Upclose With Heidi

Alongside the three As (Annie Mac, Annie Nightingale and Anne Hobbs) representing the lead female hosts on BBC Radio 1, Canadian born Heidi Van Den Amstel also holds her own monthly hosting duties on her show In New DJ’s We Trust.If there’s an international DJ that has recently gained prominence, there’s a good chance they’ll have been filtered through her show. Heidi’s energetic and characteristic personality and her knack for introducing newer music to a largely mainstream demographic have gotten everyone’s attention. “The majority of the listeners don’t have a clue about underground dance music,” she says. “But I’m glad I can showcase it to a more commercial audience in my show. It has been two years now, and it’s really a great platform to deliver different styles of music.”Her diverse taste in music was sealed by a move to London from her hometown in Ontario, Canada, in 2000. Back home, “Motor City” Detroit was just across the border and indie music was her sound of choice, but it was London that stole her heart. “My love for music was sort of waning when I left Ontario and Detroit, but when I arrived in London, the love was in full effect. The city opened my eyes to the underground electronic music scene; the parties were electric and the crowd was encompassing,” she says.“Three years later, I opened up Phonica records with Simon Rigg and you could say that I just fell into the whole dance music scene. It was an unplanned move,” she adds. “I grew to love dance music although I didn’t think it would end up taking over my life. I’m glad it did.”Her jet-setting career spans dancefloors in clubs like Space Ibiza, Fabric and Womb to festivals like UltraFest, Bestival and Electric Zoo; and has taken her on a journey which she willingly embraces. “I’ve seen beautiful and horrible places; eaten the best and the worst food; met the most amazing and most ridiculous people; and played in front of 20 to 20,000 people,” she says. “I wouldn’t change any of it. It’s all a learning experience. I will have many stories to tell when I’m old and gray and um… deaf.”Catch Heidi and partner in crime Heartthrob as they tear up the floor on Oct 16, 10pm. Velvet Underground, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $28-35.