Welcome back to Fashion Rocks, a series that celebrates dapper musicians across the globe. This week we’re featuring DJ Amanda Louise, an Australian DJ connecting lovers and friends on the dance floor around world. Since being discovered three years ago, DJ Amanda Louise has exploded on the club scene spinning in Ibiza, Berlin, New York. Her talent was rewarded when she was invited to headline the 2015 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras alongside David Morales and JD Samson. DJ Amanda Louise has some amazing gigs coming up, such as spinning one of Whitney Day‘s NYC Pride parties, Shut up and Dance, at Cielo, Friday June 26th.
dapperQ: When did you start DJing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
AL: I first developed a thirst for deep house music whilst living in London. It was after a holiday to Ibiza, Spain in 2009 that the rhythm never left my heart. Coming back to Australia, I started immersing myself in the underground sounds and the enticing local subcultures, discovering how much I loved being a DJ.
My passion for house music has been heavily influenced by the giants within the industry. Artists like Frankie Knuckles, Danny Tenaglia, Green Velvet alongside my favorite female artists TiNI, Maya Jane Coles and Kim Ann Foxman.
dapperQ: How has your work evolved?
AL: After cutting my teeth at friends’ parties, I landed my first residency with a men’s fashion label Team8 Sydney. I quickly realised I needed to discover more about the scene, so every year I traveled the world looking for new experiences, music and picked up some great friends along the way. This exposure to new styles expanded my tastes into an eclectic range of genres from disco and funk to classic house and techno.
After gaining experience playing regularly on the Sydney underground circuit, the breakthrough came for me when I was discovered by Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, winning the 2013 Spin Off DJ competition. This allowed me to indulge into classic and funky house music, which is really popular in the Australian LGBT community.
dapperQ: How would you describe your current musical style?
AL: House fusion! It really depends upon the audience, the feel of the room and the party theme. Jackin house with a bouncy percussive beat always makes me feel happy. The music has a bass warmth to it with a touch of soul.
Personally I have a real soft spot for playing disco house for the bears and as a teenager I was really into my R&B, so be prepared for Janet Jackson remix during some of my sets.
My alter ego loves deep, sexy, grinding tech house and techno beats. It gives me an opportunity to express the other side of my desires and get lost in the music or someone. Green Velvet’s “Flash” is a great example where the music sends you loco and the lyrics are really cheeky.
dapperQ: The relationship with the audience is important for a DJ. How do you balance between giving the crowd what they want and staying true to your artistry? Do you believe in “reading an audience” – and how do you put it into practice?
AL: I’ve always said to my friends when I see people kissing on my dance floor, I know I’ve done my job properly. When in the audience myself, I always want to hear something new and to be taken on a journey of sound.
There is definitely a lot of fun preparing for international sets and it’s always great to drop a familiar track, as music is such a powerful medium in people’s lives. A classic track is like a time machine for your body; it triggers instant smiles, hormones and “hands into the air” moments. The track “Finally” by Kings of Tomorrow is definitely a winner.
This quote from Boy George sums it up perfectly:
“I’M OF THE OPINION THAT AS A DJ YOU MUST ALWAYS PLAY WHAT YOU LOVE AND IGNORE WHAT’S ‘TRENDY’ BECAUSE TRUE PASSION ALWAYS ECLIPSES WHAT’S FASHIONABLE. QUALITY IS ALWAYS FASHIONABLE.”
dapperQ: Music and fashion have always been intertwined. Some of the biggest style icons have come from the music industry, from Gaga, Bowie, Madonna and Beyonce to Andre 3000, Joan Jett, Pharrell, and the Beatles. On the runway, the perfect song has the power to convey the aesthetic of a designer’s work. Alternatively, the perfect outfit or personal style has the power to convey the aesthetic of a musician’s work. How would you describe your personal style when it comes to fashion? Would you say it is influenced by your music? If so, how?
AL: My style is quite tomboy with a touch of femme. I’m also a qualified personal trainer, my frame is quite boyish, so the sporty look is a natural end result.
When spinning at disco parties, I will bring out something more glam; but I’m also known to play the leather party scene, which means a change in outfits to something a little more sexier and more revealing.
dapperQ: Has your personal style evolved over the years?
AL: Yes it has and it will continue to, as the more you perform the more outfits are required…and, dating creative women also helps the inspiration!
My primary focus is on the music I play and the fashion is secondary. I’m starting to be more adventurous with my style and outfits. At this year’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Official after party (20,000 + people) I rocked some leather shorts by Australian designers “Tsubi” and a disco mirror bra from the “House of Pricilla.”
dapperQ: Who are some of your fashion icons?
AL: I like a little bit of everything. But if I had to choose one it would be Gaga’s early fashion styling with the chunky sunglasses, disco sticks and big shoulders.
dapperQ: What is the one article of clothing you cannot live without?
AL: My favorite DJ shoes.
dapperQ: What can we expect next from you?
AL: More gigs in New York where I’ll be playing at the Whitney day events, Ox Ball Evolution and Brut. To keep up with my latest music mixes you can follow me on soundcloud.com/djamandalouise and upcoming gigs on facebook.com/DjAmandaLouise