Gina Breeze
Gina Breeze

Let’s Talk About Gina Breeze

She discusses her musical roots, the develop of her signature percussive house/techno sound and much more on the interview

Gina Breeze is a rising star in the underground house and techno scene. She blends influences from Chicago, New York, and the UK club scenes. Based in Manchester, Breeze has become a mainstay at prominent queer parties and events like HomoElectric, HomoBloc, and underground raves throughout the city.

Her musical journey began in the late 2000s, when she was exposed to the booming electronic music culture in Yorkshire through friends and local clubs like SpeedQueen. After honing her DJ skills spinning a mix of trance, house, and bassline/garage, Breeze pursued formal music production training in Sheffield before making the move to Manchester.

The city’s rich musical heritage and melting pot of styles left an indelible mark on Breeze’s sound. As a resident DJ for the HomoElectric crew, she experimented with more leftfield and eclectic sounds, shaping the percussive, groove-driven house and techno that has become her signature.

Breeze’s burgeoning production talents recently landed her a release on Peggy Gou’s acclaimed Gudu Records compilation ‘Gudu & Friends Vol. 2.

We sat down with the fast-rising DJ/producer to discuss her musical roots, developing her unique sound, experiences in Manchester’s dance music underground, and what the future holds.

What was your experience like studying music production in Sheffield, and how did that shape your sound?

The course I did in Sheffield was the start of my production journey. It was a pretty intense 6 month course working in Logic & also looking at songwriting, live elements, arrangement. Honestly, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was the start of my sound evolving, which it still is today.

How would you describe your signature sound, and what influences have played a role in shaping it?

Musically I’ve been influenced by New York & Chicago sounds. Since buying my first drum machine, layering tom rhythms have been the backbone to a lot of my tracks. I love percussion & laying down the beat is one of my favorite parts.

SpeedQueen (my first residency in Leeds) was a huge part of my story & that kind of classic house music will always hold a special place in my heart. I feel that’s why I’m a sucker for a diva vocal or pumping bassline.

Can you tell us about the process of blending influences from different genres and cultures into your productions?

I’ve been influenced by the places I grew up clubbing. Although I’m not really a trancehead now, all the experiences play a part. I feel I take inspiration from the scenes in Leeds & Sheffield massively. I never went to Niche, but we always listened to speed garage/bassline music. It was more of a guilty pleasure but I hear that kind of bass sound is something I will lean towards, even now.

As someone based in Manchester, how has the city’s rich musical history and rave culture influenced your work?

When I moved from Yorkshire to Manchester, my eyes were opened further in terms of music & DJing as a whole. I met Luke Unabomber & started playing for HomoElectric. I was hearing a lot of left-field music, hearing a lot more sets while really went on more of a musical journey. It was totally different to the clubs I was used to – where everything would be pretty much high energy all night. I started playing radio shows & longer sets where I could spread my wings a bit more creatively. I was also around a lot more creative minds /Artists. This melting pot of all things musical has been a driving force in everything I do today.

You’ve been a resident at several prominent events and venues. Can you share some highlights from your residencies?

SpeedQueen is where my journey started as a DJ so it will always hold a special place in my heart. When I moved to Manchester, my next home was (and still is) with HomoElectric. I feel I have really grown as an artist since being a resident here. I can test out new material and go off-piste with different sounds. It’s also been great to play events like HomoBloc, queer parties on a massive scale at Mayfield Depot. It’s completely different to playing places like Hidden, and these underground basement-type raves but very cool all the same.

How do you approach crafting a captivating live set or DJ performance?

I think of each set as a new journey. I try to research the venue/artists playing on the same lineup where I can. I want to complement to next artist & for the night to have the right flow. I feel the warm-up set is a dying craft & so important for the energy of the whole night. Being a resident at the places I mentioned before I think gives you real necessary experience on how to warm up a room. It’s essential not to bang it out from 10 pm. I do love fast music & enjoy playing at higher tempos but I think the build of a warm-up set can make or break the night. If I’m warming up I’m very aware of this & see the warm-up as big of a deal as the main set.

Can you walk us through your production process and the various elements you consider when creating a track?

Since buying my first drum machine this has usually been the starting point & backbone to a lot of my tracks. My Roland TR8-S is a part of my studio I couldn’t live without. I love percussion & laying down the beat is one of my favorite parts. Getting hands-on is a big part for me & getting the groove just right before adding the other elements. I feel I can bounce off the rhythm and percussion which can inspire the rest of the track.

Gina Breeze
Gina Breeze

How do you feel your sound has evolved over the years, and where do you see it heading in the future?

