‘I’M A MUM BY DAY, DJ BY NIGHT’
Claire Sweeting, 43, is a writer and editor. She lives in Surrey with her husband, Ed, and their two children. ‘You’re a dark horse.’ I heard this many times when mums at my daughter’s school found out I was DJing the Christmas party. But I’ve been DJing for 20 years, albeit with a large gap when I was too busy with babies to stay up past 10 pm.
My teenage life revolved around Top of the Pops, NME, and concerts. When I headed to university in 1995, Britpop was popular and I wrote music reviews for the student newspaper. Soon after, a friend asked me to DJ at his birthday party. I felt like I was playing my favourite music in my bedroom, except all my friends were dancing.
At 22, teaching English in Greece, I volunteered for a local radio station, where I’d play anything from Nirvana to Dusty Springfield, no idea if anyone was listening.
When I moved to London and started working in publishing, I continued to DJ – one gig was at a bar that used to be a public toilet. But I had the most fun playing at friends’ weddings.
After I had my daughter in 2012, and son in 2014, my world shrank to church playgroups and trips to the park. Disney soundtracks filled the house.
Then one of my best friends and his husband started a club night in Southend and asked if I could DJ with them. As I worked out my set list, I rediscovered how much I loved listening to new and old tracks, and putting them together in unexpected ways.
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October 19, 2020