Headliner has long been a platform that delivers top-notch DJ talent. From the crème de la crème of professional mobile DJs, to the most respected in the underground club circuit, Headliner has a killer DJ for any event. As such, we’re thrilled to announce our ‘Meet The DJ’ series, where we interview a Headliner DJ and in turn, they produce a sweet mix for your listening pleasure.
Merry Mixmas, Headliners! Christmas is around the corner, and we wanted to post a solid Q&A before sending you off on your merry way for the holidays. This issue showcases Tailor Jae, a fearless East London DJ who is unafraid to play what she likes and mix unusual pairings:
Tailor Jae represents an eclectic new sound that mixes everything from house to grime, hip-hop to RnB and many genres in between. But don’t just take our word for it! She is the winner of the Coors Light and Mixmag DJ Quest, a reputable, national DJ competition. She’s also a budding music producer planning on taking the world by storm. With venues such as Lab 11 Birmingham, Kasbah Coventry, The Nest London and Red Bull Studios, London under her belt, Tailor Jae continues to push her sound universally.
Tailor Jae has created an exclusive Headliner mix, inspired by East London grime, funky house and garage. Sit back, relax and enjoy while you scroll through our interview with her.
Tell us a bit about your mix. What were your inspirations for it? In what ways is it a reflection of you as a DJ?
I’m always about high energy, quick transitions and general fun, so I put together a mix that reflects that. Whenever I make a mix, I always think about how can I make it as crazy as possible. I wouldn’t say that I’m crazy (some may disagree), but what I would say is that I’m learning that it’s okay to be myself. It’s alright to like what I want and mix what I want. This reflects my style as a DJ. It took me a while to realise that I didn’t have to conform! This mix will make it clear that I’m from London and hopefully will be interesting and fun. Also, it’s quite bass heavy, which I love.
What is one subgenre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
Trap house, not sure of many people that have heard of it. A producer friend of mine, Ronnie Loko, produces trap house, which is a fusion of trap and house – it’s insanely creative!
What would you request on your dream rider?
I’m easy, so this would suit me fine: A Pioneer XDJ-1000 with a DJM-850 Mixer, organic juices and pizza with a side of Kofi Siriboe (one can dream!).
Would you say that there is a solid East London sound? How does it differ from other areas?
Yes, definitely. To me, the East London vibe is raw, gritty and unapologetic. I cannot mention East London without mentioning grime. I’d say a lot of classic grime reflects this point. If you listen to older tracks by Ghetts or Dizzee, you’ll get what I mean. I’d say it differs from other areas in the sense that it was super authentic, but I only say this because I believe East is authentically the birth place of grime.
I’d say in the current day there isn’t really so much of a distinctive sound, but I believe the different parts of London all give off a slightly different vibe.
How does your mixing style set you apart from other DJs? Do you have any signature tricks or techniques?
I’d say my style is ambiguous; I cannot be put in a box. I will always try and fuse tracks that shouldn’t go together. I believe as a DJ it’s really important not to be static – you have to keep the energy flowing and not be afraid to experiment! I’m not afraid to jump from one genre to another. I try to do that and still keep my mixes cohesive. I think it works and it sets me apart because I’m willing to divert from the norm.
How would you describe your relationship with music? I’m particularly interested in your relationship with individual songs and albums.
I love all types of music. One day I’ll be listening to some RnB, the next I’ll be swinging my hair to a bass track. It all depends on my mood, and I think I reflect that in my track selections, I try to fuse all that I love into my mixes. One of my favourite classic songs is ‘Killer,’ by Adamski and Seal. You have Seal’s soulful voice on top of an acid type electronic beat. I bet if you’d written these two names on paper, people would have said it would never work – but the track is pure gold!
Some of my more current favourite tracks are: ‘Much Love’ by J Ezza, ‘Bloom’ by Melle Brown, ‘What I Need’ by Nova. They’re all different genres and fit my mood perfectly at different times.
Sometimes, I just want music to keep me calm and help me to reflect. Other times, I want more upbeat vibes to keep me energised. All these tracks are self-produced, which is amazing!
Do you prefer producing music or DJing?
I will always be a DJ first, but also will dabble in production and hope to bring out some tunes one day – it just has to feel right. There is a pressure on DJs to produce these days, as a lot of producers have taken over the DJing scene, but for me it has to be organic.
You’ve won quite a few prestigious awards! What categories were they in or what mixes were they for?
I recently won a national DJ competition run by Mixmag and CoorsLight. Out of over 700+ DJs, I was selected a winner! I put a mix together and became a finalist. After that I had to play live, and eventually won. It’s crazy to me, because there are so many amazing DJs out there, but I’m so grateful and look forward to doing a Mixlab in the new year!
What genres are you most influenced by at the moment?
Right now, I’d say I’m loving a lot of the funky house and garage that is coming out. At the moment, I’m discovering new and smaller producers everyday and I love that I can get access to what they make in their bedrooms. You can get some real gems which make your sets even more unique and support the little people – I love that. I’m especially loving the garage tunes from Witchdoctor. He’s an amazing producer who fuses old school garage elements with modern baselines. It’s insane.
I’m also feeling the alternative grime vibe, it’s a more mellow version of grime. Blue Canarinho is a producer who really makes it sound amazingly effortless.
If you could hold a residency at any club in London, which club would it be?
It would have to be Fabric. I mean who wouldn’t want to? I’d love to add that to my CV.