Superstar DJ Annie Mac is set to release her new compilation album Annie Mac Presents 2012 October 11th. It’s the same sort of thing as those Now CD’s, but the difference is, this is actually really good. A collection of the best party anthems of the year, stamped with the approval of Annie Mac.
Her self-confessed ‘glorified mix-tape’ features some absolute bangers this year: from Azealia Bank’s ’212’ to Hot Chip’s ‘Night and Day’. Annie has compiled an eclectic mega mix of 2012’s best tunes.
We recently caught up with the Radio One DJ to discuss her new compilation, just why Bestival is so good and how she’d never have the patience to actually make her own music, and would feel rather silly about doing so...
How did you go about selecting the tracks for your compilation album?
This year, more than ever I tried to make my compilation a reflection of my live DJ sets. CD 1 is pretty much what you will have heard if you’ve seen me at any festival this summer, and is very indicative of what I’ve been playing. It’s songs that I have personally cherry picked that I just love to hear in a club. CD 2 is the tracks that you would find me playing in more of a back room setting basically; it’s a much deeper house sound of which I have been really, really enjoying this year. It’s been a real pleasure to be able to mix them, and be able put them out on ‘Annie Mac Presents’.
Are there any songs that you wanted on the compilation but couldn't sort out?
Yes there were two, basically Jay Z’s label Roc Nation don’t like compilations one little bit so Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ was a complete no go, it is annoying because that is my favourite pop song of the year. ‘Paris’ by Jay Z and Kanye West was also not allowed. No matter how hard we tried or how many times we asked, it was just a complete no which was a massive shame. I shortlisted and licensed so many tracks, but they were the only two that weren’t allowed.
Watch Azealia Banks '212'
Is it just like making a glorified mix-tape for a mate - and do you wish that practice still existed? A few MP3s on a USB stick isn't quite the same...
It’s very much a glorified mix tape; quintessentially that’s what it is. I put out a mix earlier this year called ‘The Sunshine Mix’, simply for the fact that I love making mix-tapes. I released it as a free download and just had a massive response. That was what made me change the outcome of this year’s compilation, because I thought - just treat it like a mixtape, treat it just like something that you would do for fun in your own time. That concept has worked really well, and I couldn’t be happier the outcome. The mix-tape the most beautiful medium of sharing music, and hopefully it will live on for many years.
Who have been your favourite new artists of 2012?
I’ve loved Disclosure this year, I think that they’re super talented musically, and have enjoyed watching them come through and become really popular, really fast. I’m a big fan of Azealia Banks too, she’s crazy but that’s what you want in a pop star, plus she is a super skilled rapper. AlunaGeorge, now she is bloody brilliant and they are amazing live.
We're approaching the time of year when people will be making predictions for 2013. Do you have any names you'll be tipping for success next year?
Mele, he is a little producer from Liverpool, I hope that he will break through and do really well next year. There’s also a guy called Maota from Ireland who’s really young, he’s only 18. He makes really nice ambient electronica, so I hope that he’ll make an album next year and I reckon he’d do really well if he did.
How was Bestival for you? What is it that makes the festival so special?
Bestival was amazing, it’s always amazing. I don’t really get to see much of it though, apart from my tent and that’s where I hang out all day. It was just brilliant, the sun was out and there were some really nice moments on stage like when Jessie Ware came out and sang a song with Disclosure, it just felt like the tent was packed in the middle of the afternoon, and it was really emotional for those artists and everybody involved. I was standing with their management and they were all having a freak out.
The thing about Bestival is that it feels personal; there is no corporate feeling to it – which sets it apart in so many ways. I think that’s because Rob Da Bank, its organiser puts such a lot of himself as well as time into the festival. His wife José acts as the Art Director, and she’s got a really unique vision, she’s so good at making Bestival more than just an audio event, it’s a really visual experience and it’s got a completely unique look and feel… the fact that you have to take a little boat to an island gives it even more of a magical feel as well, it’s such an adventure.
Watch M83 'Midnight City' (Eric Prydz remix)
Which was your best festival experience of 2012?
There’s has been loads of really good ones. I really enjoyed Hideout Festival in Croatia. That’s a relatively new festival, it’s only in its second year and it’s a complete mission to get there. But, it’s just really fun because it’s one of those festivals where all the DJ’s that play there have the time of their life. It’s very much a UK crowd, but they’re very clued up, it’s in a really beautiful setting as well.
Have you ever been tempted to start making music yourself or are you strictly a DJ?
I have been curious to yeah, but I’ve never really followed through with it. I’ve taken lessons in terms of how to make beats and such, but I just do not have the patience to spend all day finding that right sound. I’m too much of an impatient person, I like things to happen fast. If I were to ever make music I would have to work with someone who could do the nitty gritty, boring stuff – then I could do the more exciting things. The thing is that I am known firstly and fore mostly for being a radio DJ, I don’t like the idea of going round and announcing to people, ‘hey I do music now’. I’d much rather be known as a curator, I am more than happy with that title
Annie Mac Presents 2012 is released on 8 October 2012. Click here for the pre-order link.