Some people are alright with the status quo, unwilling to be the ones to make waves; to pave the way for change. Not Helena. Her dreams and aspirations span so far beyond her own comprehension that superficial barriers aren’t worth stressing over. But don’t let her mindset fool you – Helena has faced her fair-share of challenges beyond what most of us deal with in our entire life. In this age, where gender equality seems a thing of the past, Helena is competing in an industry that is virtually 98% male-dominated. while some may view this as a roadblock, Helena sees an opportunity to go off-roading; paving her own route to success. And even when the road gets rough and most would turn back, the uncharted terrain is no match for the courage and fearlessness that defines Helena.
Many of us are under the impression that our beloved EDM scene is as innovative and all-encompassing as the music is – but that’s where we are so wrong. Helena is constantly fighting to be accepted as a female artist, to be taken seriously, and to be allowed to stand out against the sound of the mainstream. We assume that because there’s so few serious female artists in EDM, it would be a breeze for artists like Helena to advance and get the big bookings. But that is not the case.
“You do have to work harder to prove yourself as a female. I feel I have proved my worth as a DJ, and I am now starting over to prove myself as a producer. There are a huge number of female artists now in this industry, but hardly any on the top level of the scene (within my circle and genre) and you are battling to be let in constantly. Acts like Nervo and Krewella have been amazing for females in the industry, but there needs to be more female presence at these big shows and festivals – and the crowds are also craving it. Promoters need to realize this and start opening up the doors to equality. There are some outstanding female talents out there that can hold their own against any of the top guys.”
And in her efforts to change her future, and the future for females in the industry, Helena has already broken new ground. In Spring of 2013, Helena made Ultra Music Festival history as the first female DJ to ever play UMF’s main-stage. While she is proud of that huge milestone in female and Ultra history, Helena admits there’s still so much work to be done to get more female presence in the industry. Or, at least, the right female presence. The stigma surrounding females is less-than-desirable in the EDM scene. We are classified “party girls” and nothing more. And sadly, the same goes for the females who are breaking through into the industry; Many can’t even be classified as “artists,” which makes the fight for equality, for true artists like Helena, that much more challenging.
“The way I see it, it’s split into two categories. You have some very credible talented female acts who are serious about their music and really do have skill. Then you have the glamour-style acts, like your Paris Hilton‘s and such, who are there to look good and really have no clue what they are doing at all. Unfortunately, these kind of acts tend to get more press and attention than the girls who really deserve it, which ultimately gives females in this industry a bad name across the board. The more girls who break through – who are in it for the right reasons and really know their shit – then this stigma will become a lot less.”
Outside of the gender barriers, there are challenges for all music producers to balance between their original sound and the “popular” sound. It’s high risk to go against the mainstream and create your own unique style of music. And taking a big risk can either mean big payoff, or big failure. As Helena gets more comfortable developing her truly unique sound, she’s proven herself as a DJ with her creativity in mixing, as well as incorporating her own impressive mashups. To put it simply, experiencing Helena live is a one-of-a-kind experience.
“I move with music. My personal tastes on tracks are forever evolving within my overall genre. I’m very conscious right now with my productions; to try and find my true sound and stand out. The tracks I am working on right now, I feel, really represent where I am at right now. As a DJ I am always evolving as well. I can really drop and change the mood very fast these days when required. Some clubbers have such short attention spans, so the ability to read the crowd is crucial. I also make a lot of my own edits and mashups for my sets, so I’m always delivering music in unique way.
Helena, born in the UK, grew up and familiarizes herself as Australian. Home to some of the biggest and best festivals in the world, Australia has also become one of Helena’s major tour stops. And in a few weeks, Helena returns to Australia for the full national tour of Future Music Festival, playing alongside the big names like Deadmau5, Hardwell, and Knife Party. After that, Helena is set for a spring tour in Asia, and let’s not forget the US hot-spots like Vegas, LA, New York and Miami this summer. She also recently signed to a European label, and will be growing her presence there the near future. To us, it seems like a non-stop party for DJs like Helena. But we seem to forget how time-consuming ans isolating touring can really be.
“Most people see you and think one thing, but I guess what they don’t see that I am actually just a geek. I spend hours on end by myself just working away, on my laptop and in studio. I don’t have much of a social life at all as I am either working or travelling. I am very independent – I tour by myself and live by myself, so I am quite a loner really… music is my life! I don’t know really what I would be doing if I wasn’t lucky enough to be doing music, I have worked in music in some form all my working life, I’d be so lost without it.”
Helena values her time she spends on her music, and is all set for 2014 to be her biggest year yet. With some fresh new music on its way out, and a tour schedule set to showcase her talent across the globe, Helena is in for a wild ride. But with each progressive step forward, Helena’s got her eyes on the next one. She’s grateful and proud of her achievements, but doesn’t let it get in thew way of continuing to move forward. Instead, she sets the bar even higher for herself.
“Production-wise, I have been working really hard in the studio lining up solid tracks for 2014. My current track I am finishing up features vocals from one of the biggest house vocalists of our time, I am so in love with this track, I’m really excited to get it released. My goals with my music this year is to be working with my favorite labels including Spinnin, Size and Protocol so that is what I am aiming for.”
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Helena, it’s that she is resilient. As a pioneer for females in the electronic music industry, Helena takes each new challenge head-on, and won’t stop until she comes out a champion. And though there have been others before her paving the way, Helena pays it forward by breaking even more new ground for those to come after. And with a determined and eager mindset, Helena is the girl that will get exactly what she wants.
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