eqlipse dj psyked in the city

Exclusive interview with Eqlipse (The Village Records)

Eqlipse, or rather Lauren Hunt, is making waves in the local scene this season and bringing gees to the hearts of hundreds of troopers with her dark and enigmatic twilight sounds. Signed with Global Army Records, this D-jane’s bold beats can captivate any audience. Eqlipse recently performed at the Valley of Psy – Part III alongside Hiyamyzo, Sonic Assault, Dirty Motion and Psyqlopz.

lauren hunt eqlipse emelen photography psyked in the city

*These questions were compiled by Batia Efrat on behalf of Psyked in the City.

Psyked:
Hey Lauren! I’m so psyked to be chatting to you, at long last. First things first, tell me a bit about what inspired you to get involved with DJing in the first place?

Eqlipse:
I have always been involved in one music scene or the other. When I was in Johannesburg I did professional skating and music was a big part of the culture.  I first heard trance at the Germiston Bowl, my mate Byron had it on his ipod. I remember really enjoying it but couldn’t seem to find any trance out there.

When I moved to Cape Town, I was told that trance parties were held here and I had to see it for myself. In 2007, I went to my first trance party. I fell in love with the music and decided to do an EMP course at Cape Audio College.

A few years later, one of my house-mates came home with a pair of CDJs. I had just moved in with my Giant (Kieron Grieve) and he was away on a month-long tour of Greece. So I decided to take my mind off of missing him and keep myself busy by learning to mix. It was so much fun! And when he finally came home, I surprised him with a “look what I can do”.  It was my guy friends who encouraged me to actually get on stage and give it a go. Well, the rest is history.


Psyked:

You’ve been studying Film Editing at AFDA for the last few years, how do you maintain the balance between your work and your play?

Eqlipse:
Yeah, AFDA is crazy demanding and sometimes it is difficult to do both, but it’s all about priorities. I work hard in the week and manage my time well so that I can have my weekends free.


lauren hunt eqlipse emelen photography psyked in the city

Psyked:
You’re soon to be the wife of Kieron Grieve (which technically makes you Mrs. Qube), what’s it like being engaged to one of the biggest names in the local psytrance scene? 

Eqlipse:
*laughs* This is a tough one, Kieron (Rubix Qube) is obviously incredibly talented and extremely skilled in his art. He has been doing it for years so, really, there’s no competition. It is tough because many people assume that he played a role in my musical journey and taught me how to mix. Yet that could not be further from the truth. In fact, music is the only thing in our home that we don’t share. We have very different styles and influences. I never go into his studio, for example, because that is his space (unless it’s to bring him coffee or steal kisses hehehe).

lauren hunt eqlipse emelen photography psyked in the city

We try to keep doing VS sets for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Vs sets are probably the only thing we fight over; because of our conflicting style, track selection is really challenging.

It has been a struggle for me to keep my name separate from his in a scene that adores him. I never want people to get the wrong impression or think that I haven’t worked hard to achieve what I have.

It is always a difficult journey trying to establish yourself as an artist, and even more so when you are overshadowed by your partner. I have had a lot of hard knocks but without the tears, the moments of triumph would never have felt so glorious.


Psyked:
Who would you say your greatest musical influences right now?

Eqlipse:
Sho! So many. All the way from Absolum and most 3d vision artists to Marilyn Manson.


lauren hunt eqlipse emelen photography psyked in the city

Psyked:
You’re part of Magnetika, an international agency that focusses on female artists within the electronic music scene. Tell me a bit about that?

Eqlipse:
Magnetika is awesome. It empowers female artists and acts as a mediator for international and local bookings, which ensures the safety and security of payment for the artists. It is also a well-known platform so to be selected as a featured artist is a true honour. Ganeisha (who first started the agency) is a huge role model of mine, she has really made a name for herself and encourages other females to step onto the stage and showcase their talents.


lauren hunt eqlipse emelen photography psyked in the city

Psyked:
If you had to choose any International event to perform at, what would it be?

Eqlipse:
Metagenesis, hands down. A lot of my fan base is in Mexico so it is a personal goal to make my way there one day.


Psyked:
As one of the younger artists in the scene, what are the most challenging aspects of getting your name out there?

Eqlipse:
I really think that it is increasingly more difficult to get out there these days. It seems we have more DJs than DRs, especially because the equipment has become so available. With interfaces like Traktor and the invention of the sync button, it’s so easy to whip open a laptop and teach yourself at home. I think the important thing is to stand out. In my opinion, skill is as important as track selection and I think most of the older artists and organizers would agree with this too.

Start with the basics, learn on CDJs and then move to midi controllers if you’d like to. Play with your heart, choose the tracks you love, not what you think the dancefloor wants to hear. 9/10 they don ‘t actually know until you show them. That way, your presence on stage is natural and becomes contagious. Promote yourself, believe in yourself, push hard and you’ll shine. Have respect for the elders in the scene, appreciate what they contribute and be humble.


eqlipse dj psyked in the city

Psyked:
Do you have any advice for up and coming locals trying to break into the psy scene?

Eqlipse:
First ask yourself why you want to be involved in the scene. If it isn’t for the love of the music, then stay on the dancefloor. It’s not an easy journey and it can be very disheartening at times but if you’re driven by love you’ll get it right. Be prepared to work hard.


Psyked:
You’re set to perform at Groovy Troopers- Mandala Project 2014 later this month, can our readers get a sneak peek of what’s in store?

Eqlipse:
Hmmm, it’s a really big deal for me; I am so excited for this party! I really love Groovy Troopers so to be playing there is a huge honour. This set is a super surprise for everyone. I am really digging for gold with my track selection, I can’t really reveal more than that right now.


Psyked:
Before we wrap things up, is there anything else you’d like to share?

Eqlipse:
YES!!! I’ve actually got some big news; I have decided to put my filmmaking skills to work and am busy working on a model for a quirky interactive psytrance Youtube channel. My friend, Milosca Phyfer, and I will be producing, writing and hosting the show. We’re going to be interviewing artists, organizers, regulars, punters, wriggers and pretty much the life of the scene.

We want to introduce the party goers to the people behind the industry and give them a little perspective on the love that goes into it. We both feel that since trance exploded, some of the heart of the scene has fallen away in the process, and the intention of partying has changed. We really just want to bring back the appreciation that feels a bit lost. There are lots of fun things in store 🙂 I think it’s time I contributed something bigger to the scene, more than just the music. So keep your eyes peeled!


Like this review? Share it with your friends.
Follow Eqlipse on Soundcloud here.

Photos by Emelen Photography

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