An Interview with Dara Hayes, Artist/Director
- How did you it come about you becoming a D.J?
I started DJing in my bedroom at the age of 19. Soon after that, I entered a competition called YOUR SHOT, which is an Australian run competition that teaches young people how to DJ and perform. I ended up coming second in this competition in 2011 and it gave me a great kick start to the music industry and nightlife.
- What were you doing before you became a D.J and influencer?
Before I was DJing I was in high school. When I left school, I went straight to Sydney University where I studied a Bachelor of Media and Communications with a double major in Marketing and Sociology. While I was studying there, I began to learn to DJ. I managed to finish off my degree before I dedicated my time 100% to music and performance.
- What advice would you give to younger girls trying to make it in the music or social media industry?
Top 5 Tips for The Rising DJ/Musician
YOU GOTTA LOVE WHAT YOU DO: the music industry (just like many other creative industries out there) is super cutthroat and very hard to become established in. You have to love your art over everything else and be passionate enough to continue to strive through the hard times. People are going to tell you that you suck. People are going to say bad things not only about you but also about your art. You have to have thick skin and a deep love for your music.
NETWORK: the music industry is small. VERY small. It’s really important to be kind to everyone and spend the time and effort getting to know the other DJs, managers, booking agents etc.
LOOK AT IT LIKE A BUSINESS: Sure, being paid to party and play music for people is fun! It’s really fun! But if you don’t look at it like a business, it will never become one. Write goals down. Create vision boards. Look up to successful businessmen and women and mould your business off others that you love.
BRANDING IS EVERYTHING: our world (and the online world) is completely over-saturated with everything, including DJs and Music. Spend time working on your brand from a visual perspective, as well as an all-around perspective. Does it work? How does it make people feel? Is it easy to replicate?
BE HONEST, ORGANIC, AND UNIQUE: When I was beginning to DJ, I never really copied anyone or looked up to anyone (females in particular), I just did my own thing, focused on what I loved, and was myself. I think this was the reason as to why, for such a long time, my brand and music grew really quickly. Audiences are really smart and really engaged and they’re able to tell if the person they are looking at isn’t being organic and honest.
- What do you do to relax and chill out?
I love practising yoga at The Collaborative in Maroubra, going for a beach walk or ocean swim, or grabbing a coffee with my girlfriends. It's really important for me to switch off, physically, from social media, technology and the world. I've recently been really trying to be strict in the evenings with my phone and my technology by putting it away or in a different room... 'out of sight, out of mind'.
- Do you have any regrets?
I have things that I would have done differently with the knowledge of hindsight, but ultimately, no regrets. I've learnt so much from all of my mistakes. Some of my biggest learning lessons have been mistakes, and from those mistakes, I have grown and blossomed into a new person.
- What quote do you live by?
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. Buddha
- What are your goals and New Year’s resolutions for 2018?
I don't like the word 'resolution'. Instead, I've set New Year’s Intentions for 2018 which I write in the present tense and associate with powerful emotive words.
- I do everything from a place of loving kindness.
- I meditate and journal; this silent time and reflection provide me with clarity.
- I am grateful for every moment; this brings me great joy.
- I am the creator of my own experience. Through trusting my instinct, I use my energy wisely.
- I remove toxicity from my life whether it be through the removal of technology/relationships/food etc.; through these changes, healthy abundance flows.
- What is the hardest part of doing what you do?
For me, the hardest part about DJing is the late nights and the crazy time schedule. When I was a bit younger (the early 20's), I didn't seem to mind the late nights too much. But now as I start to get a little bit older I notice how much of a toll it takes on my body. Sleep is something that I value and prioritise so much, and when I don't get a full night’s sleep I really notice!
- How long have you been vegan and what inspired you to make the change?
I’ve been vegan for almost two years now and I can honestly say that it was the best thing that I have ever done for myself. It’s changed the way I live, the way I feel, the way that I look at myself and the world around me. It’s changed the way that I consume, I cook, I fuel my body, and the way I am. I’ve come to understand that the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is so true on so many levels. Apart from sleep, food, in my opinion, is the most important thing to focus on when it comes to health and wellbeing. I was inspired to make the change to a vegan lifestyle by many small events, situations, and people over a very long period of time. However, I do remember a pivotal moment, talking to one of my beautiful cousins, Rosie, who had been vegan for years. I remember talking to her and seeing her absolutely glowing with health and life and wanting to emulate everything that she was. She spoke very passionately about veganism, how it's good for your body, for the animals and for the planet, and from that point forward I moved very quickly towards a plant-based diet and never looked back.
- Describe your perfect day
Wake up at 6am and go to a yoga class. Have a coffee with my fellow yogis before hitting the beach for an ocean swim. Home for a big breakfast salad before knuckling down and smashing out my work emails and planning in the morning. After lunch, I like to go to the gym and do a session with my trainer. The afternoons are great for writing music, putting together podcasts, or updating my playlists for my live DJ sets. In the evening I love to switch off by going for a walk with my boyfriend, playing some social oztag, or having dinner and wine with friends or my parents. I love each day to have a good balance of work, play, moving and relaxing. Obviously, every day isn't going to be perfect and like this but being my own manager and running my own business means that most of the time I am in control of my schedule!
Dara Hayes - Artist/Director
Tigerlily Enterprises PTY LTD