DJ Alison Wonderland’s Journey From Small Pubs In Australia to Performing Around The World

DJ Alison Wonderland’s Journey From Small Pubs In Australia to Performing Around The World


When I started I was just like this small girl going hard to like five people in a room. No one would really take her seriously whether it was radio, record labels. There was a lot of rejection but I was doing all of this because I loved it. My upbringing was solitary. I was not a kid that was fitting in at school. I picked up the cello and I took to it like a fish to water. I was spending hours a day playing cello, and practicing, and that was like my friend was music. Then I went to Europe to study. But that’s when I think I fell out of love with classical music because you know you’re playing your heart and soul out to someone and like these people are sitting in the front row and it is considered polite to not make any sounds. So there was never really any interaction between like the crowd and me. So I broke up with the cello and it really felt like I was going through a breakup because it was the only comfort I’d really had. So I was running this nightclub in Sydney where I first met Alex slash Alison. She’d had an office job but she was terrible at it. So she was the door girl at the club. He was like “oh, why don’t you just like start DJing?” and gave me my first DJ lesson. Probably, I think the second week after that she was like playing shows. After that first show. I didn’t sleep. My adrenaline was so high from just feeling this energy between like even 30 people and myself. Something very primal and raw. It was like a huge outlet for me. There was like this this club in Sydney called Ruby Rabbit and like there was a VIP room that everyone would talk about and there would be like stories about like the mafia being up there. Very early in my career I got offered to play to the upstairs VIP area. I get onstage and there’s like 10 like older fat guys like drinking but I was like DJing and I was like headbanging and Garth being like “you move around a lot,” and I was like I don’t know Garth that’s just me like I can’t change it. She’s one of those people who’s very captivating because she’s a little crazy. Back then being a girl there wasn’t really anyone doing what I was doing. There was a macho scene of guys and girls just weren’t involved. I remember feeling very very inadequate in terms of like the way people were treating me or speaking to me. There’s this energy that males have when they group together which they don’t even realize they have but it is very intimidating to women. They’d have like all the male DJs like standing around me when I play with their arms crossed like kinda like looking. I wasn’t getting taken seriously as an artist. It can be really easy to get lost in that and to doubt yourself. She’s always needed expression when she goes through a tough time and that genuinely helps her. So I saved up and I bought a laptop and I just made ****. I think we were driving and she’s like “what you think of this?” I was like this is really good I really like it, not realizing it was her. I just fell in love with it. It was truly me. Producing is so introverted and like DJing is such an extroverted thing for me that I feel like it’s completely two different parts of my mind. She gets a lot of therapy from writing and sharing with people and I think that’s why I feel resonate with it so much because it’s really personal. I feel like it’s quite cleansing, made me happy, I felt like it made me ignore everything and not try to be anyone else. That’s why I was always in her oversized t-shirt. I never wanted it to be about anything but the music. She started doing tours. She was going by herself with a suitcase with a lighting rig and a smoke machine. I was on like a greyhound bus like alone. I had no tour manager. Walking into ****** little pubs in the middle of nowhere playing to 50 people. There was no bathroom in like a couple of those rooms. And she did two hundred and something shows in one year. I learned so much from ******* up and like being alone and like making mistakes and taking risks. Looking back at it that sounds like an absolute nightmare. But those shows did get her you know just 40 fans in every town in Australia. Think I’ve seen her grow as an artist into someone that has really pulled together all of their talents. She’s a classically trained cellist, and she sang, and she’s been a DJ for a really long time, and these three separate worlds that now have all come together in this like amazing thing. She’d signed a record deal, put out an EP, and I think it created this world of intrigue outside of Australia. Then we signed with a broker who managed to get Coachella to agree to do her first ever show in the US. And there is a lot of self-doubt when you are making art. But I had to like dig deep into myself as a person and not be scared to do that. I was like **** this, watch me school you. She has paved the way for a lot of younger females to rise up and not be looked out for your gender but just for your craft. It is impressive that she’s got to where she is without ever having to sell out, essentially. She just plays good shows. Wins people over. Is herself. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop like I joke I’m gonna to be like 70 like still doing this. Like I hope I am, it’s going to be sick if I do.

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Comments

  1. I love Alex so much. Cares so much about her music and her fans. She’s just an amazing artist and an even more amazing person with a great story. Thank you Alex for everything you’ve done and helping me through hard times. Forever grateful.

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