The Adelaide-based Godlands, also known as Annabel Harlett, sat down for a phoner with us and gave us a little insight into what it’s like to be a female electronic, trap and bass DJ in today’s rapidly evolving industry.
For Harlett, the epiphany of becoming a DJ happened in the rather unusual environment of a high school maths lesson. Her inherent aversion to maths combined with her friend’s juicy details of a weekend at a Bloody Beetroots concert helped flick the switch in her mind about her future career ambitions.
Most fifteen-year-olds have no idea what they want to be when they grow up, but when Harlett saw her friend’s phone recording of Bloody Beetroot’s playing Cornelius she thought, ‘Oh my god, this is amazing… I want to do this… I have to do this!’
From then on she gathered her pennies from working in a bakery, bought some fresh gear and “watched a TONNE of YouTube tutorials” to start her career in music.
“Coming up with the name was not as easy,” she explained, chuckling. “The process took over two weeks of brainstorming and indecisiveness… Initially, my manager didn’t even like the name Godlands. But it kind of just stuck…I’m an out there person so I wanted something that people would remember.”
Harlett says she’s psyched to be on her Pleasures Tour, showcasing her new tracks Everybody Knows and Pleasures. These fresh tunes combine her technical trap instinct with epic bass drops to create the perfect new tracks for an impressive tour.
Speaking of her tour, Godlands is the only female artist to represent the upcoming Touch Bass festival. The lack of female representation in the electronic music industry is an issue we would have all hoped to surpass by now, with female boss musicians and women of all industries in the world making waves and progress right now; but unfortunately, events like this remind us there is still a long way to go.
When asked how she feels about the lack of female DJs playing at Touch Bass, Harlett replied, “It gives me a chance to show off and be like ‘hey us women can do this!’ I’m actually really excited!”
Thankfully, Harlett is one of those powerful girl bosses, often referred to as The Queen of Bass, who uses situations like this as an opportunity to be at the forefront of change and progression rather than perceiving it as a step back.
“Other men supporting women in the industry is also really significant,” she adds on the issue.
“It is always a struggle.. even for women in other industries. At least until that gap closes… But I’m good friends with Slumberjack – who’s playing at Touch Bass – and loads of other dope men in the industry who support us women.”
“I have a strong opinion [about female representation in the industry] but I haven’t always been vocal about it,” she explains, allowing her powerful music and presence to speak figuratively for her fierceness.
“We just have to try our best and our hardest to smash through stereotypes and barriers… Just to be given a chance is really important. There are so many festivals and radio stations that do support women and that makes a big difference in the long run.”
One of her favourite supporters being triple j, naturally. The radio station is not only a facilitator for up-and-coming Aussie talent to make a name, but it’s also a great platform for hard-working women in the industry to have a voice.
“I love triple j,” she says, “they back women a lot and that never goes unnoticed to me. They’re always keen to support and play me too. I especially loved the way they got on board with International Women’s Day.”
For Harlett, her go-to inspirational DJs to pump her up for a tour – or remind her why she loves the industry – are Diplo, Alison Wonderland and What So Not.
“Diplo was the first DJ who sort of introduced me to trap… and Alison Wonderland is an absolute inspiration to all women because she’s just doing so well!”
“Basically, any Australian artist or bands that are doing well internationally is an inspiration because I feel like I’m part of something bigger… especially because we are so far from the rest of the world”, she says.
Godlands is an artist with a bright future ahead of her.
30 March, Touch Bass, Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
31 March, Touch Bass, Belvoir Ampitheatre, Perth
1 April, Touch Bass, Horden Pavilion, Sydney
7 April, Proud Mary’s, Central Coast
24 April, HQ Complex, Adelaide
25 May, Biscuit Factory, Brisbane