Small town girl living in the big city, Stacey Sexton has set the tone for Toronto based artists, over the past decade. Her artistic resume includes DJ and producer, event planner, radio show host, performer and much more. She prides herself on her unique sound and ability to transition through genres, in her all encompassing sets. We had a chance to speak with Stacey ahead of her set at the season finale of Electric Island on August 31st!
You are originally from out East, but have been living in Toronto for over a decade. What prompted your move to the city?
Living on an island like Newfoundland, you learn quickly that it’s not a place for artists to flourish. I originally wanted to be a fashion designer and the choice was to either go to Montreal or Toronto, to study fashion. My partner at the time who was also a creative, decided to leave Newfoundland for Toronto, so I made the jump after high school to move to the big city to study fashion at George Brown College. That didn’t work out, but a lot of other things did. Toronto has so much more to offer young creatives whether it be design, music or art, and even though it’s never always easy, it was worth it to build a life for myself in the big city.
You have hosted your own events around Toronto, bringing people in electronic music together in different ways. How do you come up with ideas for these curated events and what influenced you to throw them in the first place?
In the beginning, I just wanted to play out. I had this new skill and just wanted to play as much as possible. I knew that it wasn’t possible for me to get booked at bigger events yet, and you have to do the work and let the city learn who you are. I also knew I never wanted to limit myself, so I’ve always enjoyed doing events with deejays with a variety of sounds and not just limited to the house/techno realm. There are so many genres and so many deejays I love in this city, that play more than just house or techno and it’s a really fantastic thing to be able to whip up an event and learn and grow from each other. I feel my most comfortable and confident creating my own events, I enjoy having complete creative control in terms of who’s playing, when, where and doing all the designs and promotional work, I thrive off of it. I’m planning an event now in the near future with a variety of genres and some live acts too. More details to come in the next upcoming months.
“I feel my most comfortable and confident creating my own events, I enjoy having complete creative control in terms of who’s playing, when, where and doing all the designs and promotional work, I thrive off of it.”
Tell us about your monthly radio show ‘Thirst Club’ on n10.as radio? What inspired you to host your own radio show and what do you believe is most important about sharing music you love with others?
Thirst Club is like my baby. It’s grown a lot in the past two and a half years. I’m really happy to be involved with n10.as, something that is still very DIY & community centred. After I began to get my bearings with deejaying I had been building up my crates and I felt like it was almost a responsibility at that point – that I should share this music with whoever would listen. The music is there to share, you don’t hoard it to yourself. You share it with others and it gives it purpose, it gives back to the artist that made it and circles back around. I think as a producer you can feel really bogged down in the ether of all this data from daily life, your tracks are out there and a lot of the time you can’t tell if people are listening, so I think it’s more important than ever to share music with people, and also share track lists too. It could really make someone’s day knowing that you are listening and playing out their tracks.
How do you believe the Toronto music scene has changed over the last 10 years?
Well, since I’ve lived here, I’ve been thankful to be a part of many different communities, from indie to punk to hard rock, to electronic & house… I still love all of these genres, they’re all still a part of me in one way or another. I feel like I’ve seen a meshing of communities coming together: industrial, electronic and live bands, or having deejays play rock shows. I’ve witnessed my favourite DIY spots die… And so many countless venues shut down. But from that, I’ve witnessed the support and passion for the DIY underground. It continues onward and music will always find a place in DIY spaces, no matter how much the government doesn’t want that. The music scene is way more genre-fluid now than ever before and that excites me the most. That was my mindset before ever even playing out live. I wanted to play what inspires me, a variety of genres inspire me… it’s all about constructing the path to play it, and the right moment.
“The music is there to share, you don’t hoard it to yourself. You share it with others and it gives it purpose, it gives back to the artist that made it and circles back around.”
You are set to perform at Electric Island on August 31st, what can attendees expect from your set? Do you have any new music in store?
I have a bunch of new music in store! I have an EP coming out on an UK label in October, so I’m very close to finishing it all up and I have a few bits that I will self-release. I’m planning on playing some out for Electric Island on the 31st! In terms of what to expect from me, I try to have different focuses in my crates, depending on how I’m feeling. With Electric Island, it’s a chance to showcase what makes you, you. So, a little silly, a little freaky, a little romantic and cheeky… You’ll have to come and find out 😉
Be sure to catch Stacey along side many other talented performers on August 31st and September 1st during the Electric Island season finale weekend!
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