Native Mix #024: Faro

The Native Mix

Kieran Mallon


29 May 2017

Few DJs have a busier schedule than DJ Faro - and the ones that do usually have a PA.

From bedroom DJ to gig poster mainstay in a little over two years, the road to recognition for Katie Farrow is paved with hard work, close friends and an unyielding devotion to the dance.

Inspired at 17 by Radio 1's B.Traits, an unstoppable force in UK house and techno, Faro purchased a pair of secondhand Reloop CDJs from a friend and practised tirelessly until she was ready to face a crowd. Today, she holds down two residencies in Brighton, one radio show for Trickstar, another for London Radio show Balamii, she manages Wednesdays on Trickstar, and has played every Brighton venue worth mentioning as well as some choice venues in Bristol, London, and Sheffield. Hardly time to take a breath, right?

Part of the reason Faro is so busy is that, unlike many selectors in her position, she often gigs with a partner - her long-time friend and co-conspirator, Jordanne, as part of GCDJ. DJing is a notoriously lonesome profession, so to be able to share the decks with another fiercely talented female DJ is a welcome shake up. The name stands for Girls Can't DJ, a playful yet sincere jab at an industry which, despire being historically renowned for it's inclusiveness, still has a ways to go.

"As DJ Faro I focus solely on the more underground styles, with GCDJ being more R&B, hip hop, disco, garage, those old school party vibes. I love doing both and I’m just as passionate about GCDJ as I am about DJ Faro even though they’re pretty different. It’s amazing having the best of both worlds."

The two musicals styles mimic her melodious upbringing - first introduced to the groove in the form of her father's collection of soul, R&B and disco, before embarking on a journey of underground dance music discovery in her teens. Clearly, both experiences had a lasting effect.

Other influences of Faro's include German disco specialist Move D, Moxie, Tama Sumo and producers like Kerri Chandler and Marquis Hawkes. To hear these influences at work, catch Faro supporting expert selector Shanti Celeste this Saturday at Patterns.

It's been a pretty big couple of years for Faro, a period which included supporting Midland at Patterns on NYE, the first round of festival bookings as GCDJ which include Brainchild, (the last ever) Secret Garden Party, and Bestival, and even a collaboration with Nike for Notion magazine.

Even more excitingly, Faro has just been signed to the Unity Agency alongside the likes of Late Nite Tuff Guy and Nick The Record, and expects to be producing some original material "very soon". Until then, wrap your ears around her Native Mix:

1. Dream DJ to play alongside?

I’m gonna have to say Move D, that would be unreal.

2. Favourite event you've been to recently?

A random one but Groove Odyssey Boat party in Ibiza was so so much fun. My favourite kind of crowd is when everyone is just so happy and chatting away/dancing with each other etc and this was just it. The DJ’s playing were DJ Spinna, Opolopo, Bobby & Steve and a few more. We were in the middle of the Ibiza sea with the sun blazing (i forgot my suncream, oops), and soulful house blaring.

3. What are you listening to right now?

I’ve recently gotten really into Telephones and can’t stop listening to his sets and music! Real fruity balearic house perfect for these summery days by Brighton beach.