Frequent Players Meets DJ Fabienne | House of St Barnabas Summer Festival

In line with the upcoming House of St Barnabas Summer Festival, we caught up with one of the DJ’s who will be supplying some sweet, summer tunes, Fabienne.

I guess you could still say ‘relatively new’ to the world of DJing, Fabienne has always been the one to provide the music. From creating playlists for friends at uni to now taking on DJing as full time, Fabienne hasn’t slowed down. Hot within the world of fashion, Fabienne has provided the music for the past five seasons of Stella McCartney’s fashion shows and after parties and now, she’s bringing her vibrant mix to The House of St Barnabas.

To get you ready for the Summer Festival, Fabienne was on hold to provide Frequent Players with their latest guest mix so make sure to check it out below!

Footpatrol: Hey Fabienne! I just want to start the interview by asking how are you ?

Fabienne: Hiya, I’m good thanks, just boiling! It is one of the hottest days of the year, but I love the sunshine so I am not complaining.

FP: For people who don’t know who you are and what you do, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Fabienne: I’m Fabienne, I’m a international DJ spinning in London, NYC and Europe, I just came back from Mykonos which was fun! Summer is pretty hectic for a DJ! 

FP: When did you first realise that you had a love for music?

Fabienne: Music has always been played in my house. My dad’s side of the family are all musicians, my uncle is in a band, my cousin’s are singers, one of them was even a backing singer for Kanye West so music is really in the family. At uni I used to make mixtapes for people and the CD’s would absolutely get rinsed. At uni we would go clubbing and the DJ’s would be like “What songs do you want to play Fabs?”  When do you ever get a DJ that asks you what you want to play, usually they hate requests! (I know I do lol). I would be like why don’t you play this with that etc etc. call me a control freak, but it was great and the crowd loved the tunes I‘d suggest. I chose to study fashion at Uni but always knew that music and fashion would collide. Thankfully, with my career they have.

Early on in my fashion career I was doing a lot of styling and the PR companies would be like ‘Oh you’re a DJ aren’t you?’ and at that point I was young, fresh out of uni and I hadn’t really DJ’ed out of my room; but I was extra confident and I was like ‘yeah I can do this!’, so after loads of practice I then started playing lots out of the house – clubnights, fashion parties, making mixes online and sending them to different venues, going around to different bars and putting myself out there basically. Word of mouth just kind of spread and then I was DJing in a nightclub and I got picked up by Stella McCartney’s music director. I then toured Europe with them, all from being spotted at a dive bar in Shoreditch. It just shows if you put yourself out there with good intentions you never know what could happen. Getting back to your question, I can’t live without music. If I have a day without listening to music, I feel like something is wrong. Music drives my soul – let’s just say that ! 

FP: What was it like coming out of uni of DJing for Stella McCartney and doing so many big gigs at a young age?

Fabienne:  Well I was about 28 so had a few years on me after Uni and at the time I was already working in fashion, so I was used to working with big brands and going to a lot of fashion shows via that line of work. It was an incredibly fun experience and I just enjoyed every moment and still do with the exciting gigs I get. In life it’s about taking in that present moment rather than always seeking the next. 

FP: What similarities do you think the fashion world has with the music industry?

Fabienne: I think they are both creative outlets for people to express themselves. People make clothes inspired by music and vice versa. 

FP: How do you think music has influenced your fashion choices?

Fabienne: Well, I’m stuck in the 90’s, lol. I heard once that musically whatever genre of music you listened to between 14 and 16 is the one you will get stuck in for life. And I can’t disagree tbh. Musically & fashion wise I’m stuck in the early noughties so which is great because it has now fully come back around. I love that kind of era. It is all bright colours and animal prints that’s totally my style.

FP: So you are also a presenter, you have hosted for brands such as Nivea, YSL and music showcases for Malibu; how did this opportunity come about?

Fabienne: Again like with the dj’ing it’s about putting yourself out there. I think also these days you have to create your own opportunities so at the time I was putting presenting videos up online and I guess they came through that. The Malibu event was like a pool party where we had to get people out of their shell and participate in different games. I’ll talk to a chair if it moves so I had a great time. 

FP: You also have your own ‘Let’s Talk’ live interviews that you host on Instagram, what was the motivation behind this?

Fabienne: I like to showcase different ideas with my presenting whether it showcasing a different career from the norm with ‘Let’s Talk’, or like with my ‘Fabs’ Future Sounds’ IGTV Series, upcoming artists for people to listen to. Let’s Talk was about showcasing different career paths for women in industries where we are generally underrepresented. It was about inspiring others. The series was something that I started during lockdown to showcase female businesses and the female hustle because that’s how it started with me and music i.e. I did have a day job and then the side hustle became the main hustle I guess. I want to keep going and do more of these type of series’, I’d love it to get picked up by a brand to get their support with it too!

FP: Do you think that there is more women representation in the music/DJ industry now?

Fabienne: Definitely now, but I think I see it because I am a woman in music. I think the general public might not see it, you still get people saying ‘Oh wow female DJ’ at events. There is a lot more support network as well for women in music but there can always be more.

FP: Are there any music and fashion influences that you take inspiration from?

Fabienne: Ofcourse! Music wise I’m inspired by old and new from Prince to Kaytranada, I love how he fuses old school Hip-Hop with electronic beats. There’s a load of producers now taking the Bailé sound and creating remixes or edits of old 90’s and 00’s tunes, which I LOVE! Producers such as Jarreau Vandal, Boston Chery, Hyalyte, Kensaye, Jaymie Silk, it’s such a vibe. People just love that stuff, they love that nostalgic feeling brought into a modern way which is what I do in my fashion. I love colour and clever details in fashion, like an incredible dress with pockets or like this silk shirt but in tonnes of colour. I’m inspired by fearless females who aren’t afraid to express themselves, such Grace Jones, Kate Bush, Rihanna and Madonna. I like to think I channel them whenever I head to my wardrobe. 😀

FP: What advice would you give to young people that are trying to make it in the music industry?

Fabienne: Just do you ! Do not be distracted by whatever is on social media, do not worry about what other people are doing, concentrate on you and just keep going. If you got the idea in your head to do it you need to at least experiment with it. Life is about self expression.

FP: To finish off we would like to thank you so much for the interview. Is there anything you would like to share with the Footpatrol friends and family? That could be anything from getting people excited about something, a message of positivity, whatever you like.

Fabienne: Just do you and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd! 

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