Harriet Jaxxon has been making waves in the drum & bass scene over the last year or two so much so that RAM Records decided she should be part of the family. When a label like that with their legendary status come calling it is a sure sign the artist in question has a considerable amount of talent. We sat down with the Kent-born artist to chat about her career to date, including time spent with the House music behemoth Ministry of Sound, beginnings into drum & bass and future aspirations.
Catch Harriet Jaxxon and more at A Weird & Wonderful New Year's Eve 2018 party in Birmingham this December.
Firstly we discussed how RAM had been an inspiration since an early age for Jaxxon.
“I was always a big fan of dance music from like my early teens really,” she said. "I did start off as a raver. At first I was giving out flyers for local clubs to get in underage and that’s when I started following drum & bass. I was a big fan of RAM Records way before then as well.”
Jaxxon might’ve been a huge admirer of d&b but when she was first getting to grips with honing her turntable talents it was another style of music that she developed a fondness for. A lot of the time this can often be the case during the early days of an artist’s career, with various individuals grasping any opportunity they can to increase their exposure.
“My first love was drum & bass but when I started mixing I was actually playing hip hop and moombahton that used to be quite popular,” she added. “That was for the first couple of years. I was playing a lot of 110bpm stuff to start and a lot of stuff in Brixton and then after that I started playing house and garage. That’s when I got noticed by Ministry of Sound. I toured with them a few years and was only really playing house and garage.”
At that time Jaxxon confessed there weren’t many female DJs which did conjure a bit of anxiety for the 25-year-old as to whether it was going to be a viable career. The fact that she attended a lot of RAM events just so happened to be a good thing as it would present a way into mixing her first love.
“After going to all the events I got to know the label manager at RAM,” she commented. “He’d heard me play a couple of drum & bass tracks and that’s what really took my attention back into it.”
Although Jaxxon has been playing d&b since becoming part of the RAM family she has also been able to share her love for the genre at Ministry events. This is a good indicator of just how much the genre’s popularity has grown in recent times according to Jaxxon.
“With Ministry they are predominantly a house brand but I’ve noticed in the last year that I’ve played four or five drum & bass events for them in the past year which is quite interesting,” she explained. “I just think it has got bigger and people want it especially as they do a lot of student stuff.”
Reflecting on the past year Jaxxon is only too quick to explain how surreal it all feels now that she is playing shows alongside the names she admired as a teenager. Not too long ago she was just a fan, longing for a chance to be at the front of the stage but now that dream is a reality.
“I remember having posters in my bedroom and I actually had a RAM Records tattoo on my neck when I was 17,” she commented. “When I’m playing these events before Wilkinson and Rene LaVice I do have moments where I’m like this is really cool.”
Having frequented numerous RAM events over the years Jaxxon has some fascinating memories. Going back to the beginning she remembers it was all about a certain Bristol duo that had just joined forces.
“When I first started going to events Loadstar had just formed and Wilkinson was just coming through as well,” she explained. “This was around 2009-10. At the time those guys were big but they’ve since gone on to become massive.”
Playing all over the UK as well as overseas it has been a rather exciting chapter for Jaxxon during her time with RAM up until now. When asked to pick out one event which has left her with the most fantastic memories it was difficult for Jaxxon but after much deliberation it turned out to be something closer to home than the picturesque St. Moritz.
“It’s hard to pinpoint as I’ve done lots of good shows with RAM,” she added. “My standout show was probably South beats festival in Kent, partly because it was a home crowd for me as it’s very near to where I live. The energy was amazing.”
Looking ahead to 2019 Jaxxon is plotting big things with plans for a first single whilst her DJ schedule is already shaping up nicely, including an appearance at the mighty Rampage festival in Belgium. Putting out a debut record is by far the biggest goal and one which Jaxxon has been putting a lot of work in of late to achieve.
“Over the last two months I’ve been working a lot more on production within drum & bass so the next 12 months I want to get something released,” she added. “I’ve got loads of big festivals coming up next summer and lots of stuff overseas so I think it’s just going to be about focusing and getting my head down really.”
As soon as the topic of production was discussed it was only right to push Jaxxon for a wish list of artists she would like to work with in the studio one day. Number one on that list happened to be one of the hottest talents to emerge from South America in recent times.
“At the moment my favourite producer is S.P.Y.,” she said. “I went to his event at Studio 338 and just his selection is everything I enjoy. His sound has a distinct influence of jungle which is what I’m really into and have been since I was really young.”
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