As the world's top female DJ, SONIQUE is in demand . . . not least at The Arches in Glasgow. Words: Rory Weller
(-‘atehing up with the world’s number one female DJ superstar is not easy Tracking her round Europe. from her new home in Ibiza. via six gigs in England and a dozen phone calls to her management. nab her in the departure lounge of a Madrid airport.
Sonya Clarke. aka DJ Sonique. has in the last year exploded onto the A-list DJ circuit. coming from seemingly no“ here to being the stellar attraction at the likes of (.iatecrasher. Progress and Up Yer Ronson. combining a fttll on house style with her live feelin‘ fine vocals over the top.
Her face is by no means new to the scene. As a London teenager she v. as signed tip to (Tooltetnpo records for her first release ‘l.ct Me Hold You’ and then hooked up with Mark Moore in the early 90s to co-write and perform on the second S—Express album Intercourse. Then there’s a slew of appearances on an embarrassineg large number of club conquests: Josh Wink‘s ‘lligher State ()I' (‘onsciousness’. ‘Disco‘s Revenge‘ by Gusto, and ‘Nagasaki' by Kendoh.
There‘s no doubt that now this 28-year-old is the DJ 'it girl‘ of the scene. It has been a difficultjourney. She took to the decks after leaving S-Express when they signed to Sony and wouldn’t let herself play in public until she could put together a beat perfect tape. IIer best friend and old school pal Judge Jules tried to get her dates at clubs through the agency he was running. but no one wanted to know It was only when he bartered his own services at a club night to get her a slot that she had the chance to prove herself. When clubbers started ringing up the promoters to find out when she would be playing again. the buzz really started.
She has never categorised herself as a female DJ and refuses to take part in token women DJ only nights. If people want to say she’s the number one. it’s up to them.
‘People from Gatecrasher in Derby say I’m definitely the best female DJ in the world, but I’m not looking for the title.’ she says. ‘l’m just doing my thing: boom. boom. boom, end of story.‘
70 THE [IN 20 Feb-S Mar 1998
with my life.’ DI Sonique
‘l hate people wailing over tracks telling me what to do
DJ Sonique: ‘l'm just doing my thing; boom, boom, boom. end of story'
It's the way she does this thing that is getting her the repeat bookings and end of night ovations. She prefers dub records with no singing on them so she can add hers on top.
‘I hate people wailing over tracks telling me what to do with my life.’ she says before breaking into a derisory diva chant “Yeah you tell him. to get out of my life, ’cos if he don’t. I’m gonna kill him". Keep your personal problem to yourself. you cow. I’m going. “Come on. live the life yeah. feel the vibe now. come alive".’
Sonique is well aware that singing while she is DJing could be seen as a novelty act. With so many gigs she ﬁnds she is using up her voice and doesn’t always feel like taking to the mic.
‘Last week when I said I wouldn’t sing. some guy came up and bought some cough sweets for me and said. “Please will you sing”.’ says Sonique laughing. before heading off to another plane for another gig and another top night.
DJ Sonique is at Inside Out at the Arches, Glasgow, Sat 28 Feb.
THE ARCHES FINALLY managed to get a license for the rear of the club, so now you can come and go into the northern Arches without all the footering about that was suffered before. There's a new bar at the back of the club serving bottled.
WHO SAID EDINBURGH couldn’t compete with Glasgow when it comes to making records? Look out for current and forthcoming releases from Tribal Funktion's George T on NRK, Stickman and Quality Control, Boogie Mo Dynamo's Wreckage on Wall Of Sound, Atomic Baby’s Gareth Sommerville on Imperial and Rogue, the Burger Queens on Babushka and Xtravaganza, Manga’s DJ Kid on Eastside, Audio Blueprint and Underfire, Atomic Baby's Zammo on Stress, Manga's G-Mac on Second Skin, Finitribe on Infectious and Strict’s Yogi Haughton, also on Imperial.
NEW CLUB ON the horizon alert. Work is well underway for a new club on St Vincent Street, Glasgow, above Bar Budda. Club Budda. due to open in June with a capacity of around 250 people, is aimed at the older dance music connoisseur.
FRESH AIR FM is on the capital's airwaves (105.4 FM) until the end of the month. Look out for shows from Vena/Jakkara (Sundays, 4-5pm), Burger Queen (Wednesdays, 8-10pm), Manga (Thursdays, 8—10pm), Tribal Funktion (Fridays, 10—11.30pm), Homeless (Fridays, 2.30—4am), East Coast Project (Sundays, 7—8.30pm) and Luver (10-11.30pm). Other highlights include Yogi Haughton and Chris Lowe's Jukebox Jury show (Saturdays, 5.30—7pm) and Zoology (Fridays, 11.30pm—1am). Look out
also for the Fresh Air FM party at The
Venue on Sun 22 Feb.
FLY POSTING IS set to become legalised in Glasgow with illegal fly posting crews being asked to submit site proposals to the city council with permission from the owners. Dundee set the precedent last year with a similar scheme and the Glasgow City Council see this as a way forward against a problem they believed detracted from the appearance of the city.