It’s time for the 18th instalment to our (20:20 Mix) series, and this week we’re joined by legendary Mancunian DJ Paulette. She’s been around for almost three decades racking up residencies in some of the world’s biggest nightclubs in the process with her dynamic range of musical choices from soul/funk to house/techno.
Check out our exclusive interview with the industry veteran below…
Tell us about yourself; where you’re from, what you do and what’s your shoe size?
“I am DJ Paulette, a music lover, collector and obsessive from Manchester (UK) born, bred and settled. I am known for playing music and creating soundscapes in bars, nightclubs, festivals and events all over the world and am now known for bouncing around on live streams for everyone from Glitterbox to Boiler Room to He.She.They x Beatport to NYC Downlow for Block 9 (Glastonbury) too,
“I make my voice heard and share my passion for music twice a month on radio shows for Worldwide FM and Reform Radio and occasionally on Gaydio. I love to introduce people to new sounds and artists. I am a DJ from the top of my head to the tip of my toes and through to my DNA but I also try to make music when I can with a producer/engineer like Mbaya or Chris Massey to create something of my own,
“My strength is in the selection and making people dance and it is my mission in life to lift spirits and to make as many people as possible happy by doing that,
“My shoe size is 6/39.”
How did you get started in the music industry?
“I started working in the music industry when I was 18 years old. I applied for a Junior Reporters job on a local radio show and sprayed ‘Obsession’ perfume all over the letter. That single act set the tone for a very colourful life in music I can tell you,
“After that, I worked full time as the Radio Station Record Librarian for nearly a year. Then I sang in bands and wrote for local magazines reviewing films, albums and singles. I started DJing by accident in 1992 and here we are in 2020.”
How would you describe your music habit?
“I am driven by strong or quirky vocals, solid productions with a phat bottom end, big, energetic, percussive beats and meaty, sexy, slithery basslines.”
What has been your record of the year so far and what are you looking forward to hearing for the rest of the year?
“Fisher – ‘Wanna Go Dancin’ – I am looking forward to hearing more tracks that push the funky, sleazy, melodic side of tech-house. Anything that makes me dance and lifts my spirit is a winner for me.”
Have you been making much music recently and can we expect some releases soon?
“Sadly not – thank you COVID. I need to work with my partner in a studio and it’s not been possible to do that. We have three tracks that we were working on in March when everything closed down and I’m itching to finish them.”
Has there been a particular event/party that has stood out for your career?
“There have been many but here’s a small sample:
Flesh at the Hacienda 1992 – four years of hosting the Pussy Parlour in the Gay Traitor basement and all that entailed.
Garage at Heaven – London 1994 with Princess Julia and Rachel Auburn.
Ministry of Sound Bar 1996 – closing that still gives me goosebumps. One of those nights when everything went right.
Ibiza – Amnesia Courtyard with Andy Carroll and Norman Jay for Manifesto Records.
Ibiza – Pacha and Space 1998 for Azuli Records and The Ministry of Sound.
Ministry of Sound International Tour India 2001 – 10 dates, 6 days, 3 cities – Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and watching 9/11 unfold on a tiny telly in the dining room of the hotel in Mumbai.
Solidays Parade ‘Pourquoi On s’en Fout’ – 2005 Paris – police escort through the streets to the site. Playing sandwiched in between Etienne De Crecy and Bob Sinclar. Tearing it up and seeing a sea of 30,000 people bouncing to my set as we rounded onto the Pont Neuf. Utter madness.
2008 – Nuit de Zapping, Bercy Paris.
2010 – Closing the party for the Fete De La Musique – Champs Des Mars (Paris).
2012 – Radio FG Party – Grand Palais.
2019 – Bluedot Festival.
2019 We out Here Festival.
2019 Homobloc – closing the courtyard.
2020 – live stream Glitterbox.”
And looking further ahead, who should we be looking out for in 2021?
“When the man with the green flag says it’s globally safe to come out and party again I’m putting my bets on the following:
“I’ve been following Black Girl/White Girl for some time and it would be nice to see them break out,
“Juliet Sikora has started putting releases out on more mainstream labels so I am keeping my eye on her too,
“Offaiah is doing great things and has signed a big deal with Defected Records, as have the Martinez Brothers,
“I think Gorgon City’s ‘Realm’ label and Lee Foss’s ‘Repopulate Mars’ label have been consistently good, so I am expecting more great things from them,
“I love the Moses Boyd album and would like to hear him live somewhere open air.”
This Friday you’re broadcasting an exclusive size? sessions (20:20 Mix) for us. What can we expect to hear?
“A fine, toothsome selection of certified, jacked and stacked house bangers that have kept me trim and kept people entertained through lockdown. Music from The Martinez Brothers, Louie Vega, Juliet Sikora, Yolanda Be Cool, Eats Everything and many more.”
Outside of the music industry, where do you look for inspiration?
“Family – essential in every way; friends, same.
Gardening and Nature – I am mad on house plants and do something different with my little garden every year. I love parks and walking in nature – Heaton Park has been my spiritual home since I was a little girl and I always see something new and beautiful there.
Swimming, yoga and meditation – I don’t do classes but I practice at home.
Art: Georgia O Keeffe, Kara Walker, Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Chris Ofili, Anthony Gormley, Olafur Eliasson, Richard Serra, Anish Kapoor, Banksy, Miss Tique.
Food – I love cooking, am not a Masterchef level expert but I make really good meals.
Fashion – I love clothes. Period. From Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood to slogan t-shirts and cool shoes and trainers. Sportswear. Swimming costumes. Dog clothes. I love it all.
Film and TV – Succession. Umbrella Academy. Little Fires Everywhere. Documentaries. Black KKKlansman. BLACK IS KING. 13. Disclosure. My Brilliant Friend. Call My Agent. Red Table Talks.
Books – ‘White Fragility’ has recently made a deep impression on me. My Name Is Malala. Keith Haring and Prince biographies.
Radio – Gilles Peterson’s breakfast show on Worldwide FM during lockdown has been a lifesaver.”
What are your top 4 records of all time?
“Erykah Badu – On & On
Childish Gambino – This Is America
Underground Resistance – Jaguar
Rotary Connection – Vine of Happiness.”
What are your top 3 trainers of all time?
“I’m an adidas girl so controversial again, don’t @ me.
Stella Mc Cartney for adidas Silver, slatted trainers/dance shoes – can’t remember what year, they don’t even google. Hammered them, want them refurbing so I can keep hammering them.
Jeremy Scott – Wings – All White Satin 2011.
adidas Originals Falcons – Gold 2019 – my trusty, go anywhere, go with anything, dance any way trainers.”