Sunshine has been a fixture of the Melbourne scene for almost 10 years. Earning her stripes in a myriad of different spaces around town, she’s created a sound that is truly her own. What gives her the edge is sheer versatility – you’re just as likely to hear bleeding-edge techno alongside underground R&B or soul ‘n’ jazz in the space of one beer. It’s hard to categorise, but it sure ain’t coming from anyone else.
As a teenager growing up in Perth, Sunshine first tapped into the illegal rave scene to nurture a growing interest in dance music. Several years on the dancefloor led to her first vinyl purchase, exploring the worlds of hip hop, jazz, funk, soul, disco, house and techno. By the time she moved to Melbourne in 1998, she’d amassed her first crate and a dream to DJ. Within a year she’d garnered her first gig, at a small party in Port Melbourne. Naturally, she started playing bars around town, eventually working her way up to sets in the side rooms of the bigger parties such as 33 & 1/3.
An ongoing love affair with Revolver began around this time as well, when she started playing Wednesday nights. It’s fair to say that DJs earn their money at mid-week gigs – the punters aren’t up for a big one, so they’re constantly fighting just to get them on the floor, let alone keep ‘em there. It was here that Sunshine honed her craft, mastering the art of building sets all the way from downtempo jam to undisputed banger and back again.
2001 saw the start of OREO, a monthly club night run by Sunshine, 8Bit and Ladyboy. Essentially an R&B night for the not-so-R&B crowd, it attracted a diverse group of people to Alia, all of them keen to get their funk on. OREO tapped into the trends of the time, when names such as Missy Elliot, Outkast and The Neptunes were pushing the boundaries of hip hop and in the process, drawing the attention of kids outside the usual urban spectrum. Success brought the chance to do several big one-offs at the Public Office, with crowds of up to 1000 people showing up.
By 2003, Sunshine had turned enough heads to be offered Saturday mornings at Revolver, a reasonably prestigious set in the grand scheme of things. She grabbed the chance with both hands and made it her own. Hell, any morning set at Revolver is bound to be rather monumental, but to this day she’s brought a sense of humour to her work, proving she was one of the punters rather than a superstar on raised platform. Not many DJs would have the sheer nerve to stop while the club is rammed, stand on the turntables and start belting out a rendition of The Gossip (as she did the morning after Daft Punk’s Melbourne show). As regular visitors will confirm – you walk in for “just one drink” and you end up rolling out the door a la Andrew O’Keefe several hours later.
With gigs as large as the Big Day Out under her belt, the future seems bright for this talented spinner. Catch her before her career takes off and she’s playing festivals overseas - you heard it here first.
Revolver Saturday mornings 7am-12pm
Sorry Grandma Saturday nights
LCD Soundsystem, Radioslave, Stacey Pullen, Scissor Sisters, Claude Von Stroke, Vitalic, DJ Medhi, Booka Shade, Carl Cox, Tocadisco, Style of Eye, Alex Kid, Jason Herd, Barbra Tucker, The Presets, Ritchie Hawtin, Brett Johnson, Mike Monday, Dave Spoon, Chromeo, Deadmau5, Stephan Bodzin, Kraftwerk, Felix Da Housecat, Zoo Brazil, Eric Laville, Fatboy Slim, Sven Vath, Black Eyed Peas, LTJ Bukem, Sneaky Sound System.