Get To Know Siobhan Bell, The London DJ Who Lives Life In Technicolor

In the latest How I Live, the cartoon-loving NTS resident talks bold parties and bolder hair colors.

May 11, 2016

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Siobhan Bell has been on an upward trajectory ever since she started DJing as a resident for east London club night Work It in 2010. Back then, both she and Work It were known for bringing a much-needed dose of fun, freedom, and '90s R&B to the city’s nightlife: in the years since, her repertoire has only become more colorful, weaving in bouncy Jersey club and trap beats. And speaking of colors, she’s also channelled her passion for standing out from the crowd into her brand Cherryade Hair, a line of dip-dyed hair extensions in bold summer hues—which shares a name with her occasional pop club night.

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When she’s not being tapped by brands like Moschino and Versus Versace or artists like Skepta and A$AP Mob to DJ their parties, Bell currently holds down two monthly NTS shows (one by herself, and one as part of the PDA collective), and is set to appear at festivals around the world this summer—not least, The FADER stage at Field Day this June. Not to mention, she's started branching out into producing her own beats; check her Soundcloud for bass-heavy edits of Destiny's Child and more. The FADER caught up with London's busiest young tastemaker on the phone to find out how she keeps her chill.

Career

Badman on the decks

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SIOBHAN BELL: “I always wanted to work in music, but I wasn't sure of the roles and what you could do. I just looked at it as kind of a different world. I started interning at Atlantic Records (Asylum), and that was my first taste of being in the music industry. At the time Ed Sheeran had just been signed so I had the pleasure of seeing how his first album was put together, and also [working with] Charli XCX before she became a massive star. Then I took on a freelance project for Cash Money where I curated a London listening party for DJ Khaled's album Another One. My experiences [in the industry] have definitely contributed to where I am musically.

“When I moved from uni to east London, I started partying and I met my group of friends—they were all DJs, so I started off at a night called Work It. I was DJing there; there was a collective of us. It was so different, it was so cool—you could wear trainers in the club. It wasn't really a party, it was more a family link-up. There were two main nights at that time, Work It and Livin' Proof, they were the spots to be at. A good party needs good DJs and lots of Hennessy, although I'm kind of a Ciroc boy now."

Hair

"Starting Cherryade was a no brainer cause I wear color hair myself...People always think it's about being daring, [but] I just did it, and it worked.

"I started [Cherryade the club night] about three years ago just for fun, in a club in Dalston called Alibi, real raw basement vibes. I started it as a pop night, just to hear Spice Girls in a club. Now I don't do it as often, but I use it [to give] new DJs or new artists coming up somewhere to play."

Style

Cosy 🐺

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“I’m quite boyish...That was always me, because I'm quite a small person and I like to look bigger. So I always wore baggy stuff, but now I’m a bit more stylish and wearing dresses. I got some Versace heels!

“There is an amazing [brand] called Cold Wall...they’ve done so well. They were working under Virgil Abloh, and then they just created their own brand from what they had learned, built it up, and now they’re getting into stores. It’s grown so quick. I like vintage-y stuff, not too vintage, but like, Moschino always has been my favourite brand. I love Moschino so much, because it just reminds me of being a Barbie. I've also got this bag that I really love, it’s from this brand called Skinny Dip, and it’s shaped like a milk carton.”

TV

Boots

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“I watch a lot of cartoons—some of the old school ones. Rugrats is my favorite. And some new ones, like Uncle Grandpa. It’s so good. He’s a young grandpa, and he’s got a flying tiger, a pizza friend, and a dinosaur friend. They just go on adventures in their caravan. Because things can be so serious, working all the time, I just find cartoons really relaxing. It reminds me to be youthful.”

Tattoos

🌹 by @misspvivas

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“One of my favourite tattoos is Cynthia, Angelica’s doll [from Rugrats]. I got her head on me. It’s my favourite cartoon, and Cynthia was quite the star of the show. I get tattoos based on a period of time, so there are some [that make me think], ‘Oh my god, what the heck was I thinking?’ But at that time, I knew why I got it.

“I got [my neck tattoo] with [Irish rapper] Rejjie Snow, he’s got the same on his neck as well. I was like, ‘I want a neck tattoo.’ I didn't know what or why. Then we had a discussion and we were like, ‘Let’s get a spider web.’ And we both just got spider webs.”

Festivals

Reading Festival '15 📷: @ciesay

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“Definitely bring loads of water—if it’s a hot day, and you’re drinking as well, stay hydrated. Also, wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind not being able to wear ever again. It’s actually so funny, I got an email from Sophia Webster—not her herself, her peeps—[offering to] send me shoes to wear at Lovebox [festival]. I couldn't believe it, [but] luckily it didn't happen because there is no way I could have done that or survived. Don’t wear heels at a festival. Not even a heeled boot. Don’t do that to yourself.”

Selfie game

Mandem link up

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“I was at the Section Boyz show at Village Underground; me and my friend were [backstage] by ourselves with two other people in there, it was quiet. I’m going up the stairs and then someone is like, ‘Excuse me.’ I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘Was that Drake?’ I couldn't believe it. It was meant to be, because that day I was wearing my velour OVO tracksuit. I don’t ever ever do selfies like that with people—I like to give people their privacy—but I had to get a selfie. It was important.”

Siobhan Bell will DJ The FADER stage at this year's Field Day festival; get tickets here.
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Get To Know Siobhan Bell, The London DJ Who Lives Life In Technicolor