After a breakout 2018, Adelaide deejay and producer Annabel Hartlett – AKA Godlands – is bound for LA.
Welcome to Godlands
Annabel Hartlett took to the stage at Listen In 2018 not expecting a huge turnout.
As she looked out at the patch of Tulya Wardli Bonython Park hosting the festival, she was surprised to see thousands of people standing in wait.
“I’m still a local deejay here, you know? I still have that mentality. I still can’t believe people rock up to my gigs,” Annabel laughs.
A stalwart of the Adelaide club scene, Annabel debuted with a set at Mansions almost a decade ago, quickly picking up gigs as one of the few female deejays working in the city.
“It was easier to get jobs… but obviously with that there are cons and people sort of just book you because you are a female deejay and don’t actually think you have that much talent,” she says.
Today, Annabel works as part of the Crippen Place crew at Mr Kim’s and Electric Circus. Though she’s remained active, deejaying inevitably felt like a dead end creatively, so a few years ago she enrolled in a short course in music production at SAE.
Not easily drawn on how she characterises Godlands’ sound, Annabel cites a broad range of influences.
“I just think ‘Oh, is that my sound? A whole bunch of people mashed into one, and then that’s me?’” she says.
“I knew I wanted to do bass stuff. I had, coming up through the scene, done a lot of hip hop and trap music.
“That’s the music I fell in love with, so it was always something I wanted to pursue with my production.”
Godlands was officially unveiled in July 2017 and quickly garnered a following on club-focussed music blogs and, eventually, the all-important national broadcaster, Triple J.
In February 2018, Godlands embarked on the first of two international tours; one in support of her single ‘Pleasures’, and a follow up three-month tour, booked off the back of her signing with iconic LA label, owned by Steve Aoki, Dim Mak.
It was a landmark signing made all the more poignant given the first act ever to inspire Annabel to deejay, The Bloody Beetroots, would now be her labelmates.
“It’s kind of crazy, it goes full-circle,” she says.
CityMag speaks with Annabel over the phone in early January, the aches of her Hellrasier tour almost fully absorbed.
“That three-month one at the end, hoo, that was a doozy,” she says.
“I’m glad I’m not getting on another plane for another month, because that was really quite stressful towards the end.”
Her next scheduled flight is to LA where she will meet the Dim Mak team and discuss the timing of her debut EP. From there, Annabel will take whatever opportunities are presented to her.
“I really want to tap into the American market. Trap and bass music is so huge over there, and opportunities are endless,” she says.
Through bursts of determination and self-confidence, Annabel practices strongly enforced humility – a symptom of coming up as an artist in Adelaide, she says.
“It makes no sense to me,” she laughs, “I’m just an Adelaide gal, local deejay, doing her thing.”
Annabel plans on remaining local. Adelaide is home, at least until “the big jump” to the States. Based on her current trajectory, the wait won’t be long.
“It was just such a break out year for me, and I’m so blessed to have such an amazing team backing me and working hard and pushing me. I hope it’s only going to keep going up.
“Twenty-eighteen is just the beginning, I reckon.”
Since we caught up with Godlands at the beginning of the year, the producer has announced her debut EP 4 U Only due for release real soon. Check out the first single, Valour, below, and stay tuned to her social feed for updates.