Helena Legend isn’t just one of the world’s top female DJs — for that matter, she’s not even just a DJ. With a new clothing line and a massive social media presence to match, the world-traveling British-born artist is rapidly becoming a star on both a national and international level. But growing up, Legend didn’t intend to become a DJ superstar. She was merely a dance music superfan who couldn’t get enough of the sounds and the culture.
“I was obsessed with dance music growing up,” Legend says. “My brother was a DJ. My friends were DJs. The whole crew that I was with was into dance music. On the weekends, all we could think about was how we were going to get fake I.D.s to go to the club. At no stage did I ever think I wanted to be a DJ — I actually thought I was going to be a fashion designer growing up — but I just fell into it because I loved music.”
At the age of 17, Legend started working in the European dance music scene. What began as promoting and assisting other performers quickly brought the young fan to DJ house parties and in her bedroom as a hobby. Before long, Legend began receiving invitations to DJ at bigger and more prominent events — even if she didn’t consider it to be more than a passion project.
After learning the ins and outs of the British scene, Legend decided to make her skyrocketing career a full-time endeavor by moving to Australia and then Los Angeles. While she had some gameplan before packing her bags the first time, her move to SoCal was almost entirely unplanned — and a huge potential risk in both her personal and professional lives.
“It was a bit daunting at first moving to LA, because when I first moved, I didn’t have anything lined up,” Legend says. “I didn’t move there knowing that I had three months of shows lined up or anything, and I didn’t really know anybody. I went through something similar when I moved to Australia from England, because I just packed a suitcase and moved to the other side of the world. This was more daunting though because I didn’t have anything lined up workwise either.”
Although it took her some time to adjust, Legend has grown to love California for most of the same reasons as people who live in the area their entire life. With a constant mixture of sunshine, healthy food, and beaches, the renowned artist is always blending her newfound SoCal life into her unique electronic sounds. To this day, the DJ says she’s still regularly blown away by what her daily life entails (both in LA and around the globe) and the opportunities that have seemingly fallen into her lap.
“I’ve had quite a few surreal moments,” Legend says. “I still get those moments all the time. I don’t take things for granted, and I’ve worked really hard to get where I am. I appreciate that not everyone gets to do something they love for a living, and that I’m quite blessed to be able to do that everyday and get to travel the world, That’s something I don’t take for granted.”
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Part of that hard work stems directly from Legend’s desire to always be releasing new music. Rather than hold out to drop an entire album once every year or two, the rising superstar simply releases a track or two at a time for the most part. For her biggest endeavor, Legend intended to release a six-track EP last year, but the record label decided she was better off splitting it down the middle and putting out two three-track releases.
“I decided to do an EP because I was doing a shift in my music style, and I thought it was a great way to introduce that sound,” Legend says of No Explanations. “People have always asked if I would make an album, and I’ve always said that people should only make an album if they’re trying to make a statement. I’ve always felt that singles are more effective, and I like to keep releasing singles so you can put the full attention into each track.”
But whether she’s dropping a single track or a full album, there’s a unique twist that runs through all of Legend’s music (as well as her self-titled clothing line). Her smooth and memorable beats sound familiar in a friendly way, but without sounding like what anyone else in the industry is doing. For a scene so filled with artists copying the popular sounds of their predecessors, Legend provides a breath of fresh air without going too far out of the genre’s comfort zone.
“Everything’s been done, and everything sounds like something or someone,” Legend says. “So many times, I’ve done something and thought it was so cool, but then I realized I just recreated another track. You don’t even realize it, but you’re so impacted subconsciously and consciously by what you hear. It’s all about focusing on your inspirations, understanding them, and making them into something different that’s yours.”