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DJing is as much an art from, as it is entertainment; finding the right records to move the dancefloor is one thing, but giving audiences something to take away from the experience is quite another. Katie Drover knows how to take people to that next level. In the 5 years since her first professional gig, the rising Melbourne DJ star has injected her performances with a captivating energy and passion that’s made her an immediate standout in a city already blessed with incredible vinyl-spinning talent.
A prodigious musical talent, Drover immersed herself in music from an early age, playing piano and saxophone and having a strong passion for classical music and jazz & blues. Katie’s insatiable musical hunger meant she’d soon discover a liking for Lounge, Trip Hop and Acid Jazz, revelling in the likes of Tricky and downbeat masters Portishead and Massive Attack.
In 1998 as a 16 year old, Drover’s desire to have her own proper slice of the dance music action led her to sneak into infamous suburban club Wild Bills, where veteran DJ Ivan Gough would regularly spin. Legendary techno club Teriyaki was also on the Katie’s hit list around this time. But like so many Generation Y DJs, Carl Cox sealed the deal for her in 2001, with a blistering set at the 2001 Big Day Out.
Once she’d hit legal age, Drover scored herself a job working in the cloak room of the newly opened Room 680. Every Saturday night she’s soak in the sounds of Melbourne luminaries Sean Quinn, Kasey Taylor and Sam Fraser. She was hooked. After moving in with a DJ in early 2002, the music-mad girl nagged her room mate to show her the ropes and by September this year she was playing her first gig at Room.
With a natural flair for blending a divergent array of sounds into one seamless flow, Katie’s impact was instantaneous. Encompassing the full breadth of the house genre ? from tech, minimal, deep, disco and electro ? she’d drop it all, drawing influence from everyone from Billie Holiday and Charles Orf, to Felix Da Housecat, Derrick Carter and DJ Shadow.
A favourite amongst Melbourne’s punters, Katie currently holds an enviable list of residencies, knocking out the goods at One Six One, Mixed Messages, Mink, The Lounge and Melbourne’s biggest Saturday night club, Famous. Her ever-growing popularity also ensures she’s a regular at Revolver, Tickled Pink, Room, The Saint and Revival, with massive appearance at Godskitchen in 2006 ensuring she has the dancefloor’s seal of approval.
Her big name support slots are no less impressive, having been billed alongside the likes of Roger Sanchez, Princess Superstar, Felix da Housecat, Nick Warren, Paolo Mojo, Steve Porter and Sebastien Leger to name just a few. A recent gig support slot alongside German legends Spirit Catcher at One Six One was a massive career highlight.
An artist whose passion for dance music spreads far and wide, Katie also hosts ‘The Halfway Show’ on Kiss FM every Wednesday at 2pm, alongside Sam Fraser and Keltec, with the trio dropping the finest homegrown and international slices of dance each week. Drover also contributes monthly mixes to Luke Chable’s Melburn FM show on Proton Radio (protonradio.com).
At just 25 years of age and still very much in the infancy of her career, few would disagree that the sky’s the limit for Katie Drover. With production being next on her list of things to conquer, her stubborn determination to succeed will no doubt see her break boundaries on and off the dancefloor.