Meet Katia: FBi’s Dance Class 2016 trainee
October 10th 2016
Photo by ELLA MAXIMILLION
Meet Katia, one of five trainees to take part in FBi’s Dance Class, supported by V MoVement. The techno lover is part of the second generation to go through this comprehensive DJ training and mentoring initiative for female dance music lovers in Sydney. With Adi Toohey as her mentor, Katia has been cutting her teeth on Saturday Sunset as well as the Dance Class Residency on FBi Click, which kicked off last week. All the while she’s been practising and preparing her debut mix, which you can now listen to here!
Appropriately titled ‘Sombre’, her mix is a foreboding, expansive and completely entrancing listen. Put your headphones on and block out everything else – get immersed while Katia introduces herself below.
Tell us a little about your DJ style.
My style is heavily influenced by German techno. Techno that is dark, minimal, atmospheric, melodic and sometimes even a little ominous. I have been drawn to dark sounds for as long as I can remember. This isn’t a reflection on my personality or how I perceive life, it’s simply because this music evokes emotion and has the power to transport you elsewhere. The intricate atmospheric elements give the songs depth and life, while the hard hitting kicks make you jump around and dance in your room, by yourself, into the early hours of the morning.
I am also very meticulous when searching for new music. I don’t make a purchase unless I am absolutely in love with the track.
Tell us about the mix you have made.
Starting off with dub and melodic tracks, this mix moves through into breakbeat, slowly getting faster and eventually finishing off with an industrial track. It features all of the styles that I not only love, but would like to play out on the dance floor.
What made you first decide to audition for this year’s class?
I have been very interested in music for a few years now and have been slowly developing my style. It took a while, but around a year ago it felt like I had finally found it. Since then, my music collection has grown significantly. I wasn’t satisfied just sitting in my room listening to these songs, I had a strong urge to share them with others in the hopes that they would bring them as much happiness as they did for me. And while at this point I knew the basics of DJing, I really wanted to develop my skills and become more comfortable in front of the decks. And what better way to do that than learn from some of Sydney’s most talented DJs?
What has been the most valuable lesson that you have learned?
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that you can do anything that you put your mind to. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but before I started this, I never thought I could be a radio presenter. My mentor was Adi Toohey, and from the short time I was with her, I have learned a tremendous amount.
During our first week together, she threw me in the deep end and we presented Sunset together. It was scary, but I’m very glad she did because I believe that is the best way to learn. By the end of the mentorship part of the program, I was presenting half of the show. Getting there was challenging, but made me realise how much I actually love it.
There was also our vinyl session with Kali at the beginning of the program, which for me, was a pivotal moment. A few days prior, I had received my very first record in the mail and was very excited to learn how to mix with it. The lesson was challenging as it is an intricate and delicate process, however it got me completely hooked. Records are now burning a large hole in my wallet – but it’s worth it.
What plans do you have for you DJing and music once the program is over?
I have a lot of plans! First, I’m going to keep practising and collecting vinyl. I am also going to continue learning how to produce my own music. Currently saving up for a synthesiser which I can’t wait to add to my little bedroom studio. And lastly, I want to hear more techno in Sydney (especially the harder, faster kind). Therefore I am going to work hard to start running my own party that caters to this particular sound.
Overall, this has been a dream and I am forever grateful.
WHAT: FBi’s Dance Class party with GL (live) and debut sets from 2016 trainees
WHERE: FBi Radio, 44-54 Botany Rd, Alexandria
WHEN: Wednesday October 19, 6-8pm
HOW MUCH: Free – but spaces are limited. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Dance Class’ in the subject.