Heineken Saturday at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 – Eve Speciall Interview
Heineken Saturday will take place in the heart of the Heineken Village at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 – the most significant event space for Heineken in Australia – offering fans a unique and interactive setting where they can enjoy incredible music performances, ice cold Heineken, delicious food and great vibes as well as watching all the on-track action on the supersize screens.
Hot Dub Time Machine will headline an exclusive live set in collaboration with artists Samsaruh and Dan Mac. The electronic band, Nite Theory who will be bringing their energy-infused live show to the stage along with DJ Eve Speciall who has become a leading force in the fashion and music scenes around the globe. Her high energy and powerful presence has allowed her to tear up the stage with massive performances as headliner for Heineken Green Room and BeatShip. Her hip hop sets are flawless, securing her festival slots alongside acts such as Pharrell and Pusha T and scoring opening DJ sets for Just Blaze, Mykki Blanco and Thugli.
Sydney- born fashion model Eve Speciall has spent recent years travelling between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, quickly becoming the go-to DJ for Dolce & Gabbana, Nike and Mercedes. We were extremely pleased that she could spend a little of her time to discuss her career so far.
Q. Some of our readers may not know too much about you. Can you tell us about your background?
– where you grew up
I grew up on the North Shore in Sydney and also in Edinburgh, Scotland… and my parents are Canadian.
– your time as a model and when you made the move into DJing
I started out as a model in 2008 and moved around the globe from Tokyo, Toronto, Hong Kong, Hamburg and Los Angeles for work. I first started DJing around 2011 when I arrived in Hong Kong and got my first residency at a club called Fly in Lan Kwai Fong.
Q. Did you feel any stigma about progressing to the DJ world? The model-come-DJ label is often ridiculed.
Good question! Yes and no. Look, I think if you don’t put in the hard work you leave yourself open to ridicule and being rejected by the scene, passed off as someone who’s more focused on how they look than their music.
I grew up loving music and obsessed with so many genres, artists and eras, which transferred into heaps of time and effort spent honing my craft as a DJ. I take it very seriously, the music comes first… so I guess I didn’t run into too much hate over my status and someone who both DJ’s and models. People can tell if you’re passionate about what you’re doing. If that passion transfers into your art, they get behind you.
In the early days of my DJ career I had a mentor, Kid Fresh who was a DMC scratch champion from Germany. We would put on the best nights together in HK. It did really help to have someone of that stature and credibility backing me and putting their weight behind me early on, I felt that it gave other people who are skeptical permission to be more open minded about me and my abilities as a DJ.
Q. What was the breakthrough for you as a DJ?
I think it was first time I was flown internationally to DJ a party… it was in Manila for 7th High. I was so nervous but really proud of being chosen to headline. I was so hyped to see the nightclub at full capacity and everybody wilding out. The crew in the Philippines are so quick to embrace and support you, so yeah it was an honour.
Q. What type of music had you grown up liking, and what did you want to bring to your performance?
I grew up listening to everything from the Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Jeff Buckley, The Beatles, TLC, the Beach Boys & The Prodigy … once I hit my early teens I was into a lot of 70’s/80’s rock and punk… Stevie Nicks, The Clash, Jimi Hendrix and balancing that with what I was hearing on the radio which was Gorillaz, M.I.A, Justice & Jay Z. So yeah… pretty wide ranging from a young age! That definitely transfers to my DJ sets. You’ll probably hear Kendrick Lamar in the same set as Depeche Mode.
Q. Who are some of the special people you’ve worked with so far?
I think playing the Playboy Mansion Halloween Bash was an undeniably special moment for me. Also playing alongside Demi Lovato and Blood Orange in Los Angeles for the Topshop launch at The Grove. Other fantastic opportunities have been starring in Tiesto’s music video for Light Years Away and DJing for Miu Miu, Cartier, Prada, Adidas & GQ.
Q. Becoming Musical Director for Hong Kong Fashion Week must have been a real thrill and providing you with a big responsibility. Tell us about the work involved in such an event?
I mean for me that was an absolute joy to be a part of it for so many years… I got to combine all my experience backstage as a model and bring that to inform me in my role as music director. I worked with the designers from Hong Kong but also the international brands such as Vivienne Westwood who put on their runway show in HK. I came in with no experience as a music director, only as a DJ… so I had to cut my teeth on the fly and learn on the job. But after my 5th year with HKFW I feel like my experience was really coming through.
Q. I believe you spend the majority of your time in Hong Kong. What are differences you see in fashion and music between there and Los Angeles?
So many differences! HK is much more fast-paced. The food, the fashion, the nightlife. In LA it’s more spread out geographically and more laid-back in terms of fashion. Clubs close at 2am so you end up at house parties in the hills, where-as in HK you can hop between 5 clubs on the same block until 6 in the morning. Even though HK gets crazy hot and humid in the summer you still put on a full outfit to go out but LA loves it’s ripped denim and layered jewellery and more beach/boho vibe.
Q. Who have been great influences in your career?
Diplo and A-trak have made it totally acceptable to genre hop during sets and be super diverse in terms of their production. I like that they aren’t constrained by one sound or trend in music, they keep evolving and in turn change the shape of the musical landscape.
Q. Is there somebody, in particular, that you’d like to work with one day?
I still love M.I.A, and Robyn. James Blake… Tyler The Creator
Q. How do generally view the DJ world at the moment, from a female’s perspective?
From my perspective I think there is a shift occurring based on all the discussion around a lack of diversity in festival line-ups which is great. More focus is being put on balancing out male-dominated or all-male line-ups for events, especially in Australia. It’s a slow paradigm shift but I’m happy that people are taking notice now and these discussions aren’t falling on deaf ears.
Q. Performing on Heineken Saturday at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is sure to be another feather in your cap. I suppose for you it is extra special being in Australia…
Oh big time! It’s definitely a special one for me. I am a bit of a motor head… my dad and I bonded over cars growing up. I played the F1 party in Singapore but I am so hyped to now be playing on home soil. It’s always really fun playing an event that you feel personally attached to or invested in. I really want to give it my all and make sure I play the best set possible.
Q. Are you working towards producing your own original music in the near future?
Oh yeah. Watch this space!
To buy tickets to Heineken Saturday at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019, 16 March 2019, visit www.grandprix.com.au or call 1800 100 030.
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