We Interview The Iconic Copenhagen-Based DJ Fedty
She talks experiences as a Woman in the DJ Industry, the fashion world and personal life.
I was lucky enough to interview the fabulous Fedty – a Copenhagen-based DJ and sound designer. As a former dancer, DJ, Vinyasa, and yin yoga instructor and mother, she was inspirational to speak to, and we can't wait to share this exclusive interview with you.
Thank you so much for talking with us today. When did you start DJing, and what were your inspirations?
I think it was almost eighteen years ago. I started off not knowing I wanted to become a DJ at all. I used to be a professional dancer, and then I had to quit because I had shin splints in both legs. It's chronic, so I had to quit, but I'd spent my whole life on stages. So I had to come up with something else. I didn't come up with it immediately. First, I had a big depression because I thought I would be a dancer for the rest of my life. But I've always been a clubber. I've been going to clubs long before I was allowed to. I didn't even bring a fake ID – I just showed up because I knew many people. I started as the mascot of clubs because I didn't drink and didn't do anything I wasn't supposed to. But I danced. So, whenever there were dancers at the club, if they needed to take a break, do makeup, or anything, I said I could do it and had five minutes of fame. One day, when I was twenty-two, twenty-three, I was at this club where I met the owner. There was a DJ that didn't show up. So, the owner was looking at my friend and me. He gave us a big pile of CDs (we were playing CDs at the time), and he was like, play some music, girls. We were looking at each other and were like, what? We didn't know what buttons to press. And then we started playing, and it was a big miss. But we had so much fun. People liked it because it was chaotic. Two weeks later, they called me and said, girls, you must play at the club again. We knew a lot of DJs and radio hosts, so we called our friends and said we needed to learn how to DJ in one week.
Would you say you learned it within that week?
We didn't, no. But we started. A lot of people think it takes a week to become a DJ. It doesn't. You can learn where to press whatever buttons, but there's a feeling and understanding of the floor and the people, you know, through experience. There's a mystery about being a DJ that you can only learn through doing it.
Do you think those first few experiences inspired you to pursue DJing?
Totally. I was looking for a scene. I'd been on the entertainment scene for a while. I had my first paid job when I was thirteen in a music video where I was a dancer. I was looking for a scene because I'm a performer. I didn't know where to look. I was thinking: could I be an actor? Could I be this? Could I be that? Everything was blurred, and I didn't know what to do. DJing didn't come to mind initially, but then I realized it was my purpose.
Have you always wanted to be an entertainer then?
What were the most significant differences between being a professional dancer and being a DJ?
I don't have a boss now. When you're a dancer, you're told, what to do, how to look, and how to act. Now, I'm my own boss. I really respect dancers because it's underpaid. You have to work your ass off every day. Your body is going to be destroyed. You must have a real passion for it. Otherwise, you can't do it. So I respect people who do it. I think that DJing is much better for me. As a dancer, you have to have a specific body type. I was doing all the wrong stuff to be the right person as a dancer, like eating disorders, trying to look like everybody else, and overall lousy self-esteem, like not having long, skinny legs. I said a lot of bad things to myself. But with DJing, it doesn't matter how you look. It matters how you make people feel.
While entering DJing, what were the biggest challenges you faced?
I'm a freelancer. I can get fired every day. I'm never secure in anything I do. For instance, with corona, I was the first one not allowed to work and the last one back at work. You have to preserve. I like the challenge that I'm constantly evolving. I have to invent myself. I started my own business during corona because I wanted to challenge myself.
I'd love to hear more about that business.
In English, it translates to "Hello Buddy." It's about blending your mind and body. It helps you stay healthy with food and exercise. With all the night work, long hours, alcohol, cigarettes, and whatever, I need to be healthy on all the other days.
Similarly, I love yoga. I find it helps me find a healthy work-life balance. How has it helped you in your career and your personal life?
Yoga was the first thing I did for my body after being a dancer. I wasn't allowed to jump or run because of the shin splints. I didn't know anything about yoga, but I knew I loved yoga. I knew I needed to stretch, but I wasn't thinking about it in relation to my mind at that point. I started doing yoga and got so into it that I studied it more after six months. I took my first license. It was amazing. I was so depressed because I didn't know where to turn with my career, but it helped me focus. It helped me appreciate my body and enjoy being in my body again. I hated my body after it collapsed on me.
Where are your favorite places you've DJed, and is there anywhere you haven't DJ'd but really want to?
