How DJ Alice Quiddington creates a great vibe with music on the decks and at home

From the tracks everyone loves, to the nights nobody expects
Alice Quiddington Sonos
Photograph: Daniel Boud
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Decorated in shades of of white, sand and bone, with Sydney Harbour lapping right outside the window, the home created by DJ Alice Quiddington is a far cry from the party vibes she evokes at her day job. And yet, in some ways her home style mirrors her music. “I guess my décor is pretty eclectic and so is my taste in music,” Quiddington says. “I kind of just grab stuff from all over the world.

"My décor is pretty eclectic and so is my taste in music"

 

“I've got things that I bought in Bali, I've got rugs that I got in Morocco, and then pieces that I've picked up along the way from friends. It all just comes together. There's not any massive intention to it.”

Her approach to music, while equally diverse, is far more deliberate. Quiddington fuses disco and house with everything from old school soul to African drumming to create her in-demand sound, which can be heard at her residencies at Sneaky Sundays, and at the Ivy Pool on Friday nights.

For Time Out, she curated an at-home playlist that’s typical of this style – but relaxed enough to play with just a few friends over. “I try to keep it quite mellow if I'm at home, to be honest. No one wants to hear something blaring in their lounge room when they're trying to have a glass of wine and a chat.”

Quiddington spends a lot of time in Europe over the Australian winter in party capitals like Ibiza and Mykonos. Listening to others play is always source of inspiration. “There's one track on that playlist that I created for you, which at the moment has been working to get people on up on the dance floor. It's called ‘Cola’, [by Camelphat & Elderbrook] and it's just one of those tracks that everyone likes. It’s been huge in Europe this summer.” Spending time at beach clubs may sound like a dream, but it’s also essential research.  “We just get over there and get in early and work out what's going to be good for our summer.”

"When you hear a good sound system, you notice straight away"

 

There’s one big difference between European and Australian audiences according to Quiddington: “People over there want to hear music that they haven't heard before. Here, if they haven't heard it, it's very hard to get them to dance. [It’s] definitely a different crowd of people wanting to go out and listen to music.”

Which isn’t to say it’s impossible to get Australians to dance. “Generally, if you're DJing to a dance floor, you've got to keep the energy levels really high and the tempos quite high as well. But if you're just making a playlist and entertaining at home then you've got a lot more room to just play chilled stuff and fun stuff. It doesn't matter if it's a little bit more moody.”

Creating the right kind of atmosphere is very important to Quiddington, even when she’s off duty. At home, Alice uses Sonos speakers. “My favourite thing about the speakers is obviously the sound quality, and also being able to move from room to room and control it with my phone. Having my music follow me around the house is definitely a big feature that I haven’t had with other speaker systems.”

"My favourite thing about the speakers is obviously the sound quality, and also being able to move from room to room and control it with my phone"

 

“I'm very sensitive to sound and music when I'm in a venue... When you hear a good sound system, you notice straight away,” she says. “It just makes such a difference having good quality speakers and good quality music selection. It makes people want to stay for sure.”

And that’s true no matter whether you’re in a venue or at home. “I remember this one house party that I did. It was actually a friend's birthday.  It was just the best set and the best music – everyone dancing and singing along and ... it was just the vibe was so great, you know? I wasn't even expecting it to be like that at all. I was expecting to turn up and play a few background tunes. It's always the unexpected ones that turn out the best.”

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Listen to Alice's playlist below:

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