Pick a D&B subgenre, any D&B subgenre… Chances are you’ll find it on this epic 1 More Mix edition from Natty Lou.
A graduate of the lockdown DJ era, cutting her teeth on streams and at sit down events, London-based Natty has spent the last 18 months blasting out of the gates establishing herself in real life rave scenarios with turbo-charged energy, passion, dedication and insane technical chops.
Don’t take our word for it, check the blends on this mix. Barely a moment goes by when at least two tunes aren’t in the mix.
As she wraps up 2022 and sets us up for an even bigger 2023 – a year in which she’ll be presenting her first productions and taking her high energy, wide-armed selection style to even bigger venues, even further around the world – Natty Lou takes the time to guide us through her mix and her journey so far. Listen up and get to know…
Let’s talk about this mix! You’ve covered the entire spectrum of drum & bass!
Thanks! I love all styles of D&B. I can’t just stick to one.
It’s very linear and limiting to do that!
Yeah totally. All my sets are like this, I play anything I like the sound of and I try to take the listeners on a journey to keep it interesting and make it accessible for everyone really. This one is quite a special mix as not only does it have tunes that I absolutely love, but it has a few of my own tunes in there too!
Oh wow, exclusive! So what makes the perfect mix for you?
It depends on what mood I’m in and it all depends on what you want from a mix. I do like mixing up old and new things and tapping back into that energy that first inspired me about this music. Like the late 2000s when dubstep was blowing up and artists like High Contrast, Chase & Status, Sub Focus, Benga, Caspa and Rusko were all putting out massive tunes.
Oh that was a great time. That’s when bass music really exploded in a whole new way
It was a really exciting time wasn’t it? I started in Bristol uni around that time and was dancing a lot at places like Basement 45 and O2 and have some very fond memories of that time, that sound and energy.
And that’s the cornerstone or the science of a Natty Lou mix – that classic energy but with a contemporary twist!
And a lot of planning on Rekordbox! I do loads of practising and preparation. I spend so long looking for the perfect blend. Sometimes a blend will just come to my head but other times I can spend hours looking for that perfect blend. I also spend a lot of time setting cue points, memory points and preparing. That’s the real science for me. I like to be organised and prepared. That helps reduce the anxiety when stepping up on stage. Maybe it’s the teacher in me?
Preparation is key for everything! The more work you do beforehand, the better the job will be in so many different things!
Yeah! It gives me much more confidence to play out to a crowd and I am able to relax a bit more as well as interact with the crowd.
I’m not surprised with the anxiety either. You’ve come through from lockdown DJing to playing some HUGE stages!
Yeah it’s been crazy. I’ve been really blessed to have played some epic shows.
Boomtown springs to mind. That footage was insane…
Oh honestly that was epic. That was my first time at Boomtown and to perform to 10,000 ravers while representing Concrete Junglists. Yeah. That was a moment and probably one of the top things this year. Glastonbury was crazy for me, too. I didn’t think I’d get to play there quite so early in my career.
I played Silver Hayes back to back with Ama representing RUN and that was just incredible. I’ve been really fortunate to play so many shows like WHP in Manchester, Noxx in Eindhoven, Secret Project in Portugal, ADE in Amsterdam. So yeah, I’m really grateful for everything I’ve been able to do this year. It’s been beyond my expectations.
I was going to say, did you expect things to go this fast this quickly?
Maybe not this quickly but I’m very ambitious and if I want something, and I’m really passionate about it, then I’ll go out and get it. If you believe in yourself and you’ve got the motivation and drive then you can achieve anything. I also think being freelance as a dancer gave me a strong grounding; you have to go out and get the work. Those skills have been transferable for sure.
Yeah totally. Discipline! Keeping your head up and just hustling!
Absolutely. And in the dance world there are a lot of rejections so when you don’t get a job you have to pick yourself up and go ‘okay, what’s next?’ So yeah, discipline, commitment and resilience all play a strong role in this don’t they?
They really do! There must be loads of parallels between the dance world and DJ world in that way…
Totally. In both worlds you’ve got to work hard! I have other work commitments but when I come back home I’m working on music, working on productions, practising on the decks, doing promotion, social media. It doesn’t stop, but it’s also not a chore. I love it, it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about. But I have to say, I couldn’t have done this without the support of key brands and people. So I’ve got to big up all those crews such as Louder & RUN because I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without their support. And obviously Concrete Junglists were a big part of helping me find myself.
Amazing. Credit where it’s due! Things got so busy you stepped down from Concrete Junglists, right?
Yeah I was events manager for them for a while but I had to step back and focus on myself a bit more. I still play for them and they are like family to me. They’re still doing amazing events and killing it!
Big time. You mentioned productions earlier…
Yes! I’m really proud to say that my debut release is coming out next year. The contract has been signed and that’s all happening early 2023 and I’ve got other releases lined up after that. I’m working with some extremely talented vocalists and collaborating with some amazing talents. I’m really excited about next year. I’m just working on my sound and what I want that to be. Like I said, I’m really into that 2009/2010 type of sound. Sub Focus, Culture Shock, Metrik . You know, that big dancefloor sound.
I do prefer that original dancefloor sound more to the current one if I’m totally honest…
I just love how drum & bass is always evolving and never sitting still! Like the whole 4×4 thing in the last few years, for instance. So yeah, for me, I want to bring back a little bit of that energy and sound that got me into this. I’m having a lot of fun exploring that in the studio and listening to what’s out and what’s new at the moment – it’s inspiring
Amazing. Anything else we can look forward to?
I’ve got some dream gigs next year. Like, unbelievable bookings. Most of them I can’t say yet but I have just announced Let It Roll at Printworks, main room, which is just insane. So yeah, I’m really happy with how everything is going and I’m enjoying the journey and embracing it and want to say thank you to everyone who’s supported me so far or been part of this journey!