United Kingdom

Mix Duration



February 14th, 2024

Written By





When she’s not busy shaping young minds in the classroom, Norfn is spinning house and downtempo at various venues across Northern England, with a particular focus on her current base in Leeds. Renowned as a bastion of house music, the city owes part of its contemporary musical heritage to collectives such as Butter Side Up and Louche, which have left a lasting influence on our guest.

Norfn’s passion for music dates back to her early years, her dad being a DJ himself when she was born. After years of digging and exploring a wide range of genres, she eventually got hooked on electronic music while studying at university in Leeds in the early 2010s. From there, her eclectic selections of house, disco and downtempo earned her a solid reputation within the local scene, securing gigs and sharing stages with acclaimed artists like Mall Grab, Interplanetary Criminal, and Skream. In addition to DJing, Norfn has been at the helm of the Run The Rhythm imprint since early 2022, curating a collection of excellent deep house releases from underground UK producers such as Trippers Anonymous and Kerouac.

Norfn’s ER podcast is a celebration of her main influences, both old and new. Jacking drums, groovy basslines and sweet melodies sprinkle this well balanced journey through the realms of deep and tech house, offering a glimpse into her playful yet sophisticated sound.

Can you tell us about your personal journey with electronic music and DJing?

I have grown up around electronic music and DJing. My dad started DJing in Miami in the late 80’s and put on illegal parties. Unfortunately when I was born my parents who were illegal immigrants in Miami at the time couldn’t afford to pay the hospital bills for my birth, so my dad had to sell most of his first presses of early house music records, which I feel SO bad about! My dad would always play music at home or in his van ranging from Elvis Costello to house. I remember in the early 00’s being around 8 years old, and every Saturday morning me and my dad would go to record/CD stores in Miami and I would dig for used CD’s. This is when I first got introduced to digging and different kinds of music but I was really into punk, nu-metal and hip hop back then.

Fast forward to 2012, I started university in Leeds and got re-introduced to electronic music and parties. It was an amazing time for music, Leeds was popping and there were so many crews putting on intimate parties with the best underground DJ’s – my favorite at the time was Butter Side Up and Louche. There were some proper clubs too like The Garage and Mint Club, RIP I miss those spaces! Around this time I worked behind the bar for the party ‘Cosmic Slop’ and heard DJs like Floating Points and Alex Nut play things that I wouldn’t expect, and that really opened my eyes to the art of DJing. I was also hanging out with so many creative people that were planning parties, emceeing, DJing and producing music so it was only natural that I started to play around with mixing.

Who/What have been some of your main influences over the years, and had a big impact on you as an artist?

Favorite years have got to be 89-93. Labels: Ba Dum Tish, Nervous Records, Strictly Rhythm. My main influences have got to be Mellow Man, Mike Sharon, Brawther, Kerri Chandler, Space Ghost, Larry Heard, Metro Area.

I do really like the deeper side of electronic music, but I also really appreciate those who can take you on a journey, music for me is meditation. Space Ghost for me as well has such a broad selection of mixes and productions, ranging from ambient, downtempo and house, disco and funk. When I was younger all I would want to listen to was fast tempo music, but as I’m getting older I really crave and can appreciate slower tempos. At the minute I can’t stop digging for Disco, it’s just really funky and touches your soul in a different way – it’s proper musicianship.

Something else that has been inspiring me lately is my yoga studio, I’ve been a member at Yoga Hero for over a year now and the tracks my teachers put on send me to another dimension ranging from ambient, classical and weird Balearic beats, this has really broadened my taste and appreciation of music. My dad also inspires me, he’s always showing me new music and his mixing is flawless!

How would you describe your approach to DJing, and what draws you to the type of sound you play in your sets?

My approach to DJing is not a serious one, you can’t take yourself too seriously as a lot of DJs unfortunately tend to do – no one is bigger than the music. I’m here to have some fun and share some music people will hopefully like and be inspired by! I play a lot of downtempo and warm up sets, so I have a broad range of music from 80bpm to 136ish.

Warming up is an art form, if you go too hard too soon you can lose the crowd and it can really ruin the whole night for the punters and the headline DJ. I like to start low and slow and build it up with funky and deep house numbers, get the crowd slowly grooving, getting lost in the music and take it from there. It’s important to keep looking up at the crowd and try to make a connection, and if certain styles of tunes aren’t working it’s no big deal just switch it up again. I also always try to throw in some of our releases from Run The Rhythm to get a taste of what punters think of the forthcoming releases.

I like the deep, funky and  groovy sounds because they are so meditative and uplifting – life is hard and tough enough, I like to play music that will make people feel uplifted and in a rapture to forget about everyday stresses during that window.

With Run The Rhythm, you’ve already released 11 EPs by a variety of talented producers from across the UK. What are your plans for the label in 2024?

Oh wow are we on 11 already, I didn’t even realize that if I’m being honest. Thanks for the kind words! Special shout out to Kerouac, he’s such a legend and one of the best underground producers in the north of England, I’m really proud to have released his work on our label. We are currently in the process of working out the logistics of a vinyl release and working out our options – it’s a very expensive procedure, fingers crossed!

On a more personal note, what are your next projects, and what are you looking forward to in the near future?

I am wanting to keep developing my sound and sticking true to myself and not getting caught up in trends and hypes – music is a life long journey isn’t it! There are a couple of labels who have downtempo series so I want to piece something together for them, as I only released one so far on Ba Dum Tish.

On a personal note I want to keep growing my spiritual and physical practice of yoga and meditation, read a book a month and spend more time out in nature exploring new places like the Peak District. I’m really enjoying reading books at the minute, I read 2Pac’s autobiography over Christmas and it was so inspiring on a musical, personal, and intellectual level. I am really looking forward to warming up the Orchard Stage at Mint Festival for Eats Everything’s “The History of Rave,” where Dan Shake is playing – he was one of the first DJs I ever danced to back in 2012ish, so it’s an honor to have been trusted to warm up this stage for some HUGE DJs.

Finally, what can you tell us about the mix you recorded for us?

I wanted this mix to be a journey, I started with a really timeless record by one of my favorite producers, Mellow Man, it’s a beautifully constructed melody with a chugger of a bassline. I’ve been feeling for a while now that hardly anyone plays deep house, the sound has somewhat disappeared so I wanted to incorporate this into my mix with both old and contemporary tunes from the likes of Aerofunk and a new release from my friend’s label Curbside produced by Boink. The mix then builds up pace and momentum going into tech house rhythms that just make you want to get your head down and skank away.