I think my sound has evolved a lot since I put out my first E.P. (2015) you can usually hear my New York / Chicago influences in my music. Think this goes back to the drums. Musically I just want to keep things fresh & exciting. I’m working on an album at the moment so this is a chance to stretch my creative muscles & make some more melodic/down tempo tracks. I love to collaborate and am lucky to have worked with some incredible vocalists over the years. I would love to see more of that in the future.

As a female artist in a male-dominated industry, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

I feel I’m been fortunate to work with a real mix of male/female promoters, agents over the years. The industry can be rough, I think now more than ever. There are so many DJs, especially after lockdown. It can be hard to rise above the noise. For me I just try to stay authentic, keep going in my own lane & work with as many females in the industry as possible.

Who are some artists or producers that have particularly inspired you or that you admire?

I am inspired by artists like KiNK & Miss Kittin, I would love to incorporate live elements into my DJ sets eventually & KiNK is just the absolute master. It is also amazing to see female artists at the forefront of the electronic scene, Peggy Gou of course, Blessed Madonna & Honey Dijon. I have been a big fan of The Blessed Madonna since seeing her years ago at the Warehouse Project. I also love Cinthie & saw her play recently at Night Tales in London. She really is a class act.

How do you balance the creative and business aspects of your career as a DJ and producer?

I think this balance is quite difficult, the business side has never really been one of my strongest points but I am much better now than when I started. The business side comes second, always. I need to remind myself of that sometimes. Music first, should keep the creative juices flowing rather than trying to chase numbers.

Can you share any exciting projects or collaborations you have in the works?

I am sketching ideas for an album at the minute which I’m really excited about. Also working on a new E.P for a very exciting label. More info to come on that soon!

Can you tell us about the track you have on the Gudu & Friends Vol. 2 compilation? What was the inspiration or concept behind it?

Rebound started after a fun jam session with the Prophet synth. It’s quite a stripped-back track but has that real euphoric / summer vibe when the chords kick in. I added the ‘rhythm’ vocal, roughed that up a bit, and layered the percussion. The Prophet riff is just the one, this drives the whole track.

How did the opportunity to release on Peggy Gou’s Gudu label come about, and what has that experience been like so far?

I managed to get my hands on the A&R details for Gudu after making some music specifically for the label. I really wanted to be a part of the Gudu family & can honestly say, the experience has been so enjoyable. The label is run really well, great communication & I got the opportunity to do Guest Mix for the Gudu Mix Series on Apple Music. It’s great to be a part of this compilation, I feel it has a diverse mix of artists & I’m a big fan of all of them! The comp is killer!

What are some of your favorite venues or festivals to perform at, and why?

One of my favorite festivals I played at is Wildwood Disco in Cambridge. I closed the main stage after Erol Alkan & I feel played one of the best sets Ive ever played. Everything just slotted in right that day, the sun was setting as Erol played, and the lighting for the stage was so trippy & bounced off the trees. It was honestly magical. I’m playing there again this year on my birthday actually & cannot wait!

Of course, there’s Love International Festival which has been a favourite for years, the boat parties & Barbarellas. I played Barbarellas for the first time last year for Classic at Defected. That club is very special, especially the sunrise sets. Had some incredible moments there.

I think in terms of clubs, as cliche as it is Fabric is just up there & is one of my favorites. I supported Eats everything there and the sound in room two is just lush. The way the DJ booth is positioned in that room just gives you great energy and connection with the crowd. Love it there.

The Cause London too, is amazing. Adonis parties are just another level there now.

Gina Breeze
Gina Breeze

How important of a role does social media play in your career as an artist, and how do you approach building and engaging with your online following?

Social media is a blessing & a curse. I would love to be off all social media as I feel it drains me & can have a negative effect on me mentally. However, I am able to reach different demographics through the power of social media & have more of a reach. I don’t have a massive amount of followers but what I do have has grown organically over the years. I should probably put more time into growing my followers but that’s not why I came into the music industry. I want to create, move people & create lasting memories. I want my content to be real, release, mixes real-life stuff Rather than super contrived and scheduled.

Beyond music, what other interests or passions do you have that influence your artistry?

I love to travel, this can be the hard part when flying solo. I try to take inspiration from all the places I’m booked to play at. Sound bytes, the feel of certain places, I want to channel this into the music. I’m looking to get more of a portable sampler actually for when I’m on the road to sketch out ideas in the moment.

As our conversation winds down, it’s clear that Gina Breeze is an artist firmly rooted in the rich musical traditions that shaped her. She also consistently pushes her sound forward in exciting new directions. Her release on Peggy Gou’s Gudu Records has given Breeze’s talents a bigger platform, but she remains grounded in the underground scenes and queer party crews that gave her a start.

As she puts it, “I want to create, move people & create lasting memories.” With her passion, talent, and authentic approach, she’s well on her way.