Girls Don’t Sync are now six episodes into their Amazon Music Dance UK show. The Twitch-exclusive, which has so far included guests including Rudimental, Katie B, ABSOLUTE, Conducta, Jess Bays and Jodie Harsh, is taking Girls Don’t Sync — and the UK dance music culture they represent — beyond the DJ booth and to a whole new audience.
We caught up with the girls on the eve of their Amazon Music Dance UK playlist takeover to find out what makes the show so unique, how important it is for them to keep building communities and how hard it was to distil their individual tastes into one fresh Amazon Music Dance UK playlist.
Can you describe the Dance UK Show for someone who hasn’t seen the show yet?
Hannah: “The Dance UK show gives an insight into our relationship as a group, our individual personalities too but ultimately you can expect the usual GDS energy! During the show our aim is to have fun and engage with the audience just like we do at our live DJ sets! Each show we invite some very special guests into our chaotic ‘GDS flat’, which allows us to interact and have fun with a range of artists that we love and respect within the dance scene.”
Community-building is such a key part of your appeal as DJs and artists, how does the Weekend-Warm Up build on that?
Gaia: “The Weekend-Warm Up actually invites us to connect and interact with an entirely new community and way of collaborating — Twitch! Being able to build our own Twitch family from the ground meant that we‘ve had the opportunity to learn and explore the weird and wonderful depths of the chat, and involving viewers into our live conversations and chaos was something we’ve never done before. The Weekend Warm Up allows us to bring the community on the Amazon Music UK channel on Twitch and our own GDS audience to the core of the show, and each week it’s been unreal to see the numbers continue to grow!”
As a DJ group, you have such amazing chemistry and this transfers very naturally to this show. How important is it to show your personalities outside of the DJ booth as well as in?
Matty: “It’s extremely important! We’ve come to learn that our individual differences are what make us such a great group; from our musical styles to our individual personalities and even down to our physical appearances. Often people have used our physical appearance against us but we look and are so different and it allows more room for relatability. We’re so big on inspiring and aiding the next generation of DJs and ultimately you can’t be what you can’t see so it’s nice that we can represent four different types of women.”
Who would be your dream guest for the show?
Sophia V: “I would love to do a big game show extravaganza edition with the current UKG scene. ec2a and co, Conducta, Interplanetary Criminal, the 23 Degrees roster, Sammy Virji, Ell Murphy etc (I wish I could name everyone). I know this is probably an annoying answer but imagine the scenes! Everyone could team up and it would be the most chaotic game show to ever grace our screens. Imagine if we did an Amazon Music spin on The Chase but UKG edition. It would be so fun.”
The show is a companion to the Amazon Music Dance UK playlist. How important do you think these playlists are for music discovery and for artists to build a fanbase?
Gaia: “Playlists for me have always been an insight into particular personalities, feelings, moments — essentially curating the perfect soundscape for whatever the occasion! As an artist, to have your work showcased and pinned in an Amazon Music playlist acts as such a good way to catapult yourself onto a way bigger radar and essentially to introduce your sound to even more listeners, like me! I’ve discovered so much new music and talent on some of these playlists! Tracks that I can then slap in our sets, which is such a great feeling; playing the songs that excite you out on big speakers for hundreds of new listeners to also experience!”
And now you are taking over the playlist! How does it feel?
Hannah: “We feel honoured to be working with Amazon music, being given an opportunity to represent the UK dance scene means a lot to us. The fact we are able to invite artists in to speak about their experiences within the industry in such a safe space where we can share our love for music - it’s such a wholesome experience. Although experiences and stories may be different, we are all in a scene where we can relate.”
Tell us about your selections: how did you choose the tracks, what were you trying to create and how do you feel about the end result?
Sophia V: "We chose the tracks individually which I think is fitting as that’s how we play our sets, we all bring our own sound, which is a risk, but it always seems to pay off and come together. So this is a good homage to GDS behind the decks, and when we’re getting ready before a show. When looking over the finished playlist, we all agreed it shows off different tastes but seems to have a golden thread of high energy and good vibes throughout.”
“I chose my tracks because they are what I seem to search for again and again when in the car, getting ready and on a walk. I love a track you can listen to time and time again and still get the buzz that you felt when you listened to it for the first time. ‘Whaaa!’, ‘Juice’ and ‘15C’ are all tracks I’d describe as satisfying. They are dark and ravey but also have this addictive groove to them. That’s what I’m loving at the moment. sim0ne & Melo Nada’s remix of ‘Say Yes 2 Heaven’ is just so euphoric and I think it’s the sort of track that brings people together. A big reason why I made my selections is because they all make me feel powerful and positive in one way or another. There’s nothing better in life than putting on noise-cancelling headphones and letting the music take away any anxieties or stresses and really perceiving the world through a certain track. I hope people can get that from our playlist. There’s something for everyone.”
As well as the 16 contemporary tracks, you’ve each been given the opportunity to select one UK dance classic. Can you each tell us which track you have selected and the reasons you included it?
“Rooted in black culture and dominating raves in the mid 00s, UK Funky is one of the UK’s most unique genres. The likes of Donae'o (‘Party Hard’), Skepta, Wiley & BBK (‘Too Many Man’) dominated dancefloors but in my opinion UK funky would be nothing without the incredible female vocalists such as Katy B , Malika, Kyla Reid and of course Egypt. These women made UK funky a timeless genre; a genre that you may not always expect in today's rave but definitely a genre that is welcomed with gun fingers and a hearty singalong. For me, Egypt’s ‘In The Morning’ is a dance-floor essential. For me, this song always evokes this wave of nostalgia, joy and serves as a proud reminder of Black British rave culture
“From my memory of first being introduced to garage music in my teens when I’d started to go to garage and bassline nights, this track stands out as a classic to me. ‘Boo’ was released in 2001, it’s amazing to see 13 years later how much it’s still used.
“I just feel like ‘Don’t Go’ is an ultimate dance classic. The classic sample is so iconic and has never lost its shine for me. I feel like it just creates an incredible sense of nostalgia and to me this is what the 90s would sound like. It feels like every person you’d meet at a festival or party would know the sample. That sense of unity through those simple chords is what dance music is all about to me.”
“Kele herself was one of the founding Black female voices of UK Garage and was fundamental to the original community that pushed this sound, and she is still continuing to do so! For us, seeing the women who pioneered the scene we cherish and respect, naturally inspires us so much! And ‘My Love’ has also inspired so many other artists and DJs throughout the years, no doubt the likes of vocalists such as Eliza Rose, Bklava but this track in particular actually massively impacted the British Asian underground in the early 2000s! The iconic instrumental of ‘My Love' became the framework for so many other songs such as Panjabi Hit Squad’s 'Hai Hai’ and RDB’s ‘Aja Mahi’. To hear the fusion of two cultures that I feel incredibly connected to really represents what UK dance music means to me — hybrids of heritages, Black and Brown talent at the forefront and of course, those notorious female vocals!