Local Produce: CANDI

Local Produce: CANDI

Candice is a familiar voice from Radio One, but she isn’t just a DJ on the radio – as CANDI, she’s an influential music artist with an impressive track record of live shows. Only established in Re: Ori ‘22, CANDI has quickly become a prominent fixture in the electronic scene, not only in Ōtepoti as a solo artist and member of Nörty Club, but amongst the diverse lineup performing at Rhythm and Vines last year. Critic Te Ārohi was fortunate to snag an interview with Candice and find out what music means to her.

Starting as a volunteer at Radio One in September of 2021, Candice managed to secure the electronic music show ‘STOMPING GROUNDS’ in March of 2022. Not long after, she was recommended to play at Re: Ori – so she found some decks and became CANDI. Candice “learnt how to DJ in 4-6 weeks and then played the silent disco at toga”, immediately finding her footing. “I did have some basic DJ gear because my dad was a DJ,” Candice told Critic, “[so] I’ve been around electronic music my whole life, but never really thought about being a DJ. I grew up around a lot of 90’s Euro-Dance and it’s super cool to see that get a resurgence – ‘Meet Her at the Love Parade’ is at the core of my electronic journey.”

CANDI isn’t worried about all the “bells and whistles” when she’s behind the decks; instead, “it is more about my tune selection and navigating and molding the energy around the room rather than quad dropping.” Her ability to curate a vibe for the dancefloor is what gives her the most joy when it comes to DJing. As she explained, “There’s nothing I love more than playing a tune and then seeing someone else love it too, [seeing] the way their face lights up, it is such a special experience.” 

Usually, CANDI plays house music, techno, and 140, but is open to playing anything. “I play what I feel like or what I think people in the room would enjoy”, she said. Playing a set at RNV recently was the biggest ‘room’ she has played for. Despite not “expecting it to be super busy [...] I was playing at 9pm on campers’ night and the whole stage was packed from front to back.” Surrounded by electronic legends and welcoming staff she couldn’t help but conclude “It was really cool”. 

Her main goal, though, is to create a safe space on the dancefloor. “A massive part of our kaupapa for CANDI and Nörty Club is the love of music, and that can only happen when it’s a safe space for everyone to enjoy,” she said. “It means a lot to me when people come to my gigs to have a safe space”, adding “It’s about music at the end of the day but it is always deeper than [that]. No anti-social BS on my dancefloor.”

You can catch CANDI at Catacombs opening for UK act Bader on the 8th of March, and for Frank Booker on the 9th of March at Erricks. To keep up to date with what CANDI is up to follow her at @lovefromcandi on Instagram

This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2024.
Posted 4:57pm Sunday 25th February 2024 by Jordan Irvine.