We caught up with Jaguar ahead of her joining us at the Virtuoso virtual stage this weekend, where she is hosting her UTOPIA Talks. Read on to find out what it's all about and what we can expect from the event, as well as getting some of her own insights from the music industry.
First of all, we’re very excited to be working with you for the upcoming UTOPIA Talks this weekend – the virtual stage is the ideal space to be holding these kinds of conversations. Can you give us a little teaser of what you’ll be covering and who we can expect to join you?
“I’m so excited to team up with you guys for the first ever UTOPIA Talks! This is essential for any up-and-coming producers who want to learn how to perfect their craft, gain an insight into the industry and get nuggets of wisdom from some of key players in the scene. We’ll be covering everything from improving the quality of music, releasing your own music, and building your team, chatting to guests from Ministry of Sound, Beatchain and Bandcamp.”
This year we’ve had to adapt how we provide music education and part of this change has been achieved through the Virtuoso online platform. In what ways have you had to adapt to COVID-19 as a DJ and broadcaster?
“It’s been a weird year for all of us. The biggest way I’ve had to adapt is recording my radio shows remotely (usually in my bedroom!) We launched BBC Introducing Dance back in April, and I definitely didn’t plan to be doing it from home this whole time, but my producer and I have a great system in place. I feel like it’s given lots of new producers a space on Radio 1 which is great! I’ve also been more active on social media and in my WhatsApp and Facebook groups. It can be really lonely during lockdown and I feel like bringing people together in these groups has helped keep that community spirit of dance music alive. We’re not allowed to be out and about mingling in clubs, so this is how we do it for now!”
You’re clearly very passionate about promoting and supporting upcoming talent in the music and creative industries – can you give any words of advice to people looking at what currently seems like a very difficult environment for the arts?
“My main bit of advice would be to use this time to really look inwards about what kind of artist you are. Many of us are spending more time at home, and it’s a great opportunity to learn new skills, better your productions or figure out your sound and style. The music I’ve heard from new artists this year has been next level. I think many have benefited from being indoors as one bonus of 2020!”
To finish on a positive note, can you share with us any recent developments in the scene which you’re particularly excited about?
“In recent weeks sexual assault in dance music culture has been a topic many of us have talked about. It feels like after years of it being a taboo subject, more people are less afraid to speak out about it and there’s been some positive movements from lots of DJs around this. I recently put out my debut UTOPIA Talks podcast which explores the realities and complexities of sexual assault in our scene and I urge everyone to check it out, for frank, open and brave conversation between Lauren Flax, DJ Paulette and Sophia Kearney, hosted by myself. It’s of course not a nice topic, but it’s so important to address. I feel confident that more of us are coming together to tackle it and I hope it’s something we can try eradicate in our clubs when they open once again.”
UTOPIA Talks will be live on Virtuoso between 12.00-15.00 on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October. You can attend both sessions free by signing up HERE.