27 Sep Rada – Into The Underground Bush Doof Scene of Australia
Flying under the radar for years perfecting her craft, Australian electronic music act Rada, now has the solid following she deserves.
Rada is the project of Ruby James, an equally accomplished photographer and all round doof (Australian for electronic music with a heavy beat) legend. We caught up to discover the inner workings of this Aussie artist’s mind.
What do you love about the Australia doof community?
I love how unique it is! I’ve traveled and attended many festivals abroad but there is something about the raw, loose and frivolous nature of how we party here that can’t be found elsewhere. Dancing in the Aussie bush with the hard, dry earth beneath your feet, the harsh sun overhead and the sound of the bass reverberating through the trees is just unbeatable.
The kindness, love and the shared attitude that absolutely everyone is welcome that you find, particularly at the smaller doofs, are just some of the key attributes that make the weekends and the sesh so enticing.
How were you introduced to the scene in Melbourne?
I was first introduced into the scene through my older sister, Freya and her friends when I was 16. They excitedly took me to my first Rainbow Serpent in 2014 and my world was burst open to a whole new kind of music and arts. Dancing and watching all the vibrant people was something else, it definitely made me fall in love with electronic music. From that first year I have somehow made it to every other one since.
When did you play your first underground gig?
I played my first set at Burning Seed last year, I had the honour to play in the Bird Cage who my amazing friends Alex and Rory had created. My gorgeous partner Dickie who has taught me everything I know about mixing, helped me prepare for the night. I had a banger of a time and received lots of lovely support. Burning Seed is the perfect environment for beginners to have a go, as it has many different theme camps and side stages with such an encouraging community.
What festivals do you attend?
I feel like I used to attend as many as I could fit into my summer, which seemed like every second weekend. Such as Burning Seed, Chi Wow Wah Town, The Comfort Zone, Rainbow Serpent, Earth Frequency, Esoteric, The Town and a few more special smaller ones. Festivals are always changing, and it seems to be that unfortunately some groups of people who attend (particularly the bigger festivals) can attend with the wrong attitude and bring the vibe down by being disrespectful to the environment and each other.
So I think moving forward I’ll mostly be saving my energy for the smaller, more intimate ones. They seem to be the ones where a lot of magic happens!
What inspired you to start mixing?
I guess partying from a young age and being exposed to lots of incredible DJ’s. Plus having inspiring friends and a partner, many who mix and play sets around Melbourne. On my 22nd Birthday all my amazing mates put in and surprised me with my first controller, Rokit speakers and a nice pair of headphones! It was such a beautiful gift, because it was something I had always wanted to get into but may have never committed to purchasing, so having that push from my friends was perfect.
What has been the major driving force behind your passion for music?
Music gives me a feeling like nothing else. It can change my mood instantly and get me excited and make me feel all the feels. It’s something I can share with my partner and many friends that can mix. I guess there’s always been a part of me that has wanted to bring my daydreams to life, the ones where I’m playing in front of a big crowd of people.
How has the pandemic changed things in the Melbourne scene?
When venues finally open again there may be strict rules on distance and sanitation, which may change the club experience. However I also believe this time in isolation has given an opportunity for many to explore their creativity so we might see new material and sounds from artists.
Where can we see you play when things become less restricted?
That’s a great question. I haven’t thought that far ahead, I think it will be a while before gigs will be back to normal. I’m definitely open to opportunities and itching to play in some new spaces. I’ve also been playing around with some new genres and excited to share some sounds.
“What you focus on moves towards you”