You are bringing the Annie Mac Presents Arena to the very first L.E.D festival, what can fans expect from the show?
L.E.D is going to be mental, we’ve got Professor Green in our tent which I’m really excited about and the rest of the line up is very London centric with the festival being in East London so there’s a lot of urban stuff in there with Shy FX, Zinc and the Boy Better Know crew which includes Wiley and Skepta and is a really serious grime act.
Are you going to see any other acts outside of the AMP Arena?
Aphex Twin on the Main Stage is something I’m really looking forward to, that’s going to be wicked. When I do my own arena I actually try to be a presence in there and support the artists and catch up with everyone and have a chat with them in there. The whole point of the Annie Mac Present’s party is the chance to see DJs I really wanted to see and book the DJs that I wanted so I don’t really need to go anywhere else. Everyone I want to see is in my own tent!
You will also be performing in the arena, what sort of musical journey will you be taking the crowds on?
Well the music I play is all over the place, I play jungle and dubstep and because so much music is fusing and interchanging I even played grime the other day because that’s getting quite dubsteppy. I guess what I play you could call UK bass music which circles everything from electro stuff to the UK funky stuff to jungle and dubstep. Its bass heavy music and I also always throw a bit of disco in as well.
Leftfield are headlining L.E.D, why do you think they are such an important electronic act?
When Leftism came out, that to me was the album that taught me about techno, I would have been 15/16 and I was so into that record I was addicted to it. I saw them live at Rockness and I was really nervous because I loved the record and didn’t know how it would transfer today live because it could have been considered too retro or too old for the audience but it really stood up against all the other headliners and artists that I’d seen and I was delighted to see the crowd getting really into it. The soundsytem that they used blew me away even if you haven’t heard their album before you can’t not love the show and they are going to be amazing at L.E.D on the Main Stage.
What are your festival essentials?
Wet wipes, some sensible shoes obviously such as a wellies or some sort of boots that goes over the ankle, a big thick hoody for the night, some sort of jacket with a lot of pockets and I always take shades, I can’t go to a festival without them. I also always have ciggies and I about five lighters because I always lose them. Chewing gum is an essential as well and a compact mirror as there’s never any mirrors in the portaloos. I try to take my phone charger with me in my bag too in case there’s a chance I can plug it in somewhere.
Who would be your dream DJ to go b2b with?
The likes of DJ Mehdi, Justice and Busy P are great, their whole ethos is to kind of open the DJ booth up and get everyone to muck in and have one big party and that’s why they set up the Club 75 group because they were always playing together anyway and that’s probably one of my favourite times playing alongside someone. Also I played b2b with Toddla T in Newcastle recently which was great as we play a lot of the same stuff and Fake Blood. Any of the above are my ideal people to play with.
How did you become a Radio 1 DJ?
Well I worked behind the scenes for the while as an Assistant Producer on Zane Lowe’s show, kind of just learning the ropes and I’d done a bit of presenting at college and on some local radio shows but a lot of it was luck. I’d always made it known to Radio 1 that if a broadcasting slot came around then I would be up for it, and I started working on a few shows, but not as me it was more using my voice for different shows but then a slot came up for a dance show and they were looking for a girl so I was like ‘Hi, I’m here!’ and they gave me a chance. Its getting the chance that is the hardest bit but once you get it you can prove your worth.
What has been your best Radio 1 memory so far on the road with them and in the studio?
There have been so many amazing moments, I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world with Radio 1 presenting my show from Miami, New York, Exit festival in Serbia and even from a tiny old man’s pub in Northern Ireland so I’ve had some amazing opportunities. I think in terms of memories the best moment would probably be the first show that I ever did for Radio 1 and the first link did. I played a High Contrast track and had to do a link straight after and I had such a mixture of fear and excitement, its definitely my favourite moment.
Have you ever made a mistake on air?
Oh yes lots! I’ve never cursed *touch wood* but there’s been plenty of times when you get your words mixed up or you mispronounce something. I once said that David Cameron was the leader of the ‘Conservatory’ Party and some mistakes that you make, if they caught by the wrong DJ will get aired all over the station.
Scott Mills is a favourite for doing that isn’t he?
Yes he’s the one who usually plays my mistakes!
Annie Mac Hosts the Annie Mac Presents Arena at L.E.D Festival on Saturday 28th August Bank Holiday weekend. Tickets on sale now: www.ticketmaster.co.uk / Info: www.ledfestival.net