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CC:DISCO Started DJing At Fifteen

We sat down with the iconic Australian DJ after the announce of the Sugar Mountain x Boiler Room line up.
Courtesy of the artist

DJ CC:DISCO has been a staple in the Melbourne—and Australian—music scene for years now, playing show after show, week after week, and hosting her radio show Smoke and Mirrors every Friday night to either get you ready to head out, or to soundtrack your six bottles of wine in the backyard.

As of this morning, CC was announced as one of the many incredible artists on the line up for Sugar Mountain x Boiler Room, which will also feature Mood II Swing, Beppe Loda, Kornél Kovács, Baba Stiltz, Palms Trax, Tornado Wallace, Daydreams, and of course, the Boiler Room DJs. So basically it will be insane.

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For the full Sugar Mountain line up, and for tickets, head here. In anticipation, we sat down with CC to learn that she started her radio career at fifteen; that her favourite festivals are ones that rain out; and that Tears for Fears is a go-to dancefloor filler. She also made an incredible mix for us to share. Check out it all out below.

THUMP: Hey CC, how are you?

CC: I'm good, how about you?

I'm good, too! I'm sitting in a store room basically, because all the meeting rooms are taken. So I'm sitting among a pile of boxes. It's weird. I feel a bit like Harry Potter right now. Where are you?

Haha. I literally just got back from Strawberry Fields.

Oh man, are you okay?

Yeah, no! I'm fine. Although that Strawberry is one I'll never forget, I don't know if you heard what happened?

I didn't?

So I was playing the main stage after Moodyman and I got about five minutes into my set and I felt a few raindrops, and after like a minute it just erupted into this crazy storm, in which the whole of the main stage was shut down. I was like, DJing with water going into the CDJs, into the mixer, and everything shorted out. So they had to close the stage for about an hour and it was mayhem.

Whoa…

But it was really special as well.

Was there like a crazy, loose rain dance for the rest of the night?

Yeah, totally. People were standing there waiting for about an hour singing that horrible song "Hey Baby."

No, no. That's horrible.

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One of the worst songs ever.

Funny though.

Yeah it was really great.

I think some of the best festival experiences I've ever had have been when the weather just really comes down on you. So you just get really reckless and go for it.

Yeah, they're my favourite festival moments I think. When it's heaps of rain.

I remember one Meredith where it rained literally every minute, all weekend and—

Was that the Cut Copy year?

Yeah!

That's the best time that I've ever had at a festival.

It was so good! I think it was the first weekend festival I ever went to.

Yeah, that was so special.

Such a good time. So are you feeling okay? Are you recovering?

No, I'm totally fine.

You're a professional.

I was in bed by one.

Very responsible. So, basically we're super happy to have you on the phone. Listened to the show for a long time—my mum's a huge fan.

Haha, that's amazing.

And I don't actually know this, but how long have you actually been doing radio for?

I started doing radio when I went to do work experience [during high school] for a doctor, and I hated it, so I did work experience for a radio station in the country, at like, fourteen or fifteen. And they gave me a radio show within a month.

What!

So I'm thirty-three now.

How did that come about? Why did they give you a show?

I don't know! They just put me on air at the end of the week, I was actually terrible, I stuttered everything. But someone was leaving and I was really keen. I mean, it was hard because I lived on a farm like an hour away, having my dad drive me to a radio show was quite hard. But they let me do it and I did it for two years until I ended up going to study radio at uni.

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Wow, do you remember the songs that you would've played on that first show?

Oh yeah. Jebediah. Frenzal Rhomb. Grinspoon.

All the classics. And I guess maybe because you've been doing it from such a young age it probably feels like second nature, but do you ever find it hard to be so reliable and meticulous? Is there ever a week where you're like, "fuck, I wish I didn't have to do it this week"?

Nah, not really! I really enjoy doing it. I thought maybe after fifteen years it might get a bit monotonous but I just love music so much, and if you had've asked me what I wanted to do when I was a kid, I would've said radio. So I'm very lucky to do it.

Do you remember the first record you ever bought?

Yes. That would be Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt.

Sick.

Yeah, great album. Really good album.

I reckon that would be a lot of people's first. And do you remember the most recent record that you bought?

Yeah! Harvey Sutherland, Priestess / Bravado. I ordered a few copies just to keep safe.

I was going to ask you what your favourite gig this year was but I'm guessing it's Strawberry now.

Yeah, hands down. Strawberry Fields.

How about ever?

Um, oh… There's so many. One that definitely stands out, I played a festival called New Years' Evie, and I was pretty tired because it'd been a really busy year. It was New Years' Day and it was the closing set, but it was the first time I really went in and out of genres and just played to a crowd and got really into it. Like, I sat on the speaker during the last song and just teared up watching it, it was amazing. I think the crowd there and at Boogie are two of the best crowds ever.

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Have you ever dropped a super unexpected track that you were nervous about but it just worked?

Yeah, I mean, I'm a big fan of pop music like a lot of DJs are—obviously I don't play much pop music in my sets but there are a lot of times where I think it's nice to hear something you know. So one of those tracks would be Tears For Fears, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

I can't believe you just said that. That is my favourite song of all time, I am not joking.

No way! I had this little thing when I started playing big festivals—like the ten thousand plus—where I would end every set with that song.

It really gets the people going. It's an emotional pop track, and everybody seems to know the words somehow.

Everybody! At Falls Festival, there was like 17,000 people just singing it back at me, it was an amazing moment. I'm so glad other people like them. So many people bag me out about that.

I don't get that. But I think people don't expect much better from me, because I like so much worse stuff.

A tune's a tune. I mean, maybe one day Justin Bieber will release a track I like, I don't know.

Maybe one day he'll get you.

Maybe.

Is there a track you rely on to jack up the vibe?

Yeah, many of those. I would have to say… The O'Jays, "Put Our Heads Together."

I don't think I know that song but I might if I heard it.

It's great, it's a real boogie track from like, '85 I think? It's a really emotional track.

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Okay, I'll listen to it when I get off the phone.

I hope you like it.

Yeah, I just won't say anything if I don't. And what about, is there any music we should shout out on THUMP?

M5K is one, I've just started playing his new record that's coming out. He's from Melbourne. Really nice boogie, electro-funk stuff. Harvey Sutherland, obviously. I really like Sui Zhen. I think she's one of the most possessions in this country, and she's so talented in so many areas, too. 30/70, Silent Jay and Jace XL. That's it from off the top of my head.

That's definitely ample! And what does the next year look like for you?

Scary! It looks good, I've had an amazing couple of years DJing, and I've got more headlines coming up and more projects outside of just DJing stuff. But it looks like it's going to be a really good year. So stay tuned.

CC:DISCO's Thump x Boiler Room Mix Tracklist:

MSFB - Mysterious of the world

The Players Association - Get on down to the mellow sound (alan M disco edit)

Sylvia Striplin - Serachin

Harvey Sutherland - Bravado

Ron Trent - Hooked on your love

Sample Minded - The sound of redness (dub)

Byron the Aquarius - Moments in life

Sharon Ridley – Changin

Follow CC:DISCO and Boiler Room on Soundcloud, and Sugar Mountain on Facebook.