GibGirl talks to BassCake
Cheryl ‘BassCake’ Jeffries is a local DrumNBass DJ who has had a passion for music since a young age and already accomplished a fair bit with the DrumNBass community at home and internationally. As she prepares for her gig at the world famous Cross Club in Prague on the Friday 26th May headlining Kyrist, we talk about where it all began, the local DJ scene and her plans for the future.
You can catch Cheryl at the upcoming GEMF 2017
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“I am the sort of person who believes
that you have to reach for the stars and work hard if you want to achieve something . . .”
Cheryl, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How did you first get into becoming a DJ?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. Its pretty much like breathing, I
don’t get tired of breathing.
The whole DJ’ing thing started when I was 18. My parents gave me a pair of
turntables as a gift for my birthday. Many of my mates were DJs and were very
much involved in the scene so I can say I learnt a lot from them. I used to DJ at
home and amongst friends but never really played in front of a crowd till
Halloween 2014 in Alora (Malaga) and that’s when it all really kicked in.
“I have played throughout Spain many times at well known clubs in Seville, Malaga, Cadiz, Bristol’s well known Blue Mountain Club and the very popular Outlook Festival in Croatia.”
What were the initial challenges like and how did you overcome them?
There are lots of challenges in life especially in the music industry. There are always going to be people who support you or even criticise (for the lols, I’ve even had a fake Instagram profile with my name and photos). I’ve always done my own thing and will continue to do so. I am the sort of person who believes that you have to reach for the stars and work hard if you want to achieve something I say this because DJ’ing has always been a hobby but I have been privileged enough to have played in clubs and festivals both locally and internationally so I have to thank those who support me and have given me the opportunity to play.
The electronic music scene has been mainly dominated by males, however there are a lot of talented females out there who are sick too! I believe that artists should be appreciated for what they do and have to offer!
Could more be done by the Gov to support aspiring DJs?
A lot more could be done. I would love to get involved with local youth clubs or even provide DJ workshops for children or young people who aspire to become DJs or like the idea of knowing how to DJ. Recently there has been a rise in electronic music locally, mainly techno. There are a lot more collectives in Gibraltar and a lot of the DJs that are involved are local which is amazing. Gibraltar is a small community, however, very rich in
The local press has always been very supportive with everything BassCake lol. I’ve done interview for Panorama, The Gibraltar Magazine, The Olive Press, The Hub and Gibraltar Live Music Society. (Sorry if I’ve left anyone out).
What is DJ’ing Now?
It would be impossible and very much ignorant of myself if I do not reference the importance of vinyls. Turntables were pretty much the first way that music was reproduced and then sold on a mass scale. Direct drive turntables (were a new breed of turntables) allowed more accuracy, perfect for beat matching and scratching. There is still fondness for vinyls but times have changed and things evolve.
“The CDJ revolution changed the music world completely which undeniably made life easier for DJs who just turn up with CDs or a USB stick as all their music is in digital format. Controllers were also part of the new era of DJ’ing.”
Understandably, many “purists” bemoaned that any old Tom, Dick or Harry could
now be a DJ. Many other people approximate that its just standing in front of the controller and press buttons (especially as it has a sync button which basically does everything for you. It adjusts the tunes you are going to mix at the same
BPM and beat matches the tunes you are going to mix). Obviously that is not the
case, mixing music regardless of the genre requires a good musical ear, patience
and rudimentary knowledge. Things change and with all this technology, DJs can
be more versatile in performing rather than simply play other artists music. Each
to their own, just do what makes you happy .
What Festivals and Venues have you played?
I’ve played locally at Gib Sun Festival once and at the Gibraltar Electronic Music Festival every year ( I love playing here)!. The usual local venues, Rock On The Rock, Boyds, Zest (when it existed) and a few others. Internationally, I have played throughout Spain many times at well known clubs in Seville, Malaga, Cadiz, Bristol’s well known Blue Mountain Club and the very popular Outlook Festival in Croatia. I travelled to Toulouse recently where I played with Some of the Drum and Bass Express Girls (a collective I am part of).
Who would you rate as best DJs at the moment?
There are so many DJs that I’ve always admired and followed however, the DJs that I rate the most are all DNB producers, so I appreciate their production a lot more as there’s much more merit in a producer than a DJ all due to their hard work obviously. These are the ones I’m feeling the most at the moment; DLR, Arkaik, Tephra & Arkoze, Bredren, Subtle
Element, Alix Perez, Kyrist, Signal etc… I could go on for days.
Locally I have to say that my man Lethalness is the one! Not being biased but he is extremely talented in many ways! Also, Re-Sorted always has very sick track lists, we have a very similar taste in DNB.
What plans and ambitions do you have moving forward?
I will continue to DJ for as long as I can, it is part of who I am and continue to work with all my collectives. I have also been approached by an Agency too so things will gradually continue to move forward. I am in the final year of my Nursing Degree which involves a lot of practical and theory work and requires a lot of my time. I will hopefully finish in three months time and this will allow me to have more free time to get cracking on the production side which I something I have always had an interest in.
Where can we catch BassCake upcoming sets?
I will be playing at the world famous Cross Club in Prague on the Friday 26th May alongside Kyrist (one of my inspirations, she’s sick!) and a few of the Drum and Bass Express Girls. I’ve also got some nights in Spain and locally will be playing at Gibraltar Electronic Music Festival once again and some others which I still cannot say 😛 You can always catch new mixes on my Mixcloud and Soundcloud pages.
Massive thank you for featuring me and to those who support me in anyway, you are the ones that keep me going really. Stay true to those amazing reactions in clubs! Drum and Bass for life <3
Support Cheryl ‘BassCake’ Jeffries and her sick DnB mixes, don’t forget to . .