Ferocious On The Decks: Tigerlily Shares How Spiritual Development Has Forged Her Path [Exclusive Interview]

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Australian DJ Dara Hayes, known widely under her performance moniker Tigerlily made her way into Label Charlotte on Saturday, February 15. Despite the cold bitter temperatures that dipped below 20 degrees in North Carolina, fans from all ages came to see her perform.

Tigerlily’s performance was nothing short of perfection. Filled with an intensity of a Tiger and a dangerously wicked persona, she spun the night deep into the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day. From the DJ booth all the way down to the crowd of thousands she formed a heart shape with her hands to let those in the crowd know just how important they are to her. It was truly a surreal experience to witness so many people sharing that mutual passion for her and her music, shouting “We Love You Dara”!

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We had an opportunity to catch up with Tigerlily before her set.

This is what she shared:

TD: You’ve been busy on tour from Canada, NYC, North Carolina to a trip overseas to the UK. What’s one of the most memorable moments that you’ve had thus far while on tour and what’s one of the top places that you are looking forward to performing at in 2016?

Tigerlily: I’m really looking forward to performing in London in March. I’ve never been to England before even though my dad was born and raised there and his family is predominately British. So I’m really excited to be able to visit…

There have been so many memorable moments on tour; every day is a brand new adventure. On this last North American tour I think one of the most memorable moments would have to be when my tour manager and I decided that it would be a good idea to drive all the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles….it was the longest most crazy beautiful drive ever.

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TD: Big room or electro house which of the two do you feel gets the crowd going the most during your sets?

Tigerlily: It totally depends on the time of my show, the location, and the energy in the building that night. I like to never pre-plan any of my sets, which allows for me to have a huge amount of versatility in what I play.

TD: The Australian dance music scene is booming. So many talented artists from Australia are emerging and playing here in the USA. As an Australian DJ do you think that the vibe here in The States just as vibrant as it is back home?

Tigerlily: Despite the fact that there are a huge number of incredibly talented Australian musicians coming to the forefront of the world stage at the moment, unfortunately, the vibe back at home in Australia isn’t incredibly strong, in regards to music and nightclubs. Due to outdated laws and shortsighted politicians our clubs and festivals are closing down faster than anyone can believe and the nightlife energy and vibe is unfortunately at an all time low. So, it’s really exciting for me to be coming to new territories like the States where the energy is high and music and nightlife still play a big role in the community!

TD: What was it like to play at StereoSonic this past year?

Tigerlily: Stereosonic has a very special place in my heart, as it was the first dance music festival I ever went to. Playing on the whole Australian tour in 2015 was unbelievable and a whole lot of fun. 

TD: Any new collaboration in the works for 2016?

Tigerlily: So many! Lots and lots and lots of new music coming now. Nothing I can share right now, but my next single “Whenever I’m With You” will be dropping very soon. 

TD: You inspire so many people. Especially female artists that are trying to make it in what seems to be a male dominated world of dance music. In a recent Instagram post that I loved you mentioned and I quote “When People say that I’m cool or perfect I tell them that I still live at home with my parents, that I have cellulite on my thighs, read Harry Potter, have a terrible sense of humor and am a massive weirdo. Life is never perfect and being cool is boring, you just gotta embrace what you’ve got.”

You’re so rooted in who you are as a person. That being said, my question is how or where do you find that passion and drive to keep pushing forward in your career and what advice do you have for your younger fans who hoping to hopefully one day follow in your footsteps?

Tigerlily: Thank you so much, that honestly means so much hearing that. It’s been a long process of self-love, personal and spiritual development for me to get to where I am toady, and to be honest I still have a very long way to go. Honestly, as a person I’ve just always been mega motivated to be the best version of myself that I can be, and also to make the most positive impact on the world around me. I don’t really see what I do as a career necessarily; I just have a lot of fun with it, and enjoy being creative, active, travelling and sharing music and performance with people.

My advice to young musicians, creative’s, or just everyone out there is to read. Read read read read as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is freedom. And with that comes infinite possibilities of life and change and happiness.

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Tigerlily is filled with conviction and passion that few can match.

As a person she is fun, loving and kind to everyone. She knows who she is and is not willing to put it out there with the courage of a tigress roaming freely in the night.

Tigerlily Charlotte, NC was presented by Label Presents, Sugar Society and Disco Donnie.

Get Social with DJ Tigerlily; Be sure to connect through her official website for the latest updates.


All photography by Michael Beas.