Lola Heart
Lola Heart

Lola Heart, the alter ego of Melbourne DJ Katie Valentine, is a maestro of all things deep house, bass & techno. Such is her talent that she was chosen to headline Shiptease IV, Snugg’s dance boat party on Saturday, November 15. CLAYTON LIN reports.

Once I started producing I realised I didn’t want to be stuck in one particular genre. I felt I was playing it too safe. I needed a creative outlet that I could come home to and immerse myself in. Growing up I always wanted my name to be Lola.”

A moment of epiphany and thus Lola Heart, the side project of Melbourne-based DJ Katie Valentine, was born in 2013. A year on, the project has evolved into a life of its own.

The side project is something Valentine is keen to build more slowly, more carefully. She tries to stay relatively relaxed about it: “I try to have one day where I switch off, watch bad TV, listen to bands and eat bad food and really be self-indulgent. This helps me have the same conversation over 4,000 times over the weekend.”

The experience from her main musical persona, however, has helped with the new one when it comes to managing the workloads and the downtime in between gigs. “It’s all about the mental and physical stability and being able to say no to alcohol. I prepare meals the night before, make little life packs of vitamins, and after years of practise I can fall asleep anywhere.”

Valentine’s key inspirations were “Inland Knights – I really hope I get to meet these guys and let them know what a huge influence they have been on me since I was 16, and Ajax, he was always excited for me starting out. Even if I was playing at Greenwood for $40, he would be over the moon for me and really encouraged me to keep learning. Dream collab would obviously be Inland Knights and Annabel Englund.”

Lola Heart has been keeping busy. From being chosen to headline Shiptease, which tours in Perth and Melbourne, alongside her partner in crime Paul Scott and joined by other support acts. Her first EP Ghetto Baby is currently in the works (fun fact- one track in the EP made out of samples of a bird’s vocal box), and recently signed a deal with Milkfed, a Melbourne-based record label. The future looks very sunny indeed.

“No matter how many people I’m playing to, I try to give it 110 per cent energy every time. I’m getting paid to play my favourite music and that in itself is a huge blessing. I created this alias purely to make music I genuinely love and the fact that I’m getting to play some of my favourite clubs is a massive bonus!”