EJ Doubell - Trade's Next Superstar DJ-
Friday, May 18, 2001Recently installed as Trade's latest resident DJ, leading London lesbian DJ EJ 'Emma' Doubell is firmly on course to achieve the success that predecessors including Tall Paul, Smokin' Jo, Tony de Vit and more recently Fergie all achieved after landing the coveted residency. Streetwise, articulate and drenched in charisma, she's a tough though captivating character who's spent much of the last ten years paying her dues at such gay clubbing institutions as FF, FIST and Kitty Lips. Currently recording tracks with both John Truelove and Baby Doc (whose studio we chatted in) she looks set to become one of the biggest 'new' names of 2001, 10 years after she first wandered into Turnmills.
Mezz: How did you land the Trade residency-
EJ Doubell: "I played at their birthday party last November and everything progressed from then on. I got great feedback and Lawrence (Malice) really wanted to change the club's music. I'd known him for years and been going to Trade for years and he just clicked on to me and what I wanted to do with my music."
Mezz: How is your music different from the Trade DJs that went before-
EJ Doubell: "I think the music had got too fast and relentless - it was hard for the sake of being hard. I play hard music but I play it with melody and feeling; I play hard but musical music and that's always been my forte. Promoters have always put me on at the end of the night, so that everyone can come out from the hardness and the darkness almost to the light. My ideal is to make people leave the club with a smile on their face, which is what happened to me in the old days of Trade, when Tall Paul used to finish the night."
Mezz: When did you start DJing-
EJ Doubell: "When I was 19, I'm 33 now, I used to manage a hip hop band in Finland, I lived out there for 7 years because my partner was from there. I spent my time travelling between London, New York and Finland for the whole time. I got into DJing through that, then started getting into Belgium techno, or Euro-techno as it was then known (in the early 90s). I've just carried on from there. I'm still playing at FIST, which has been going for 7 years now."
EJ Doubell: "FIST is a gay fetish club though it is quite segregated. People go there for the music, or you can go in the back rooms and do whatever you want. You can dabble if you want to but if you don't you can dance. People think it's a very intimidating club but when they actually go down there it's more like nothing is happening (chuckling)."
Mezz: The last time we spoke some 5 years ago (for a feature on London's lesbian club scene in Muzik) you predicted imminent economic chaos and stock market crashes, where do you stand these days-
EJ Doubell: "It just seems to be a weird time, doesn't it- I haven't been following stuff that much though nothing much seems to have happened since then. I don't know, I can't work it out. We might be lucky and the balance might remain but we seem to be on the edge all the time. Maybe we're going to get away with it."
Mezz: Is the girl /lesbian club scene in London any bigger than it was five years ago-
EJ Doubell: "It's absolutely dead, there's no women's scene at all. I don't know of any clubs, I haven't been to any women's clubs for years - not since Kitty Lips. There's something in the pipeline which I can't talk about but I think if something started up again it would be huge."
Mezz: Why does the women club scene remain so tiny-
EJ Doubell: "Because they (the women) are so complacent, they'd rather have a drink than listen to quality music. There are lots of disco babes out there, but they go to straight places…. 'mixed' places,… sorry (laughing). They go to DTPM or Trade, those are the only two places."
EJ spins at Trade every week, either between 9am and 11 or between 11am 'til close. She'll also be DJing in Ibiza at Trade's room in Manumission.