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SIOBHAN BELL | TAKING DJING FROM LONDON TO THE STATES

April 6, 2021

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Once you hear Siobhan Bell speak, it’s hard not to fall in love with her British accent. And if you’re lucky enough, you may have seen her spin at one of your favorite clubs in East London. Ever since she landed residency at Work It back in 2010, the DJ, producer, music, and fashion connoisseur has been on an uphill climb with her career—not only bringing good vibrations through music but also blessing the world with her inner and outer beauty.

From DJing for Megan The Stallion on tour to collaborating with the late legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, Siobhan proves the sky’s the limit when it comes to doing what you love. With her platform, which boasts 128K followers on Instagram alone, Bell effortlessly motivates and inspires females all around the world.

The multi-faceted creative hails international presence, even diving into the comedy world with her own skits. Plus, she’s a world traveller and huge lover of life in all aspects. Flaunt caught up with Siobhan via Zoom, who was located back home in London. Read below as we discuss her roots in East London, how she learned how to DJ, DJing for Megan The Stallion, crossing over into fashion, and more!

Photo Credit: Abdulla ‘Tapewater’ Webster

How did you get into music growing up in East London?  

I started off in East London, which is a cool scene in London.  It all began with a  group my of friends, we started out doing club nights. It just really developed. My first brand gig was with Nike where I was doing in-store every Saturday. That’s where I really learned to DJ. I was DJing for 6 hours straight a night.

6 hours? 

For about a year and a half, every Saturday I’d DJ for 6 hours!

No way! That’s a long time. 

It was a long time, but it helped me to learn more about music. I played every genre. I love doing 90’s, 80’s, and disco. We have other genres in the UK such as Jungle, House, and Garage. Obviously from doing 6 hours every week, I got better and better. It was on the shop floor, so people would come in and ask me if I DJ. My first international gig was in Dubai, and that’s when I started to take DJing a lot more serious. Just before that, I was working within labels. I was interning at Atlantic Records as an assistant A&R. That helped with DJing and my insight in music.

Did you want to be in the music industry aspect of it?

Yeah, I always wanted to be in the music industry and I was always good at networking. I just happened to know loads of artists. My love of music connected me with the people and their various backgrounds. Back then it was Tumblr days, so I was on Tumblr lots. A lot of artists were always on Tumblr pushing their stuff.

Tumblr was huge!

I remember Odd Future was on there as well. When they came to London, I hung out with them.

How was it hanging with Tyler the Creator? 

It was fun. We went to a few of their shows. This was when they were in the beginning stages. How he is now is exactly who he was then.

How did you teach yourself how to DJ? 

Loads of YouTube videos. [laughs] I used to go out a lot, that scene was a whole party scene. I used to go out every other day, so I’d watch the DJ, I became so interested in the DJ. They are touching all these buttons, making changes. I was always around real DJs as well, especially males. I  looked, and there weren’t many girls. I only knew 2 girls DJing at the time: VenusX and Vashtie. I didn’t know anyone in the UK that was really a DJ on those lineups, and if there were people who would even go out to see a girl spin. I thought “hmm, maybe I could do this.”

What’s your favorite song to drop in a set? 

Ooh, it depends. You can’t go wrong with a City Girls song. [laughs] You cannot go wrong! Anything upbeat, uptempo, where the beat’s going to drop. I always do support the girls, girl music is it!

What City Girls song?  

The last 2 summers was “Act Up,” that was their anthem. Now, I haven’t been able to test any songs in this pandemic. I know Megan The Stallion, you could drop a Summer Walker song, Mulatto, Saweetie as well. Saweetie always has a really good fun, club-friendly vibe.

Photo Credit: Abdulla ‘Tapewater’ Webster

How was it DJing for Megan on her London tour? 

It was amazing because I love the crowd she had. It was completely girls of all ages, quite young to varying ages. They’re so excited to see her, it was amazing that she had complete female fans. They were ready to twerk. [laughs] That’s the best thing, her audience.

How has the pandemic affected you either positively or negatively?  

Let me say negative first. Obviously, I haven’t been able to DJ this whole time. That really affected me because that’s my main passion, my main craft and how I make money. As a business, that’s quite deep. The positive side is I was traveling every other day, so I needed this time and space to reevaluate, regroup, rebrand, and to stop for a second. I wouldn’t have been able to make the move to LA as well, if it hadn’t been this time.

How do you like Los Angeles so far?

I love it! The weather is always sunny and it’s so creative here. You can get a lot of inspiration. There’s so many people doing different things socially, there’s a lot more creative inspiration here.

Do you miss home at all?

Yeah, I do miss home. I miss the tube. [laughs] I miss getting on the tube. I miss London. London’s home because I was actually born and raised in London.

How did you crossover into the fashion world?

There were a few London brands tapped into fashion culturally, there were 2 designers. The designer I worked with first, Nasir Mirza, he’s one of the first to incorporate culture and music within his show. He‘d asked me to DJ in 2014 and I was DJing on set while he’s showcasing his clothes. That’s my first experience in fashion. I thought wow this is amazing, I’d love to do more of this stuff. That’s when I started going to shows.

I worked on curating the music for shows as well. I did a show called Bobby Ugly, I made his whole set music. Of course, I had a lot of friends in music that started designing, like Virgil, Ambush, Heron Preston. I got more familiar and started going to shows. I don’t know, people like to dress me. [laughs] And I like to be dressed.

How would you describe your fashion style? 

My fashion is about my mood to be honest. I change my hair a lot and my hair is always my mood. It’s very versatile, can be fun. I’m willing to try. I’ve had some crazy outfits as well. Because Fashion Week is about expression and not caring, you can experiment.

Talk about your collaboration with the late legend Karl Lagerfeld.

That came about because I DJ’d for him 2 years ago. He has a love for music. A lot of designers when they create clothes or make a collection, they get music inspiration, especially from different areas. I DJ’d for him and he was doing a DJ series, so it was a great combination. I want to get into creative directing for brands, so that was a really good introduction.

What’s been your favorite brand or celebrity to DJ for?

Ooh, I’ve DJ’d for so many brands. When I was doing Skepta and A$AP Mob that was more of a collective, and I DJ’d them for a long period of time. Watching them grow as well, especially with Skepta. Those guys mean so much to me, because they helped me enter the fashion space too—Skepta was going into fashion at the time also.

What advice do you have for other women who want to DJ?

It is quite a male dominated industry. Especially when I started, there weren’t many girls. There’s so many girls now, which is amazing. Stick to your own identity. When I first started DJing, I had this tomboy image that I was trying to fit into with males, then I got comfortable with myself to be myself  all while being a DJ. Because with women, you can get the connotation of “‘cause she looks a certain way, oh she must be this or that.” Make sure you do your mixes. Make sure you’re focusing on your craft, and everything else will fall in place.

Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?  

I’ve been DJing for a while now, so I’m in my next phase of developing into other areas. I like acting. I like dancing. I want to develop more with fashion, do more creative directive projects. I’m still obviously a DJ, but I want to expand on other areas.

Anything else you want to let the people know?

We’re getting prepared for the world to open, I can’t wait to get back. I am ready to embark on this transition from London to the US.

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