Becoming a DJ, whether a producer or mixer, takes time, patience, and a willingness to learn and be mentored. Whether someone has been DJing for years or just discovered the decks during the pandemic, it's like any other musical instrument. It requires you to put the time in, master your craft, love the process, and find your own style to set your style and performance apart from other performers.
For UNI DJ, what started as a love of Hardstyle genres has expanded into mixing, performing, and connecting with her fellow ravers on Twitch. While live-streaming is where she's at now, she is on her way to performing in-person shows, continuing to hone her show and the experience she creates for her viewers.
An Interview with UNI DJ
STL: What music got you started as a DJ?
UNI: Hardstyle for sure. Unfortunately the Hardstyle scene is very limited in the UK, however I was always drawn to Gabber rooms when attending UK Hardcore Raves, and loved nothing more to stomp to my hearts content burning off some calories. While searching for music to listen to I came across the Harder styles a few years ago and found appreciation in vocal drops which inspired me. I loved the idea of a hard beat that made your heart race but a vocal which took you to a different world.
STL: What is your preferred music genre(s) to spin/mix?
UNI: Favourite to mix has to be Trance, from Progressive and Psychedelic to Hard. The thing with Trance is that it flows so smoothly and the transitions are easier with beat matching intros and exits, however I still love to mix Hardstyle as this is where my heart lies. I have ventured recently into dropping Dubstep & Trap into my Hard Trance sets and this has really interested me, bringing genres together, making it work, and shocking my audience.
STL: What is your favourite stream you have done?
UNI: Honestly, My favourite at the moment has to be a mixed genre mashup Monday set I did a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t have many people in but I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with bringing the likes of Trap, Dubstep and Happy Hardcore intertwined with Hard Trance and Hardstyle all into one 3 hour set, I was very happy with this mix that it was the first one I published in a long time. Apart from that, the best streams are the ones where they start off slow and then suddenly an amazing raid comes in from a fellow streamer and you go from a low to high in seconds!
STL: What made you become the DJ you are today?
UNI: A lot of practice and the help and support from other streamers. I started out on a Numark Party mix controller around a year and a half ago, before this I used to use VDJ and sit with a laptop on my knee! I started out being a DJ for a small internet radio station but decided to venture out on my own and seek to grow my audience. Back in March of this year I decided to ‘up my game’ by purchasing a Pioneer DDJ-SB3, changed my set up and bought a huge green screen which covers the whole of my patio doors where I create my own background overlays which I update regularly. I rebranded from ‘United with Uni’ to just ‘Uni’ and my friend ‘mray’ kindly designed my new logo for me, thank you mray. From then I have started to grow and love playing my music to people around the world. With the help of other streamers and amazing DJs my skills have been perfected to a level I would never have dreamed of when I started. A big thank you to DJ Soul T for being a mentor to me for mixing in key, the best time to mix a track, music sharing, and a huge thank you to my friend and moderator DJ Dilligaf who has taken this journey from the start with me and always has my back. I strive to improve every day, and with the help of these people I will succeed.
STL: What is your favourite meal?
UNI: I love seafood, love full prawns with the shell on that I cook up with some Garlic and salt and pepper seasoning in a pan , getting messy eating them with my hands with a side of salt and pepper chips. Also can't fault a Great British Roast Dinner – Pork with crackling and all the trimmings. Yummy.
STL: Who do you inspire to be most like?
UNI: Being a female DJ I obviously inspire to be similar to the great Hardstyle female legends Korsakoff and Miss K8. Breaking out into the DJ world as a female is the best feeling, there needs to be more of us out there. It would be a dream come true to play in front of thousands at a major festival such as Qlimax, Defcon, Masters of Hardstyle!
STL: Who else in your family is a musician?
UNI: No one really, My dad appreciates music, and enjoys Trance music too, Both my parents have been very supportive of my streams and my dad will regularly message me a track name out of the blue for my music searches.
STL: How would you describe the energy in your streams and chat?
UNI: My streams are a mixed bag, I like to chat to my viewers and engage in the chatroom with their conversations, my chatroom is a safe place and people can come in and chat about their worries and all are welcome to whisper me for a chat they do not wish to put in the main chat. I like to keep the chat friendly and all about the love for the music and each other. I don’t play to expect subs or bits (which we call doodles in my stream), I appreciate the follows and appreciate every single person who drops by even if its just for 5 minutes to say hello and check in. We may put on the quiz in the background which helps keep chat flowing when there is a lull but all in all we have a giggle.
STL: What is your favourite drink?
UNI: Can't say just one I'm afraid. I'm a three type of drink girl when I'm streaming, Wine on Friday – a beautiful pink Moscato, Ameretto and coke or Fruit cider on a Saturday. During the week I’m on water currently which is a killer as I’m on a heath kick in the week , so the drink redeem becomes a punishment for me having to drink a litre of water in my set.
STL: How much has Twitch changed over the COVID lockdown for you?
UNI: I only started when lockdown hit so I haven’t seen a huge difference from the start. I can imagine for many people who started before then their streams have increased due to clubs and pubs being shut however.
STL: What is your biggest change since becoming a Twitch DJ?
UNI: Just doing what I enjoy, learning a new skill, a hobby if you may. Before Twitch I use to just sit and watch TV and not talk to many people. Now I have friends from all around the world. The Twitch community is wonderful.
STL: If you could give any advice to a new streamer, what would it be?
UNI: Keep at it. It takes time to build up a following but instead of thinking other people are your competition see them as allies. When you first start you should visit other streams, follow like minded DJs , pop into their sets and show your appreciation for what they do, we all have started somewhere and with help your following will grow. Make friends and regular visits to your favourite streamers and they will help you in return.
STL: How do you think things will change as lockdowns end and venues start to come back?
UNI: The weekends may at first start to see an impact as pubs and clubs reopen their doors, however week day streams should still bring in the views. However once the hype of being in an actual club every weekend has calmed down I believe streams will pick up again.
STL: If you are adding live shows to your Twitch line-ups, are you excited or nervous to add this change or go back?
UNI: I have just added Mondays multi genre set to the line up and it seems to be going well. If it starts to lose viewers then I would just do this on an ad hoc basis as a one off every so often. For now I am happy with my stream times and days. I would like to add in a Sunday afternoon set because it reaches out to other countries and time zones, however I have a child so cannot commit to afternoons right now.
STL: Are you a music producer as well?
UNI: Unfortunately I gave this a try and do not have the patience, I think people who can produce are masters in their own world. Would love to learn , but unlike my DJing where I am self-taught, I feel this is something someone would have to teach me.
STL: Is your mixing or producing more of a hobby or do you have bigger plans/dreams for your music? If so, what are they?
UNI: I do not produce original tracks but my dream is to be able to one day play in front of real life people in person, stand in a DJ booth, hyping up a crowd, seeing them dance and smile and knowing I made them happy. Seeing this would make me happy. I just need one person to give me the opportunity to do so. One day, maybe, my dream will come true but for now I appreciate every single person in my Twitch/DJ life right now. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.
When does UNI DJ Stream on Twitch?
Ready to catch UNI DJ doing her thing on Twitch? You can catch her at the following times:
- Multi Genre Monday - Trance, Hard Trance, Trap & Dubstep 9pm – Midnight BST
- Trance Tuesday – 9pm – Midnight BST
- Hardstyle – Friday 10pm – 2am BST
- Hardstyle – Saturday – 10pm -2am BST