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Behind the great success of DJ Alice Q

Alice Q is one of Australia’s most in-demand female DJs. Actually, scrap that. She’s one of Australia’s most in-demand DJs – full stop. The last eight years of her career have seen her perform at high-end fashion shows for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Dita Von Teese, major festivals and events, and some of the best clubs in Sydney, New York City, and beyond.

But Alice Q is so much more than a DJ. She’s a brand. And she’s using it to her advantage.

“Not a lot of girls were deejaying back when I started, so a lot of fashion labels quickly got on board and wanted to book me. I really targeted that industry – but I’ve always thought about how to make my brand stand out, and how to expand it,” says Alice.

Alice started deejaying as a hobby almost a decade ago. At the time, she was working as a producer in an unsatisfying advertising role.

“I was working in advertising and I had quite stressful role. I was in a corporate environment and I was just feeling just so burnt out all the time and having to work such long hours, while not necessarily feeling rewarded for the work that I was putting in. I had that feeling for a long time,” says Alice.

“I decided to leave. I was deejaying on the side at this point, then I went away for a little bit, came back and then I started deejaying a lot more.”

What started as a side-hustle turned into a successful career, but being Alice Q doesn’t come without its challenges.

Alice refuses to be pigeonholed. She keeps breaking free of constraints and stepping into new genres, new places, and new industries.

“In this profession, you can get sort of pigeonholed into one thing. If you want to do fashion stuff, then the festival guys probably won’t book you play a techno party. But I actually really like playing techno as well,” she says.

“I really wanted to do everything, and still do – so I had to market myself in a way that allows for that. I try as hard as I can to sort of break out of any box. I don’t want to be put in a box.”

Alice was part of CGU’s Big Small Business Christmas Party this year, which was an event for small businesses, run by small businesses. Its intent was to bring together owners of start-ups, small enterprises and sole traders who wouldn’t otherwise have a big work party to attend – and to give them the chance to network with other like-minded, ambitious people.

“I think ambition is so important. When I decided to do my own thing, I thought about what was really important to me. Combining my two passions, fashion and music, are what matters to me. The fact I get to do both those things on a day-today basis is so rewarding, and that’s what drives me,” says Alice.

And don’t expect Alice to slow down anytime soon.

“In the next five years, I'll probably go more towards doing like a lifestyle brand and styling and designing. I’d love to expand my brand and use what I’ve learned so far,” says Alice.

For other ambitious creatives thinking about carving their own path in the industry, Alice says it’s best to ignore the naysayers.

“Make sure you do your research and don’t listen to other people’s negative opinions, because usually, if you really want something, it’s not as unattainable as they say it is.”