Having recently returned to her native Australia after six years in Berlin, Michelle Owen seems a woman renewed. She’s reconnected with her family, her home, and found a new passion for the sea and outdoors, and of course, her creativity.
Though that doesn’t mean her time in the world’s techno capital was fruitless – far from it. During her time here she gigged at the likes of Panorama Bar and Watergate, while working Native Instruments, Beatport and Pioneer Radio, and producing lauded records like the 2010 ‘What’s In A Name?’ with James Flavour, released on Dirt Crew.
Though it was her Moodmusic single “Perchance To Dream” that solidified her reputation for the soulful touch. The track went on to top the Beatport and Traxsource charts, seeing support from heavyweights like Luke Solomon, Shonky, Deetron, Ewan Pearson, and even garnering a remix from Chicago house luminary Chez Damier.
More recently, she’s relaunched her lifestyle website, Almost Real, and is settling back into the Oz way of life, with new EPs on Moodmusic and Flashmob in the pipeline, plus pelnty of global festival appearances on the way. We catch up, and she delivers an hour of deep, soulful house.
You returned to Sydney about a year ago after a lengthy stint in Berlin. What are you enjoying about being back home and what do you miss about Berlin? I’m enjoying the good weather. The sun, beaches, swimming, yoga, happy people and great food! My family and long time friends are based here. I do miss Europe and traveling. I don’t really miss Berlin except for the fabulous friends I made there. I love Berlin but I feel I outgrew it and want to explore other parts of the world. I can se myself living in Barcelona, Bali and Hong Kong or Bangkok in the future.
How did living in Berlin further shape you as a DJ? It did so much. I had the time to produce music, play gigs, meet industry and make new friends.
You have a few other artistic endeavors aside from electronic music. Can you tell us about those? Almost Real started in Berlin from an international perspective, but I found it hard to create original content there. Once I returned to Sydney, I launched it again in May 2014 from an Australia/Asia perspective. I love to meet other humans that are driven by passion. That’s essentially what it’s about. Finding creative and adventurous people that do what they want, not what’s expected. AR is telling their story through photography and interview. It’s also a platform for my photography. I have my first group show at the Tic Taco exhibition at The Beach Burrito Bondi on Tuesday, 17th February. It’s the first of many events that kicks off VANS Bowl-A-Rama Bondi 2015 – lot’s of skaters and photographers showcasing their work.
What’s on the cards for you in 2015? Can we expect any new productions? Yes, I have some great projects launching – new releases on Moodmusic and Flashmob Records. I will be back to Europe in June to play at Sonar, Watergate and Felix Da Housecats new night BLACKKOUT at Bloc, Barcelona plus more…
Highlight of 2014? Definitely living in the Maldives for 3 months. I was a resident DJ for W Hotel. It was life changing. Being close to nature like that was truly humbling; it made me realize when times are tough just go hang out with the palm tress and the sea and you will find your balance in life again. It replaced some shitty memories with bloody great new ones. I got my PADI scuba diving certificate and feel in love with the ocean in a way I didn’t know you could. I felt like a mermaid. There is a whole new world down there to explore and it’s so peaceful and quite. It was a meditative state.
Thanks again Scarlett Etienne for that hook up. Island sisters for life!
Can you tell us a little bit about the podcast you’ve recorded for us? How did you decide to approach it? This took me too long to put together. Trying to select 1 hour of music when there is so much to choose from is frustrating. Sometimes, mixes take me one day but this seemed to take me months! I just couldn’t decide. So a few old and new tracks in there. I really hope you enjoy it!