She is the face of dance music for a generation but for those that don’t know, Daniel White caught up with DJ Anne Savage to discuss her career, Brighton and much more
For those with an inside knowledge of house music, the name Anne Savage will resonate vociferously but for the rest, it will hold little significance.
As one of the pioneers of house music, she has thoroughly seen the ups and downs of the business but can remember how it all began for her.
“It was so long ago there wasn’t even mixing involved when I started DJing, I was just a genuine music lover,” explains Savage. “Acid house came along and my sister dragged me along to an illegal rave and that was that, I just started buying records and pestering people for sets.”
Born in Burnley in the late 60s, Savage fought tooth and nail until she was granted her first residency as the club DJ of Angels and it was here that she was first influenced by her favourite DJ.
When quizzed on who her first inspirations were, the was an immediate response: “100% Carl Cox. He was my hero and he was a once-a-month guest at Angels, where I was resident, and he was just like my idol, as well as Sasha and old school DJs like that were a massive influence on me.”
With more than two decades of experience in dance music, Savage is a true great, being voted as one of the Top 10 UK DJs in 2008 by The Independent and has many titles, including being labelled “the personification of dance music” and, during her time in the industry, has seen it go full circle.
“When I first started it was anti-establishment movement and it wasn’t promotional in anyway, I used to queue up for my set in the middle of a field with a generator with my records in a crate and then it moved out of the fields into the clubs it obviously became popular,” she reflects.
“Then it became commercialised and a lot of people said that was the downfall of house music but it gave us all a very good living thank you very much, so there’s nothing wrong with it being commercialised. Now it’s gone underground again and that’s a good thing because it’s weeded out all of the fat cats who diluted the music and there’s some really good, strong underground music being made again which I’m absolutely delighted about!”
Savage will be a panellist at the Brighton Music Conference this month, along with her good friend and DJ Lisa Lashes, and will also be performing at The Loft during the two-day event that takes place from April 11th-12th and she is eager to get started.
“I am very excited, really genuinely excited,” she smiles. “I think it’s great that we’ve put the conference on and especially that myself and Lisa Lashes can give our perspectives from the female point of view. Hopefully it’ll stir up some interest and get people to address some of the issues, obviously nobody is earning anything like they were and I think it’s time to address things like that and just generally give the dance scene a boost.”
With much expectation surrounding the country’s first-ever electronic music conference, Savage is keen to focus on the enjoyment that is to be had in England’s music capital.
“I’ve been playing in Brighton for about 15-20 years and I’ve never had a bad night, I’m not just saying that, I really haven’t had a bad night. The UK is still one of the most important countries as far as digital music is concerned, so hopefully some of the heavy hitters in the UK will just get together and celebrate everything that’s great about the UK.”