DJ Spotlight: Sophie Jones
Miss Sophie Jones is your favourite party DJ and you don’t even know it. DJing since 2014, Jones packs a powerful punch of essential gay anthems, R&B gold and clubby goodness that keeps any afterhours house party (something she’s an expert in) going until the sun pops its shiny head into your windows.
She’s the co-Creative Director and Music Programmer of Pollen, a local, innovative party production house that aims for “accessibility, proper music, inclusivity, and flat-out, a good time.” You can catch her around Toronto DJing parties like BWS, Early Birds, Soho House Toronto, our Yohomo Patio Party (!!!) … and way more (keep up on her Insta for all the details).
We asked her a few good questions to paint a full portrait of one of our fave DJ goddesses.
How did you first come into DJing?
I’ll start off by saying that music 1000% saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without it, it’s truly therapy.
That being said my friends often look to me for playlists, sets, new beats… you know, to make them feel a type of way. One such friend asked me to make a playlist for a party at their bar, I did and it popped off! I started a monthly after that and things just grew from there.
How has your DJ style evolved over this time?
I got put into a box early on that has taken some time to grow out of. I used to play a lot of hip hop parties which were super fun but truly my favourite genres to spin are house, disco, deep house and BOPS! So, I feel super lucky to now get booked for parties like Business Women’s Special, drag events, club nights and of course parties with the ‘iconique’ Yohomo.
Weapons of choice (what equipment do you like to use? What are your headphones?
Love Pioneer & my head-ies are Audio-Technica, of course
How did you come up with your DJ name (haha)?
Lol everyone has called me by my first and last name since I was a little girl. Honey, if its memorable, use it.
How did you take that first step or become brave enough to start playing?
Lol honestly I don’t know, I still get bashful sometimes. I try to keep a positive mantra going though, its easy to get stuck in your head. At the end of the day if you’re being booked you have to own that confidence in your ability to turn the party out.
Give us three words, verbs or adjectives that describe your musical style?
Effervescent, Sassy, Hard.
What’s your DJ pet peeve?
A phone being shoved In my face with someones request.
Who would be your dream DJ to open or close for?
Dream location? (this can be anywhere on planet earth, including at the top of a mountain if you want)
Primavera in Barcelona.
How is Toronto’s party/nightlife scene doing these days, in your opinion.
I mean… its hard! We are so thirsty for venues in this city. Im proud though, everyone out here is working super hard to create more spaces and it shows. It would be amazing though if we had more options because Toronto been on fire with amazing talent.
Tell us all about your Pollen project.
Pollen is a solution to your party woes. Our goal is to create spaces where everyone feels warm, welcome and free. Body movement is the ultimate goal. Cool is cool but the root of cool is comfort in ones own skin. It’s more than just being “on list”. The experience needs to be exceptional and memorable and that’s why we’re here to Pollinate.
As a Female DJ, have you experienced challenges some of your male counterparts may never have encountered?
The way I’ve been treated by club owners, promoters, bouncers, party goers over the years is a very different experience than most of my male and predominantly straight male dj friends. I try now to only play in spaces where I feel safe and welcomed. A lot of people out here think that if you’re female or they see you as weaker than them, that they can bully you while you’re in the booth and honestly it sucks because you can’t leave.
Secret weapon song?
“Its not right but it’s ok”, Whitney Houston.