Or: la: live the dream | DJMag.com

At the 2021 edition of DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards, the public voted Gold: UK’s best DJ from a list of DJ Mag nominees. She now joins the ranks of other Best DJ winners, nominated alongside heavy hitters like Andy C, SHERELLE, Eats Everything and DJ EZ. Considering that Or: la won the Breakthrough DJ category at Best of British just five years ago, that is a testament to how shiny his star is right now.

Or: the is thoughtful and particular. She speaks in a soft Derry tune, her gaze emerging from a tuft of curly brown hair. Dooley recently moved to London, which she appreciates, except for the mysterious clicking sound coming from the apartment below, which disturbed her sleep. Surprisingly enough, during our conversation over tea and cookies, the landlady informs us that the apartment has been vacant for some time, leaving Or: la looking horrified.

Perhaps rightly so for someone attuned to the spiritual, Or: la grew up on Inch, a small island on the Irish border in County Donegal, on a rugged, cinematic stretch of coastline known as from Wild Atlantic Way. Unsurprisingly for an island of less than 500, it grew up surrounded by “wild birds, meadows, marshes and lakes,” and its closest neighbors were a waterfowl sanctuary. Dooley credits his distance education for activating his imagination at a young age.

“It really allowed me to be creative,” she says. “I guess boredom is important in that sense?” I’m sorry for the teenagers today who can’t reach this place of utter boredom, because they’re constantly entertained by TikTok, or whatever – because a lot of creativity can come from this place.

Hungry for entertainment, she and her siblings turned to music to keep themselves busy. Their early designs were heavily influenced by ‘country and western vibes’ – a genre still popular in rural Ireland – but their first musical love came in the form of the duo’s 1999 UK garage hit ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’. short-lived musical Shanks. & Bigfoot. She remembers hearing it on the radio and cycling around her yard in excitement.

“I remember thinking it was unlike anything I had ever heard before,” Dooley says. “After that I forgot that song for a long time, then the whole garage revival came back; it made me realize that I can really relate this song to the kind of music and sounds that I enjoy right now. Like, it’s always been there.

At the age of 13, Dooley moved from the idyllic Inch to more urban Derry to attend school. In Northern Ireland, schooling is still largely segregated on religious and cultural grounds, with 93% of children in Northern Ireland attending denominational schools. Moving to an area with more schools that match your family background is a fairly common experience.

Dooley attended a Catholic convent school, which she hated. As a then-closed queer young woman, she was frustrated by the Church’s outspoken antagonism towards the LGBTQ + community, and as a member of a non-religious family, her school’s religious bent left her isolated. . Upon entering school on Monday morning, she was instructed by her teachers on the content of the Sunday Mass sermon; his friends whispered the answers to him.

Years later, under the name d’Or: la, she would channel that rebellious spirit into the programming of her own gay-friendly club nights, a business she poignantly describes as “an antidote to shame and to the programming I’ve developed in the closet, and a way to unleash the power of that shame.

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