Frequent Players Guest Mix 014 | Barely Legal

Next up in our Frequent Players series is London and underground bass resident, Barely Legal aka Chloe Robinson. Having been a part of this scene for over a decade now and with her own label beneath her, Barely Legal has amassed a core following bringing her dark sounds to all of us around the globe.

During this time, Barely Legal has become known for merging together a number of genres from jungle, grime, drum & bass and hip hop creating a unique sound and most importantly, creating unforgettable sets.

We managed to catch up with her before she took to the decks to create our next Frequent Players guest mix!

Barely Legal, welcome! It’s so good to have you here and joining us as our latest guest for our Frequent Players channel. Could you start by sharing a bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today?

Hey  Sure thing-  I moved to London back in 09 for Uni and being the enthusiastic loner that I am, I was hitting up certain club nights on my ones, consequently falling in love with certain sounds and DJs quite heavily. This ended up shaping me into the misfit I’d consider myself to be. I became heavily influenced by Rinse FM back then, still to this day tbf, and indulged heavily into the Dubstep, Grime and Garage scene which was thriving. The raver turned DJ element was off the back of a good friend encouraging me to buy decks during my second year of Uni- best decision I ever made. I practiced and it was solely a hobby, the prospect of making it a career hadn’t even crossed my mind, then everything all came at once. I started getting booked and then gained a residency on Mistajam’s BBC 1xtra show a year later. That was my big break which got the ball rolling.

What was the inspiration to want to DJ in the first place?

I found myself quite often at raves feeling free and enjoying myself but also being a nerd and feeling quite in tune with the reaction between the DJs selection and effect on the crowd. I’d often be there saying to myself mid rave ‘ah if they DJ played that over this that would have worked better’ so I think I instinctively had a selectors mind set before even knowing it was something I wanted to do. I really loved the multi genre DJs who mixed up all the underground sounds sick, where there were curve balls and they could re engage the crowd in a matter of seconds just by their next track. My attention span is quite short and I love variety so too much of the same genre isn’t really for me- it was these DJs that inspired me alongside certain raves and venues.

I was reading an article about yourself recently and they described you as a ‘Genre-blending breath of fresh air’. When I saw that the first thing that obviously comes to mind is how diverse your sound is as a DJ.

Have you always tried to keep mixing things up with the music you play throughout your career?

Yeah for sure, but my taste has expanded and developed over the years. I now play genres I didn’t even know I liked 5 years ago.

What about your musical/DJ influences, do you have any that helped you find your sound that you have today?

Yeah for sure, more so back in the day, but listening to certain tastemakers radio shows and being at certain sets definitely opened my ears to genres, labels and artists I would of otherwise been unfamiliar with.

You also have done your fair share of sets for Rinse FM as well, was that as a residency you did with them?

My first ever exposure as a DJ was recording a guest mix for Scratcha DVA’s Rinse FM Grimey breakfast show back in 2011, and then over the years I did the odd guest mix here and there. It was always my dream to have my own show but it never happened for me. Then three years ago I was approached by the station and offered a short residency consisting of 5 one hour shows over a week which has now become a monthly show 

There’s no hiding that you have had an insane career so far, have you got the biggest highlight so far?

This year I did the iconic BBC Radio 1 Essential mix, that’s one of my biggest achievements for sure. Playing nearly 20 festivals a Summer consecutively over the past few years (lets just not discuss this Summer and festivals) is something I’m also proud of as well as my Pretty Weird European tour I put together last year. Another big deal for me was getting booked for Circoloco at DC10 in Ibiza last Summer.

You also launched your own record label ‘Pretty Weird’ in 2017, could you tell us a bit how that came into action?

I’ve always been keen to discover new artists and help push their music however I can, predominantly through radio. The aspect of discovering new music too goes hand in hand so the concept of starting a label as another platform to do this made sense. The bigger picture was to treat the label as a brand and curate parties, festival stages and collaborate with designers for merch- all of which I have achieved which is amazing.

How did you go about finding artists to join the ‘Pretty Weird’ roster and what would you say to any upcoming DJs who want to join the team?

I’ve found some artists through them sending demos to me directly, and others through actively finding their music via another platform of some kind, hearing something special, then reaching out! I’d say ensure you send music out in a format which you can preview off and download, preferably a Soundcloud private link, Dropbox is also decent.

Thank you again for joining us Barely Legal, we look forward to hearing what you have got in store for us in your mix! Before we let you go, is there anything you would like to share to the Footpatrol readers?

Tough times never last, only tough people last.

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