Heidi hi!

Meet Berlin-based DJ Heidi – BBC Radio One host, party planner, sun worshipper

By Adam Zacharias (adam@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2011, 12:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:45 PM

ORIGINALLY FROM CANADA, DJ Heidi segued her early passion for house and techno music into a career which has already spanned well over a decade.

Moving to London at the turn of the millennium, Heidi became part of the city’s underground dance circuit – eventually catching the attentions of Berlin house label Get Physical.

Heidi switched to Germany in 2008 and has become a staple on the European festival circuit as well as an Ibiza veteran. She also runs her own ‘Jackathon’ clubnights and hosts a monthly slot on the BBC Radio One show In New DJs We Trust.

City Times spoke to Heidi.

What are you up to today?

I’m having a coffee and looking out of the window, because the sun’s out. I’m going to the Get Physical offices later because I’m finishing off my compilation album Heidi presents the Jackathon.

What do your Jackathon clubnights consist of?

They’re parties I have around Europe, where I invite all different sorts of DJs for one night. Everyone does label nights but I just wanted to do something different and bring my friends together.

Who’s featured on your compilation album?

I’ve asked DJs and producers from all over to make an exclusive track, which I’ll then mix together. We’ve got 16 artists and it’s almost finished. I have Jamie Jones, Soul Clap, Solomun…it’s really energetic and in your face.

What made you decide to move to London in 2000, as opposed to house and techno epicentres closer to your Ontario home, like Detroit or Chicago?

Well Detroit’s literally 10 minutes from my house in Canada, and Canadian’s can’t work over in America (because of visa difficulties). In the UK it’s easier – my father’s from Holland so I have a Dutch passport and I can work anywhere in the European Union.

How have you dealt with the language barrier in Berlin – do you speak any German?

Yeah I’ve learned some German. Not very much – everyone speaks English – and a lot of the people I hang out with here are American and Canadian and British. But I’m actually moving back to London next week for good. I’ve had my time here, but London is my first home and I want to be closer to the BBC. I’m here about seven times over the summer anyway, so it’ll be fine!

Do you record your BBC show in Berlin or do you go to London?

I do it live at the BBC, I go over there every month. I actually moved to Berlin then found out a month later I’d got the job! Obviously I was determined to do anything I could to keep that show, though. I was only supposed to do six shows because it’s a rotating roster of DJs, but they’ve kept me for over two years. They just changed the rota – Skream and Benga (from dubstep group Magnetic Man) have my old slot now and I do every fifth Thursday.

Is radio presenting something you’d like to move into more?

Definitely. I absolutely love it, it’s so much fun and a great way to showcase underground music to a bigger audience. Plus all the people at the station are so nice. It’s really weird talking by yourself in a room though – you’re talking to everyone and no one, right?

Do you ever get tempted to rant and rave about issues outside music while on air?

We’re not allowed to, actually. The BBC has quite a lot of rules – you can’t talk about anything which could create any sort of debate. There aren’t many debates in house music anyway, it’s kind of a ‘love everyone’ vibe.

What’s your knowledge of Dubai?

I’ve been there twice before. It’s a long way to go for one gig but I follow the sun around the world. I was just in Africa and Australia so I like the heat, it’s so much nicer then snow. Bring it!

Event Details

What: DJ Heidi set

Where: Trilogy, The Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

When: Friday, April 22 (open 10pm to 3am)

Cost: Dhs100, VIP Dhs130, ladies and Face Card holders free till 11pm

Tickets: From www.timeouttickets.com, www.platinumlist.ae and at the door

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