‘Something’ Wicked This Way Comes - Maneki Get Acquainted With Something Something
If you haven’t already read our Hospitality On The Beach Review, you can do so here! We had an absolutely wicked time in Croatia but the work doesn't stop for us….not even when I get 9 insect bites in a single evening. Aside from dancing our way through a fresh pair of Primark ankle socks every night, we met some truly fantastic characters abroad. One of whom was Steffi Schulz, AKA Something Something, the hip, fun loving German D&B purist who came out of nowhere to dominate the DJ competition; going on to play a smash set on the final day at the Olive Grove and earn her place in the Hospital Records history books.
I dived in to grab the first interview with this rising star in the scene following her success and got the chance to discuss her Drum & Bass roots, her inspirations and where she aims to go next. You’ll also find her set from the festival linked below so you can let her put her mixing where her mouth is after you’ve learnt a bit about the next big ‘something’ in DnB.
So what was the scene like growing up in Germany?
‘Well as you could have probably guessed it was non-existent! I grew up in a small village near the border with the Czech Republic where there wasn't really any music at all. My friends just listened to chart music which I could just never get in to. Come to think of it I don’t think I even think I truly enjoyed going out on nights out until I had discovered the right music’
Did you not even hear DnB until you had left Germany?
'Actually, strangely enough, even though I lived in London and New York, I did actually hear it for the first time in Germany! I was about 17, I was working at this tiny festival near my hometown where I first heard it. I remember walking past this music tent quite late at night and I could hear this music that was just unlike anything I had ever come across before. I just felt like I had to dance to it! I went inside and there was this guy and I asked him what it was and he told me it was Shy-FX! I woke up the next day and looked up Shy-FX and from then on I was hooked on Drum and Bass!’
In which case you must be Shy-FX’s biggest fan then?
‘Yes and no because I love his music but I kinda stumbled across this whole huge genre and I just kind of had to have it all at once and I think that comes across a lot in how I play. I don’t want to be a DJ that plays just one kind of, or listens to just one kind of D&B, I want to try and be as versatile as possible, like I love finding and playing not necessarily unknown tracks, but stuff that is a bit different to what you might hear otherwise’
Having said that though there must be some artists that have influenced you throughout the years?
‘Wow I mean yes of course but it is sooooo difficult to try and pick out specific names. I mean Hospital has always been big to me. Like I got into D&B properly about 9 years ago and my first rave, about 8 years ago was actually a Hospitality one that falls on almost exactly the same day as when I won the competition at HOTB….crazy I know! So because of how big the label is, I was listening to a lot of Hospital artists back then. I remember I listened to a lot of Metrik and Dany Byrd, I mean ‘Ill Behaviour’ just has to go down as one of my all-time faves! And I’ve always really liked SPY too and I used to listen to a lot of Camo & Crooked’s older stuff back when I was listening in the UK. Other than that I would say I just use my ears you know? Especially now, I just hear a tune and I fall in love and then I play it to death and I can’t wait to show my friends too.’
So what did it feel like coming from hearing DnB in that tent to winning the competition?
‘Oh my god it was like unreal, I have been a listener for so long and I actually was only supposed to stay at the festival until the weekend but then I saw the competition and just had to give it a shot! So, I rebooked my flights to enter and just went there with a real goal of showing what I was made of and trying to win it. Then when I won and then played the set it was just overwhelming, I couldn't stop smiling it was one of the happiest moments of my life!’
What was the toughest challenge about it for you?
‘Probably the nerves for sure! Before the competition I had only been mixing for about 3 months, which isn't a long time. I have been really going for it, like just playing for hours and hours on end but I had only played 4 gigs before and only to very small crowds, so going from that to being in the ring with another DJ and loads of people watching was a big step up for me! Like it was all so new to me that I didn't know what to expect. For example in the first heat, I showed up with more or less my whole set ready in my head, but then I saw that people were really going for it and that I would need to switch things up so I had to totally improvise my heat! Then when I won, I was so nervous about playing in front of that many people that I could hardly sleep the night before.’
There was a big drive for ‘Women in D&B’ at HOTB this year, when you won did you think you know, I’m doing it for the girls here?
‘A little, but not really it didn't even cross my mind to be fair, I was more just doing it for me and because I believed in myself but I have to say after I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of support, especially from females, that I was getting. There were lots of girls at my set and that felt really good, like things are getting better and more girls are getting in to Drum & Bass’
So I have to ask, as it wasn't until then that I heard your DJ name, why ‘Something Something’?
‘It’s very meta right! To be honest, trying to think of my DJ name was one of the hardest parts about starting up really! So many of them are taken and I didn't want to just do a variation of my name...especially since Steffi is already a big Techno DJ from The Netherlands. Actually, I struggled for ages and then my boyfriend was saying ‘something something’ when he was trying to come up with names and then it just hit me then, and now I am Something Something!’
So then Something Something, what do you think the future holds and what are you hoping will happen?
‘I really just want to play more live sets now! I had such a great time I don’t want to end! I was actually given my first proper gig by somebody who approached me asking me to feature one of his tracks in my set; which I did! Also, I have had a radio station in New York from near where I used to live get in touch and ask about me doing a live mix and an interview when I next go over there. However, like I say I really just want to play out as much as possible. I work as a teacher so I get to spend my time teaching kids which is amazing but I just love the personal element of DJing and how people come to listen to your music and your story personally. Doing it full time would be a dream, but I need the bookings first!’
If you were stranded on an island and you could only have one song with you...what would it be and why?
‘A Little Bit Of Luck by DJ Luck And MC Neat. I know it seems so strange to hear that from a German D&B fan who lives in Wales and dog sits part-time but it is just such an iconic song! It is just so unique and I think it is just one of those songs that is so many things at once. Like you could listen to it whilst chilling out but you could also lose your shit to it at a rave!'
If you were an animal behind the decks what animal would you be?
‘So my favourite animal is a Giraffe but I don't think I have the height to be that so I would probably have to be a Monkey. You know because I’m quite cheeky and I move around a lot but I can occasionally look a little bit nervous and awkward!’
Well there you have her, Something Something, and hopefully, that will not be the last time you hear her name! She might be releasing a little surprise onto our Frequencies series and you can listen to her incredible set from HOTB! One thing is for sure, let’s hope this is not the last something that we hear from this rising new talent!