Star Eyes Sonar 2011 2 Red Bull Music Academy

Dance music blogger, Kate Hutchinson, caught up with bass cadet Star Eyes – aka Vivian Host, one-quarter of New York’s label/party crew, Trouble & Bass with Drop the Lime, The Captain and AC Slater – to talk about her solo career.

Star Eyes on flying solo without the Trouble & Bass crew
“It’s great to be part of a crew but it’s also important to do your own thing. All of us have our own side projects that are really different, even though we’re all inspired by each other. I’ve never been to Sonar before so to be able to be here for the first time and be playing, to be able to get up there and ‘do me’, is the most awesome thing ever.”

On carving out her DJ identity…
“After playing D&B, when I started doing Syrup Girls, which was UK garage, breaks and Miami bass – just happy party jams with dirty lyrics – I started getting booked way more than for D&B shows. But I got flak for doing that from D&B people and for playing other stuff and now it’s really funny because half of the D&B scene is making either dubstep or electro.

I had to think a lot about what DJ’ing is – I didn’t want to be somebody who could be boiled down to a style, because if that style stopped being good or stopped existing then I’d stop being relevant. All DJs, from their music to the way they look, is an expression of themselves. I feel that people’s DJ names are very reflective of who they are once you meet them. Someone told me they thought that my name was “so romantic” and it’s so right: I’m such a dreamer.”

On her long-standing affection for UK bass music…
“When I was just playing D&B for years, we were always looking to the UK for music. It’s special to me to be able to share the stage with Zinc, for instance, whose music I’ve been playing since I started DJ’ing.”

On rediscovering UK grime…
“I’ve got really into it again in the last few months. The instrumental stuff, like Terror Danjah, Rude Kid and all the stuff coming out on Butterz, is where I want the music to go. I love dubstep, but it’s going further away from something that I would play, especially in the States. So the grime that’s happening now is definitely on my vibe; it’s so connected to American hip hop that, even though people in the States might not know what it is, they identify with it when I play it.”

On the Trouble & Bass sound exploding at Sonar this year…
“It’s just wild. So many of the people playing at Sonar are people we have been involved in with Trouble & Bass, who’ve played at our parties or done remixes for us – or even stayed at my house! We were friends with Night Slugs before they were Night Slugs, when they were called Faggatronix. They threw a party for us at East Village in London and that was, like, four years ago. Now it really feels like you’re part of a community and it shows that something has happened, that everyone is playing this massive festival together.”

Star Eyes’ new EP, White Glove, is out now on Trouble & Bass. You can listen to it below:

And you can listen to the Sonar set from Star Eyes below:


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