London DJ Joce Wavy recently completed a European tour and is set to hit the Pepsi Max stage at Wireless next month. We spoke to her about her favourite musicians right now, which tour stop surprised her the most and who she’s most excited to see perform at the festival…

Which three artists are you feeling right now?

I would say Fimiguerrero, Len… I like both at the moment, I’ve been working with them a little bit. Also Radha, she makes Drum & Bass/Pop, Club Vibes. Those are three UK artists I’m really feeling at the moment.

Is it important that you champion UK talent?

I’m not someone that thinks because I’m from here, I mainly want to support the UK. But I definitely do like to listen out for what’s up next. We have a different sound over here, so it’s sometimes more exciting than American music or other countries. 

When you go on tour, you’re taking UK music over there. Do you get a lot of people wondering what the sound is? 

Yeah, I like to take music from here and play it over there. But I also play music from over there and discover new music from where I’m playing as well; I feel like it goes both ways.

Was there anyone that you came across on your recent tour?

I went to quite a few cities in Germany and there was an artist called Reezy; he’s actually massive. It’s so interesting to find new artists that I haven’t heard of but they’re huge. I think he lives in America but he’s from Germany and speaks German, his music is huge out there. I downloaded a song that one of the promoters showed me and I played it in the club and it went crazy, like word for word. I’m thinking, how could I have never heard this song and everyone in this club knows it word for word?!

You played in a few cities in Germany but which was the tour stop that really surprised you?

I would say Frankfurt in Germany. Paris and Madrid were the ones that I was most excited for because I haven’t played there before and I anticipated that they would be the best ones. I think maybe Frankfurt and Madrid; Madrid surprised me, it was a lot better than I expected. But Frankfurt, they really like to party out in Germany and I didn’t know; it was crazy. 

Are you ready to get back on the road? 

We literally finished yesterday, I’m just recovering. I’m not ready yet to get back on the road but I am too because now it’s over. I was complaining a little bit about travelling back to back, the airport and stuff. But I’m just sitting here today like, ‘what’s next?’ It’s kind of funny but I’m definitely excited to do a couple more festivals and get back into the swing of things. 

Do you have any random things on your DJ Rider? 

I don’t! I have Hennessy, which I think I’m going to switch to tequila, what else do I have? I have chewing gum on there but it’s very specific, Airwaves chewing gum is my favourite one and blue M&Ms. I put things on my rider and then I don’t even end up using them. But I want to add more to it because I’ve been seeing some other people’s riders and they have incense, candles and stuff and I feel like I might make mine a bit more exciting. 

What kind of locations would you love to DJ in? 

Maybe in Asia, I had a booking inquiry for Indonesia and I was taken aback. It didn’t end up happening but I really love to go to places that I think, how have you heard of me? Random places I wouldn’t have ever travelled to if it wasn’t for work; exotic places. Once I had an inquiry for the Bahamas, I’d love to go and see what the vibe is.

In the Caribbean, the parties are outside. Do you like that kind of vibe as well – not being in the club?

Yeah, I like things that are different. I think I’m quite used to clubs or shows. But I definitely like outside, Carnival settings. I actually haven’t done anything like that, so that would be really interesting or a beach party, Ibiza is definitely on the to-do list.

What about Carnival on a float? 

I don’t actually play a lot of Dancehall or Bashment, I know you can play different genres at Carnival so maybe this year. But Carnival usually falls on my birthday weekend, so sometimes I’m not in the country. Being in that crowd is a bit crazy, I’ve given it a miss the past few years to be honest.

Most popular summer songs are released before April so what is your prediction for the song of the summer? 

Such a difficult one! I don’t know if I believe in the song of the summer anymore just because I feel like times have changed. A lot of songs might have a lifespan of a month, in terms of being big and then people get sick of them. I feel like right now, maybe that song ‘Fisher’, that’s kind of the song of the summer. I’m seeing a lot of people saying that Cash Cobain’s got the summer at the moment, so I definitely agree with that in terms of his sound. Other than that, I’m not sure but I feel like it changes depending on where you go, because you could go somewhere and they haven’t even heard of Cash Cobain. But I think that’s who I’m going with for now. I notice that sometimes songs do take a while to pick up, so with the before April thing, I feel like sometimes as a DJ like you know that you can play a song when it first comes out and people [don’t know it] and then a few months later, everyone wants to hear that same song everywhere. It does take a good few months, so I guess April is the right time.

When you put people onto an artist early, do you feel like they forget you showed them first?

