Minxing Skills

18 March 2012 | 7:46 pm | Troy Mutton

Winner of the first ever EMI she can DJ competition, DJ Minx has the world at her headphones. Troy Mutton talks compilations, productions and Ibiza with Rachel Phillips.

Gone are the days where the DJ booth was considered the sacred alter of men. The ladies have decided that anything we can do\, they can do just as good, if not better – a point sublimely proven by Channel V's She Can DJ reality TV show which, rather than selecting a bunch of models with no experience and turning them into DJ superstars, carefully chose some talented women who have a history in the Australian club scene and pushed them just a little bit further.

One of those selected was eventual winner Rachel Phillips, aka DJ Minx, and she can't speak highly enough of the competition, which above all else has resulted in an EMI contract and the release of her first compilation CD. “The competition isn't about finding the next person they can mould, they wanted somebody who was already professionally playing and touring, that already had a fan base and knew where they wanted to go,” Phillips begins, having another interview day at home in Sydney. “And EMI together with the artist could work with you for that same vision and project. They didn't wanna create the next DJ popstar.”

And a popstar Phillips is not. Serious chops behind the decks – purveying her much-loved brand of big room electro-house – are combined with a keenness to attack the production side of the art to give her further credibility on the global circuit. “I think it's not enough just to do DJing these days. You know, the whole thing behind DJs, being producers, it's a whole marketing game. We're entertainers now, and not just someone standing behind the decks mixing music,” she tells, highlighting plenty of brains to this beauty.

“And obviously to sell yourself to the European markets you need to have something to back you - you need to have a top 10 ARIA Club Chart hit or something like that. I've kinda been in the studio collaborating with a few people over the last couple of years. So You & I, which is the track I did with Nordean, which is on the CD, we've been working on that for about 12 months… The other track is fairly new and I worked on that with Adam Sheridan from the UK, and we did it after I won She Can DJ.”

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The CD she refers to is of course her She Can DJ Presents Minx compilation, and the 'other' track is her own, Chances, getting its debut. The mix features a host of big name artists that range from melodic, big-room tracks like Avicii's Fade Into Darkness to dirtier bits like Tommy Trash's remix of the Knife Party/Swedish House Mafia joint Antidote. And big name artists are slowly becoming the norm for Phillips who, after her upcoming She Can DJ Aussie tour, is jetting back to Ibiza to hit the stage for some guy called David Guetta. After playing his night at Pacha earlier this year, she returns for Guetta's annual International Music Summit after party. “So it's David, Diplo, Paul Oakenfold and me… amazing!” she understandably beams down the line.

Phillips also recognises that while it's pretty cool playing alongside these guys, it's incredibly important to her future in this career. “The Nervo girls played this same set that I'm about to do last year, and it set them up for European summer. So this kinda stuff is super important, and to be just on the flyer with those names is crucial at this stage in my career. You know, people go, 'Who the hell is that?' and might just come along to have a look. So it's pretty important especially seeing as I wanna tour and do Europe over the next few years. So if I stuff this one up I don't know if I'll be coming back any time soon,” she laughs, somewhat nervously.