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Chloe Robinson AKA Barely Legal is one of those DJs that's known for being a pure selector. You never quite know what you're going to get from a Barely Legal set, but it's a pretty safe bet it'll be bassy and full of energy.

Her brand, Pretty Weird, will be hosting a stage at The Ministry of Sound Weekender this weekend, where she'll play alongside High Contrast, DJ Hype and Just Geo. In aide of this auspicious occasion, we thought we should get to know her a little better.

Chloe's called London her home for most of this decade, but she's originally a Birmingham native, so we decided to take a trip back to her home town. Our destinate was Grange Live Gaming, the city's premiere rage room. If you haven't been to a rage room before, it's basically a room where you get to act out that scene from Office Space where they smash up the printer with a baseball bat.

How did you enjoy the rage room?

It was lots of fun. I’m a very chilled person; I don’t have much anger. It was quite fun smashing stuff- I’m quite weak, but I got into it.

 

Did you find it therapeutic?

I arrived in quite a happy mood, so I guess I just stayed happy. I can see how it could be therapeutic. It was definitely a good experience.

 

 

We’re here in Birmingham, how much did the city shape your music taste.

I grew up here with my mum, who was always listening to Garage music loud, like all night till 4 am (might have got that slightly wrong- but late). Because of that, naturally I found it quite annoying as a genre, then when I got to the age of about 9, I started feeling it. I got into Grime when I was about 14 and fell in love with that- I became a proper Grime-head. Grime at the time was more of a London thing, although there were/ are some really good MCs from Birmingham that I still listen to now. It wasn’t until I moved to London that I listened to more varied electronic music.

 

When did you move to London?

I moved to London around 2009 when the Croydon dubstep sound was popping and that’s when I started going out a lot. I got really into bass music and future garage, that plus 2011-2013 was probably my favourite time for music.

How did you get into mixing?

It was my second year of uni, and I got told to buy some decks because I needed a hobby. I was at uni, and I was working quite a lot part-time. I was also going out a lot and just misbehaving. I was already collecting records at the time and would go out to specific parties to see specific DJs so as a hobby it made sense- the passion and music knowledge was there.

 

Where were you going?

I was a regular at Plastic People. I would go to Rinse’s night, FWD>>. It would start at 10 pm, and I’d be there every Thursday at 9:30. It was only 100 capacity, so if you didn’t get there early, you wouldn’t get in. I also went to a night called Some NIght at The Den Tottenham Court Road every Wednesday, I went to a lot of the Boiler Rooms too. They’d do the streams at Corsica and I lived next door to there so I’d go to all of them. I’d go to parties on my own because I was so into the music and one of my friends suggested I buy some decks to give me something to focus on.

Then things blew up when you recorded your first mix, right?

I recorded my first mix and put it on SoundCloud. It did really well. Within a day of making the SoundCloud and uploading the mix, it had over 500 plays just from people sharing on Facebook. One of my friends messaged me and said MistaJam was looking for people to send in mixes for his BBC show and mentioned he'd yet to have a females mix aired for this specific segment so she said I should send mine in.

 

Can you remember what happened once you sent it in?

They didn’t get back to me for a couple of months and then a producer got in touch, they asked me to record another mix as the original wasn’t exclusive by this point. So, I recorded a new one, and they aired it. I was lucky time-wise because just as that mix went out, he started a new segment where he’d have a crew of resident DJs do an hour mix each day. He invited me to be one of the first residents, and I stayed on the show for two years. This was all within six months of recording that first mix.

 

 

Wow, things moved very quickly.

Yeah, I was so lucky with timing, and the exposure really helped me get out there. I was recording a 1-hour mix every two weeks for national radio; it honed my skills a lot.

 

That’s crazy, were you nervous about accepting the residency?

At first, I was a bit sceptical. I had just got into DJing, and I was still at uni and everything. I didn’t know if I was ready for it. My best friend, Chimpo, who’s been an amazing mentor, told me I had to just do it. The routine was good for me as it kept me on top of new music and helped me discover loads of new artists.

You’ll be playing for Ministry of Sound Weekender this weekend, where your brand, Pretty Weird will have its own stage. Who have you got on the lineup?

Yeah, I can’t wait. We’ve got High Contrast, DJ Hype, Fabio and Grooverider, Kyrist and Just Geo.

 

Have you played a Weekender before?

Yeah, I played one of the Bugged Out! Weekenders. I was playing, and my ex was getting in the way. When I’d finished my set he was in a really bad way – he’d taken four tabs of acid during my set for some reason, and the Butlin’s carpet was legit bugging him out. He freaked out and ran off. I lost him for about seven hours, and apparently he’d been bugging out in a bush for most of the time.

What’s a typical Pretty Weird night sound like?

I always book acts that I respect – whether it’s their selection, or production, or DJ skills. It’s always people I’d personally pay to see as a raver. It’s all been really vibsey – good music, good energy.

 

Are there any stand out Pretty Weird shows?

I did a Berlin show with 6 Figure Gang, who are a collective of six girls who are amazing selectors. It’s Sherelle, L U C Y, Jossy Mitsu, Yazzus, Dobby and Fauzia. That was cool.

 

 

After The Ministry of Sound Weekender, where are you taking Pretty Weird next?

I’m in talks with some festivals at the minute, so we should have a big year in 2020.

 

Finally, I read that when you were a teenager Steveo from Jackass was your hero and you used to film stunts with your friends. Can you remember any of them?

We didn’t do anything as out there as Steveo, that’s for sure. We’d film ourselves jumping out trees, but we wouldn’t film the ground, so it looked a lot higher than it was. We’d eat cat food; we’d pull moonies from the back of the bus. I got pushed down a hill in a trolley, lost control and crashed into a bus. Our stunts weren’t very good; we were probably just really annoying!

 

Barely Legal will play The Ministry of Sound Weekender on 22nd November on the Pretty Weird Stage alongside High Contrast, DJ Hype and Just Geo.

 

Follow Barely Legal: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud

 

About the author

Matthew Francey

Managing Editor.

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