When DJ Mag catch up with Lester, she’s recovering from a “a double whammy of Celtic rowdiness”, with special thanks to Belfast and Inverness. She’s spent the last 12 or so months travelling and gigging extensively, a period she describes as both surreal and exciting.
It was during that residency, where she rubbed shoulders with B.Traits, George Fitzgerald, Hunnee and Skream, that she began to imagine the transition between just wanting to play music, and it becoming her career. “I’ve wanted this since I was, like, 13-years-old,” Lester explains, “I just didn’t think it was realistic - especially since there weren’t really many female role models in the early 2000s.”
Last track that blew your mind?
Last film you watched?
"I rarely watch films but the last things I watched were The Planets with Brian Cox and then some old ghost hunting series based in Northern Ireland"
Last DJ that blew your mind?
"Call Super at AVA Festival, probably because he ended on a load of hard dance records"
Catch Holly playing at IPSE in Berlin this weekend (13th July) alongside Session Victim, Rahaan and Secretsundaze.
Belfast’s Herb Magee AKA Arvo Party will release his second album ‘II’ in October.
With a prolific catalog of versatile electronics under his belt already, including a sprawling self-titled debut LP in 2017, the former punk bassist has been nothing if not prolific in recent years. ‘II’ finds the producer and multi-instrumentalist branching further into the varied electronic landscape, veering from ambient, vaporwave and komische to more heady, dancefloor ready forms.
Northern Ireland’s clubbing scene has quietly been of one of Europe’s most dedicated and prolific of the past two decades.
It was at those nights that Stewart learned the intricacies of what it was to be a DJ and how a well-curated party is supposed to run with a particular, invaluable course. “The most lasting thing I took from that time was how Iain McCready & David Holmes programmed the music around the room filling up,” he explains.
In the late ‘90s, Northern Ireland’s musical and artistic communities were being built in the shadow of The Troubles. Upon a backdrop of civil war and political turmoil, and the determination and DIY spirit that coursed through the musical landscape was something that was reflected in the club scene Stewart found himself within. When it came to the breaking down of social barriers and tensions in the city, the influence of that spirit cannot be understated.
From Stiff Little Fingers, Therapy? and The Undertones to David Holmes, Phil Kieran and The Divine Comedy, Northern Ireland's musical output has, for decades, had a huge, if often unspoken, influence on a global scale. With scenes and communities being built against adversity and upon a backdrop of civil war and political turmoil, the determination and DIY spirit that has coursed through the musical landscape is something that is reflected in the ever-growing club scene, particularly in Belfast.
"The scene has always been strong in Northern Ireland, I remember going to Stiff Kitten (RIP) for the first time, hanging over the railings sweating and dancing my heart out to Japanese Popstars thinking this was the best place on earth. Places like this opened a whole new world I wanted to be a part of.
"Doing something different in a city that's not exactly supportive of young people socialising, never mind acknowledging us as a credible industry, has given a lot of people like me the get-up-and-go to do things ourselves. Finding myself immersed in the club scene from a young age in Belfast introduced me to a hugely diverse community of people of all ages and backgrounds, and as a teenager gave me a direction that ultimately ended up influencing my university choice, and here we are today!