Tāmaki Makaurau DJ, musician and promoter Aw B, aka Emma Hall-Phillips, is a driving force for positive change in Aotearoa's dance community. We find out what makes her tick.
Describe yourself as an artist in one sentence.
Simply loves a banger.
How have the global pandemic and lockdowns affected you and your music?
Our creative industry has taken a huge hit due to the pandemic and it's been really sad to see my peers, our venues and festivals lose out on their only stream of revenue. Obviously with shows not happening it's been really hard but I'm lucky to still have a job in this industry and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
What one thing in your career so far are you most proud of?
In 2019 myself and Katherine Anderson (k2k) bought New York-based collective DISCWOMAN to Aotearoa and ran a series of gigs, panel discussions and DJ workshops focussed on amplifying the voices of women, LGBTQI and gender-non-conforming people in our music community. I'm also really proud to be a part of Girls Rock! Aotearoa.
What's the secret to the perfect set?
Ride the nerves, read the room, connect with the audience, play some bangers, dance heaps and have fun.
What's the best thing about the NZ music industry? And the worst?
Both the best and worst thing about this industry is how small it is. Everyone knows each other which can be a blessing and also a curse...
What aspect of festival season are you most looking forward to?
I'm just excited to see live music again! Especially seeing my friends on stage absolutely killing it. I also enjoy seeing all the faces working behind the scenes, I love our music whānau :)
What would you say to any young person thinking about getting into music?
Attend as many gigs as you can, find your community of people, collaborate with friends, organise shows at community halls, have fun and don't take yourself too seriously!
What are your plans for 2022? Where do you want to be five years from now?
In 2022 I'll be playing lots of shows but also working on L.A.B's summer tour, come through! In five years I hope I'm still working in the industry both as a performer and behind the scenes. I also hope touring internationally is on the horizon!
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life - what is it?
This is a very stressful question but probably Now That's What I Call Music 46. I will regret this answer if this happens to me.
You're putting on a music festival with any artists you like, alive or dead. Who's on the bill?
OutKast but they play Speakerboxx/The Love Below in entirety with support from Azymuth, Totems, Tony De Vit, DJ Rashad, Lightning Bolt and Axel F playing nothing but Crazy Frog in the set changeovers.
• Aw B is starting a bi-monthly residency called Aw B b2b at Club 121, Wellington - October 16, December 11, February 5. Also, Labour of Love, Black Barn, Havelock North - October 23; Nightside, Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen, Auckland - November 13; Greenlights, Hollywood Avondale - December 3; Rhythm & Alps, Cardrona - December 30; Splore, Tāpapakanga Regional Park - February 25; 121 Festival, Tauherenikau Racecourse - March 11-13.