DJ Honey (Credit: Wondersoul)

DJ Honey: “They were kicking and splashing up puddles to the beat of the music”

Another fine DJane, who I still have to meet in person. DJ Honey (Instagram) came to DJing more or less by accident but now spins 45s in Singapore and Australia. Read all about this Western lady grooving audiences in Eastern shores, as she answers Our questions, partaking in the “DJanes You Should Know” series.

Which style / genre do you mostly play:
60s Northern Soul, RnB, popcorn and girl groups on original 45s.

Residency (current or previous):
* Current: Singapore Soul (SG)
* 2015-2017: Sonny’s House Of Blues (AU) every Friday and Saturday night.
* 2016-2017: Hope & Anchor (AU) last Sunday every month.
* 2016-2017: Be My Baby @ Padre (AU) first Saturday every month.
* 2017: The Pod (AU) last Friday every month.

DJ gig farthest away from your home:
The 26th 6ts Northern Soul Weekender In Cleethorpes (UK) and alongside DJ Andy Smith at Joe’s in Camden (UK).

Most memorable DJ gig and why?
There have been many memorable gigs such as the one where my dress split just as I picked up my records to go DJ my set! Or, one of my very first gigs ever alongside an all female lineup with Melbourne’s Southside Soul to support survivors of domestic violence. However, one that will always stand out to me was while DJing an outdoor gig in Australia and it began to pour with rain! I’m talking torrential rain closing in on the little gazebo I was DJing from. I had The Ventures “Wipeout” blasting from the speakers. People decided to throw caution to wind and join me in the fun! They took themselves out into the rain and started dancing getting absolutely soaked, all the while kicking and splashing up puddles to the beat of the music. It was complete madness and oh so magical!

Since when have you been a DJ?
I very quietly collected records for over a decade and was asked a few times along the way but never had the courage to get behind the decks. I was eventually coerced in 2015.

What was your first ever record?
Dusty Springfield’s “A Girl Called Dusty” LP when I was 10 years old.

Favourite record of all times and why:
Although there are many, I would have to say my favourite Northern Soul record is Linda Jones “I Just Can’t Live My Life (Without You Babe)”. The passion, heartbreak, desperate plea and emotion in that record is something special and for an artist to lay their heart bare in a recording like that is a true gift for us listeners. I can only imagine how intense it must’ve been in the studio on the day of recording. Not a dry eye! Accompany it will a driving soul beat and viola! It’s a winner!

Record you usually play at all your DJ gigs:
I regularly play Barbara Lynn “I’m A Good Woman”. Barbara was, and still is, a force to be reckoned with! She writes her own songs, plays her own instruments and performed alongside the Kings of RnB owning the stage every single moment (as she should!) along the way! The sentiment behind “I’m A Good Woman” is just as powerful. A woman standing up to an abusive partner and taking back control of her life. Taking back her power. There’s nothing more admirable than a woman knowing her worth.

Vinyl or other media:
100% original vinyl 45s.

Favourite club to play at:
Nude Restaurant, Osaka, Japan. Asia’s headquarters of Northern Soul. The gig started at 7:30pm and by 8pm the floor was packed! I’ve never felt so much energy in one room at once! Impeccable dressers, incredible dancers and the best records I’ve ever heard in my life! The crowd are super respectful, passionate and enthusiastic! I had a smile from ear to ear all night long!

Your favourite DJ:
Vince ‘The Prince’ Peach (AUS). Vince hosts the longest running soul show in the world on PBS FM and DJs the longest running weekly soul night in the world too. He offered me one of my very first gigs and my DJing has gone from strength to strength since. He’s proper old school Northern Soul but completely inclusive, supportive and encouraging which is very refreshing. He knows how to work a dance floor and plays anything from $1 to $1000 records. So long as it gets the punters dancing, it doesn’t matter. And that’s the way it should be!

Band / Musician you strongly recommend everyone should listen to:
Past: The Lollipops. One of my favourite girl groups. Albeit only releasing a handful of records during the 60s. They’ve got everything I love in a record – seductive, slinky verses; cool, understated yet girly vocals, fat horns and driving beats!

Present: The Pinholes. Keeping it close to my (current) home of Singapore. In a country that increasingly continues to eradicate all aspects of the past, The Pinholes are passionate about keeping the genre of 60s pop yeah yeah alive. They refer to themselves as “The Brown Beatles” with their mop cuts, matching suits and sunglasses while on stage. They’re retro but not kitsch. They’re authentic, they’re cool and they’re great musicians.

(Photo credit: Wondersoul)

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