A party is nothing without the perfect soundtrack to get you out on the dance floor. Ahead of the CLIQUE x AFF Party presented by Spring Carnival @Morphettville, we chatted to YO! MAFIA about growing up in Adelaide, starting her career as a DJ and what track always gets a party started. Grab your ticket now and spend a night dancing with YO! MAFIA and the rest of the AFF Clique.
You’re from Adelaide – where did you grow up before leaving in ’93?
I grew up one street away from the Adelaide Airport Tarmac in Netley. We were basically the inspiration for the Castle! It gave me a huge fear of flying, having to deal with planes flying so close to our house. But then again, I developed a booming voice suited for the world stage as an actor haha!
You then studied acting… how did you move from acting to DJing?
It was actually a natural transition looking back. I had grown tired of the acting scene and the lack of work especially within the diversity of roles being offered. I got a huge opportunity to work in a record store that I had only dreamed of being a part of and it literally was “an offer I couldn’t refuse”. It was a huge transition for me, as I had known nothing other than acting – having moved from ADL to MEL to study at VCA. I had uprooted my whole life from ADL to follow my dreams. Who knew the dream was to play records in front of thousands of people! I certainly didn’t! I amassed a HUGE collection of incredible original Hip Hop, RNB, Funk vinyl during my time in the store and was eventually asked if I would play them out at a club night. Never one to shy away from a stage I took the moment and seized it like a seasoned stage performer and boom, MAFIA was born. 18 years later, it’s now my full time job, travelling the globe playing shows every weekend to sell out crowds and literally getting paid to dance to my favourite party jams every night!
You have supported some incredible talent, what has been your most memorable gig?
Definitely MISSY ELLIOTT. That was nothing short of an out of body experience. Just to share the stage with her was mind blowing, but to get such incredible feedback from her management and the audience as well was beyond! Also Meredith Music Festival, performing to 15,000 people was an unforgettable highlight. Dropping Whitney Houston at 2am to a heaving crowd of 15,000 punters singing at the top of their lungs is something you don’t forget easily!
What is your all time favourite party track? And party starter?
I get asked this a lot, and because I’m all about the crowd, the track changes from set to set. There’s not just one – but let me tell you this, it’s gotta make you dance to your feet hurt and your voice is broken from singing so damn loud! There’s so many classic party jams out there – you’ll just have to come party with me to find out!
Have you started mixing/planning for the AFF party? What’s on your set list?
I generally don’t plan my sets as I like to challenge myself every single time. As I said above – every audience is different and a good DJ will know exactly what to drop for that vibe. I’ve got a load of exclusive remixes ready though! It’s going to be a crazy FUN night. I cannot wait.
What song do you think represents Radelaide?
For me it’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us’ from the Breakdance soundtrack back in 1985. It’s the first song that got me into hip hop and the culture. It’s the song that created the first incarnation of YO! MAFIA – Fluoro Breaker, the best B-Girl Radelaide had ever seen. I could backflip my way into any one’s heart! My crew won a few trophy’s at the Blue Light Discos back in the day – we put the RAD in RADELAIDE!
Where do you like to hang out in Adelaide when you come home for a visit?
Always with fam! But truth be told I don’t get back as much as I should so I rarely have time to hang out. I’m looking forward to coming to the Festival and checking out the vibe though. Adelaide has changed so much since I left so will be so ace to see it alive with Fashion fever.
Hip hop or RnB?
Gah both!!! Don’t make me choose!
McLaren Vale or Barossa?
Barossa for SURE!!! My partner and I stayed in Barossa last time we were here and it was BANANAS!!!
Salt or Pepa?
My good friend Spinderella! (name drop, name drop haha!)
70s or 80s?
‘80s FOR SURE!!!
Sunset or sunrise?
Sunset – I’m a night owl. When the sun goes down, the party goes ALL THE WAY UP!!!
See YO! MAFIA in action at the Clique x AFF Party Presented by Spring Carnival @ Morphettville