As part of our commitment to amplifying women in the dance music industry we are shining a spotlight on our collective members by showcasing their contributions and work.
Our Collective Spotlight Series continues with Saya, DJ, Producer, Radio Host and Co-Founder of Collective I AM THE MUSIC
Tell me about your role and what you do in the music industry...
I’m a DJ, Producer, Radio Host and an Event organiser (I AM THE MUSIC collective). That’s in a nutshell, but basically I do pretty much, and I’m involved quite heavily in the music industry and the wonderful madness of it all! Mostly at the weekends you will find me DJing in various clubs, events, festivals and venues across the UK or Europe/Scandinavia.
During the week I dedicate time to run my radio show residency for House Party Radio (for Goat Shed Radio), whereby I showcase my current favourite tracks, and also get to showcase some new, exciting and upcoming unsigned producers. I absolutely love to discover new talent and actually get to present them to the world via my radio show. I’ve also co-founded a music industry collective called ‘I AM THE MUSIC’ which aims to provide a springboard to other artists and producers via delivering events throughout the year, and we also organise a summer and winter festival in order to further showcase our community talent.
What do you love about your job and working in the music industry?
I love the diversity of the industry and the exciting pace and buzz around it all! I get excited about meeting new faces each week, and the collaboration opportunities that come along with it. I also of course love travelling and experiencing different cultures, social situations and being connected to new music industry communities around the world.
Goes without saying I love MUSIC itself, and I simply could not imagine a day without being immersed in music. Hence, music industry is a very important place for me to be in and each day brings its new wonderful challenges, opportunities and beats! Music industry keeps on evolving at a very fast pace, which makes it all interesting and there’s certainly no boring days in this arena. That suits me perfectly.
What inspired you to want to work in the music industry?
I’ve always been surrounded by music since I was a child. I used to dabble playing the piano and guitar for a bit, I’ve also been a Latin/ballroom dancer for 12 years, so always been in the midst of rhythm, beats and music in general – hence, becoming a DJ (which is what I started with) made sense to me. My ever growing interest in creating beats and structures and tracks that make people tick and go crazy on the dance floor evolved me to spread my wings as a music producer and a radio host. Being a huge people person that I am, drove me to co-found our I AM THE MUSIC collective so that I could interact, help nurture and connect the music industry and its people as a more closed knit community who want to work together and achieve success by lifting each other up.
How did you go about getting your foot in the door?
I’m still of course in the process of getting my foot in many doors and lots of goals yet to be achieved – however in the beginning (and still very strongly today and on an on-going basis) I realised the importance of thinking of myself as a business and ensuring that I would market myself via the relevant (and yet cost effective) channels and platforms that we have available out there.
I created myself professional social media pages and made sure I have relevant and (hopefully) interesting and engaging content to post and optimise each day. This truly helped me to get my name out there and have certainly gained myself gigs and bookings as a result. I’m also very big on networking (I can’t vouch enough how important this is for all of us!) as connections are everything in this industry.
I would go to events, club nights and so on. I would engage in relevant social media groups. I would make the effort to support festivals and events that I wanted to be booked at. I would find out who’s who in the industry. Marketing and ‘being present’ is such an important element to realise in the music industry, no-one is going to pick you up from home and hand you a gig. You go and get it, go and get yourself noticed, make an effort, dedicate time. Be passionate and show it. Put yourself out there and support others in the industry.
What’s your favourite track at the moment?
Oh my, there’s too many to mention! But I absolutely adore ‘I feel it’ by Leftwing & Kody right now. Such an upbeat, uplifting summery tune! I could listen to it in a loop all day long.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced working in the dance music industry and how did you overcome it?
Like in any industry, challenges are completely normal and should be treated as opportunities to develop and evolve ourselves as artists and also simultaneously, as opportunities to develop the industry itself. My challenges right now are around time! Time management. And I’m certain I’m not alone here. I try and organise my days (and inevitably, nights) in order to find time to gig, produce, run radio shows and events… market myself and network. Not forgetting to try and take care of myself, my body, my family, my friends… it can get tricky! I would not want to burn out and crash in the industry that I absolutely adore and love and have so much passion for.
Therefore it’s important to remember to take some time for yourself and self-care. Some projects may take longer to complete, but that’s OK. If you don’t look after yourself, your journey will most likely come to a very quick end. And that’s not what I want. I want to have a fruitful, exciting career in the music industry and I see this as a long term journey for myself with amazing people around me to enjoy it with.
What has been a career highlight for you so far?
There are many moments that I consider as highlights overall - being booked to perform at Festivals such as Wilkestock second year in a row. Performing EXILE Festival (supporting names such as Sammy Porter) or SunFest in Scandinavia, warming up for Sir Tom Jones himself…. I couldn’t really be happier! I’m also very excited to be assigned as a resident radio host for House Party Radio (for Goat Shed) this year and again, excited to add quite a few new club residencies that keep me busy from week to another. I’ve also released 3 of my own tracks so far, so I’m very keen to develop myself as a dance music / house music producer and excited about the journey ahead of me. Co-founding I AM THE MUSIC collective was also a highlight and seeing the community grow each day, makes me very happy!
Keep up to date with and find out more about Saya here!