Lauren Lane emerged from the New York House scene and has since played esteemed clubs and festivals across the world, including regular spots in LA and Ibiza. We sat down with her after her sensational Parklife set to talk DJing, chasing dreams, and playing some of the best venues in the world.
How does it feel to be kicking off the festival season? We’re sure you have a busy few months ahead of you.
It’s exciting. I really like playing the UK. There’s always a really good vibe. It’s my first time playing Parklife. I played at The Warehouse Project I think in December, so I got a little taste of the vibe in Manchester and I really enjoyed it, so I’ve been really looking forward to this.
And you were in London last night, right? How was that?
It was good. I felt like a lot of people were like here (laughs). It was good, but I think the anticipation was more for today.
How do the club and festival vibes compare? And how do you treat those experiences differently?
Well, I started DJing in clubs so to me that’s like my comfort zone. I’m in a small club; I know all the tracks I’m going to play. Then when I’m at a big room or a festival, it’s like a learning process; I’m still learning that some songs work perfectly in a small club but they won’t work at a festival. So I think that was an eye opener for me, the first time I played a really big festival, and like today, we went from just a small audience to a huge crowd coming in, so you have to adapt pretty quickly when that happens. But it’s just learning and feeling it out.
So how do you adapt your set to crowds?
I watch people: I see who’s dancing, I see who’s vibing, I kind of check if the crowd want to really get into it and start raging right away or if they’re into more deep vibes. I like a lot of different genres so to be honest during the day, I personally like to hear some fun music, some more House-y sounds as opposed to Techno or pre-dating Tech House. But I felt like today when the crowds started filling in, everyone was ready to go, so I just unleashed a little bit.
You’ve played some big clubs in LA, New York, and Ibiza. Are there any cities, countries or even particular venues you’re itching to play?
I’ve never played at Berghain (Berlin). I feel like that’s the holy grail for DJs. I would love to play there some time. I’m not sure I’m like techno enough, or Berghain enough, but that’d be amazing. I had a few clubs which I did get to scratch off my list, like Warung in Brazil, and DC-10 (Ibiza). Those were really high on my list. I really want to play in Tokyo. I got to go to Tokyo and just explore the city, but I really want to go back and play there. But I think I’ve been pretty lucky to play some of the best clubs in the world.
How and when did you first get into DJing?
I got into DJing because, when I was in high school I had some older friends who were just like bedroom DJs, but we would like leave school and go record shopping in Philly. There were loads of really cool record shops and raves and cool things happening at the time. And then I moved to New York and kind of fell into the same situation where I was going record shopping and helping my DJ friends find music, and then I just decided one day at an after party at my friend’s house in New York – people partied too hard and no one could DJing – so I just DJd for eight hours straight. I’m not saying I was good. I was playing on Vinyl, my first time ever. But I was instantly hooked and I just kept doing it for fun for a few years, DJing in New York, and then other places.
What’s been the greatest challenge of your career so far?
I think I’m the type of person who lets things unfold naturally. I’m not in a huge rush, and I don’t push maybe as hard as sometimes I should. I just go with the flow, but I think sometimes you have to ask or you don’t receive in this business. So the hardest thing for me is being more assertive, and going after what I really want. Because a lot of times when you ask for something, you do actually get it. And I think for me, like I was always told coming up in New York City that you have to earn your place. That was just the way it was in New York. So I always felt like oh, I’m a newcomer, I don’t deserve that yet. So I let myself naturally progress, but overtime now, I’m like I want this, let’s do it.
If you could go back in time to when your career started, what advice would you give yourself?
I think just that, like being more assertive. Like don’t be afraid to ask people their opinions, for advice, or favours, or for a mentor, because I didn’t really have a specific mentor. And I think that would really help any producer or DJ coming up. I think: don’t be scared to find your own sound, and be yourself.
To hear more from Lauren Lane, check out her mixes on SoundCloud. Or read our full Parklife review here.