Meet DJ Honey, a DJ, radio host and promoter living in Singapore with experience DJing in Australia, the US, UK and in Asia. Honey hosted her first radio show ‘Cadillac Records’ back in 2010 on Australia’s 97.1FM. In 2016 she began hosting Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! on Brisbane’s 4ZZZ FM and now subsequently hosts Girls In The Groove on London’s Soho Radio.
She plays a sultry, raucous and exciting mix of R&B, pop yeh yeh and northern soul all on original vinyl 45s from the 50s-70s. She has a focused celebration of femme fatales, vintage vixens and bad girl babes of the era who “consoled broken hearts, sung about love, promoted girl power and have inspired a generation of music lovers“.
In her free time she says:
I’m always on the look out for records. Always. Anywhere, anytime, if there’s records that’s where you’ll find me.
Honey loves to travel and explore new places, and like most of us is missing that right now but finds enjoyment in getting out even if it’s just a nearby suburb. You’ll often find her at the beach, soaking in the sun and sea, or catching up with friends for music, drinks and food. “Cooking is my meditation and the perfect opportunity to pour a glass of wine, put on some music (preferably a well curated DJ mix) and dance around the kitchen while whipping up a delicious vegan dish” she says.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I started DJing after a particularly traumatic and life changing experience. I made the decision that I‘d no longer allow fear or intimidation to limit my dreams or potential. A friend encouraged me to get behind the decks and rather than politely decline, instead I said yes! It was time for me to take back my power, my life and take up space all while spreading joy and sharing my passion for the music I’d adored for so long.
What is a day in the life like?
I wake up and spend an unsuitable amount of time cuddling my dog in bed. I start every morning with yoga and gratefulness, then coffee while answering emails and texts. I’ll run some errands, have lunch. Usually I’ll have a gig or radio show to prepare for so I’ll be putting playlists and research together and have records sprawled across my lounge room. Organised chaos! The evening will end with a few beers and perhaps a walk to the hawker centre for some delicious local food.
What has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
Last year I DJ’ed the Singapore Grand Prix. To be on the same billing as Gwen Stefani and Fat Boy Slim while spinning 60s soul records was wild. The entire experience was surreal! I don’t think it’s ever been done before, especially not in Singapore, so to break down those barriers and share my passion with thousands of international rev heads was an utter trip! Superstar treatment all the way. Let me say, it was certainly difficult returning to laundry and house chores on Monday.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Stepping into a male dominated industry and occupying space. Convincing venues to hire me over a guy with a bro-hood connection, huge ego and a USB stick. The hustle for gigs and venues is hard, but can also be exciting!
It’s an opportunity for you to sell yourself and all your experience. Know your worth and believe in yourself.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Be creative, be unique, be bold, believe in yourself and just do it! What have you got to lose?
Obviously, you’re a vinyl collector yourself, what got you into it?
I’m sure most record collectors will say the same – the tangible side to vinyl is the seduction. The ritual of flicking through one’s collection, selecting a record depending on mood, reading the liner notes as the record gently crackles away. In the era of self-care, there’s a warmth and a romanticism about taking the time to do that for yourself.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I’ve really been enjoying the online gigs. Travelling and attending gigs, hearing the different styles and sounds pertinent to each city and country is always a thrill for me. It’s been nice to be welcomed into collector’s homes and hear records I might not ever have had the opportunity to outside of lockdown. The live streams have provided a buzz and a bit of fun, helped alleviate the woes of lockdown and added tremendously to my never ending want list.
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
Listen, like and share our mixes so that we retain a presence and relevance within the entertainment industry. Then when we return to gigs come along, dance, smile, spend money behind the bar and enjoy life!
Tell me what you’re listening to right now.
Hands down with tassels shaking… the heiress of Country – Tami Neilson! This woman is one of my living idols! Tami has a mighty voice with a heart to match. Her self-penned lyrics promote women’s empowerment in all life’s stages, she makes conscious and inclusive fashion choices, she talks the talk and walks the walk and her laugh is delightfully infectious!
I was fortunate enough to interview her for Kiss! Kiss! Bang Bang! back in 2017. She is every bit inspiring to chat with as she is belting out songs, such as her own feminist interpretation of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s World” (Tami’s version).
Find DJ Honey: