Irish DJ Annie Mac has followed in the footsteps of British legend Pete Tong by becoming a tastemaker of the U.K. electronic music scene. Like Tong, Annie Mac hosts a show on BBC Radio 1 that breaks new acts and kicks off the weekend festivities for a nation of nightclub crawlers and dance-music lovers.
The influential DJ and trailblazer returns to the States for the first time in two years for her Annie Mac Presents show, which hits LMNT Friday night along with Cajmere, Skream, Jacques Green and Gorgon City.
What can we expect from your show?
Hopefully lots of exciting, fun DJs and music. The people that we do have confirmed so far are a kind of mix of a people I know are gonna bring the party and people who are a little bit fresher, and that I’m hoping will be of interest to people in America when they have the chance to see them. That’s what we always try to do – introduce a new sound or a new DJ to the fold, so that someone always comes away having experienced something new, and something that hopefully they’ve fallen in love with.
So most of the acts are lesser-known?
I’d say they’re probably known, but they won’t have that much American exposure, let’s put it that way.
Are you considered the “female Pete Tong” a little bit?
I wouldn’t say that, just because he’s been at it for a lot longer than I have, and in terms of popular culture, he really has been at the epicenter of electronic music in the U.K. for so long now. And he still is in most ways. I wouldn’t say that I was considered the female him, but in terms of broadcasting radio, I did replace his show. But his show wasn’t moved – it was kind of swapped with mine. And his show is still very much relevant and loved all over the world. So he does his thing and I do mine, and we’ve got a great working relationship – I think there’s a great deal of mutual respect there.
How do you choose the acts for your show?
It’s pretty simple, really. For a typical AMP lineup, I like to have a DJ that’s quite well known to play alongside me that people will know about and be excited about to come and see. And then I always try to find one or two acts that are pretty much just starting out in terms of playing out, and I like all of the acts to be a little bit different, so that they’re not all from the exact same genre of music, and they can kind of complement each other a little bit. They just need to make good music, and be good in a live-performance capacity.
Who are some of the acts you’ve discovered?
People that we’ve supporting from the start would be Disclosure, Jessie Ware, Katy B, Angel Haze – that’s an example of a cross-section.
How can people hear your radio show?
At the moment, if you’re in America you’ve got to listen on the internet through the BBC Radio One website, and you can listen live. Also, we give away a free track every Monday on SoundCloud.
Have you performed at WMC before?
Yes, I’ve been many times and had some really good times there. I had my very first AMP party, Annie Mac Presents, in Miami five years ago, and it was a good one. It was just at the very start of dubstep, and we had Rusko on, and we also had A-Trak and Fake Blood and myself, so it was quite a mixed lineup on the beach at the Gansevoort. That was so fun. And I did a party at the White Room, and I’ve done Ultra. But I haven’t really been there over the last couple years because I’ve been busy having a child. It’s been two years since I’ve been to America, and it feels like ages. A lot has changed.
Do you have a favorite style of EDM?
That’s difficult, really difficult. At the moment in terms of playing out, I’m liking a kind of tough, house-techno vibe, definitely 4/4. But if I had to choose a favorite genre of all time, it would probably be disco music. My heart is in disco.