Mollie Collins – Fresh Talent, Fresh Attitude
Mollie Collins, a name you may not have heard about yet but certainly somebody who you should be taking notice of. With a fresh sponsorship deal with Concrete Junglists and recent acceptance into the Random Concept family, 2016 is set to blow for this talented DJ.
Jamie S23 catches up between her hectic schedule..
For those that don’t know, give us a breakdown of your drum & bass life. Where did it all begin? Were you a raver before a DJ? What was your first memory of drum and bass music?
“Drum & bass was pretty much the only genres of music I listened to from the age of 15 upwards. It all started with a group of friends regularly heading into London to track down various squat raves. Being at such a young age it wasn’t possible to enter a nightclub so we ventured out to wherever we could find drum & bass being played.
As I started to get older and eventually reaching 17, squat raves become more and more violent with lots of people getting hurt and to me it wasn’t about the music anymore. I stopped attending and tried my luck at legal raving at the O2 in Brixton. By using my older friends ID I attended my very first Ram Records event.
This is really where my love for the scene truly grew. After that night it was full steam ahead! Ram, Metalheadz, Shogun Audio, Viper, Hospitality, the list is endless.
As I reached the age of 18 in 2014 I had a full time job working 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. It was office work, a great office job with great people, however, my love for music was still there so I decided to leave and start working at a local nightclub. I was surrounded by music constantly whilst looking after their social media accounts throughout the week. As I was at the club a lot I used to watch the DJs, especially when there was a drum & bass night. This made me decided that I needed to buy some decks!
I purchased my first ever pair of Pioneer CDJs at the beginning of 2015 and combined them with some KRK speakers which my mum loves I’m sure! I spent day in day out practising and trying new things before eventually playing out in May 2015.
From then onwards it’s been crazy. Massive support from everyone locally in Kent, all the promoters and ravers. It’s lead to playing all over the country and now I’m even finding myself in other countries. MAD.”
Talking of history, what era from the past would you class as the most influential on your music career to date and why?
“One of the first producers I heard was probably Macky Gee. DJ wise it has to be Andy C who, in my opinion, is one of the best DJs I had ever seen. I think one of the first songs I came across must have been Adele – ‘Hometown Glory’ (High Contrast Remix).
Do you have that one tune that you can look back at and think “that was a turning point in my life”?
“I think it’s probably Wilkinson’s ‘Afterglow’. When I went to my first Ram Records event they performed live on stage and I knew from that moment I loved drum and bass and couldn’t wait to explore all of it.”
When did things start getting serious for you? Who was the first to notice you had a talent? Any big ups?
“If I am honest I have only being playing out since May 2015. Every month things get more and more serious and I’m so grateful to everyone who has taken a chance with me. I never know what’s coming next in my DJ career but I’m excited for 2016 more than ever and I’ll continue to work hard and give it my all.
The first person to show an interest in me and pushed me to be where I am today has to be MC IC3. Ever since I started mixing we speak daily and he helps me with certain things I’m unsure of. He’s a great guy who has a lot of time for me and I respect him a lot.
I have also got to be thankful to my mum who has supported me from day one and has had to listen to drum and bass constantly when she’s more of an Adele type of woman!”
It’s a bit of a rinsed question I’m sure but what’s it like in 2016 being a female drum & bass DJ? Do you come up against any stigma at all? Do you feel that being female you’re instantly put into the ‘female DJ’ category rather than just being accepted as a talented artist?
“To be honest with you, I think there are more drum & bass female DJs now than there ever has been. Maybe not a lot have been recognised yet or been given as many opportunities as I have but there are a fair few of us. I’m not sure whether I get booked for being a female DJ or because of my skills, either way I’m just happy to be booked as when it comes to being behind the decks I’m sure if you were to put a box on my head no one would know if I was female or not!
Lots of the ravers and supporters use the term ‘doing it for the ladies’ which is always nice as when you do go to a rave, the chances of a female on stage performing is still very slim.
