Catching up with
DJ Barely Legal To Discuss Her New Label, Pretty Weird Records

Ever since she made her debut here in Farringdon, there’s always been a tangible synergy between our own ethos and that of the fresh faced 23 year old DJ, Barely Legal. Her genre spanning sets rely, much as we as promoters do, on the strength of her uncompromising selections but her immeasurable energy and her impressive work ethic is very much something to salute. Especially when you consider how far she’s come in a mere four years: championing support from luminaries like Four Tet (who she’ll be appearing alongside at Boiler Room this Thursday), Wiley and Scratcha DVA, securing her own radio show on BBC 1Xtra and standing on the precipice of launching her brand new label, Pretty Weird Records with music from, Keysound associate, Wen.

Needless to say, we've been eager to find out her thoughts and motivations behind the newly minted imprint so we grabbed a few moments of her time before she links up with the Stripes clan here in Room Three on Friday 22nd May.

You officially launched Pretty Weird just a few weeks back – what was the basis behind starting your own label?

Starting my DJ career through my BBC 1xtra Daily Dose residency meant it was always key for me to be seek out and play new music each week and that was an aspect of radio I really enjoyed. The idea of enhancing this part of my DJing to create a record label has always been a big interest. The whole process of scouting new artists, releasing music you like, pressing it to vinyl, distributing it and hearing it played out in clubs and on radio - it’s exactly what I want to be doing.



Is this something that you’ve planned to do for a while or did it all come about quite naturally?

The desire to run my own label was always there, since the BBC 1xtra days back in 2012. I went to a lot of effort to try and give a lot of new artists who I really rated their first air play and a lot of those artists have gone on to do really well.

Was there anything or anyone who inspired you?

There are a lot of labels which inspired me to finally decide to launch mine. A few examples of labels which I really respect and have followed along the way are Exit, Night Slugs, Tempa, Hyperdub and Hessle Audio. Their releases are consistently on point alongside other aspects such as their events and branding.
“I’d like the label’s releases to reflect the diversity of genres I play in my sets.”

Are you running the label completely by yourself?

Yeah, but once it grows I’d love to get more people on board to help it build and develop.

What is this ethos behind the label? Will it be a personal outlet and a kind of sonic extension of Barely Legal?

I’d like the label’s releases to reflect the diversity of genres I play in my sets. I tend to play a bit of everything, from garage to jungle, but I am very fussy and specific when it comes to selection. I’m very hard to please with finding music I’m proper feeling so when I find a track I like, it’s a big thing - I get very excited! Whilst I aim to have a consistent stream of releases, there will be a focus on quality not quantity.

Tell us a bit about Wen's ‘Hailstones’, why did you think this record would be the right track to launch the label?

Wen is an artist that I’ve been supporting since he first sent me a track called 'Commotion'. It was special dropping it at Outlook Festival 2012, which was my first ever festival set and my first time meeting Wen. Ever since then, everything he’s sent me has been very sick, but this 'Hailstones' track stood out especially. I’ve been sitting on it for a while and I’m really, really happy to have Wen as one of the artists for my first release.



What else can we expect throughout 2015?

Oh… you'll just have to wait and see!

What about you? What can we expect from you over the next few months?

A summer of festivals and club shows, including the main stage at Field Day, Outlook Festival and Bestival! I’m also playing my debut Ibiza show at Ibiza Rocks with Hannah Wants, My Nu Leng and Melé which I'm really excited about.

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Friday 22nd May

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