Who hadn’t dreamt of working and travelling around the world with their best friend at some point in their lives? For Australian DJ act Indigo Starlight, this is their reality. CLEO sat down with the duo, comprising of musicians Stephanie and Christine, for a chat before their set on It’s The Ship.
How would you describe your music in five words?
Stephanie: Fun, surprising, energetic, and heavy.
Christine: Yeah, we go heavy.
S: And the fifth word would be… banger (chuckles). In Australia, whenever a track is heavy and dirty, we’d call it a banger, but we never realised that people don’t understand our slang, so we’d be like, “Aw, yeah, it’s a banger” and people would be like, “What’s a banger?”
C: It just means that it’s energetic, exciting, and fun.
S: We like to do a lot of mash-ups in our sets where the drops are very surprising and really heavy. It’s unexpected. We also have a live element to our sets us well, with Christine playing the keytar during our performances.
Speaking of which, what made you go “Hey, I should include a keytar in our sets”?
C: I’ve been playing the piano since I was really young, and when I started DJ-ing (we were both solo acts before Indigo Starlight), I thought about getting a musical instrument involved. Initially, I wanted to just bring a normal keyboard on stage and play it like a piano, but I thought, why not take it to the next level? The keytar has a massive soundboard so I can play basically any sound I wanted to.
S: It’s almost bigger than her!
C: (laughs) But yeah, it’s really cool to be able to have this live music element. I’m a musician, so why not work that into our sets?
S: It’s something different, I think. We were surrounded by people who were doing the same style of music as us, so we were thinking about how we can be different using what we know and what we’re good at.
C: And it’s fun as well, I love bringing my instrument on stage.
How heavy is your keytar?
C: My white keytar is about 6kg, and the black one is probably about 8kg.
S: And with the case, it’s about 17kg.
S: Imagine her running through the airport with that!
C: That’s my arm workout sorted.
Both of you started out as solo DJs first. What led to this duo act?
C: We’ve been best friends for almost 13 years now. We went to high school together, then we went to the same university and did the same business degree in events management. We both started DJ-ing and somehow ended up being booked for the same events, doing back-to-back sets.
S: People told us that we should look at doing something together, because they could see that we have this chemistry, which I guess comes from being friends for so long, and we just bounce off each other. When we did our sets together it became more fun, and people just kept wanting to book us together. It got to a point where we’d get a gig by ourselves and it just felt so different. So we thought, why not?
What’s your most memorable gig?
C: We played It’s The Ship last year, and that was the first festival that we’ve played at. We didn’t know what to expect, we were so nervous. But after our set, I remember getting off stage and saying that we’ve got to play here again.
S: It was one of the best things we’ve ever done, it was so much fun!
As a female duo act, what are some of the challenges that you’ve faced in this scene?
C: Being underestimated. That’s a big one.
S: People don’t believe that we play live.
C: A lot of people think that I’m not even really playing the keytar on stage.
S: She’s not carrying an 8kg keytar for fun, you know!
C: Like, yeah, let me carry a 20kg case around just to pretend like I’m playing (laughs). The biggest challenge we’ve faced so far is being underestimated and having people think that we’re not capable.
S: We feel like we have to prove ourselves every time… It is a male-dominated industry, but the way we see it, there’s room for everyone. We’ll just focus on ourselves and do our own thing.
But I’m sure it must have been discouraging, initially.
S: Oh yeah, definitely.
C: It was very intimidating at the beginning.
S: People were like, “You can’t handle your alcohol, you can’t handle a set,” but we’re like, “Nope, we’ve got this.” At the end of the day, we just want to go out there and put on the best show we can. We just hope that people will come to enjoy the music—it doesn’t matter if we’re a male or female act.
What’s something that this industry has taught you?
S: We’ve learnt that you’ll get negative comments no matter what, and you can’t let that get to you.
C: It’s easier said than done, there will be times where it’ll get to you. But the good thing for us is that we’re a duo act, so we have each other. We constantly pick each other back up.