Yeah, honestly because I listen to music as soon as it drops, I like to discover new music all the time and new artists. It’s a bit frustrating – especially as a DJ – when you play a song and everyone’s being a bit stiff and then three months later, that same song is ringing off in all the clubs. It’s a bit like DJs have lost, the art of DJs breaking records in the clubs has been lost. I feel like now you have to let a song marinade for a bit. I feel like the culture’s changed now because everyone wants to hear what they already know. If you play something and they don’t know it, they’re kind of looking around; I think it depends where you go. When I go overseas, I can be a bit more creative but definitely in London the culture’s been a little bit lost but hopefully it can come back.

Do you find that when you go to the US, there’s a lot more openness for music?

Yeah, I haven’t actually DJ’d in America but when I’ve gone to the clubs, I know a lot of artists actually go to the strip club. In Miami and Atlanta, they’ll even test out their new music. I’ve seen people literally go to the studio, make a song, go to the strip club and play it and then kind of see the reaction. I feel like we’ve lost that a bit over here for sure. 

Do you find that as a woman people underestimate your music knowledge?

Definitely I feel like we are the ones technically who shift the culture because you hear a lot of male artists say, “I need to make a girl song.” If you go to the club and you’ve got the girls dancing, then you’ve won basically because then you know that the guys are just gonna follow. Hopefully over here, we can shift it a little bit and people can start to wake up more. 

There’s a stereotype that we listen to like really sweet songs but actually we’re listening to gangster Rap [laughs]…

I genuinely hate it when male artists say that, I try to tell them they’re underestimating what girls like. We don’t always like lovey-dovey girl songs. Like one of my favourite artists is Future and technically, considering what he’s saying, maybe I shouldn’t love his music. But I like that it’s not always slow beats. Girls love Sexyy, right? Because she makes gangsta music but she makes it for women as well, I feel like that’s why she’s so great at the moment. 

What’s your favourite Future song that you forget about?

I don’t know what to say, ‘HNDRXX’ is my favourite Future album of all time, I always go back to that one and I’ll hear certain songs. I forgot about one recently, it’s ‘Incredible’ off ‘HNDRXX’ as well. I was playing it the other day in my car and it was just such a summer song. He has so many hits, I feel like it’s easy to forget because the songs that he drops now are still just as good. Sometimes you prefer an artist’s music back then but with him, I really like his whole discography, he’s got the best catalogue. Honestly, he’s in the top three for sure. 

Which artist are you guaranteed to play every DJ set? 

It would actually be Future, like I liked it, especially if I have the end set, I always finish with his song ‘Married To The Game’, that’s one of my favourite songs to end my set on. I play Future always, no matter the vibe. If you’re doing a chill set, a hype set, you can always play some. Because there’s a vibe, the crazy turn-up songs, the slow chill songs. He even has some that fit in with Dancehall and Afrobeats. They’re not within that genre but the BPM and the vibe matches.

If you had to pick an entirely different genre to what you currently play, what genre would you most enjoy to play instead? 

House, Techno, Tech House or Jungle and Drum & Bass. But I actually have started playing that a lot more, even with production. I’ve started to make my own edits and make my own beats within those genres as well. I definitely feel that right now I’m in a bit of a transitional space for DJing because I’ve got a bit bored of just playing Trap and Afrobeats. Genres aren’t developing that much at the moment so I found myself playing the same songs in sets and I like to switch it up a lot but I definitely would say Techno, House or Jungle, Drum & Bass.

What genre did you start with when you were first mixing?

When I was first mixing, probably Trap or Drill because I started when I was in Uni. That was when Drill was really big, 67, Harlem Spartans, those types of vibes. My dad’s a DJ so when I was 14, I actually used to make mixes with my dad and that was Garage music. So that’s very different to what I play now. My dad always used to make me help him with things because he would have his day job. So, in the daytime during the summer holidays, I would always burn CDs for him or download his music, rename it and put it in folders. He had me work with him for free but I learned a lot. It’s funny whenever I look back, I don’t know why I didn’t start from there but I feel like it’s because there’s more women in the genre now I’m DJing. I think otherwise I probably would have started DJing from when I was 14, but then I didn’t actually probably start again until I was about 21.

What does your dad think about what you do now?

