Emily Watson - January 20th, 2016
Moxie, otherwise known as Alice Moxom, has earned her rep as one of NTS’ most established DJs and radio broadcasters. Also renowned for her intrepid selecting, you can expect Moxie to spin anything from the most avant-garde dubplates to soulful house classics. As well as her fortnightly show, she has been juggling planning her new club night ‘On Loop’ which is set to make its debut in March in London. We were lucky enough to catch up with the lovely lady in our brand new, ambient Tea Emporium (if you haven’t already, come pay it a visit!).
Born and bred Londoner, Moxie, clearly unaccustomed to the chilly North, sits looking cosy in her oversized puffer jacket as snow begins to fall outside The Harley…
You’ve had shows on a range of stations from Kiss back in the day to NTS currently, do you tend to approach FM and Internet Radio differently?
Because everything I do is specialist it’s quite niche in the way that it is. Everything I play both on FM and the internet is the music that I’m feeling at that time. So no, I wouldn’t say I approach the two differently; my sound is the stuff that I’m in to so it’s more about the journey and what I feel is gonna work well.
And what is it that you enjoy about radio djing? Is there anything you take from it that you might not get from a club setting?
Yeah definitely, of course they do interlink but they are two different things. With radio there’s a lot of tracks that I play that wouldn’t be right in a club because the tempos not right, so being able to share that on the radio and build it into a mixtape of its own is really good fun. I also love being able to support artists, I really like talking to people and interacting with them. I like to have a mix of established people and up and coming people on my show because I think it’s good to support a wide range of artists. It’s a challenge talking to bigger artists and putting myself out of my comfort zone.
Do you ever get concerned about the diversity of your song selection and the impact it might have on the crowd?
Wherever I’m playing I always play to the crowd. It’s often only until you see the response from the crowd that you can see what’s gonna work. I also approach different countries, different cities and different set times in different ways so if somethings not working you’ve just got to adapt to the crowd and switch up the vibe. London is a pretty diverse place, there’s so many different pockets of music always happening that I think people are quite open to artists experimenting so for me that works really well.
"I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE AN HOUR IS NEVER LONG ENOUGH BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS NEED TIME TO GET INTO IT"
Talking of different cities, can you shed any light on your forthcoming club night ‘On Loop’?
It’s been in the works for bloody ages so it feels really good to finally be able to talk about it! I’ve been locking in loads of artists ahead of time because everything is tailored to each city. It will be starting in London at The Pickle Factory in March and then going to Manchester in April at The Soup Kitchen which will be myself and Shanti Celeste. Shanti is sick, I had her on my show years ago and now she does her own show on NTS which is doing well! We’re also really good friends so it’s good to have her on board! I will then be taking it to Paris and Lyon- I’m trying to build it up in all the cities that I love to go and play in, but making sure the vibe and setting is the same for each of them so we’ll be adapting the venues to make that happen.
You mentioned you will be taking it to France, what do you like about the clubbing scene there?
I love Lyon, I always play Le Sucre (The Sugar Factory), I love it I love it I love it! The crowd there are always so up for it and because I play longer sets there you can really engage with them and get into the groove and be a bit more experimental. The crowd have so much energy and enthusiasm. Last week I played there and felt really ill beforehand but as soon as I got on the decks I forgot about it til the morning!
The main idea of ‘On Loop’ is that you go at the beginning and leave at the end, right?
Yeah exactly, I want to build an experience where people wanna stay and dance and the artists have longer sets. I always feel like an hour is never long enough because you always need time to get into it. I’m not gonna have loads of artists on the bill- it will probably be me and two other artists playing each night- but it’s gonna be specifically tailored and more about who will work well with who.
Both The Pickle Factory and The Soup Kitchen are small venues; do you feel smaller clubs might be the future of the underground dance music scene?
There are things that I love about playing in big clubs, Fabric Room 1 for example has amazing sound and lighting, I’m playing Brixton Academy in a few weeks with Annie Mac and of course it’s fun to do those kind of shows. At the other end of the spectrum though I love smaller venues because you can connect with the crowd in a more intimate way; you can really feel the energy in the room. Every size of club offers something different for its punters so I think it’s just a matter of taste.
"I’M STILL REALLY DRAWN TO THAT SOUL ELEMENT AND THAT FEEDS INTO THE DISCO THAT I PLAY NOW. I’M A SOUL GIRL!"
We recently had HNNY play in Sheffield, we know you are a big fan of his, and so are we! Can we expect to hear anything from him on Moxie Presents Volume 2?
I absolutely love him! He’s not on the compilation but it would be amazing to have something of his on it in the future. I actually haven’t seen him play out before but if he’s in town I’d like to have him on my show, often with international DJs it’s hard to get them on the show because it’s on a Wednesday. I have been in talks with his agent about potentially booking him for one of my nights which would be sick; he is such an amazing producer.
Have you ever considered production?
I have dabbled in it in the past but I think my strengths lie more in curation, like doing my compilations and the club night. I might start doing some edits in 2016, just more for myself though, or maybe I’ll put them out there as tools to use when I’m djing. I don’t know if I’ve got the patience for producing! I really enjoy doing radio and djing so don’t want to pile too much on my plate. There’s so many amazing producers out there so until I feel there’s something I specifically wanna contribute I’m happy just doing what I do.
What music genres did you grow up listening to and how have they influenced your song selection?
When I was in school I was listening to a lot of garage, r&b and hip hop, a lot of dubstep as well but that was when I was a bit older and I guess that morphed into techno and house. I still love r&b, I love Beyonce, I always get ready to Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Mary J Blidge, Jill Scott. They will always be classics in my eyes. And sometimes I play some of that stuff on my show if I can blend it in or even end of night vibes in the club. I’m still really drawn to that soul element, big vocals especially, and that feeds into the disco that I play now. I’m a soul girl!