Homegrown: Ellis Roberts

A relatively new addition to Bristol nightlife, Ellis Roberts is quickly making waves across the city thanks to her alternative take on Bristol’s unique form of bass-culture. Her sets lean on juke, footwork, hi-NRG house music and the most euphoria inducing cuts from Dance Mania’s back catalogue, and as she takes up the helm as one of our newest In:Motion residents, expect to hear a lot more of her over the next few months.

What’s your name, what do you do and how do you do it?

My name’s Ellis and I’m a DJ! I recently graduated from the Mix Nights course, a DJ teaching school in Bristol.

How did you first get into clubbing, and what producers and DJs inspired you in those early years?

I started going out properly years ago in college where I was trawling various nights and clubs. Those very early years of clubbing in Bristol definitely played a big role in developing my love for music and still has a big influence on the stuff I play today.

Can you remember your first clubbing experience, and how did that shape what you do today?

My first clubbing experience was actually at Motion believe it or not. It was the famous Shit the Bed nights, and I actually had to queue on the night for a ticket because they had all sold out. From there on I started discovering different nights that were happening, 51°27′ at Thekla was one of the places I ended up spending every one of my Friday nights.

How did you come into DJing, running your own club nights or making music?

I first came into DJing through the Mix Nights course, a female only DJ course that helps women develop their mixing skills through a series of sessions and mentored by Em Williams, Daisy Moon and Danielle Doobay. Since doing the course my knowledge of music has developed loads, and I’m finding myself delving deeper into it, discovering more and more which is super fun.

What does Bristol do differently to any other city in the UK?

Bristol is such a melting pot of different genres and influences and I think that’s why it’s so unique as a city. There’s something about this clash of genres which makes the city so special. Growing up here, you’re very aware of Bristol’s sound (as cliché as that sounds), even from the very early years in school you were hearing something very individual that you just don’t get anywhere else.

How has the city moulded your music tastes?

Bristol is known for its bass-heavy genres and that’s really where I started out with my music tastes and going to loads of dubstep nights around the city. Although my tastes have developed and changed a lot since then I always find myself drawn to the music I was listening to when I first started going out.

What tracks are you most looking forward to spinning throughout the In:Motion season and why?

I’m really looking forward to playing Hidden Talent feat. S’oreal, ‘Indian Tune’. A friend of mine put me onto recently and I can’t stop listening to it. I can’t wait to give Sonic ‘Mean Squash Brigade’ a spin too, Sonic’s a Bristol producer making some really cool stuff at the moment.

What have been some of your standout moments from In:Motion in the past?

Just Jack’s Halloween party in 2013 is something I’ll never forget so it’s wicked to see Ben UFO back at Just Jack Halloween this year. I’m super excited to play alongside Skatebård as he’s a DJ I’ve been excited about for a long time now.

What’s been the strangest experience you’ve ever had while clubbing?

I was at a night at Cosies last year that Riz La Teef was playing at and during his set there was a guy sat at the back of the room playing bongos which was pretty strange.

Can you pick five records that define your DJing?

DJ Deeon – Who u Wit?
DJ Nephets – Na Na Na
DJ Assault – Techno Freak
DJ Neewt – Syggo
United Grooves Collective & Wiley – Ladies