THE FEMALE DJ - We talk to Henri

Henri is the female DJ breaking boundaries. In a music genre dominated by men, we talk to Henri about her new video for single Fine Day & the future.

Tell us about your new video for Fine Day?
The Fine Day music video was shot mainly in downtown LA by Constantine Paraskevopoulos, a writer/film director based there, and it stars Aníta Briem, an Icelandic actress who also sings the vocal on the song. Presenting her as this robotic, puppet-on-a-string, doll-like character is meant to be like me presenting her as my protégé as her vocal is featured on my track. It's heavily influenced by Japanese street style and anime and even though it seems like popcorn and bubblegum there's a sinister undertone to the video. 

What challenges do you think you face as a female DJ?
There's a fine line between being feminine and sexual and into fashion and then being seen as a fashion DJ who isn't taken seriously. I produce and write most of my music and decided a couple of years ago that I didn't want to sing on my tracks any more, but people are always encouraging me to sing. They wouldn't question David Guetta or Calvin Harris for not wanting to sing on their own tracks so there's definitely a double standard where women are expected to be performers singing about their love interests, with a man standing in the shadows writing and producing it all. Bjork spoke about that in an open letter recently when she DJ'd and didn't sing and was criticized for "hiding" behind the decks. The video in a way speaks to that as Aníta plays that role to the extreme where she's literally the sexual performance doll that people expect from a woman. 

Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
Hmmm. So many but probably Leeloo from 5th Element and Gwen Stefani. And of course Blondie. 

Tell us about the first ever gig you DJ'd?
It was my friend Chris Holmes' night in LA. He let me host a Krautrock-themed party during Coachella on one of his nights at this bar called the Spare Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt. It was so fun they let me play every Wednesday. 

What advice would you give for aspiring female DJ’s looking to make it?
Definitely learn how to produce your own music and above all be your self. I keep feeling the pressure to dress in a black t-shirt and jeans to look like I'm a deep house or techno DJ but sometimes I love dressing up in theatrical dresses or high fashion pieces and I don't see why I shouldn't just to fit in a box. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hosting a costume themed party with amazing eclectic deep melodic house, techno and disco where people come to escape the ordinary with lots of fun interactive things to do and see. I love how Richie Hawtin has a saké night and Claptone have a Masquerade Ball but I'd love to take those concepts even further. 

What are your plans for 2017?
I'm putting out a single called Sunshine of Your Love on Armada Deep on March 13th and I'm so excited as it's the first single I haven't self-released. 

How did you learn how to DJ?
I taught myself by trial and error and putting in the time. I must have done the 10,000 hours by now ;) There's definitely room for improvement though.