Hong Kong-born, London-based Eurasian DJ Janette Slack is a regular workaholic. When she’s not DJing at the infamous Torture Garden party in London (where she’s been resident for 6 years) or touring the world with her unique sound – a blend of progressive house with rock, funk and big beat – she can be found on TV, both presenting and being featured. She’s won awards, including most recently the Pink Armada Best European Female DJ award.
And, in addition to her collaborations, she’s a favourite of London’s edgiest fashionistas who regularly custom-design outfits for her.
Slack left Hong Kong over 12 years ago, but she’s still surprised by the energy here. “Before I left, the majority of the clubs didn’t exist!” Even though she rarely spends time here, she still manages to do a little DJing on the sly: “A couple of years ago, I was free on New Year’s Eve for the first time in 14 years. We ended up in Homebase, and the DJ who was on next texted me to say he was stuck in traffic and asked me to cover for him! So I ended up playing a set there!”
Hong Kong also provided Slack with her first break. “I met DJ Kulu when I was a teenager and he gave me my first flying job. He’s so friendly and approachable to everyone he meets.” But other Hong Kong DJs also made their mark. “Jamming with DJ Christian was good training. He can turn a track you don’t like into a track you love by mixing it up at the right time – that’s a proper DJ!”
Playing at Torture Garden has exposed her to some extreme acts. ‘“Girls bathing in pig’s blood, people hammering nails into their nose, X-rated performance art – I’m pretty numb to it. But drunken fights still spin me out.” Behind all the craziness in her life, she reckons her friends know her as an energetic goof-ball and her self-assessment captures her joyfulness: “My music is cheeky, chunky, twisted and demented. As a person, I am all those too. Except chunky.”