Making Friends With is a new series were we get to know DJs in some of their favourite hangouts.
Most DJs, having come straight off stage, are inclined to drink what's left of their rider and sneak out for a dance.
Not B. Traits. Straight after her 8pm set at Oasis Festival in Marrakesh, she sat down with us in the blissful surroundings of a spa-cum-media centre, to talk animatedly about Morocco's burgeoning nightlife scene, and its sad comparison with London.
MoS: Is this your first time in Morocco?
B. Traits: Yeah! There’s quite a few locals, which is really cool, because when you have a line up like this one, you expect there to be quite a few UK tourists. Someone came up to me and recognised me, and they were from here. I was like ‘holy shit, I have a fan here’. How cool is that? It’s really nice they have a festival here like this, and that they have the opportunity to do something quite different. The venue is amazing, I couldn’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to chill here.
Did you cater your mixing to what you thought people wanted to hear?
I watched Midland played the 8 'o clock set yesterday, so I knew when the sun was going to go down. I was thinking about the beginning of my set, and what I was going to do with it. I kind of changed the vibe from when I started, which was almost mellow. As we went further into the darkness, my music did the same. It was nice to do that journey. I love playing sunset and sunrise sets, and today was that perfect opportunity, and it went so well. Sometimes I can’t believe it.
There seems to be a burgeoning scene in Morocco. It seems to all be happening here, though it seems to be going the opposite way in London.
It is. I'm doing a BBC Radio 1 documentary that will be airing on Tuesday night on both 1xtra and Radio 1, and from 9.30 we’ll have a live panel discussion about the future of London’s nightlife. It’s touching on fabric, but it’ll also be talking about keeping our cultural institutions alive, and also touching on harm reduction, which is a big deal.
Why is this an issue you chose to get behind?
As a DJ, I think it’s to an extent my responsibility to keep your patrons, fans and family safe. No one wants something wrong to happen at their gig. Being from Canada, we have drug testing at loads of the festivals. I don’t understand why the in UK - where we have some of the biggest festivals - the conversation isn't a little more open?
Recreational drugs are in the UK right now, and their strengths are so varying, you’re getting stuff that is way stronger than in the past 10 years. These really young kids, who we have no control over, are always going to experiment. The best thing we can do is to make the environment that they are experimenting in safer, so that in case anything does go wrong, it’s there for them.
For example, if there was drug testing at fabric, and they found pills that were really really fucking strong, they could have put notices up all over the venue right away. They could say “if you took one of these, go and get some help. Tell someone you’ve taken them. If you start feeling shitty, this is where you should go.” Just having that information is really important. When people see that, they consider what they’re doing a bit more. It’s giving the user, or the potential user, that moment of consideration. It becomes less of a 50/50 chance if they’re going to take it, or not take it.
When it comes to the panel are you posing the questions are you posing the questions or providing the answers?
I’m strictly a participant, not a moderator, so I’ll be trying to answer questions and probably being a voice for the opinion. Probably being a bit argumentative- or maybe not!
How do you feel about the future of nightlife in London?
Talking to Cameron Leslie [manager of fabric], the way they’re approaching the appeal is that they have nothing to lose. There’s loads of information that they’re going to put into it that we’ve never heard yet, and their mentality is going in all guns blazing. They’re going to give it their all. Even if they don’t get to re-open fabric, at least this is going to spark conversation, or change the future for London nightlife in terms of harm reduction. He really feels that, so that’s really positive. Now is a good time to stand up and represent this kind of thing, everyone is watching. Politicians are watching, they’re paying attention to this kind of thing. It’s a really good time for anyone with a voice to stand up and say something.