Beats Per Minute: A playlist of club anthems selected by Jodie Harsh

The extravagant drag diva and supreme house DJ shares the top 15 tracks in her live arsenal, whilst chatting about her love for dance music and her rise to stardom in her exclusive Skiddle interview

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 7th Sep 2022

In-demand house DJ and widely-renowned drag queen, Jodie Harsh is no stranger to the UK's electronic music scene. A hugely flamboyant presence within both the queer and dance communities in London, she's hosted a number of popular gay club nights over the past twenty years, including Foreign and Circus. But it wasn't until she decided to take to the decks, and later the studio, that things really began to shift for the 37-year-old artist. 

Now proficient in her trade, her greatly coveted talents have earned her the respect of her DJ peers, who also happen to be some of the biggest names in contemporary dance - the likes of tastemaker, Annie Mac and Phantasy Records boss, Erol Alkan, Norman Cook AKA Fatboy Slim, and many more. Not only that, but they've played a vital role in helping the extravagantly dressed drag diva secure a number of high-profile bookings at some of the world's largest live music events, Creamfields and Elrow Town London Festival being just two of the most recent. 

We caught up with Jodie in her downtime, following what's been an incredibly hectic summer schedule, to chat about her rise to mainstream popularity, her most recent single, 'Shock', and to see which tracks have featured heavily in her live sets this year. Continue down the page to listen to the top fifteen tracks within her arsenal, in her Skiddle exclusive Beats Per Minute playlist, and to read her interview in full...





From taking over the main stage at Britain's biggest dance festival, Creamfields, to becoming the first-ever drag artist to commandeer the airwaves for BBC Radio One - your career thus far has been full of ground-breaking moments. To that end, we want to know what's still left on your list to achieve. What can we look forward to from Jodie Harsh in the years to come? Which barriers will you dismantle next? 

"I've always enjoyed pushing the envelope a little bit and it feels pretty cool to be making waves in an industry that is fundamentally straight, white and male. As a queer person with a pretty in-your-face way of presenting, it feels like I'm fighting the good fight and also seeing what I can get away with as I go along. Hopefully, it all boils down to the music being good and the shows being impactful - but if a bit of queer representation along the way is a by-product then I'm happy with that too." 

"In terms of things left to achieve, I've only really just started to be honest. Time to fuck up some of the big awards shows next, maybe?"



2022 has been a pretty epic year for you, with live performances at open-air events the likes of Mighty Hoopla, the debut edition of Creamfields South and Radio 1’s Big Weekend, not to mention appearances alongside Danny Howard and Becky Hill over in Ibiza. What’s been your personal highlight of the year so far?

"It's been a trip! The best thing about my job is travelling around and connecting with people through music, sharing those real-life moments. This year hit differently because we'd been locked up for a few years prior - there seems to be a big feeling of relief and celebration at all the festivals this summer."



When it comes to DJing, you’re regarded as something of a sought-after name, having played to crowds in cities around the world, including New York and London where you also hold your own club night - ‘Feel It’. Considering all the destinations you’ve played, which nationality of people would you say love to party the most and why?

"I think the Brits do it best, truly - there's nothing like a British music festival crowd for energy levels. I've had some proper mosh pit vibes down the front of some of my shows lately -  like Blink 182 at Woodstock 99 but with better hair."



We are almost certain you’ve seen some sights throughout your time as a DJ - both good and hideously bad. Are there any standout memories that you can share, maybe your worst or greatest live experience? 

"Honestly, I've seen it all. Sex on the dance floor, sex in the DJ booth...but I don't kiss and tell."



We have a habit of asking our in-the-know, Beats Per Minute participants if there are any new and upcoming artists they’re listening to that we should be listening out for, and as a proud figurehead and champion of the LGBTQ+ community, we wanted to know if there any queer or drag DJs in particular who have caught your ear? 

"I DJ a lot with Joshua James, he's the resident at 'Feel It' and is a real house head and aficionado. He's released some really tasty ones lately - a reworking of an old Leigh Bowery track called 'Fist' is a favourite, but maybe not for a family function. I've just been sent his new one, 'Love To Do It' which is on Mella Dee's Warehouse Music label and samples New York vogue legend, Roxy. You'll be hearing loads more from him, he's tearing up a lot of big dance floors."



You’ve recently released future dance anthem, ‘Shock’, a disco-tinged pearler that’s already been setting dance floors alight in clubs and at festivals across the UK. What’s the process behind creating such a track in the studio? And what influences your now signature sound?

"I'm a big Disclosure fan so those boys were definitely an inspiration, their first album. It came together really quickly - I got together with Clementine Douglas, who I write a lot of my songs with, and we bashed out some ideas over the chords and it took shape within an hour or so. I'd wanted to write a song about a sexual moment feeling like an electric shock for a while, so I had a lot of the lyrical ideas down in my iPhone notes. it was a case of sorting through them with Clementine and riffing off it all, and the song felt really finished within sixty minutes! I was on tour with Jessie Ware at the end of last year so I was spending loads of time in hotel rooms, chiselling away at the production. I tend to throw everything at the wall, see what sticks, and then start stripping some stuff away and rearranging. It's a messy way of producing but it seems to work."




You’ve also been seen teaming up with some big names lately, reworking tracks for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Years & Years, Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama, and Sonny Fodera. Can we expect more remixes this year? 

"Honestly, a song has to really stick out for me to want to remix it, I have to have a clear vision of where to take it to feel like it would fit my dance floors and at the same time feel like something a record label would want to release. If I'm a fan of the artist or the song I'll definitely make it work, but otherwise, I'd rather make something new. When you get the stems to something you love and you can start reimagining how the tune could be, it feels like a very fun homework project at school - it's an exciting process and you're proud of what you hand in, but there's a teacher marking you're working so you have to deliver something they want too."



Finally - a tough question to round off - You can choose only one record to play at the end of every set you play this year. What record would that be and explain why you’ve chosen it:

"I try to end my shows with something that moves away from housey beats that we've been hearing for the previous ninety minutes, so something really universally loved with some lyrics that people know is always a nice idea. I used to play Diana Ross's 'The Boss' for the sheer campery but at the moment, it's Shapeshifter's 'Lola's Theme'. One of my favourite tracks, it was everywhere when I moved to London nearly twenty years ago!"




To stay up to date with when and where you can see Jodie performing live in 2022/2023, head to her artist page by clicking or tapping - HERE - and select, 'Track artist'. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.