"You have to pay homage to where your playing whilst staying true to your sound"
So tell us who is Kitty Mcpaws?
I am a permanent reinvention of myself, but the things that hold true at that I am a vocal fetishist within the dominatrix and LGBT community, who spins house music!
ironically it’s a DJ name my partner gave me due to my clumsiness caused by astigmatism which means I can’t see properly so I’m constantly dropping things with my “paws”
When did you get into DJ'ing and how did you start?
I haven’t been doing it for that long as an unpleasant divorce and mental health issues took me away from things that I was passionate about for a long time.
I returned to DJing last year as a form of meditation, as I find it relaxing to be immersed and absorbed In the music.
I started through friends showing me how to beat and phrase match, and then I started building a music collection through Shazam and then hours spent scouring traxsource and Beatport!
Do you think the scene is as good as it was in previous decades like the 90's for instance?
One of the only certainties of life is change - change is not always good and it’s not always bad - it’s just different. The scene in the 90s was an evolution - I didn’t come into it until the late 00s as I didn’t turn 18 until 2005, (I was out earlier but you get the point!) but even then the early ravers were complaining about the changes to the scene - it was becoming more about table and bottle service and not about the music That said I think we are seeing some amazing returns of the club kids and rave life this year with events like Trash paying homage to the roots. EggLondon is also still an institution and remains an icon of the original scene. I think as long as the scene remains somewhere that people can go to escape even if it’s different it’s still awesome.
When there's more music than one can possibly take in, it is becoming increasingly hard to know what constitutes an original and a remake anymore. What's your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting originals and sources?
It’s impossible to even hope to catch anything that’s even releasing within your chosen or proffered genre, never mind everything that’s releasing everywhere. I love the originals and I’m a huge fan of samples in new forms and with new beats.
That said originals and innovation and new sounds are the backbone.
Artists like BYOR who have really curated a sound and consistently released great content are now really reaping the rewards. It’s about producing stuff that people want to hear. There are so many tools that allow anyone to produce - but that doesn’t mean that everyone can make a song that is actually enjoyable to listen to.
How much do you feel is the club experience shaped by cultural differences? Do you, when travelling, take these cultural differences into consideration – and how far has your approach as a DJ perhaps even benefited from playing in different countries and in front of different crowds?
Oh the club scene changes even between cities in the same country!
In South America for example the sound is more tribal and a lot of the culture plays reggaetón and homage to their salsa roots within the house and club scene. Head to Berlin or Dutch clubs and you’re going to be faced with tech, dirty sexy after hours beats and a sweaty s** vibe. Ibiza you’re going to be hitting everything, or head out towards Eastern Europe and you’re going to be getting something different again.
You have to pay homage to where your playing whilst staying true to your sound. You don’t want to be spinning sounds you hate and you don’t want to confuse your followers - people want to know what they’re going to get when they listen to you because music is so personal to people. It’s like going to a fish restaurant when you hate fish or a steak restaurant when you’re vegan!
Do you believe in the possibility of "reading an audience" – and how do you put it into practice?
Oh 100% - if your audience isn’t dancing or they’re sitting down or leaving something’s gone wrong! You need to plan your set too - start with some positive tunes but that aren’t proper bangers - you want to take your audience on a journey - like riding a wave where they are lifted up through the performance and the energy builds - you can KILL a set with the wrong song!
Who were/are the people you look up to most in the industry?
There’s so many! But my top favourite artists and artists who I looked at and thought I wanted to be or inspired me to start were (historically) Swedish house mafia. I saw them every Monday in Ibiza playing pasha in 2010 for the entire season!
Now for production I love Format:b, I love Claptone and I’m a huge fan of BYOR.
I try not to focus too much on what other people are doing though and just do what makes me happy or music that I like. I do this to be happy and have a good time - I mainly spin for myself!
Is there a Gig that stands out the most to date and why?
Probably when I travelled to Gitano beach in Tulum - it was a small event but it was specifically for the LGBT+ community - Mexico’s LGBT agenda is not as advanced as the UK and tulum was the location of some se***lly motivated attacks by police on gay men in 2021, so it was a huge deal to travel there and to be spinning at an event that was culturally so relevant In making a statement for gay rights.
Here at The Hobo Jack Journal we love to travel you travel all over for work where's your favourite place and why?
Wow there’s so many! But probably Ibiza. I went there for the first time in 2005 and didn’t miss a year for nearly 12 years before I got married and life got in the way.
Ibiza has been the original súper club location and home of some of the most crazy s** shows in public such as manumission. It paved the way for club kids, LGBT, trans, strippers and the queer. It was an island where you could go and be whoever you wanted to be and that’s a beautiful thing!
More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer