B.L.O.O.M.

Ahead of their appearance at Il Telefono x DAMSEL this Friday, we had a lil’ catch up with Kitty and Phoebe of B.L.O.O.M.

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B.L.O.O.M. is a fab name- how did yous come up with it? 

K: Phoebe originally came up with bloom and to be honest I really wasn’t a fan until we decided it could actually stand for something. We were just at the pub, (how most great ideas start) and Beautiful Ladies had a nice ring to it – the other letters were harder to fill… Beautiful Ladies O O Music… Organising Orgasmic? It was supposed to be a joke but it stuck and we love it now.

P: I remember just sitting on my bed with Fran and Kitty drinking wine and throwing out ideas. I also wasn’t a huge fan until the abbreviation got involved.
I’m still curious if grammatically it should have a dot at the end or not. If anyone knows please tell us.

If you could each sum up B.L.O.O.M. in one track what would it be?

Both: Vengaboys – Boom Boom Boom Boom… 

What prompted you to set up the collective?

We (Kitty and Phoebe) were both involved with a party called Mayday whilst we were at uni. The vast majority of people we worked with were male. We both found that we shared very similar experiences with promoting and djing and it was important for us to create a space were we could develop our skills and help others do the same. We always wanted to run nights that raised visibility of women, trans and non-binary people working both at the forefront and behind the scenes, and it’s been amazing to watch that community grow.

What kind of work does B.L.O.O.M. do?

We mostly run parties that champion women across the board – everything is done by women but it’s not really something we shout about. We bring in international and local talent to play in some of the most exciting spaces in the UK (in our opinion). We have also run a number of workshops in Manchester, bring on students who are just starting out, giving them space to play on the radio and at our shows. We also try to mentor anyone who wants to get into the music industry, be it on the decks or in any other capacity that we can help in. 

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You started off in Manchester- how does the music scene in London compare since you’ve moved down?

K:Well Phoebe is from London originally and now lives in Manchester, and I’ve just moved down to London about a year ago (not originally from MCR tho). It’s very different, London is so big and there is so much going on, not that there’s not much going on in MCR. MCR has a wicked scene and undoubtedly some of the best clubs in the country and there is such a sense of community there, not just in areas but across the whole city. I come back and it proper feels like home. Not to argue that London’s scene isn’t incredible either tho… but it can feel a bit disjointed and easy to get lost in sometimes…

P:I’m in Manchester and pretty much everything we do with B.L.O.O.M. is based here. The range of events in London is amazing and often when I’m there I feel super overwhelmed with choice in the best way haha. I can imagine it would be a different kettle of fish throwing parties there compared to here.

How did you both start off your musical careers?

K:I think for me it was originally through partying in Bath and Bristol and some countryside raves when I was in my mid-late teens (unless you call taking seven years to pass grad one sax the start) but that was deffo just as a partier. I started to run parties whilst at uni doing the bookings and logistics for Cult and Mayday and then ran a festival at the Students Union for a year and then through that eventually got into djng myself. 

P:I started going out at 14/15 listening to a lot of hardcore, psytrance, dubstep and jungle. That really started my interest in doing something musical. For ages I thought that the only way of doing that was production until I was introduced to virtual dj in college. It wasn’t until meeting a group called Ossia in first year and learning to use cdjs and download music properly that it all sort of clicked in.

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What are each of your earliest musical memories?

K: Mostly through musicals and Disney films but my mum also loves Nina Simone – she would always play it when she was having dinner parties and it was waft up to my bedroom <3 

P: My earliest memories are of tv theme tunes (Bananas In Pyjamas) as neither of my parents liked listening to music at home. I remember going to the Tweenies live hehe. Every NOW CD got played on the Walkman on REEEEPEAT.

If you could curate your dream line-up, who would be on it?

K: Something really eclectic – bit of jazz, soul, funk in the day going into dance music at night – it’s too hard to answer really.

P: OMG I can’t answer this haha. I have so many variations of dream lineups for all the different moods.

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What can we expect from your sets at Il Telefono?

I don’t know! Me and Kitty don’t get to play together that much anymore so I’m sure it will be an adventure of mutual exploration.

Catch B.L.O.O.M. at Il Telefono x DAMSEL this Friday- find the event here.

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