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In conversation with DEBORAH X

“I don’t keep my mixes confined to one genre”

Introducing DEBORAH X, a DJ who effortlessly blends soulful house and techno with UK garage and jungle. Exploring the unifying grooves and rhythms found in all our favourite genres, DEBORAH X is also known for forming one part of the Rotterdam-based all-female DJ collective and event curators AMPFEMININE. On a mission to bring life and joy to the dancefloor, read on for our interview with the DJ as we delve into style, inspiration, and pre-set rituals.

Let’s start by discussing your DJ style, how would you best describe your sound?
Genre fluid. I don’t keep my mixes confined to one genre: I enjoy creating a set that links tracks with a similar vibe, ones that resonate either with me personally or with the audience. SEB H, described me best, saying ‘she swerves between underground electronics and future dancefloor classics via detours through percussive drum machine workouts that pull no punches’. I think that perfectly sums it up.

Which DJs do you feel inspire you the most?
I have a couple of DJs who I have been following for a while and who keep inspiring me time and time again: JOSEY REBELLE, TYGAPAW, CARISTA and BENNY RODRIGUES.

What’s something that you can’t live without?
My phone and headphones, so I can document, look up things, discover and listen to new music and podcasts. But also definitely good food and great conversations with those close to me.

What do you like to do before your DJ sets to get in the mood?
I really like to always arrive at the venue ahead of time to hear and feel what the vibe of the room or space is. I need a moment solo to really focus and mentally get in the zone.

What advice would you would give young DJs trying to break into the industry?
Continue being yourself, play what you want and what makes you happy and go out, talk to other DJs and producers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out to people for opportunities.

Besides DJing, what do you do in your daily life?
I work as a sustainable design researcher during the day. I also facilitate circular design workshops, host talks, and programme and curate events. Most importantly, I’m part of AMPFEMININE, a DJ collective from Rotterdam.

Nice! I really love what AMPFEMININE are doing for dance music culture. What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Getting booked for Lowlands (ArmadiLLow), playing at the United Identities stage during Orbit and recently playing before BENNY RODRIGUES.

Wow, that sounds amazing! Thank you for your time and best of luck for the future 🙂

Words by Dexter Burningham

Images courtesy of the artist!