Saying that, all of the male artists and promoters I have met have been nothing but supportive. I’m just happy to be on that stage doing my thing and playing the music I love to people who love it just as much.”
Tell us about the Random Concept link up, how did it happen? What’s next?
“Random Concept ran a competition last year to enter a 20 minute live audio and video mix. 6 DJs and 6 MCs were then put forward to the final. My mix was half decent although I rushed it and uploaded it too quickly. I started seeing some other entries and was gutted that I didn’t give it my all. Sadly I didn’t make it into the final.
Blackley got back in contact in January and asked me to join the Random Concept Academy. I agreed and with other great artists joining the RCA it looks like a great year ahead.”
What do you enjoy most about the drum & bass scene? Do you have any hopes for the scene in terms of progression this year?
“I love the fact that in the drum & bass scene everyone supports each other and has serious love for both the music and the artists. It’s great to be a part of it. So many events going on every weekend all over the country, even the world. I just hope it stays that way and continues to progress how it is.”
How did the link up with Concrete Junglists happen? Will we be seeing any exclusive designs from David especially for you? What’s your favourite t-shirt so far?
“Concrete Junglists is a clothing brand I started wearing whilst being a raver. I wore it more and more whilst playing out and they asked if they could use the photos taken at events. I then asked them if they would like to be my sponsor, I would wear their brand and only their brand whilst DJing. We had a chat and agreed this would be great for us both!
The Concrete Junglist team send me clothing each month; t-shirts, snapbacks, jumpers, stickers and more. I love wearing the brand whilst DJing and because I have a fair few now I even wear them when I’m out and about. My favourite t-shirt has to be the Ram Records collaboration as I’m a massive Ram head! To be fair though, all the t-shirts they create are awesome.”
David and I (the guy behind all Concrete Junglists creations) will be looking to do a collaboration together this year plus many other exciting projects. I will continue to represent the brand to the max!”
What’s your tools of the trade in terms of being a DJ? Where do you think technology will take us this year?
“For me it’s one USB stick and 3 Pioneer CDJs. It’s mad to think how far technology has come, I am looking forward to seeing what the future has to offer that’s for sure.
This year we have seen Pioneer announce the CDJ-2000NXS2 shortly after the new Technics turntable which I really wasn’t expecting. I don’t think there will be another new CDJ for a while now but maybe some updated XDJ-RX?.”
What are you thoughts on the brand new Technics turntable? In your opinion who is this new product aimed at?
“I have always loved Technics decks although I’ve never been lucky enough to own a pair. Technology has changed so much and I’m still only 19. When I started DJing the Pioneer CDJ-1000’s were the thing to have. The new turntables look wicked, I’m not sure if it’s going to have any impact on people playing vinyl more though as we all know it’s a lot easier to carry around a couple of USB sticks than a few record boxes!”
Favourite producers at the moment?
“Audio is my favourite producer of all time. The tracks he makes are insane, I would love to watch him for a day and see how he does it all. Another one for me would be S.P.Y & Spectrasoul, the music they create is simply beautiful and I could listen to it over and over.
Another producer for me at the moment is Voltage. Last year he came out of nowhere for me and started producing some wicked tunes which were all must haves in mixes!”
What’s next after this weekend on your calendar?
“I have 16 bookings so far this year. This weekend I have 3 as well as my show on Rough Tempo. The ‘Genres’ night in Maidstone with IC3 and a local youth club for some of the younger generation with Harry Shotta and Ironlung. I’m supporting Freek at a nightclub near me which I play at every Monday. I’ve got some awesome bookings in the diary for 2016 and can’t wait to play at them!”
One last question, did you make any resolutions this year? Are you sticking to them?
“I made one regarding my DJ career and that was to producer more. I have stuck to it and I am currently creating a few tracks which, in my opinion are sounding wicked. This year we will have a few tracks out and who knows what will happen from there!”