Frequent Players Guest Mix 039 | Sharnie
Known as the UK’s second city, Birmingham has always been a city that’s housed a wealth of cultures, styles, and music.
With that said, for our next Frequent Players, we tap into this world with the helping hand of Birmingham based DJ, Sharnie. Known to be able to deliver a mix that flawlessly blends a magnitude of genres, Sharnie has been built a collection of music that’s seen her become a step ahead of the game both on and off the air. Now, she brings her electronic flare to Footpatrol.
Footpatrol: Hi Sharnie, hope you are well, thank you for taking the time to speak to us, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sharnie: Hey, it’s my pleasure thanks for having me! I’m from Birmingham, born and raised. I’m a DJ, been doing it for around 6 years now, and am a budding producer also. Aside from this, I’m also currently studying Herbal Medicine.
FP: what is your earliest memory of music and what got you interested in DJing?
Sharnie: I used to sneak into my big brother’s room when I was around 3 or 4, playing their jungle tapes on their stack stereo. The stereo was originally my dad’s from the early 80s, with some fat speakers. I would always play M Beat – Sweet Love, it was my favourite song! This was definitely the beginning of my love for electronic music.
My interest in DJing started when I used to make mixes for myself to listen to my fav songs and play them in my car when I first started driving. Eventually I decided to upload a couple of these mixes and the rest was history!
FP: Can you tell us about the most memorable event you ever DJed, and why it stood out to you?
Sharnie: It wasn’t my typical gig as I’m used to DJing in clubs, but DJing at the commonwealth games in Birmingham was a memorable one. It was the biggest crowd I’ve DJed for, and it was a full on, big scale production – it was mad to be a part of that. Early morning sets with tea and biscuits on the rider was a first as well!
FP: How do you approach building a setlist, and what factors do you consider when selecting tracks to play?
Sharnie: I don’t tend to plan my sets track for track, but I usually throw a couple of songs I want to play that night into a playlist. Then I just go off the vibe of the crowd and where I want to take them for the next hour or so! When selecting tracks, I always consider my set time, and who is playing before or after me in the line-up to make sure my set fits nicely into the night.
FP: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a female DJ and how did you overcome it?
Sharnie: When I first started out, the lack of representation was an issue. Not seeing many other female DJs around made the prospect of doing it professionally seem unattainable, and there were some occasions where I wasn’t taken seriously. Overcoming this is an ongoing process, industry-wide really, which seems to be moving in the right direction in recent years! I just make sure to work with people who are actively supporting and booking women.
FP: How do you stay current with new music trends and genres, and incorporate them into your sets?
Sharnie: I am always on the hunt for new music, but I don’t tend to pay too much attention to trends as they come and go. I’d say I’m genre-less at heart, so I’m very open in that sense – I just play stuff that I’m feeling! I make sure to follow producers and labels that I’m into, keeping up with new releases. My monthly Soho Radio show helps me stay on the lookout for new bits on a regular basis. I also listen to radio and mixes from my favourite DJs. My friends are a huge source of inspiration, we’re constantly sharing track IDs!
FP: What advice would you give to other women who are interested in pursuing a career in DJing?
Sharnie: I would say be confident in yourself and your abilities, be yourself and stay authentic to you. Practice makes progress! Put yourself out there, social media is a great tool so use it to your advantage. Also, support others in the scene and go to events, showing your face goes a long way.
If you’re just starting out, there’s so many great communities for women now where you can be supported, learn skills, and connect with other DJs. Selextorhood being an example here in Birmingham.
FP: How do you interact with the crowd during a performance, and what techniques do you use to keep the energy high?
Sharnie: I love to bob and weave throughout genres, keeping the crowd on their toes not knowing what to expect next! At the same time, I love a little chop here and there, teasing the next track coming in, especially if it’s a big classic tune, guaranteed energy boost!
FP: Finally, Can you share a bit about your future goals and aspirations as a DJ, and what you hope to accomplish? Do you have any upcoming gigs we can see you at?
Sharnie: I’m hoping to continue growing and evolving my craft, release some of my own production into the world, get some of my bucket list bookings in the calendar, and put on some shows in the future. Particularly in Brum!
By the time this goes live, I will have just made my Fabric debut which has been a goal of mine! But you can catch me in London and Birmingham this month, 14th with Braindance and 28th with Cava!