What do you get when you combine a dancer, a DJ and a drop-dead gorgeous human being? The multi-threat Cools certified boss-lady, Dena Amy (we should mention she’s also a brilliant actor). After years of keeping her wardrobe spicy for festival sets we finally got a hold of her to jump on our Stay Home Mixtape series.
Since Dena dipped her feet into DJing, she’s pushed the house music scene into new, unexplored directions with releases under Sweat It Out and appearances at festivals including Your Paradise, For The Love and Splendour In The Grass, to name a few. The future of electronic music is (like everything else) female, and Dena Amy is at the forefront. Full interview + mixtape live - plug in, press play and party away.
As proud supporters of Support Act, this series is our platform to connect with our favorite artists and raise awareness for the artists, crew, and music workers affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Dena, thank you so much for spicing up our Stay Home series with this very groovy selection. Can you give us a bit of insight on how it all came together?
I found all these songs during COVID-19 lockdown, I was home alone and decided to make this mix in my kitchen where I’ve temporarily set up my decks, its super vibey and one of the favourite mixes that I’ve ever made… hope y’all enjoy it.
On behalf of all the ladies around the globe, we’ve been so inspired and grateful for your authenticity and rawness in sharing your experiences with PMDD so far. Can you tell us a bit about what PMDD is, your journey with the disorder and where you’re at now?
Thank you so much for asking! I'm grateful for the opportunity to shine a light on a disorder that’s rarely spoken about. By talking about it, my hope is that it will help anyone out there that may also be suffering silently, like I did for many years. It’s definitely felt lonely at times on this rollercoaster of a ride, so if I can help de-stigmatise the disorder for any of your female readers, especially ones that may also be suffering alone, then my job is done.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe and crippling extension of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It causes extreme physical discomfort, depression and anxiety in the two weeks (while I ovulate) before my period starts, plus an array of other health problems and mental/physical ailments. I've spent the good part of the past year working incredibly hard on my healing journey. I’ve been in and out of hospitals and spent a whole bunch of time attending appointments including Naturopaths, Psychiatrists and Chinese Medicine Specialists.
This disorder has literally been the most challenging thing I've ever experienced and what makes PMDD worse is it’s newly diagnosed so unfortunately there isn’t much western medical treatment or therapy for the symptoms… this means I'm constantly trying to stabilise my hormones and moods while concurrently improving my mental health on a daily basis. I still have a ways to go, but I am really determined and hopeful - I can see light at the end of the tunnel and am staying positive.
As one of our earliest Cools certified boss-ladies, we’re so excited and proud to see you making your way back. What’s been getting you through with the everything going on in Melbourne?
I’m super proud to be a Cools boss girl, I was representing and wearing my Cools sweatshirt today. To be honest COVID-19 lockdown has been a crazy time here in Melbourne (regardless of my health issues) life has been flipped upside down, so I’ve been busy finding the balance between self care and productivity and adjusting my heart and soul to the art of slowing down, sitting with myself and being ok in the silence that has suddenly been thrust upon us through this pandemic.
No touring, no shows, no performances… it’s so weird.. but I am learning to appreciate the gifts that present when you slow down and take a breath. I’m lucky to have a daily meditation practice, and ironically a newly found (during COVID) breath work practice that’s a life saver...mask and all. ha! I also started water colour painting recently and who would have known it would bring me so much joy, this coupled with the serenity of spending time off social media/technology while trying to find mother nature's healing embrace whenever I can has definitely helped to keep me sane... well this, and getting lost in a cheeky Netflix binge or two every now and then ;-)
How has music helped your process of healing? Any particular albums or playlists?
Music is always healing for me, sometimes when I’m down and out, its the only thing that picks me up and speaks to the language of my soul. In terms of a playlist…it’s a real mix bag right now and varies on my moods and activities. I’ve been listening to classical when I paint which has been beautiful. I found myself listening to Kanye in hospital which was therapeutic, I’ve been exercising to Self Tape and revisited The XX and their brilliant song writing. I also really fell in love with O’Flynns album on the dance side.
And when this is all over… we’ll dance together again. What’s your dream post-pandemic line-up and where would it all go down?
Goooood question, I catch myself day dreaming about this all the time and how I would curate the perfect post pandemic festival. I would love to see Fred Again.. live with The Blaze, Black Madonna, Peggy Gou, Icarus, Caribou, Jamie XX, Nico Jaar, Robyn and David August… and me of course ;-) I think it would go down on a beach, somewhere tropical (Fiji, Bali, Hawaii etc), where endless summer days roll into breezy summer eves and sunrise sets... gosh I cannot wait to travel again. Stay safe everyone, let me know what you think of the mix! x
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