DJ Spotlight: Helena Flies Off Like A “Raven”
Fresh off the plane from Los Angeles is Helena, a DJ and producer hailing from Australia. With Avicii, Hardwell, Tiësto, to name a few high profile jockeys supporting her, she has broken through the DJ ranks to become one of the most recognizable female solo DJs in the EDM world. Her residency at Drais in Las Vegas has led her to become the artist who’s played the most shows at the nightclub and now she plans to rein the Beatport charts with her original music.
While she had to run to her headlining show at Pacha NYC, I got to talk with her for a little about her beginnings, her latest release titled “Raven” on Ultra, and DJs who may be copping out during live shows.
How did you get started DJing and producing?
I started DJing just as a passion. A lot of my friends were DJs. My brother was a DJ. I grew up surrounded by music. I used to play the cello and piano. It was just very natural. I didn’t start DJing to become a DJ. I never in a million years thought this would end up being my career. I just got hooked. Like any sort of passion, you just start putting all your time into it because you love it. It was a very natural development as I got better and more interest sort of came. Suddenly, DJing took over everything else.
What do you think of the imbalance between male and female DJs?
There are plenty of female acts out there that are just not getting the recognition and not climbing the ranks high enough to breakthrough to the top. That’s why there’s such an obvious lack in the top end. I just feel like the competition is so fierce and I think at the moment, the imbalance comes from the girls having a lack of big music that really cuts through in the market. My focus now is all about the music because I know I’m not going to break through to the next level without tracks. You can only get so far off being a good DJ. It basically comes down to the music. If you have big tracks out, you’re going to be able to compete with the rest of them. Promoters aren’t just going to put you on the big festivals because you’re a good DJ. It’s all about the music now.
Do you think your sets represent your music taste?
100 percent. Every track that I play is a track that I personally feel that I love. Even if I have to play a more commercial club and have to go more commercial with my sets, it’s still tracks that I love. I’m never playing any track that I don’t personally like. It’s 100 percent me.
What were some of the influences behind “Raven?”
I basically wanted to do a big, powerful electro track. I love strong drops, melodic breaks and good builds. “Raven,” the name, came about because it’s got rave-y synths over the bass and the build. It was just sort of inspired by some of the tracks that I was vibing on at the time and felt that’s where I wanted to go for my next one. I think you always take a bit of inspiration from lots of different tracks especially when you’re trying to come up with ideas for the next one and put them all together and voila, there you go.
Where do you want to see yourself going in the next five to ten years?
My plan is to work really hard on my music and to go as far as I could possibly go with my DJing. I’ve dedicated my whole life to this. I’m very ambitious and I’m not going to stop. I want to go as far as I could possibly take it. I want to be headlining Tomorrowland on the main stage next year. I’ve already been kicking some goals that I’ve always dreamed of. I managed to make the Tomorrowland lineup this year. Next year, my sights are set on the main stage, so constantly upping my own personal goals and dreams, I just want to work hard and be successful and be the best that I can be at what I’m doing.