Andy Garvey is a name a lot of you may already know. Be it from working with FBi Radio in a number of areas to becoming a go-to DJ in the Sydney club circuit, the 24-year-old, Canberra-born selector is now the muscle behind triple j’s Mix Up and Friday Mix.
As one of the most important roles in Australian dance music, we decided to catch up with Andy and learn more about her; where she is from, her musical tastes and what the role as producer requires of her.
Prepare yourself for some red-hot banter:
Stoney Roads: Hey Andy, thanks for catching up with us. Can you firstly tell us a little about yourself? Where’d you grow up?
Andy: Hey Doodz, I’m a virgo, I can’t eat crunchy food and if you call me on my day off I’m most likely in my bedroom obsessing over some 909 kick drum. I moved to Sydney from Canberra for uni, to get amongst the big city life and to try avoid becoming a public servant – haha.. Bit of a fail on that front. I love Sydney though, I spent the last two years working for the Future Classic dream team – it was a huge decision to leave that job but I’m really excited to be where I am right now!
SR: When did you move to Sydney? What were your plans when you got here?
A: I’ve been kicking around Sydney for the last 4 years. I didn’t have a huge plan when I got here but I knew that I wanted to work ‘in music’. I spent a heap of time working out what that actually meant. I first interned at Ableton Liveschool – then Astral People – a little while later I found a slot manning the reception desk at FBi Radio which gave me my first foot in the door at a radio station and was how I first got connected with Future Classic.
SR: Can you give us a run down of your job at triple j? what is the official title and what does the job entail?
A: I’m the ‘Producer of Mix Up and the Friday Mix’ – I’m in at the station two days a week curating the DJ mixes, and making sure you know what’s on each week! I’m on air too – introducing each mix and keeping you listening throughout the show
SR: You’ve come a fair way since manning the reception desk at FBi – what were you doing in the mean time?
A: I started manning the desk after a failed attempt at presenter training, which I now view as a blessing in disguise. I spent about six months on the front desk and in the music library and then was offered the job producing the Stolen records on Sunset with Shantan and Mike Who. I learnt so much while I was working with those two and when presenter training came back around I made the cut! From there you could hear me every Monday morning from 1-6am fumbling my way through the pre-programmed ‘Allnighter’ show. Finally I caught my first break and was offered a host job on Spin the Bottle with my then side-kick Johnny Lieu.
After a while I was also offered a job also producing the Future Classic show – which meant that I was hanging with legends Chad Gillard and James McInnes in the studio each week. When they got too busy I stepped up as a co-host of that show too. So I was somehow presenting dance music radio every Friday and Saturday night on FBi Radio for about a year. The Future Classic show wrapped up mid 2016 and that’s when I launched my own show ‘Pure Space’ which I’m lucky to still be hosting each week!
SR: So you’ve had a fair bit of radio experience then, was radio always something you wanted to get involved in or did you sort of just fall into it?
A: I definitely fell into it. Being heaps honest I used to be really self conscious about my voice! It was really high pitched in high school and although I owned that (bullies are legit losers), it was something that I didn’t think I would ever make a career off! I had singing lessons through my high school years legit to try and get more control over my voice (sounding like a 8 year old when your 15 isn’t really ideal) .. I guess it worked.
SR: As a DJ, I’m sure you have your go-to, preferred genres of dance music. Does that make the job harder at triple j?
A: I don’t think so – I’m definitely a house / techno specialist but I also know where to look to find all kinds of club music. Being part of the A&R team at Future Classic had me looking all across the internet for good music – I’ve got my own taste but I also know what’s up across the board.
SR: Despite all your radio and DJ experience, taking the reins at triple j for Mix Ups is a whole different beast. Do you ever stop and think ‘shit, there are a lot of people listening right now’?
A: Haha that is the last thing I would do!!! *freezes in a ball of anxiety* I actually try and pretend I’m just talking to one person – someone who likes music but might now know much about the music they’re listening to. That seems to also make sure I’m not getting too nerdy because that’s boring to most people.
SR: For someone who is constantly churning through electronic music now, what are some pointers for up and coming producers? What do they need to bring to the table in order to get radio play?
A: Be a part of the community that you want to have support from! If you want to book a show – throw a party, and book some of your favourite DJs to play too! Hand your music to the music director of the station you want to play your tracks. Be personable, professional and above all A NICE PERSON 🙂
So now you know Andy Garvey! Be sure to tune into triple j on the weekends for a healthy dose of dance, curated weekly by Andy for your ears.