AIL Talks to Kiss FM Presenter and International DJ Charlie Hedges

We caught up with Kiss FM presenter and DJ, Charlie Hedges about music, life and London.
AIL Talks to Kiss FM Presenter and International DJ Charlie Hedges picture

Charlie Hedges is the youngest female breakfast show DJ in the UK, on Kiss FM and juggles that with a career as an international DJ and a sideline in the loving of London. She has performed in clubs across the world alongside dance music legends like Carl Cox and Fatboy Slim. We caught up with her ahead of her forthcoming show at Pacha to talk about balancing DJing and early mornings and got some exclusive info on her new tracks.

Hi Charlie. For those who haven’t heard your radio show on Kiss FM, can you describe it in five words?
Early, Fun, Real, Live, Friendly.

The early mornings must be a nightmare – how do you balance the DJing/producing with the day job?
It's quite easy really; I have a passion for both. Radio is like chatting to millions of your friends and getting their opinions and feedback on scenarios. DJing is just the most amazing feeling in the world, being able to control the night of so many people and seeing them have fun and buzz off the music and the atmosphere. You have to be sensible and rest when you get 10 minutes or so and be aware of not burning out. I’m good at managing my time and working 24/7 so I am able to do both.

You have a debut self-produced track coming out. Was the transition between playing live and going into a studio to make your own music a tough one?
Not really to be honest. With Djing it’s all about reading a crowd, really listening to music and reading and listening to what works in the clubs, it's about using that knowledge and insight and bringing it into the studio to make music that you think people will react to. And I hope I will manage to do that and that people will like the sounds I'm going for.

Can you tell us about who will be singing the vocals on the new track or is it top secret?
Hehe! It's top secret at the moment, we should be able to start talking about it in a few weeks time, I'll give you an exclusive though, think boy band member! You'll be shocked I think, he sounds amazing and has transformed my original track into an exciting commercial electro house track.

Sounds exciting! How did you get started in DJing and the music industry? Was it something that you always wanted to do?
I always wanted to DJ, yes, from a young age. There’s video of me dancing around my living room when I was about 3. I always loved music, always listened to music over watching TV. Actual DJing I basically taught myself, watched YouTube videos, watched other DJ's mix, then once I'd finished uni and was based at Kiss full time I would literally practice every single day, literally every day for about a year before then doing my first gig. I haven't looked back since.

You’re playing Space at Pacha in October at the UK equivalent of Ibiza’s closing party. Are you excited? Do you have anything special lined up?
I just can't wait to relive and play some of the biggest hits that have stormed Ibiza this year and taken over the house industry. But I'll also be playing some brand new tracks including testing out two other house tracks of my own, which are also finished and ready to release in time – see, another exclusive I've given you guys here ;)

What happens if a crowd just isn’t feeling something – not that we’d imagine that happens often to you? Do you have a guaranteed secret weapon to bring them back up?
If a crowd isn't feeling it it's your job to make them and if you come on and start your set and can't, then you shouldn't be DJing. Thankfully I can say this hasn't happened and I don't want to jinx myself but again it goes back to reading the crowd and seeing what music they're interested in. You can tell within about 30 seconds of playing a track if it's worked or not, if not get the heck out of it and play something else.

You’ve played in cities all over the world. Being a London site we’re fairly – okay, extremely – biased towards our fair city. What is special for you about playing London clubs? Do you have a favorite venue?
London clubs are like playing in your living room with all your friends around you, it's lovely playing back in London after you've been abroad because it's always a great welcome, you get to meet everyone in the local area that you're playing in and there is always so much support, which I am always overwhelmed by. I LOVE LONDON!

When you’re in London do you have any routines? Best places for cocktails, dancing, food, er, enjoying a spot of therapeutic knitting?
Oooh ok… so some of my fave things to do…
Southbank Centre - They have a roof bar which is amazing in the sun, I love The Udderbelly too. It's a massive outdoor area and they have comedy acts undercover, circus acts, basically a different show every day.
Inamo - This is one of my favorite restaurants. It's a touch screen restaurant so you order everything by using the touch screen table you're sitting on.
Camden – I love watching live bands, sitting on the locks, people watching; great with a group of mates for a chilled out Sunday or weekday catch-ups
Inanch London - Best hair salon, even if I don't need my hair doing I try and find a good excuse to go in there, hehe.
Theatre - I love going to the theatre or a comedy night, Comedy Store is my fave place.
Dancing - I normally drag my mates to the nights I'm Djing at, I'll play and then stay to party more after!

Okay, finally, can you finish the sentence: A good set starts with…
A massive smile… that I'm actually living my dream and am so grateful to all the people in the room that have come to watch my set and are living my dream with me.
Thanks for having me guys
Charlie xxx

Charlie Hedges plays Space at Pacha on Saturday 14th September. You can check out her music before that by visiting her Sound Cloud or following her on twitter

Published Sep 6, 2013
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