Australia-native Juliet Fox has never played by the rules. Breaking into the boys club of dance music, the world-renowned producer and DJ took the techno scene by storm over 12 years ago. Claiming both Berlin and Ibiza as homebase, you can hear the imprint from both cities in her sound. From dark and moody atmospheres to more upbeat and tantalizing tunes, Fox’s versatility and hard work are what sets her apart. It also makes her exactly the right person to head a label, as seen with the recent launch of her techno imprint TREGAMBE.
While based in Germany and Spain, the US has had an equal influeence on Fox’s music. She said, “The first track I ever made was like a techno track, but then I started to go more into house music. My influences were equally Chicago house [and] Detroit techno.”
However, Berlin had such a lasting impression on her that she now calls it home. Fueled by her love of performing, the city’s musical taste resonated with her.
She gave some insight into how she ended up there, saying, “I was finding that I couldn't really truly play what I wanted to in the clubs in Australia.I spent my first summer in Ibiza 11 years ago, actually. Then I was living in London, and I still wasn't really quite able to play the techno that I wanted to. And then, I did the trip over to Berlin and ended up staying for the last five years or so.”
Berlin is known for techno. And while it may seem saturated, Juliet loves its versatility.
“It's amazing, actually. There are producers and artists that I've never even heard of and their production styles are completely different. A lot more raw… This kind of very warehouse-style approach. And it was great for me. I just kind of went to every single club that I could.”
As she absorbed Berlin's unique culture, she learned that her most potent tool is authenticity. She explains how her experience can be a model for new artists.
“The best thing you could do is just to stay true to yourself and not try to fit in [or] try to be like somebody else. I think that worked more in my favor because you build up more of your reputation that way.”
Berlin also ended up being the perfect city to develop her sound because so many clubs frown upon cell phone use in the club. It's become ingrained in the culture there. Fox felt free of judgment. With no focus on blinding flashes or cameras in her face, she was also able to better understand herself and the direction she wanted to go in. She also liked being able to see a crowd actually dance instead of taking photos and videos. “It’s nice… You can just literally be yourself, sweating, and whatever. Basically free.”
The rest of the world isn’t Berlin, and social media is especially important in the dance music industry. Although Fox does like the no-camera culture, she chooses to see the bright side of social media and how she connects with her audience.
She says, “Going back to the beginning of this year, I realized that this actually is really important so I can't be one of those people who's like, ‘I don't want to be on social media. I don't want to do this.’ You have to, unfortunately. And people do want to see what you're doing. If you make it more fun and creative and make sure that you're presenting yourself as truly yourself, then it's fine. And it can work then in your favor.”
So then, who is Juliet Fox truly?
Juliet Fox is someone who loves sports, fitness, and painting. And her new label lets her share one of those talents with her musical audience. She uses her pieces as cover art for TREGAMBE’s label releases.
But her paintings aren't the only type of art she melds into her music. Fox also uses her own vocals. She credited her previous work co-hosting a radio station as a stepping stone, where she learned how to think fast and speak clearly.
She laughs, “When I started making music, I actually didn't like all these sample vocals that I was always getting. And I'm like, ‘maybe I'm going to try it myself’.”
Fox explains how Green Velvet helped push her in that direction.
“One time, we were at an after party and [Green Velvet] was just like ‘record something like this loop into my phone.’ And he actually ended up using it for a track. Pretty incredible story, but that really encouraged me to keep on going with it.”
Painting, producing, vocal work, DJing—it’s clear Juliet’s heart and soul are being poured into her art. How she keeps up her creative energy is simple: travel. But with the year we’ve all had, that wasn’t exactly a possibility.
“I was starting to really lose my creative vibe in the studio over the last few months. I'm always a bit distracted or need to travel. I think [travel] really helps [rather] than just being in the same space for such a long time.”
Ask and you shall receive. Juliet Fox is in the middle of moving to London and is excited to be in an English-speaking country again. As she packs her bags, she leaves us with one last sentiment about the future of the dance music scene.
“Looking back on what has happened over the last year, I would like to see people really appreciating the events a lot more, making them a bit more special and intimate, and helping the environment a bit more. Seeing people come out of this in a positive light with more positive music as well.”
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