I love going to Paris for fashion week. I've been there for many years, DJing for events. I love and appreciate that. It's nerve-wracking because I don't know the guests there. I don't know if they're going to love or hate me. Whereas in the biggest club I play in here in Copenhagen, I know people know me. If they don't like me, I don't care. Whereas, if a big fashion company books me for an event in Paris, I want them to like me. There's a huge difference. But again, I love playing at the club here in Copenhagen – it's my second home. It's about three hundred people, with wardrobe and bartenders. Everybody's saying hello to each other. It's one big happy family. When I go, it's like yeah, I'm home.
If I can choose one place I'd like to go, it sounds cheesy, but Ibiza or Mykonos. Maybe even private parties there. Outside, with the water and the sun. Perhaps it's just because it's snowing outside my window right now.
Speaking of fashion, out of your work with brands like Tiffany & Co., Glossier, and Gucci, which has been the most interesting and why?
Definitely Gucci. I was doing the openings when they got a new designer. He wanted to mix up all the stores. So I got some musical inspiration from the head office. They would tell me: "This is the vibe we're going for, but, of course, we hired you, so play whatever." But I listened to what they sent me, and I've never been so inspired by music sent to me by a company. Some songs from Soundcloud only had a hundred listeners or so. I was so inspired. The music was so chaotic. I'd never heard it before, and they were so different. They sent me about twenty songs to take inspiration from for the vibes and then gave me total freedom.
How would you describe your style both within music and fashion?
Chaos. I don't have a style. I'm a sensitive person. My style, both in music and fashion, depends on my mood. I can play commercial music. I can appreciate songs like 'It's Raining Men by the Weather Girls. But I can also enjoy acid techno. It depends on where I am as well. I want to make sure the dance floor burn – that's why I'm there.
I'm not an in-between person. I'm in, or I'm not. That's the same with my fashion as well. Either I'm wearing a small top showing off my belly (even though everyone thinks I'm too old for that), or I'm sweatpants and XXL kind of stuff.
What are your proudest achievements in your personal life and career?
My career, it was playing in the Roskilde Festival Denmark. Personal life, for sure, it's my son. He's nine years old. He's so clever and bright and, most of all, funny and very caring.
How do you find the balance between being a mother and DJing?
It's insane. I'm a part-time mother. So, the weeks I have my son, I go to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 6 am. We have a tight schedule for everything that we do. Then the weeks I don't have my son, I go to bed at 6 am.
How would you advise young women wanting to get into the music and DJ industry?
Many people keep telling me by the age of thirty-five that women can't DJ anymore. But luckily, young people out there aren't speaking about gender as much when it comes to DJing. So don't give a shit about being a girl or boy, woman or man. Go for your passions. Don't give up because there will always be hard times. If you'd rather have a day job when you know when to come and when to go, then don't do DJing. But if you want a chaotic, fun, and vibrant life, then go for it. The downs are hard, but the ups are worth it.
Did you face sexism when entering the career?
Yes, for sure. But I didn't care. There used to be almost only male DJs. So I would ask them to teach me how to mix because we didn't have YouTube tutorials back then. Nobody wanted to teach me; everybody said, "stand there and look pretty." I was really talked down to. But I kept going, so people let me in. You have to be persistent.
Finally, please tell me a little bit about the Spotify playlist you put together for us!
I started making it when I was in an infrared sauna. The first song is 'Life is a Bitch’. Every time I do a playlist, it has a vibe of where I am in life. Right now, it's "life is a bitch, but you're going to get through it. When life is down, you're going to get through it and move on". I'm kind of lovesick. I fall in love every day and then I fall out of love every day. That affects the playlists I create. And it does affect how I DJ. I had a job a few months ago and felt so sad when I came to work. But I am a performer, so nobody noticed. I was smiling and had my makeup done and a great dress on. But I was so sad. Then, I had been playing for twelve minutes, looked at my watch, and suddenly felt so appreciative of my life. I stopped and looked at the crowd. I got butterflies and thought, wow, this is my life. It can be a meditative experience. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I try to have ten seconds every time I DJ when I stop and have an out-of-body experience where I appreciate what I'm doing. I'm the type of person to write a gratitude journal every morning. Yoga taught me how to sit still and do things like that; the gratitude journal taught me how to appreciate what I'm doing in the club at night.
It was an honor interviewing this amazing woman; we can't wait to see what she does next! She also left us with this top-tier playlist, 'All Fizzy by Fedty,' for us all to listen to! Go follow her Instagram @fedty to keep updated!
Photographer: Meha Karimi
Production: Cirklé Management