Heidi Lawden Preps for Skyline: UK-born, L.A.-based artist Heidi Lawden began her DJ journey as a teen in London.

“I played a few clubs and parties over there and even threw some myself.” Lawden says. “Mostly, I worked behind the scenes and it wasn’t the most welcoming time for female DJs with limited means. I’d often give up food for funk, as I’d call it, when I’d choose a vinyl spree over a balanced diet. It really became my primary focus after I moved to the United States. I would play house parties, skate jams, birthdays, etc. in Venice purely for enjoyment. It was only when friends recognized my talent and encouraged me to pursue it further that I began to consider it seriously. Before the pandemic, I toured for about two years, playing some of my dream gigs including Panorama Bar, Glitterbox, Love International, Horse Meat Disco, and Glastonbury, as well as iconic clubs in London like The Cause and Night tales. However, my tour abruptly halted mid-way when the pandemic struck, just a day after playing at Panorama Bar. Despite the uncertainty, I’m grateful that there’s still interest in my work, and I’ve been consistently DJing ever since. Music has always been a part of my life, but now DJing has taken center stage, and I couldn’t be happier. I like to say it’s a life, not a living.”

Lawden says that her sound is based on multiple genre.

From vocal and classic house sounds to extended techno tracks with repetition and movement, it’s hard to narrow it down,” she says. “I’m fortunate to be able to play such a diverse range of clubs and parties, from House of Yes and Disco Trip to Panorama Bar/berghain and clandestine warehouse after-hours events, as well as EDC. This allows me to explore and stretch out musically across the many different genres I love. I prefer playing a long set because you can take listeners on a journey. I’ve had the chance to play a few all-nighters recently, with one standout experience being an eight-hour solo set at a warehouse party in L.A.”

At present, Lawden has only released a few tracks.

I get in my head about it or think it’s not perfect enough to release,” she says. “Recently, Yvonne Turner, a female producer I deeply admire from disco’s golden era, remarked on the saturation of music being released, likening it to pollution. This notion weighs heavily on my mind and fuels my perfectionist tendencies; I hesitate to contribute to the noise. However, I’m always hearing melodies and lyrics in my head. People often ask what I’m singing, unaware that I’m making it up on the fly. It’s time to throw some of that out into the world more.”

On Saturday, February 24, Lawden will perform on the West Side Stage at the Skyline LA festival.

This is my second time playing Skyline LA,” she says. “The first time was my debut Factory93 play, and that experience ignited a love affair with their audience and the level of production they offer. From the moment I get booked for anything, including Skyline, I’m marinating on what I might play. I listen to new and old tracks, preparing and curating playlists. I’m on the road the entire month before, with gigs spanning from New York to Canada to Mexico, totaling nine flights in February and double that in gigs. I’ll undoubtedly be road-testing and refining my selections as I go. I’m not the type of DJ to put together a pre-planned set from start to finish; rather, I prefer to have tons of music to choose from and gauge the crowd’s response, adapting to the atmosphere. Since it’ll be a shorter set, it’ll be all killers, no fillers, to get the crowd heated up and hyphy.”

Looking ahead, Lawden has much planned for 2o24.

I have a lot of incredible gigs lined up in Los Angeles and New York as well as shows across Europe including London, Portugal, Berlin, Croatia, Ibiza, and even India,” she says. “There’s also others that haven’t been announced yet. I’m particularly excited about upcoming parties in New York, such as HOY, Hot Mess, and Eli Escobar’s new club, Gabriella. There’s something truly magical about NYC clubs for me; it’s such an honor to play in a city I once dreamed of gracing its dance floors. In L.A., I co-host a party series called ‘Take It Outside’ with my rave wife, Masha. We have Paula Tape joining us on March 2. I keep everyone updated about my gigs and releases through my social media channels, which even helps me keep track of everything. Speaking of releases, now that I’ve mentioned it here, I’m committed to sharing some of the music I’ve been working on. Now that I’ve said it here, it’ll force my hand to do so. I’m extremely camera shy, so you won’t catch me posting any videos, haha! I’ll be at Skyline on both days; the lineup is too good to miss. I’m enjoying this journey. Living right by the beach in L.A. forces me to slow down and appreciate the incredible ride I’m on whenever I’m not traveling.”

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