He’s even said to me, he’s a little bit jealous because he’s always wanted to travel. I don’t really think he got to do that because times have changed so much that back in the day he had to have a day job and do DJing because it wasn’t really something that you could do unless you were a massive star. Now it’s a lot easier to have that as your main thing that you do, DJing and travelling. It’s a lot easier to blow up in that realm because of social media. My whole tour, he was texting me everyday like, “where are you now? Where are you now?” He’s super, super supportive.

Did you start experimenting with music production when you started mixing, or were you already looking at that side of music before you got into DJing?

It came a couple years after I started properly DJing. It was something I was interested in when I was in school, I tried to do music GCSE. But when I started it, they said that you couldn’t make beats, you had to play an instrument so I had to switch lessons. After I started DJing, I had a friend who was a producer and I saw him making beats. I just downloaded Logic and started trying to learn from him and other friends that produce to learn from them. It’s not something that I took super seriously, because I’d mainly been a DJ. More recently, I’ve definitely been focused.

Was it quite easy to develop your skills?

It’s easy, it definitely goes hand in hand. If you know music then you should know how to make it, if that makes sense. The only difficult thing is learning the actual software because that’s where I also find it difficult. Because I’m a DJ and I know great music, sometimes I know what I want to do in my head but trying to actually do it on the software is a lot more difficult and it takes longer. I feel like sometimes when you first start, it takes a long time so creativeness kind of gets a bit lost. When I’m, when I’m trying to make a beat, I know what I’m making in my head and I just want to do it. But instead, I have to go on Google or YouTube and see how to do it. Then after that, you kind of lose the flow of it. That’s what’s been my main thing over the years. But recently, I sat down and really tried to learn the ins and outs of certain things. So it’s a lot smoother for me now. Sometimes I get a bit too carried away with making a beat where I then don’t leave space for the vocals of an artist to be on it. Sometimes it’s better to make music with an artist if that’s what my goal is to do. I like to get vocals from a song and then make the beat around it and to put vocals on. I guess it just depends what vibe I’m making at the time.

How do you choose which songs to edit? 

I feel like it’s the songs that I really love and certain songs that I’ve forgotten about, but they’re really good; these are songs that everybody knows the lyrics to. If you make an edit of it, make it more fun, maybe a bit more dancey, then people that know the song come sing along and if the beat is fun and dancing, then people want to dance. 

Has there ever been a moment when you put a song on and someone’s had a funny reaction to it?

I’ve played certain songs, a Future song for example, and guys will come up to me and dap me up like, “how do you know this song?” They act so surprised, guys are coming up to me like, “Yeah, you’re the hardest” and I’m just like, “okay.” It’s not hard to know this song. It’s actually quite a big song. They’re like, how do you know this one? Thinking because I’m a girl, I can’t know this. 

But you can play on the fact, guys think that women don’t know certain things.

Yeah. 100%, things like that you just have to use it to your advantage. That’s one thing I’ve done throughout my career, is just play on the fact that I’m a girl. If you’re a pretty girl and you’re playing Trap music, it’s a good fit. 

Who are you most excited to see?

I’m playing on Saturday, the people that I’m most excited to see are on Saturday. Gunna for sure, I’ve never seen him before and he’s one of my favourite artists. Sexyy Red. I feel like it would be super fun to see her perform as well. Those are the two I’m most excited to see, I feel like I really want to see Ice Spice and Future but they’re on two other days as well. 

Have you ever seen Future live?

I saw him at Wireless a few years ago, I think it was 2021. I saw him perform and it was amazing. I feel like he hasn’t done a headline show over here. He’s done festivals, he’ll headline Wireless but I don’t even know if he’s ever done a headline show over here or why he hasn’t. Gunna had the whole jail thing, but why are these guys not coming and doing the O2? I want to see that! Some people are like, he’s a snitch, you can’t listen to him and I’m like, everyone’s already got over that, but there’s this divide. I wonder what his set’s gonna be like, you’ll see people are fake. People calling me, they’re sneakily listening to his new album, it’s just fake. I’m a girl, I don’t care about any of that stuff; I feel like you can’t deny his music is hard. 

Where can everyone catch you on Saturday, at Wireless?

On the Pepsi-Max stage.

Where can people keep in touch with you? 

The best place is Instagram. I’m on Twitter as well, I have a Discord where I chat to people, keep them up to date with what’s going on and just genuinely talk to a lot of the people in my Discord. Follow my Twitch. I’ll be streaming on there, listening to new music and stuff on my stream. So that’s where you get to know me or keep in touch with what I’m actually doing.


Catch Joce Wavy on Saturday 13th July on the Pepsi Max Stage at Wireless.

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