CC:DISCO! IS MY TYPE OF GIRL. SHE GETS HOME FROM CLUBS AT 9AM, EATS A HELLUVA LOT OF PHO, AND LISTS HER FAVOURITE PASTIME AS LISTENING TO MUSIC IN THE BATH. IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH TO HAVE YOU PLANNING A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL, I SHOULD LET YOU KNOW HER DJ NAME IS INSPIRED BY CC BABCOCK. YES……. FROM THE NANNY.
As resident DJ at Boney’s Lost Weekend every Saturday night, radio announcer for PBSFM’s Smoke & Mirrors and a regular on the Australian and international festival circuit, she’s commonly known as the First Lady of Disco – a title that was earned while the rest of us were still learning our shapes from our colours.
“I’ve been in love with music since I was about two years old. The first song I remember my dad playing me was Radio Ga Ga by Queen,”
“Then, when I was about six, I was introduced to my mum’s tape collection.
“I would go to the hay shed on our farm and listen to this one particular tape over and over – Hot Hits ’76 or something like that – and it just made me so happy.”
It was so no surprise then, when CC:DISCO! pursued a career in radio, and eventually started DJ’ing on the side.
“Originally, I wanted to be a doctor… then I did work experience in a hospital and absolutely fucking hated it,”
“So, I tried radio and instantly decided this is what I wanted to do with my life.
“It took me a long time to save up, but I soon got my first turntables – which were awful, by the way – and I started playing a lot of disco, boogie and house.
“I did my first gig about nine years ago.”
But even with almost a decade of experience, CC says it wasn’t until recently that things took off. Like most musicians, actors and creatives, it appears things happened overnight. They totally didn’t.
“My first gig was so bad that I stopped playing completely for two years,”
“Then one day, when I started playing again, I got my first proper gig in Melbourne.
“It took a long time to get to wear I am now, but the past two or three years have been amazing. I put it down to hard work, knowing my sound and finally having the experience to play a club or a festival.
I’m glad it didn’t happen any sooner because I just wouldn’t have been ready.”
Sometimes though, we have to do things we’re not ready for – even seasoned DJ’s get nervous. But don’t worry, CC has a trick for that.
“I was a very nervous DJ – I still am – but I think nerves can help. It reminds you that you care. If you’re not nervous, you may as well quit,”
“I remember the worst case of nerves was Splendour in the Grass – it’s such a big festival and my agents were all there.
“Nobody noticed at the time, but I had a bottle of water filled with straight Jamieson that got me through.”
With a number of international music festivals under her belt and a dream to make it in Europe, it’s humbling that CC not only gets nervous, but also holds a special place in her heart for Melbourne. Or more specifically, “North Fitzroy, baby”
“The Melbourne music scene is amazing. I’ve been overseas a lot and I keep coming back home appreciating what we have,”
“I was in Amsterdam recently with a bunch of mates and we were so ready to party, but there was just nothing to do.
“If you think about summer in Melbourne, we have amazing venues and events like Section 8, Daydreams parties, Wednesday nights at Boney… there’s something on every single day.”
CC credits Melbourne’s heaving DJ scene to her predecessors that have paved the way and made the city what it is today.
“There’s so many amazing older DJ’s in Melbourne – like Jnett and Jimmy James – that have really built this city for up-and-comers,”
“I really respect what they’ve done for us – they’ve been playing the songs I play for 20+ years now, and they’re the reason we have all these amazing options.”
Although CC has a soft spot for eras past – in particular artists like the Mamas & the Papas, the Everly Brothers and Womack & Womack – her career in radio reminds her that there is so much incredible music out there today, that needs the support.
“Record stores are obviously my first choice when researching, but I use Discogs (an online music marketplace) and new music websites a lot too. Plus, I’m lucky enough to get a lot of new music sent to me,”
“Because I’m in radio, I really want to play the new music as well as the old.
“I want to give something back to people that are actually out there making music… If I just play the old hits all day, it doesn’t really help the future generation.”
For a lot of musicians, having their song played on the radio would mean they could die today and be happy. But to be on the radio every Friday night, playing your own mixes, and then gearing up for a music festival the next day (straight Jamieson in hand) is on a whole other level.
We talk about how strange/unfair it is that only a very small percentage of the population ever get to turn their passion into a career.
“This was my outlet for a long time – because I worked full time for many years – so it’s a really weird feeling when your hobby becomes your job,”
“I never thought this would happen. I will never, ever take it for granted, that’s for sure.
“As long as I love it, and can walk up the stairs, I want to keep doing it…
“I’m not sure if I can play until 9am forever, but there are so many DJs who are still doing their thing in their ‘60s, so it gives me hope.”
That’s a long way away though, and there’s still plenty to do before then. Summer – a DJ’s climax – for starters.
“This summer is looking incredible – I’m still in shock,”
“I’m playing main stage at Strawberry Fields, and then playing Meredith in December. There’s a whole bunch more for the season that I can’t reveal just yet too.
“I’m shitting myself and very excited at the same time. Come to think of it, I’m definitely going to need another bottle of Jamieson.”
Now, it’s all very lovely talking about CC’s upcoming gigs and skyrocketing career, but I want to get down to it. I’d noticed a common theme running through her mixes, and was so damn intrigued: the bath. Tell me about the bath.
“I really, really love listening to music in the bath – my dad bought us a spa when we were kids, and I used to sit in there and listen to music all the time.
“These days, I make a lot of mixes for people to listen to in the bath, and listen to a lot of my music in the bath too.
“One day I’ll have a really amazing bath, and I’ll spend a lot more time in there. Light some candles, pour some red wine… It will be the best.”