Jan 4, 2023
6 min read
Kirsty Parker—aka Speaker Honey—doesn't conform to sonic boundaries. Her futuristic beats overflow with experimental soundscapes and hypnotic elements. With her infectious blend of techno and electro house, she is both a breath of fresh air and a gentle nod to the nostalgia of the hedonism of the pre-EDM era. Her forward-thinking mindset and fearless attitude have solidified her as a feminine force to be reckoned with in house music.
In a few short years, she's dropped music on some of dance music's most sought-after labels and become a resident of the venerated mau5trap family. So, it's hard to believe Speaker Honey has only been DJing for about five years. Music, however, has always been omnipresent in her life. Before stepping up to the decks, she played in various bands and she's spent a lifetime attempting to master a cornucopia of instruments, making her a versatile musician.
"I was in a pop punk band. I was in a punk rock band. I was in a prog rock band…basically all the drama of the bands led me when I was 16, to taking my microKORG, getting Logic, and starting to produce music on my own in my bedroom. So for 10 years, I was producing solely on my own. I never watched YouTube tutorials. I didn't know about VSTS. I was never integrated in any type of electronic dance community at all besides me going to the clubs. Then when I was graduating from college in Hawaii, I realized I wanted to do this full time."
After realizing her musical path was diverging, she moved back to Vegas and found an extended chosen family amongst a group of techno DJs.
"The first music I ever started to DJ was techno and it just stole my soul. And it not only stole my heart, but it also showed me what I wanted to do with my productions, it was like the missing link."
"That's where Speaker Honey was born," she explains. The name for the project was the result of living amongst that collective of DJs. "We were at this house where eight other students lived…One of the roommates comes up with a huge jar of honey, a massive jar with honeycombs in it, and I started eating the honey…This is some of the best honey I've ever tasted. And he's like, 'We had to evacuate a beehive on campus that was inside a speaker cabinet.' So I was like, 'oh my god, it's a vibration. It's a frequency. It's Speaker Honey!'"
After establishing her stage name and diligently crafting her sound, Speaker Honey made her official debut on deadmau5's renowned imprint, mau5trap. Her relationship with mau5trap began in 2017 when she met the label manager, Mario, at the mau5trap party during Miami Music Week. However, she waited almost three years before sending a demo.
"I wanted to be calculated," she remembers. "I wanted to know that when I'm finally sending my music, it's the right sound."
In September 2019, she sent in a stack of demos and ended up signing "Shoyu" to the label's highly-anticipated compilation series, We Are Friends, Vol. 9. She's since dropped four EPs and had the opportunity to remix "FALL" by deadmau5.
Speaker Honey found her true calling and forever home on mau5trap. They have served as an outlet to share her music with the world and ushered in an era of personal and professional growth.
"What I really love about mau5trap is that they're very supportive of each individual artist's identity. Authenticity is the most potent source in the universe. And what I love is that they were never trying to confine us to a specific sound. They're really trying to cultivate authentic characters. So I feel like a video game character. I've always lived my life that way. To find a label that supports my character and is like 'you be you' that's what I love."
Any career path in the music industry comes with challenges, which are compounded as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Yet, Speaker Honey reveals how these challenges can provide the greatest rewards.
"To be a lighthouse and a beacon for goodness, for the positive growth for women, and the ability to make actual change through creative processes," she says, is one of the greatest gifts and an immense source of healing power. "Because I think that creativity is a deep healing source. It doesn't mean you have to bring it anywhere. It doesn't mean you have to become famous. Just doing a creative process is a healing act. And by me doing my art and being creative and being pushed into the spotlight, I'm helping other women see something within themselves. No one has to tell you that this is good, it's an internal reflection."
As she reflects on the winding path that led her to perform at Green Velvet's La La Land and CRSSD, she tells Gray Area what she'd say to a younger Speaker Honey with the perspective she has now.
"Don't get too caught up in the end goals. Take everything step by step. And feel it out one by one. When you start to look at the future and where you're trying to be, and where you are, it seems like an insurmountable mountain. Meditate on what you want, but focus on the steps at hand."
Looking forward, she says that her relationship with mau5trap is only growing stronger. "I do have a low-key high-key track coming out on We Are Friends, Vol. 11. It's called 'Soul,' it's a really special song for me. And then 2023 my main goal is working on my album. I have about 10 songs written so far."
As for the distant future, she says, "My long-term goal is to be able to have my music reach out to people that may have no meaning or may be lacking that sense of meaning. Because everyone has meaning, everyone has something inside of them that keeps them alive and keeps them going. But through my art the biggest thing that I want is to be able to create a space for somebody to have an internal awakening that is meaningful and special."