Interview with Andy Garvey


Andy Garvey

NECTAR Agency, DJ and Radio Host

We spoke to Andy Garvey about her new agency NECTAR promoting industry change for dance music. Andy has become a well respected DJ in Australia and overseas and is now looking to the future for industrial solutions! we salute you Andy and NECTAR team!

Q: Nectar is a very exciting new venture! How do you think it operates differently to other agencies in Australia?

I’m truely stoked with the response to the announce of NECTAR. The team that I work with are an absolute dream, they are Amelia Jenner (FBi Radio, Body Promise), Tia Newling (FBi Radio/Boiler Room) and Jemma Cole (Soft Centre). We all come from slightly different sectors of the Sydney music industry but have inherently the same ideas as to how we’d like to see the industry change. The idea to launch the agency came off the back of our first event that we partnered on in February. A warehouse party with two danish DJs Courtesy and Mama Snake. Coming together as a team we had the time to hang out and really discus what’s going on across the Australian music industry. We all noticed the same patterns and were frustrated by a lot of the same things. NECTAR formed as our contribution to the solution. 

NECTAR as an agency hopes to develop emerging artists and assist them in reaching their artistic goals through mentoring and bookings strategies. We have also launched a new workshop series so that we can support artists outside of our direct roster. Sharing knowledge and experience in an accessible manner is one of our main priorities and I would say is one of our greatest strengths in comparison to other agencies. Our parties are also safe spaces for local music enthusiasts to engage with artists that we admire. It’s a bit of an eco-system and I’m so excited to see where it will lead. 

Q: What would you like to see change within the music industry and the way we are consuming music?

The main thing that I am truely passionate about is the diversity of line-ups. There have been some really amazingly programmed festivals/events recently (shout out Soft Centre, FBi Turns 15, Meredith Music Festival, FOMO) and I really hope the trend continues so it’s naturally what I look for first. The ripple effect from having a diversely programmed event is massive and goes well beyond the actual event. Inspiring the youth that may see an artist that represents them and that they can inspire to be like is invaluable, inimitable and what I hope we continue to reach to achieve. 

Q: What inspired you to be a DJ? How long have you been playing?

I think it came quite naturally for me. I have been pretty much obsessed with collecting music since I was a teenager and owned an iPod. I had a mate who I used to trade songs with on MSN, we were hanging out one day and he asked me if I wanted to have a mix.. I had no idea what that was or how to do it but I was instantly hooked. I remember listening to heaps of mixes as a kid and searching tracklists but at the time never really considering that I could make them for myself.. As soon as I reached a clubbing age I really learnt what a DJ was and my athletic career ended pretty swiftly.. I booked my first show maybe 6 months later after locking myself in my room for a summer mixing music for myself. I was 18 then so about 8 years ago and living in Canberra. 

Q: Tell us about some of your latest touring experiences?

I recently completed my first Australian tour through July and August this year. A highlight of that was the club show that I played in Perth called Turnt Tables. The energy in the room was incredible. I love hearing people making noise while they’re dancing, shouting and having a good time while I play music for them. It was the biggest buzz!! I didn’t really know what to expect from the city as I hadn’t played there before but I’m already gee'd to get back over there!

I also recently played my first European shows last month in London and Berlin. Both shows were very different to each other.. In Berlin I opened a club called OHM and played before the night’s headliner DJ Python. I moved through slow techno, into dub and some broken club music. It was a quite experimental leaning set where I could play around a little more as people slowly filled the club. The London show was the opposite… It was for a record label called Lobster Theremin at Corsica Studios, I had a peak time set in the second room between two of my Australian mates Reptant and Shedbug. This time round I played much faster techno, acid and electro to a full house. Reflecting on that all I can’t even imagine what my 18 year old self would have thought of that…

Q: Does format matter to you?

Format doesn’t really matter to me however I do love buying and owning records. It really feels like that purchase will travel with you if you buy it physically. I buy most of my music digitally at the moment but that’s because I need ALOT of music all the time and buying music online is instant. I still love buying records though more so in record stores or while I am traveling.. 

Q: What happens in the heat of the moment, the mix?

I think I’m quite good now at being able to have my music sorted before a gig so that fluidity and momentum is able to come as easy as possible. I usually have a small folder of ‘wild card’ tracks on hand. These are the one’s I mightn’t have played before but I think could be a bit of a weapon when used at the right moment. I love it when I feel those moments, playing the track and watching for the energy shift in the room, it’s magic!

Q: When you play do feel like you’re sometimes on the other side of the booth?

I think my favourite kind of club set up is one where I walk out feeling like I’ve just played at a house party. Where I am on the same level as the crowd, where I can interact and talk to the people in the front row. I like being playful and sometimes a little silly - I’ll dance around but never too much to break my focus from what I’m technically doing for the crowd. 

Q: I’m sure you and most performers can relate to the feeling of post tour fatigue after supplying so many good vibes this can be energising but also emotionally draining. What do you do to get back on top again?

In the short term (it sounds so simple) but I really have learnt that exercising regularly keeps my body and mind feeling good. Flying really takes it out of me so I usually give myself a day off after a weekend of playing gigs interstate, then drag my arse to an obnoxiously intense work out class the following day. In the long term I’m starting to realise that I do really need some downtime. I’m currently my first planned break of the year, three consecutive weekends off at home. It’s pretty crazy that I haven’t done this sooner but I’m loving it and all ready itching for summer! 

Ella Thompson