Brandalism contributor Mbali Ngubane recently got the opportunity to interview Eqlipse (Lauren Hunt) after her first set at the Village “Spiritual Synaesthaesia” party this past weekend. After her amazing morning set, Mbali found herself wanting to know more and more about this rocking new djane on the scene.
Represented by the Village records, Lauren is from Chiredzi, Zimbabwe and is currently studying towards a degree in film at AFDA. Brandalism had a lovely little chat during the outdoor about her music, how it all began for her and her personal favourite parties.
Welcome Lauren, let’s get started. First things first, how did you come up with the name ‘Eqlipse’ and what does it mean to you?
Wow. It’s really hard to answer this question… I guess I have always had a fascination with nature and to me an eclipse is a powerful part of it. I didn’t really think too hard about my alias, it just came to me on the way to Synergy last year while I was having a chat to my boyfriend about space. He is besotted with astronomy.
With the amount of psychedelic parties being thrown in Cape Town these days, the ‘psy-bug’ seems to be biting more and more people at every party. Can you still remember when and where the ‘psy-bug’ came out and bit you?
[Laughs] Oh yes that bug bit me a while ago, in 2007 at one of my first parties. I just really enjoyed the amount of energy people had on the dance floor, it’s contagious. Plus I love dancing and trance music is so much fun!
Selecting the next banger
Tell me a little about when you realized that you wanted to become a psy-trance dj? Do you have any main supporters of your journey behind the scenes?
It all came about when I moved in with my old housemates who were all involved with music somehow and one of them brought some cdjs home from work. So it was really a choice between Mortal Kombat or mixing. It’s always been about having fun. My mum and my friends are really supportive and encouraging. Also my very good friend Rahil Malde, known as Strain, has been very supportive of my journey! We still do back to back versus almost every week at home! He’s an absolute legend and his skills are insane! Well before the Village Spiritual Synaesthesia party I hadn’t really heard about you playing at any other party. Can you tell me about your first gig?
My debut was actually at the Gwaing river- Astral Afrika party in George. It was a small and intimate party with about 400-500 people. It was a very relaxed starting gig which helped me build up some confidence. I’ve also played at a few other smaller parties as well, including the more recent Gwaing party ‘Cryptic symmetry.’
The Village Crowd were loving Eqlipse
You played a pretty impressive set this morning but for those who missed this amazing event, how would you describe your ‘sound’? Also, do you have any South African and/or international artists that influence your music style?
Thank you Mbali. Hmmm. I play quite hard, very high energy night time full on. Cranking music that will show the boys up!
In terms of influences, there are so many! International producers- Absolum, Zinx, Sinful reactions, Alienn, Amush… South African artists- Biorhythm, Rubix Qube, Shift, Iron Lotus. Also DJs are Strain, Archive, Jester and Tune Raider.
Quite a few djs produce their own music here in Cape Town. Are you currently learning and is that the maybe the next step? I’m also going to be a bit cheeky and ask you if we can expect any Rubix Qube and Eqlipse tracks in the future?
I did an electronic music production course in 2008 which I never used. I would like, at some point, to do another course and get into it. For now I’m just enjoying mixing. [Laughs] You never know… perhaps a DJ versus sometime.
Well we all have our favourite parties, are there any parties that you have vowed never to miss? What makes those parties close to your heart?
The Village of course! That would be like missing Christmas with my family if I couldn’t go! Mmm… just off the top of my head… the Village is always a very special party because the whole festival is set up by the village family which is really a tight-knit group of friends that are more like family. A LOT of love and “gees” goes into creating each Village. A lot of the decor is actually made by the crew itself… The venue is always the same, full of beauty and has a great energy. People can always expect a banging line-up! MMD would also be a party not to be missed, the line-up is always cranking!
You dedicated your set this morning to ‘the ladies.’ Would you say that you are into that whole ‘girl power’ movement? There a few other “Djanes” in the scene right now, would you say that you are close to any of them?
Of course, I’m all for seeing more ladies stepping up to compete with the boys. It would be awesome to see as many women as there are guys playing at parties. Lili has also set the bar with her Myzo production which is a good start. I’m very close with Pam who I respect deeply as DJ Tune Raider, she’s definitely one of my bigger role models and has really established herself in the industry. I also became friends with Raquel Ganeisha on her tour to South Africa who is a great DJane. That being said I get along with all of the girls in the scene!
Well then I guess I have to ask, do you have any advice for budding psy djanes wanting to get into the scene?
Just get started, perseverance is key!
On a final note, do you have any more gigs lined up after this event and can we expect to see a lot more of Eqlipse next season?
Another Urban decay lined up, they’re planning an all girl line up sometime soon. I’m really hoping to get on a few big line-ups for next season, but that still remains to be seen…
And there you have it folks, all you could possibly need to know about Eqlipse! Wishing this lovely djane all the best with her musical endeavours and I am pretty much frothing to hear another badass Eqlipse set!