In this edition Behind the Headphones we spoke to Australian radio queen CC:DISCO! on her latest EP, working in radio, and her favourite gig memories.
A radio host from 15 and one of Melbournes most loved DJs, CC:DISCO! has made a name for herself over the years for all the right reasons. Her ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ show helped launch her into some of the biggest and best radio stations around securing her slots on popular stations such as Rinse, and NTS to name a few.
Always bringing the good vibes in her DJ sets, which are usually filled with vocally disco jams and upbeat house cuts, have caused a demand which has allowed her to perform around the world spinning records at Sub Club, ://about blank, Lost Village, and DGTL to name a few.
Her new release – First Light (Volume II) – is part of a compilation series featuring some of the best Australian talent around, a reminder that despite her international fame CC:DISCO! remembers exactly where she came from. Featuring artists such as Jenifa Mayanja, Hybrid Man, Manuel Darquart to name a few, the record shows off her incredible ear as a selector, each track seemingly as appropriate as the next, effortlessly shifting the energy and vibe. It’s probably better to listen to the compilation in it’s entirety as if it were a DJ set. Doing so will truly give you an insight into CC:DISCO!’s talents.
CC:DISCO!’s sets have provided smiles and tears over the years. A beautiful story of an interaction with an emotional fan on the dance floor pretty much sums her up in one. Whether she is commanding the airwaves, playing at festivals or clubs, or putting the hours in practising at home, its safe to say that everything CC:DISCO! does is with a very rare, graceful, loving, and groovy touch..
Interview & words: Callum Martinez
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us! What was it like being back in Australia over the summer?
My pleasure! Yes it was incredible to be a part of the re-opening of Australia, although we didn’t ever get back to full festival season it was so nice to see everyone dance again in the clubs. Truly something I’ll never forget and hope their lockdown ends really soon 🙁
Where are some of your favourite places to play back home in Melbourne?
Some of my all time fav spots were the small clubs in melb, I loved having a residency at Boney (RIP) back in the day and playing 5-7 hour sets every week taught me so much…. But how can I forget to mention our amazing festivals Strawberry Fields, Meredith, Pitch.. God so many amazing festivals there, BUSH DOOFS FOREVER!
How did your First Light compilation series on Soothsayer come about, and what is the aim of the project?
This was a project that came about in 2016/2017. It came from conversations had in nightclubs in a smoking area, 100%! These random conversations ended up becoming a real life dream and something both, Soothsayer and I, were looking to do so it was a combination of great timing and working with people who had a similar vision! Infact the owner of the company, Matt, was the first person to give me a DJ slot in a club so its very much full circle now. The whole aim was to showcase new artists and create a record you could dance to and also listen with your eyes closed to at home.
Has your approach to music changed at all throughout the lockdowns?
Yes, there were periods when I loved it even more and then sometimes I couldn’t connect with music at all. Was a weird year but I would try and DJ to myself at least 10 hours a week, just me dancing alone in a living room for hours upon hours. Something I really did get into was podcast interviews with DJ’s, I love hearing everyone’s stories so that was something that really got me through hearing everyone’s take on life, music, and the job we all missed and loved.
You’ve had a few gigs recently including GALA Festival in London. How has it felt playing for crowds again
So nice to be back, Gala was really great. I was so nervous, it was such a big slot and had been so long since I’d played in front of that many people! It was such an amazing festival, ran by a awesome crew and the crowd was great – I just danced and took all the good vibes in. I Also played pride at patterns for bitch Please and that was so much fun as well, so good to see people able to be back at festivals and clubs here – I hadn’t been in a heaving club in the UK for nearly 2 years.
What’s your favourite gig memory?
A guy in the front row crying to a gospel tune and me leaving the booth and getting a couple others to go and hug him, it was really special. I miss those moments and it turns out that guy is such a legend and I’ve stayed in contact with as well. I want him at every gig.
We have been loving the Rinse show. How did your connection with them happen?
Thank you. Rinse was just a heaven sent and perfect timing too. I was about to pack up and move my life to the EU and had to give my show at the time on PBSFM which I was SOOOO attached to in Melb. Rinse were keen for me to join the team and times been flying by now as it’s over 3 year on there now.
You have been involved in radio for a long time now. Where and how did the fascination begin?
From the very first moment I remember, if you asked me what I wanted to do as a kid I would say, be on the radio. I got my first show at 15, then got myself a degree in Commercial radio but learnt quickly that was not the right path me. From there I’ve been doing community radio for over 20 years now. I feel super lucky to be still on air. Radio is everything to me still.
What are your plans now that you are back in Europe?
I was actually due to leave for Aus but will be staying now until dec due to more lockdowns there. Hopefully playing lots of shows here tho 🙂 and just enjoying my new life in Lisbon.
If you could do a B2B with any DJ past or present, who would it be and why?
Carl Cox CC x CC disco – Boogie set. The original CC and the other one haha aka me. I just love his vibe and the fact he smiles while playing, it would be fun!
You can buy the latest EP from CC:DISCO! here.
CC:DISCO! will be at Colour Factory in London this weekend, you can purchase tickets here.