Isa plays 20 Questions

The Athletica boss gives us the skinny on her favourite things, the last time she laughed her ass off and the best place to eat in Sydney.
Henry Johnstone
Isa plays 20 Questions

Isa is a DJ, Athletica qween, and host of Wednesday night's Sunset program on Sydney's lauded FBi Radio. On Friday 30 June, Isa will be playing a back-to-back set with fellow record slinger and 77 resident Deepa (with Jhassic in support). In anticipation of a sweaty night of dance floor action on the horizon, we shot 20 rapid fire questions over to Isa to get the skinny on all her favourite things.

Here's what came back.

1. Can you recall the moment when you fell in love with music?

Ok this is a weird one, but my mum worked for Disney when I was a kid so we had tonnes of soundtrack CDs in the house and I fucking loved The Pirates of the Caribbean one. I listened to it on repeat because it made me feel so many things. DJing is me trying to capture the joy and raw emotion of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme through dance music.

2. The best thing about DJing is?

People screaming, laughing and making out in the crowd because you hit play on a track. I also found out today two people I know who are best friends met at Athletica and that makes me so happy.

3. The last book you read? Was it any good?

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. Obviously incredible!

4. Best album of 2023 so far?

‘Raven’ by Kelela.

5. Favourite film of the last six months?

I saw Marcel The Shell With Shoes On in an empty cinema at The Ritz and cried for no joke the entire last 40 minutes of the film. Like big ugly sobs. 10/10, no notes.

6. A track you haven’t been able to stop listening to lately?

Beaming’ by Friday*. It makes me wanna run through a field of flowers with my best friends and then tell secrets until it gets dark.

7. A favourite track or album to soundtrack a lazy Sunday afternoon?

The Astrud Gilberto Album! Bossa Nova is a warm summer sunset.

8. Describe Athletica in three words.

Raucous, joyous, fruity.

9. Your favourite 90s tune and why?

Impossible ask. I’m loving This Style by Shy FX at the moment though because I’m on a quick & fast kick tip.

10. Who was the last DJ you danced to and where was it?

Fried Pork Chop at All Day Queer Dance. I love Jullian and the depth and breadth of his club music collection is fucking wild.

11. If I could go back in time I would…?

Buy like 10,000, 000 Bitcoin in 2009.

12. The last time you had an uncontrollable laughing fit?

Singing ‘Send Me On My Way’ in the car with three friends on the way to West Ball 4.

13. A track that never fails to win over the dance floor?

Obsessed with the OSSX – ‘Don’t Linger’ aka their edit of ‘What’s A Girl To Do’ by Fatima Yamaha. I played it at a gig the other week and all the lights cut out due to technical difficulties, but everyone in the club turned on their phone torches as this song played and it felt magical.

14. Sydney needs more of…? And less of?

Wheelchair accessible late-night venues. Newly opened venues that say they’re wheelchair accessible but aren’t.

15. Who is someone that continues to inspire you and why?

My mum - she’s really smart and cool and has been through a lot but is still so wonderful. I just wanna make her proud!

16. The last non-music podcast you were addicted to?

Articles of Interest. It’s about the history behind items of clothing.

17. The TV show you’re obsessed with?

The Sopranos fucking rules. I love that it’s something that is best watched one episode a day or week at a time because each one just gives you so much to chew on. “Eyyy I’m Tony SopRANo!! GABAGOOL!!!!!”

18. Something that really gets on your nerves?

The feeling of chalk on my skin makes me want to scream, which sucks because I can’t be one of those rock climbing gays.

19. What makes me happiest is…?

Being outside with my friends, preferably swimming, preferably with dorky goggles so I can look at all the fish.

20. The best place in Sydney for a cheap and cheerful, delicious meal?

I love Ichi Ban Boshi next to the Kinokuniya book store in The Galeries. I always order the Tan Tan Tsukemen (cold ramen noodles with hot soup for dipping) and it’s sooooo yummy.

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