Ibiza Voice Podcast 575 :: Lauren Lo Sung
Click here to download
Lauren Lo Sung is a woman of many talents. She first established herself with her LOLiFE parties in 2009. Taking place in various interesting venues in Manchester, London and Liverpool, they’ve also been a partner of The Warehouse Project and allowed her to really find her feet as a DJ. Since then she has continued to grow in stature, laying down well informed sets of various house styles, as well as cooking up plenty in the studio.
She’s released on labels like Vatos Locos, House Puff and Rutilance and charted highly on site sleek Beatport. She also co-owns the e1even Records label which provides plenty of dance floor heat and has played all over the UK, Ibiza and Europe. This winter will see another series of LOLiFE events, new releases and more besides, so here we ask about all that and more.
Ibiza Voice - How are you, how has summer been so far? What have been the best and worst bits?
Lauren Lo Sung - I'm really good thank you! It's been super busy, really fun too! I got the chance to play Privilege for Resistance just over week ago, that was pretty special, it was great to hang with Richie Hawtin before the show too, he's such a cool down-to-earth guy! Beat-Herder festival was a definite highlight too, I had never been there before, it's like a mini Glastonbury- crazy little festival in a forest - super cool.
Worst bit of my summer was probably when I was about to fly back from a gig in Frankfurt and the security found 'traces of explosives' on my record bag... I almost missed the only flight back that day because of it! It was a false alarm of course, was pretty scary getting questioned by FBI though.
Having been around for a while, it really feels like you’ve broken through this last year. Does it feel that way from your side?
I am truly grateful for what I do and loving every minute of my career- I'm definitely getting better gigs, busier crowds and more positive feedback from my music than ever before so maybe that could mean that I am 'breaking through'- but I just keep my head down and try not to analyse things too much, I am just continuing to work hard to be the best I can be.
How important were the years DJing at LOLiFE to make you into the DJ you are today? Was it a great way to school yourself?
They were crucial years of my life to be honest, it was a fantastic way to learn about myself musically; to try and be as adaptable and diverse as I could but still have a ' staple sound' to my sets. I used to run parties weekly back in Manchester when I first started LOLiFE, sometimes playing all night long sets which were a big learning curve for building my sets and taking people on a journey.
I think looking back- starting a night was the best thing I ever did - LOLiFE has continued to grow, it's like my baby that has been with me from the start. It's great to have friends involved too, playing for me as residents so we can support each other as well as big named DJs. I'm really excited for the future of LOLiFE, I will actually be launching LOLiFE as a record label after summer, as well as some pretty special parties around the UK, so look out for those.
How long did it take you to find your own sound? Do you feel like now you have a certain style and way of playing that marks you out? What is that style, or what is the aim you have in the booth?
I think it does take a while to find a 'sound', I don't like to pigeon hole myself too much though, music changes with the times like clothing going out of fashion. I just try to stay true to what I love, my music is basically house music, but the more stripped-back, deeper, groovier side of it. I am a huge fan of dub-techno and Romanian minimal too so you will more than likely hear some of that infused into my sets.
My aim in the booth is to have fun, make the crowd happy, bring them up and down and really take them on a journey. Music is about dancing and having fun, I like to try to create a certain atmosphere so that people smile and lose themselves in a dark club/ festival for those few hours.
What’s it like playing somewhere as huge as Privilege? Do you have to upscale your sound? Play bigger records?
If I played the main room of Privilege I would definitely of played a slightly more adjusted set than usual, by that I just mean more 'main room' records, nothing too big-room but just something that will benefit the size of the room more than certain stripped-back sounds. I'm pretty used to playing large rooms with being a regular for WHP over the years - but this time in Privilege I played the room 2 (Vista Club) so I didn't have to adapt my signature sound at all.
Do you still get nervous? Do you have any pre-gig rituals you do?
I don't think I've ever been nervous for a show, I can get a little anxious/excited sometimes if it's a really big show or it's something I've been building up in my head for a while- like back when I played the final year of Space for Carl Cox, but I wouldn't say that was a negative feeling I had - it was more excitement and overwhelming emotion - I couldn't believe I was so lucky to play Space Ibiza for a legend like Carl.
I don't have any rituals, but I do have a lucky elephant and Japanese good luck charm in my headphone case, my Aunt who passed away a few years ago gave me the elephant for good luck and I don't go to a gig without it, I am quite spiritual in my beliefs and I like to have those with me.
Do you have to force yourself to find time to write music, or can you do it on planes, trains etc?
I write all of my music at home, in my home studio, I've actually moved into a new home with a brand-new studio being built so I can't wait to have it all set up. I never have to force myself to write music, I have tried to do so in the past and it just doesn't work, you can't be creative if you're not 'feeling it' or not in the mood to write. It has go come naturally, when you're in a positive mind frame, that's when I make the best tracks.
How did you record the mix and what equipment did you use?
I recorded the mix using technic 1210s, Pioneer 2000s Nexus 2 and a Modular 1 mixer which I had loaned to me before my Privilege show- I'm hoping they don't ask for it back! Haha!
Was there an aim for it from the start, did you have a certain thing to say, certain records to play, a sound to represent?
I suppose it's just a collection of my favourite music from the past few months, with a couple of older bits in there that I really love. I've also put some of my unreleased stuff in there too, so keen to hear what people think of that before it gets released. It's full of unreleased gems, some stuff from my favourite producers and friends and more. It's true to my usual sound with low-slung grooves, hope you like all like it
Where do you get your music from and how long do you spend looking for it each week?
It all depends on how many gigs I have that week, I usually spend at least 3-4 hours per week finding music- but I also get a lot of promos sent to me now, so I listen a lot on the go, e-mail myself the links and then have a big downloading session at the end of the week before my gigs. I mainly look for my music on Beatport, or Juno/ deejay.de.
What else have you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
We have a winter series of LOLiFE shows booked in, all with super guests, some of my favourite DJs right now which I will be bringing to my home town Liverpool. I can't wait for that, will actually be announcing our first winter show this week too! This Saturday I head back to Zurich to play Space Monki- super sick underground club, TRMNL have a huge show in a couple of weeks with Rhadoo, Martin Buttrich, Alexandra, East End Dubs and myself on the bill.
I also play Shangri-la in Swansea, Sub Club in Glasgow for the first time, BPM festival with Molly + more, Cosmic ballroom Newcastle, LWE with the Cuttin Headz/ Fuse / One Records crew which will be massive, plus loads of other bits in between. I'm working extra hard on my music right now, working on a remix for e1even records, music for LOLiFE record label and much more which will be announced after summer, I'm really happy with the stuff I've been making and I'm lucky enough to be able to test run the tracks during the weekends which is great.
More Pods for you, you glutton: