Sister Bliss Interview: the quiet moments can be the most powerful!

We catch up with the original clubland chanteuse ahead of her star turn at Shrewsbury Fields Forever.

Jimmy Coultas

Date published: 29th Aug 2013

If you look across the history of dance music you’d be hard pressed finding a group as loved and celebrated as Faithless. Since the mid-nineties their fist pumping riffs have soundtracked dancefloors, festival fields and epochal arenas, whilst their more downtempo grooves were the post club soundtracks for millions. If you’ve ever lost yourself in the bliss of an electronic aural moment, chances are you’ve had Faithless with you at some point in your life.

The band as a fully live machine disbanded recently, but far from the rock n roll cliché of ending spectacularly in acrimonious circumstances there was no fallout – all that love that centred at the heartbeat of Faithless’ music is all very much in place. Sister Bliss took the split as an opportunity to re-focus on her club roots, getting back into the full time swing of DJing as well as a number of other career caveats that the time demands of touring in one of the biggest electronic music groups of all time simply couldn’t allow for.

She’s had a weekly radio show with Ministry of Sound for over a year, and started her own record label Junkdog to support new music (inclduing the killer 'Ima Read' by Zebra Katz, stream it above) as well as her own productions which she has stepped up considerably in recent times. With her due to play at Shrewsbury Fields Forever in a couple of weeks, we caught up with her to see how this new direction was working out, her favourite festival moments over the years, and getting back in the studio with Faithless co-founder Rollo.

Hi Sister Bliss, thanks for speaking to us. You’re playing at the Shrewsbury Fields Festival next month, looking forward to it? 

Yes very much so! It’s a great line up and nice to end the festival season in the UK.  

Why do you think festivals remain such a big part of the UK music loving consensus?

I think they represent value for money in the main- there's nowhere else you can see a huge range of artists in one place for a couple of hundred pounds maximum, and enjoy our Crazy English Summer at the same time into the bargain with a set of like-minded music fiends! 

What has been your favourite Festival memory over the years?

The feeling after headlining the main stage at Glastonbury on the 40th anniversary was a pretty big highpoint, especially as it was the first festival I ever went to as a punter back in 1987 on the Youth CND bus! 

Watching Sinead O'Connor from the side of the stage with Maxi (Jazz) at Sziget festival a couple of years ago, and both of us being moved to tears by her exquisite voice was also another emotional memory. Sometimes the quiet moments can be the most powerful!  

Moving away from the Festivals, you’ve also been pushing out some music for your new record label Junkdog this year. How has that gone for you?

It’s been such a joy to be able to support and develop new talent that I believe in, and also have a home for my own new material going forward. I have a great label manager who also looks after Scuba's Hotflush, so the setup is solid and I'm aiming to put out a compilation in Autumn which is pretty good going for a label that only started in January!

I hope to do some Junkdog parties alongside my new artists, as they are also excellent DJ's and are starting to get London residencies off the back of their releases, which I'm very proud of for such early days. 

You’ve got a track out with Wally Lopez shortly called ‘Dalt Vila’. How much of the northern part of Ibiza town, what the name means, inspired the record?

The title was actually from Wally's original demo, and I felt it had a cool vibe and related to the laid back dreamy musical style of our collaboration, so we decided to keep it once the track was finished. 

Any other production news for us to look forward to?

Yes there's lots more on the way very soon!  

A couple of remixes I'm very proud of forthcoming on Junkdog records, as well as releases from my signings I Said No, OFFSHR and Yoon and a new Sister Bliss track too. 

I'll be premiering everything on my radio show on Ministry of Sound Radio so listen out to hear it first!  

And finally, what else lies in the future for you?

Lots of DJing internationally and studio creativity, (check my fb for all gig details) plus my new project with Rollo is also just getting off the ground.  

I'll also be appearing on a panel at BPM conference in Birmingham on 15th September (a couple of days after Shrewsbury fields) on the subject of women in the music industry- so please come along if you're in the area and interested! 

As well as Shrewsbury Fields Forever, Sister Bliss plays Tremenda this Saturday at Ushuaia Tower alongside Wally Lopez and Anna Tur. Her collaboration with Wally Lopez titled 'Dalt Vila' is out now on Junkdog Records.

You can win entry to this year’s Shrewsbury Fields Forever Festival with our competition – head here.

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