This week we catch up with Australia's leading lady Vikki Martin Smith (VMS / Queen Victoria) for a quick chat about the year ahead down on the sunny Gold Coast, how she got into DJ'ing and offering Tequila to people.
1. So Vikki, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Where are you right now and what are you up to?
Thanks for chatting with me! I'm sat at work at Radio Metro...8am here on the Gold Coast and I'm already on my second coffee! My plans for today are going through all of the music submissions and promos for our weekly music meeting to see what tracks we will add to our play list. www.radiometro.com.au
2. You are a firm fixture throughout Australia and the Gold Coast, How did it all begin for you?
I've been immersed in dance music since I was 11 years old. My brother Andy is a house DJ back in England, so I used to play on his Technics 1200's when I was a teenager. I always said I'd leave DJing to him, but I ended up going over to the dark side about 6 years ago! How it all came about? I had an events and DJ Management company and was throwing weekly pool parties, the owner of the club decided to start an hour earlier but didn't give me any extra budget for the DJs. So, instead of cutting my resident's wages, I just jumped on for the first hour. Since then I've mixed 3 compilations, got into production and toured around Australia and the World. I always play a guest set once a year at that first venue where my DJ career started...it's always nice to go back to your roots!
3. Being station manager for the Gold Coast's No 1 go-to dance station 'Radio Metro' must be an exciting role? Please tell us more!
I LOVE my job here at Radio Metro! I've worked in radio and the media since I was 17 ( I've also worked at BBC Hereford and Worcester in England, commercial radio and magazines in Australia). I started off as a presenter and news reader here at Radio Metro and when I finished my masters degree, I was offered a full time position in management. I work with a great group of people, I get to listen to music all day and get to put on some kick ass parties...for me, it's the perfect job!
4. You guys will be running an all day party on Stradbroke Island next month (which I am very much looking forward to attending), Is this a first? What can people expect on the day?
This is our first Island Party. We have put on heaps of boat parties and pool parties, but never an island/ beach party so we are really excited for this! The theme for the Global Island Party is #AllAboutHouse so we will be playing house all day from 12-10pm and will be featuring Yolanda Be Cool, LO'99 and all the best house DJs and live house acts on the Gold Coast. My set is going to be a little different to usual - I'll be joined by a great local vocalist (and Radio Metro presenter) Dana Lowrey who will be singing vocals over my set. I don't generally have a vocalist as part of my shows so I'm looking forward to mixing things up a bit!
5. Being the start of a new year and a time when aspirations are running high for any creative person, what are your own personal goals for the year ahead ?
My aspirations for the year are to try and set aside more time for production. It's hard to find time to be creative when you work 40 hours a week at the radio station and tour on the weekends, so I'm cutting back to two gigs a month from April so I can re-focus my energy. I'd also really like to play back in Europe this summer- I miss England and Ibiza!
6. Any exciting projects or career developments on the horizon?
I have a new track coming out on Yes Yes Records called 'Detach' at the end of February, with some awesome and very diverse remixes. I'm really excited about touring Western Australia again in March and I'll be playing in Shanghai in April, so that will be fun!
7. I've noticed you play a very diverse range of events and parties, do you have a particular sound or perhaps era of music that you are most passionate about?
I play under 2 names - VMS ( deep/ house/ tech house) and Queen Victoria (electro/ bass house), so I get to play at lots of different events from Stereosonic festival (where I play electro) to The Gathering festival (playing a heavy tech house/ techno set). I love all genres of house but my focus this year is to push the VMS brand as deep/tech house is where my overall passion is.
8. Any plans to come and visit us here in the UK?
Yes! I come home to see my family and friends in Hereford every year, so I'll hopefully be back in early summer!
10. Finally, being a key player on the vibrant and crazy Gold Coast, what is the most rock and roll thing that has happened to Vikki Martin Smith over the years?
I could write a book about all of the crazy rock & roll things that have happened to me over the years, but I think I'd end up losing a lot of music industry friends...haha! One of the funniest things and I suppose was fairly rock & roll was when my friend who owns Good Vibrations festival was holding an after party at a penthouse here on the Gold Coast. I was playing hostess and making sure everyone had plenty of drinks ...I tried to give Ludacris some tequila but as he doesn't drink, he was quite blunt and rude in saying he didn't want any. I was a little merry and may have responded with, 'That just means more tequila for me then mate, by the way... Luda...you're a F!*$ing pussy for not drinking tequila!'. His team laughed, but I don't think he was too impressed! Moral of the story...if I offer you a bottle of tequila, be polite and drink it ;)
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