DJ, producer, promoter, broadcaster, graphic designer, fashion designer, booking agent: St Petersburg artist Lady Waks plays many roles in the bass game… And you might want to know about her.
Fresh from mixing her first official international mix CD for Deekline’s Hotcakes imprint (Bass Shakers), we caught up with her to find out more and learn how he’s played a hugely influential role in Russia’s bass and beats scene.
Cutting her teeth at 17 as a broadcaster on Russia’s largest radio station attracting over 25 million listeners each week (Radio Record), she’s since gone on stamp her mark on every possible facet of the industry including her own In Beat We Trust event and fashion brand and worked with Counterforce, the first event company to organise raves and festivals in Russia, including the country’s World Of Drum & Bass parties. She’s also responsible for booking the majority of bass and beats acts for Kazantip, one of the maddest, free-spirited festivals in operation.
“I would have better results if I concentrated my power on two things instead of five!” she laughs. “But I want to enjoy what I do. It makes me happy to have so many different projects. I prefer to get excited and the only way to do that is by doing lots of different things. If I get bored designing a flyer I can work on some beats. If I get bored of making beats, I design a t-shirt. If I get bored doing that I work on tracks for my next show. I am never bored!”
Listen to her slew of mixes on her Soundcloud and you’ll never get bored either. Here’s what she does and how she does it…
I was told I had to start playing R&B because it was really getting big over here but I told them to fuck off. They fired me!
Lady Waks: Broadcaster
“I started working at Russia’s biggest station Radio Record when I was 17. It was all about hip-hop back then, but I was fired about three years later when I was about 20. I was told I had to start playing R&B because it was really getting big over here but I told them to fuck off. They fired me! After eight years they asked me back. They said I could do whatever I wanted to do. So I told them it was bass and breakbeats. I’m really lucky to have this position… Other hosts who broadcast alongside me are Hardwell, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto and Ferry Corsten plus loads of really talented Russian DJs”
Lady Waks: Promoter
“I’ve been running In Beat We Trust 15 years ago when I was 18. It’s one of Russia’s largest breakbeat parties. I’m a firm believer that the promoter builds a music scene. If they really believe in the music and isn’t just doing it for money then they can build a real scene. People can see what you’re doing and have faith in you. My passion was breakbeat and no one was putting those type of parties on. They didn’t think they could make any money out of it, so they didn’t touch it. I didn’t care about money and for the first five years I put parties on for no one. But I didn’t give up! And from here, we’ve represented all around Russia – Mayday, Soundtropolis, Gatecrasher and many many clubs.
“For many years I ran these alongside working with a lot of drum & bass artists over here and bringing them over for the World Of Drum & Bass parties and DJ SS’s Formation Records. I worked with Counterforce who are the biggest festival organisers over here. All of this has led me to set up my own booking agency through which I do all the bookings for Kazantip – anything with broken beat is booked by me. It doesn’t matter of it’s hip-hop or trap or drum & bass. I book everything.”
Lady Waks: Fashion designer
“In Beat We Trust has its own fashion and merchandise range. We’ve just launched our own summer collection. We’ve done loads more girl stuff and I’ve been working on dresses and skirts. I design it myself and I’ve done collaborations with other graphic designers and a tattoo artist called Idiotstile. She does incredible art and designs which I have incorporated into the designs. I love collaborations!”
Lady Waks: Selector
“Everything starts with DJing, though. This is my main passion. I’m really proud to have my Bass Shakers mix out there… I’ve had mixes released by pirates over here but nothing official on this level. I’ve never been into listening to other people’s mixes, mainly because I spend so much time doing my own mixes, but Deekline’s last one was the only one I had in my car for a long, long time. I was really happy that he asked me to make this mix. It took a little while to get some tracks licenced and the MCs recorded but that makes it all the more special…”
Follow Lady Waks: Facebook / Soundcloud
Bass Shakers 2015 – Lady Waks is out now on Hot Cakes: iTunes