Sydney based DJ Minx, aka Rachel Phillips, won EMI’s She Can DJ Competition last September and since then has released her debut compilation, an original EP, DJed at the Grammy and Brit Awards’ after parties and played alongside the likes of David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia and Diplo. 100% chats with the chirpy lass about judging Cleo’s Bachelor Of The Year, interviewing Carl Cox and plans for the rest of 2012 and beyond.
“I was kind of crapping my pants at the start,” Rachel Phillips says down the line from her home in Sydney, speaking of the International Music Summit she recently attended in Ibiza. At the three day conference promoters, DJs, producers, club owners and journalists come together to discuss different areas in the electronic music industry, and Phillips found herself liaising with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, David Guetta, Pete Tong, Diplo and Goldfish and on a panel talking about women rising in the DJ and music world. Initially, she says, it was a little intimidating talking in front of all the big wigs. “Once I got going and the guys started talking and asking questions, everyone got involved and then the crowd started asking questions,” she says. “It was fun. Afterwards I met some people from other countries in Europe who were really keen to book me after they had seen me speak and what I am all about.”
While in Ibiza for the conference, Phillips did a radio show for Party People on the Austereo network and broadcasted it down under. “I went to the Space opening parties and interviewed Carl Cox after his main set, so that was super cool,” she says excitedly. “I had never really met Carl Cox before so that was a really good thing. I was shitting myself because there were so many journalists around me, everyone was waiting there and everyone was watching everyone else interview him so I was so intimidated but shit, I quickly sculled the vodka and off I went,” she laughs.
It was almost a year ago when Phillips took part in EMI’s She Can DJ Competition and she says it’s “crazy” looking back at everything she’s done since then. “The opportunities since I’ve won have been massive,” she says. Having put out her debut compilation She Can DJ Presents Minx shortly after taking out the competition’s title, Phillips has rejigged one of her original singles Chances, releasing it as EP called Taking Chances. She’s currently working on her debut original record, which she hopes to release next year. “My first single from the album is about to drop in conjunction with this year’s She Can DJ competition,” she says, “So that will come out early September, A Night To Remember.”
Taking Chances will be used as the theme song for this year’s She Can DJ Competition and Phillips will take on a mentor roll for the entrants in this year’s competition. “I’m going to see how they all work and interact so that will be really cool to meet some new girls,” she says. “We didn’t really have a mentor as such with our top 10 but we did have a lot of people come and chat with us and the guys from EMI are great, they’re there every step of the way anyway. But last year’s top 10 – all of us were already friends anyway; we obviously didn’t know who was in it until we met but we were like ‘Oh, you.’”
But the prospect of mentoring the new batch of entrants in the She Can DJ Competition hasn’t been the only thing that’s excited Phillips recently. She had the pleasure of judging this year’s Cleo Bachelor Of The Year which she says was “really hilarious”.
“There was a judging lunch with the 25 of us girls and we got to go through 250 potential bachelors and rate them. It’s not everyday you get asked to rate boys,” she says, laughing. Sitting alongside Jesinta Campbell, Rachel Gilbert and Maude Garrett, Phillips says she didn’t have a favourite of all the potential bachelors. “I didn’t really, it might be quite biased because I actually knew quite a few of them which makes the final night quite fun because we all knew each other. My old housemate was in it and I didn’t realise.”
Aiming to score a bunch of European gigs over the coming summer and put her debut original record out soon, Phillips will be venturing overseas later in the year as an ambassador for the She Can DJ Competition which is going global. But for now, she’s looking forward to playing Sound Empire at Crown next weekend. “I haven’t played at the Crown for a while, it will be good, interesting,” she says. “[Expect] some progressive house.” But she won’t be taking up the luxury of staying the night at Crown after the gig, unfortunately. “Generally I stay there the night,” she says before suddenly remembering, “actually I can’t, I’m playing a gig out in Geelong on the same night so I’ll be jumping in the car I guess.”
BY ANNABEL MACLEAN
Minx [AUS] plays Sound Empire at Crown on Saturday July 28.