Proudly at the forefront of the next wave of female artists to break through in the UK, Roman Candles is a talented, young, Birmingham-bred DJ/Producer with a promising future ahead of her. Her music draws creativity from genres including Soul, Disco, Latin Grooves and Chicago House.
A resident at Voyage and Hooker Club collective, Roman Candles has appeared on lineups at LAB11, O2 Institute, Nozstock and Birmingham Pride, supporting artists like Honey Dijon and HAAi. Roman Candles has also featured heavily on BBC Music Introducing along with signing a release to Data Transmission’s ‘Shanghaied’ imprint.
After Roman Candles played the MADE Festival afterparty last summer, she’s back this year on the main MADE line-up. We met up with her for an interview during our afternoon in Perry Park.
Why are you called Roman Candles?
It was inspiration I took from a book called ‘On The Road’ by Jack Kerouac. There is a quote in there about people that like artists who are spiritual and stuff. That quote just grabbed me and I loved that. It was my username for ages on Twitter and then I thought I’d just stick to it.
What has been your favourite venue to play at so far?
I’ve played at LAB11 quite a few times and I really like the energy there. There are so many people that come and just bring that energy, it’s like proper rave vibes. I love it in there.
I’ve also loved playing at The Hare and Hounds as I’ve always gone there to watch and I’ve always wanted to play there. The system in there is amazing and the people who come always bring a good vibe.
As someone Birmingham bred, how does it feel playing at a Birmingham festival?
It makes me feel really proud to be a part of something like this as I feel like sometimes Birmingham gets a bit of a bad rep. And a festival like this? Like, the amazing artists that got chosen to play this year such as Annie Mac who has been an inspiration to me. It’s amazing to be playing on the same stage as her.
How was it playing with Annie Mac? How did that come about?
It was Ghost Town that contacted me and asked if I wanted to play back to back with them, so I played a few gigs. I played at the MADE after-party last year. It was at the o2 Institute and was a bass house party. So they kind of knew me already and then they asked me if I wanted to play again this year.
So you produce as well as DJ, do you produce your own music?
I do yeah. Um, to be honest, I got into producing more than djing so I have been producing since I was about 18. And I’m 26 now. I’m definitely more of a producer than a DJ. Djing came after.
I only have been djing for about 2 years properly like at gigs and stuff. It was a bit of a transition. Like a progression. I was playing in my bedroom and then I just wanted to put my music out there so djing became a natural thing for me.
Do you tailor your sets depending on the crowd? So would MADE be any different to Brum Tropicana?
I think when it comes to festivals it’s a different sort of vibe to playing in a club. So I try and think about the kind of people that would come into this sort of festival and what they want to hear. It all depends on set times as well, if I’m playing a bit earlier I will play some warm-up disco and a bit later on get into something bassier like garage.
So you’re like the pres to the festival?
Do you have any upcoming music?
Um yeah, I actually have a release coming out on Freakin909 which is the record label started by Marshall Jefferson. He’s like one of the godfathers of house so to be on that label is massive. Its a really huge honour for me. That’s coming out in October and it’s called ‘Down for Marshall‘.
Have you got any upcoming events that our readers should get themselves to?
Yeah, so the next event I’m doing is Brum Tropicana’s 1st Birthday. That’s with Sum Cellar who were just sat over there. That’s going to be at the Hare and Hounds one of the first weeks of August. I’m really looking forward to that one.
You played Coventry Pride, have you played Godiva?
I would love too but I haven’t yet.
As a DJ where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
I’m trying to focus on production at the moment. I would like to get more of my music out there. I used to produce a lot of acid house and tech house sort of vibes and I’m trying to move to more disco soulful house.
I want to try and get more gigs in Birmingham and more outside. Maybe more festivals next year.