, accepted and free from discrimination or any kind of judgement. There are always more than a few Selextorhood community members floating around on hand to support and talk with.’’
Q. Where can people find you if they want more information about Global Rotations?
A. “Follow Selextorhood on both Instagram and Facebook, @Selextorhood and my personal account is @deecleo.’’
A Trio of talented DJs from the Selextorhood Community; Echo Juliet, Mystic Meg and Japes will be returning Wednesday 2nd February 2022 for their first Global Rotations event of the year at The Night Owl!