Roxy Burt is an artist in every sense of the word and one of the important pieces of the new puzzle within the Brisbane music community. For those who don’t know, let me bring you up speed – Roxy is the founder of Cheated Hearts and beyond being the head honcho who takes care of all the bookings, event organisation and promo, Roxy is also the resident DJ and she makes one hell of a mixtape.
The art of DJ’ing I must admit is foreign to me but I’ve always held the purveyors of it in high esteem because I truly believe it takes a creative soul and progressive mind to be a great understander of what will make people move. To me, the process still has the same required discipline that any songwriter or artist needs in order to connect with an audience and to also continue to evolve the process and craft.
This was what I was most interested to find out when I spoke to Roxy about her process and the club night, Cheated Hearts, which she founded. Here is the result of my little phone Q&A:
As a DJ what goes into making a good mix for you?
“For me I try to concentrate on the selection being well known enough for people but it is generally songs that I really love and in turn I hope that other people will love them as much as I do. There is no particular emotional meaning to the mixes I just want the songs to make people dance. A lot of the times you have look for things that are different, especially the re-mixes. You have to hunt for a good re-mix. I love finding a good re-mix and the way it can take a familiar piece of music into a different context. It’s an amazing feeling when people respond to you as a DJ; it is such an addictive art form. It was something that I fell into though, it was by pure accident”
How did you get into DJ’ing and what how did you arrive at Cheated Hearts?
“I was living in Sydney and I went to an Indie night similar to Club Blink but they didn’t play any of the stuff advertised. This is something I pointed out to the DJ and from this observation; I was asked if I wanted to DJ, so of course I said yes. So anyway, I go back a week later rock up an hour before I go on and was showed how to use the equipment and managed to play for a couple of hours, it was awesome. After that I became a resident DJ at that venue, for around six months or so, and I also did some gigs at the Annandale hotel and Kings Cross and various parties.
In terms of this leading to Cheated Hearts, I have been running events for the last six years. I started on the Sunny Coast due to a lack of club nights available in that area. Unfortunately the venue we were using had to close down so I had to start again in Brisbane. First thing I did in Brisbane was at the Step Inn and it was called Pistol Whipped which then changed venues and went to Uber at West End and then from here I started up Show Your Bones which was a mix of bands, DJ’s and focused on the queer scene, my main focus was creating an alternative queer dance club, so this night happened at the Basement and then the Wickham but it got put on hold. From here the Electric Bloom opportunity came up and although it didn’t go to plan I decided that I just wanted to go back to basics with my queer party idea and that is how Cheated Hearts was born and so far it has been going for three months.”
With such a competitive marketplace how do you keep Cheated Hearts fresh and separate from the other club nights?
“There isn’t anything like Cheated Hearts in Brisbane and when it comes to other queer club nights, they all play similar music. Me and my friends we all listen to lots of different music and when we go out we go to places like RICS which is a great place to hang out and the music on offer is so great. When I started Cheated Hearts I wanted it to be an alternative to other queer dance parties and focus on the kind of music that isn’t played at your typical queer club and although your other more traditional alternative night clubs are awesome places sometimes my queer friends may not have felt as comfortable expressing themselves within that venue, so Cheated Hearts also gives them that space to feel comfortable and to obviously have a hell of a good time.
For me it was about having a mixture of fashion and art and was basically having it be different from anything that was around. People seem to understand what is going on with Cheated Hearts and so far we have had quite a successful run.”
What can we expect in terms of the evolution and the future of Cheated Hearts?
“We are looking to do a few collaboration nights with similar clubs in Sydney and Melbourne, sort of like a VS night and we are looking at doing some band nights but maybe focussing on some more electronic artists. We’re also organising some warehouse parties but I’m not sure if cheated hearts will be involved in that, but we’ll see.”
After spending time chatting to Roxy it is incredibly obvious that she is a truly progressive force within the Brisbane music community who is looking to push the boundaries of not only DJ culture but of the alternative club night scene as a whole. I walked away from the conversation feeling inspired that we have such an intelligent and thoughtful mind pushing for a better future for alternative dance club culture. Roxy is invested in the history of music and has a healthy respect for it. She is turned on by so many different sounds and genres and I really loved hearing just how diverse her taste in music is.
You’d be a fool not to invest in the Cheated Hearts brand because it is only going to grow and rise to be an incredibly vital part of the Brisbane music community with its mix of both arty and party in an environment that strives to provide a comfortable space for equality to dance its dance and for anyone and everyone to express themselves at maximum levels. These are the kind of cultural movements that make me excited to be a part of the art world.
So stop being a bummer and get along to Cheated Hearts, you won’t be disappointed.
P.S. Roxy Burt is a real Kool Thing – make sure you check out her DJ skills