Interview: Tilly | LOUD MagazinePosted on: 08 May 2020
This article was first published in the second edition of LOUD Magazine, 365Bristol's dedicated music publication.
Read the second edition of LOUD Magazine on Issuu:Tilly: Q&A
In 2017, after weeks of internal debate, Tilly Springer sent her CV and a covering letter (“so funny!”) to Noods Radio. She’d hoped to secure a residency with the independent radio station. To her surprise, Tilly earned a quick response from station founders Jack and Leon, so she headed down from Gloucestershire: “I haven’t looked back since.”
Nowadays, Tilly is a close friend of Jack and Leon; her monthly show is a Noods staple and needless to say, she’s getting noticed. In the past year, Tilly’s played in Paris, Berlin and London, and booked her first festival slot.
In the club, catch Tilly mixing New Beat and EBM – stuff with “a bit of a clang to it.” And, on the airwaves, let Tilly take you on a journey: sink into some downtempo sounds; tease nostalgia with obscure, retro blends of 80s synth-pop, disco and wave; or immerse yourself in some “real bathtub trippers.” Often weird, but always accessible and fun, it’s no surprise Tilly’s show is among the station’s very best.
Listen: Tilly on Noods Radio
What was it initially that made you want to get involved with Noods Radio?
I was really desperate to play my tracks without the pressure of a club environment, on a platform that didn’t take itself too seriously, which is hard to find in an industry of elitists and chin strokers.
How would you sum up your show?
I find it hard to sum up my show, but I would say it’s anything weird and near nostalgic - with tracks you think you’ve heard before, but you’re not quite sure.
I guess I’m aiming to put the listeners on “the scent” for music that they were near to discovering anyway. There’s really nothing unusual, cool or rare about what I play, so I don’t want it to feel isolating and distant. I basically want people to tune in and think: “I want to join an independent station like Noods too.”
What has changed for you since you played your first show with Noods? How crucial has Noods been in your progression as a DJ?
Everything and nothing has changed! Momentum, mainly. And access to fully functioning industry-standard equipment. I’m still driven by discovery, but I don’t feel restricted to the machinations of the wider industry.
For me, Noods has created this wave where I can jump on and off when I feel like it. I haven’t had to change anything about myself to be heard, and the station has encouraged this, too. It’s helped with everything; from my confidence, to my digging, to my mixing abilities, to my (albeit, small) reach.
Noods has been integral to my progression as a DJ in the underground industry. It’s helped me to carve my own path at my own pace: slow and steady. For example, the industry is really driven by networking, and I’m quite introverted, so I find it hard to put on the outgoing act and put myself out there. Despite this, I’m still able to get the most amazing opportunities. I’ve learned you don’t have to be super ‘party-party’ and extroverted to be a decent DJ with the best gigs. Music should be for everyone.
Photos: Sarah Currie / @sarah.rose.currie
How do you source the material you play? Do you have a particular process?
No, not really, I have a very inconsistent process – it’s nothing special or niche. I am absolutely obsessed with history; I did a degree in it, so I guess unearthing stuff, wider reading and learning a story is ingrained in me.
I dig digitally and physically - I think you’re blinkered if you constrain yourself to one or the other. You have to stay open minded. I’ll also spend hours in record shops and at markets. It honestly depends what mood I’m in, how much money and time I’ve got. Life can get in the way, I have bills to pay - some months I can find and buy loads of stuff, some months I can’t, and that’s fine. DJing is a privilege, so I feel lucky when I’m able to do it.
What are some of your favourite sounds to play and mix?
Depends where I am and what I’m doing. In the club, I love playing around with New Beat and EBM. I’m not too keen on club music that sounds too slick, clinical and sophisticated. When I’m out dancing, I want to think “what the hell am I listening to?” which is why I like to play around with a lot of European Beat records. They’re really fun, silly and cheap to collect.
Name a track that you couldn’t live without.
‘My Heart’s On Fire’ by Machinations. Set closer vibes.
Name a new track you love.
'Surround' by Glas Gesture. It’s from Noods’ debut compilation, Hypha, which features tracks from residents.
Photos: Sarah Currie / @sarah.rose.currie
Name a track (or two) that reminds you of Bristol.
'Here Comes a Raincloud' by China Crisis because it’s always raining here. Or 'Walkin'' by Dhuo because it reminds me of walking along the Harbour on summer night – that’s a crackin’ view.
What do you do when you’re not on the airwaves?
Normal things. When I’m not working, digging for music or enjoying the company of friends, I’ll spend long periods of time alone to recharge my batteries. Alone time and normality are sacred.
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