D*Jadeabella Interview pt. 2: Gaming DJ Extrodinaire
Since starting off as one of Neko Nation Sydney’s first DJs, she has since gone on to become the most famous and beloved of that original DJ Line-Up. Since then, D*Jadeabella has made a name for herself not just behind the decks but also for her amazing cosplays inspired by her love of animes and video games. We sit down and have a massive chat to D*Jadeabella, where we learn lots about her to the point where we’ve had to split the interview into two parts. The first part will be focusing on her love of cosplay and video gaming. The next part will be focusing on her DJ career which will be coming out soon.
What first inspired you to start getting into DJing?
Ha well.. I’ve been with the Neko Nation family since back in the Adelaide days, I used to be a catgirl. When I moved to Sydney, I started helping Kenaz find tracks for his sets since he started Djing before I did, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across some tracks by a guy named Benjamin Briggs on Soundcloud that really made me go “Wow.. these are super fun and I want to share these tracks with everyone else. “
Through Bens music, I also discovered DJ Cutman and the label Gamechops.. there was this whole new world of fun video game remixes and chiptunes and I really just wanted to keep playing it for people so they could have as much fun as I did listening to it. I asked Supreme Neko overlord if I could have a go at playing a set and he gave me an early set. I’ve played every single Sydney show since then plus multiple other states and a bunch of other gigs.
Also if you HAVEN’T checked out Ben Briggs or DJ Cutman before – Go do it.
Which DJs and producers do you look up to the most?
Agh I have SO MANY!
Firstly it’s gotta be the reason I got into this at all – Benjamin Briggs. Ben is honestly one of the greatest people that I have ever met and am lucky enough to be able to call a friend. He’s been such a big muscial influence in my life and welcomed me into the scene with open arms, instantly made me feel like part of the family. He’s so encouraging to everyone and just wants a place where everyone can have a go and succeed.
Watching him play live is always so fun, Bens energy is infectious. There is never anyone standing still in a Ben Briggs set and they way he gets the crowd engaged is magical. I have so much love and admiration for this man and absolutely wouldn’t be on this journey if it wasn’t for discovering his music. So.. Thanks Dad!
DJ Cutman was the next one I found and he’s been a huge inspiration to me as well, through him and his label Gamechops I discovered so many amazing artists that again I’m now lucky enough to be able to call friends.
RobKTA – the first friend I made in the scene. Rob has a distinct funky sound and his Sonic Album: Club Needlemouse is still one of my absolute fav things to listen too when I’m stressed out. I was a fan long before I knew him, and since then he’s been nothing but supportive and encouraging.
James Landino – I can’t say enough good things about James Landino. If there was ever someone I wish I could emulate it’d be him. I’ve seen him play live a few times now and each time I’m filled with so much energy and am inspired to want to become a better performer myself, his energy and stage presence is just next level. His mixing is SO good, every time I watch him perform I go home and think about how I can up my game to keep up. He’s worked on so many cool things, had multiple songs in games that it gives me goals that I would also hope to achieve one day. He’s also just a generally awesome dude that I have nothing but respect for.
Also I’ll quickly mention RoboRob and bLiNd. These two are some of the most talented producers I’ve ever met and have done SO much for the scene. Everything these guys make is golden and they’ve both worked on so many diifferent genres and each time they just smash it out of the park.
And again just like literally everyone at Tiny Waves. The entire label has just so many insanely talented people each with such different sounds and all the people are just so god damn great. There are too many to name but I genuinely have so much love for each and every one of them.
Please check out all these guys because I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without any of them <3
In 2018, you played your first international gig at MagFest, how did that come about? For those who aren’t aware, can you explain what MagFest is?
MAGFest is a Music and Gaming Festival that is held in National Harbour DC. It is like nothing I have ever been too. It’s held in a big hotel and it just doesn’t stop for 4 days. There are some cosplayers there but it isn’t the main focus of the Fest. There are lots of concerts and parties, jam pods set up around the place for people to set up decks or play instruments.. it’s just a really cool vibe. There is always something to do.
I’d found out about it a few years ago and really wanted to go and now that I had made friends with a bunch of people in the scene I thought it was a good a time as any. Originally I applied for a performer spot but I got rejected, which was fine- I didn’t really want my first time in the US to be performing so I was just going to go and hang out with friends.
Then one morning I actually woke up to a message from James Landino asking me if I wanted to play at MAG with him and Cutman.. like OF COURSE I DO.. but I was confused at why he was asking me.
Turns out the panel loved my application and wanted me but didn’t have budget to bring me over, when they found out I was coming anyway they snagged me up for a smaller show called the Mega Man-athon
Which is a 72hour non stop Mega Man session which is live streamed to raise money for Childs Play, at the end they have the small rave which is put on by Gamechops.
It was very surreal to go from following all these amazing producers music and socials – to not only meeting them all in person but playing along side them in the same show and becoming friends.
In the world of DJing there’s been very few female DJs. Did you ever feel that it was harder to earn respect as a female DJ especially when first starting out?
Uhhhmm… Goooooood question. It was pretty mixed actually. I was the only female DJ for Sydney Neko for a good long while, I’ve never really felt like I had to prove myself there. When I started getting bookings in other gigs though I definitely felt my first few gigs I had to really put in 200% to be acknowledged by the other DJs that were playing. That feeling didn’t last too long though.
Sydney is pretty spoiled for female DJs in so many different genres. [email protected] is definitely one I look up too a lot, she has her own label and is constantly touring the world playing shows. She is goals.
Compared to other DJs you’re a bit more well known for your cosplays, high energy, crowd communication and dance performances while DJing. How important do you feel non-technical skills add to the DJ performance?
I think they’re important if you want to separate yourself from every other DJ. We have a lot of people that have a similar sound in Sydney at least so I knew early on (especially when I was still learning how to mix…) I needed to do something a little outside the box to get noticed. Already being a cosplayer it seemed natural to combine the two.
Finally, what can we expect from your DJ set at Neko Nation Sydney?
Fast, hard, no breaks. Lots of flibbin’.
I’m sorta trying to change up my style a little bit so I’m not even sure what’s in store at this stage, y’all just gonna have to come to my set and find out 😉
Catch D*Jadeabella at the Neko Nation Sydney Finale on May 18th 2019 @ Manning Bar, more details below!
Countdown to Neko Nation Sydney