sim0ne: the rising DJ and producer melding URL and IRL
The Scottish musician spent lockdown honing her skills in the booth. Now, she’s bursting onto the club circuit.
words Megan Wallace
To celebrate our first birthday, woo has curated a list of our ones. The people in our wooniverse who are redefining fashion, music, clubs, culture and much more.
Like many people, I first became aware of sim0ne, real name Simone Murphy, thanks to a tongue-in-cheek TikTok. The video in question is a clip of the one-time model, now DJ sporting razor sharp eyeliner, zooming around the architectural glories of the Sistine Chapel. The caption? “You’re telling me a cis teen made this?” In case you didn’t gather by now, she’s really, really funny.
It’s this sense of humour, as well as a merry-go-round of inspo-worthy outfits, which has attracted Murphy a following of over 120,000 on Instagram. Alongside this lighter fare, she uses her online clout to speak out on the pressing political issues of the day – from the injustices of Conservative party austerity, to the need to advocate for trans rights amid a context of increasingly overt hate and discrimination.
But while she’s long since secured her crown as an undisputed social media queen, frequently racking up millions of views on her irreverent video posts and platforming social justice conversations, Murphy’s ambition goes beyond the world of social media celebrity. The goal? To dominate the radio waves and the dance floor as a DJ, producer and vocalist.
Currently, things are going well: she’s bagged herself a coveted residency with cult community radio station Rinse FM, just finished playing her first international festival at Austria’s Snowbombing and has gotten behind the booth in clubs across the UK – including Edinburgh’s infamous sweatbox Sneaky Pete’s. And there’s plenty more on the horizon as Murphy gears up to drop her first-ever EP of original music and showcase her talents as a producer and vocalist.
Describe what you do in your own words.
I'm a DJ and I'm about to launch my artist project which includes songwriting and making the tunes as well. That’s been really fun. I've been working on that for about seven months now. I’m now getting ready for my first single release which is really exciting.
And how would you describe what you do to a date?
I think I would just say I work in music. I modelled for a really long time and before that I was at university and then I made content too, so it's easier to just say I’m in the music industry.
How did you get into your chosen career?
It was quite a natural progression, I’ve obviously done a couple of things professionally. During the pandemic, lockdown gave me the time to really realise what I wanted to be doing and that my passion was music and it gave me the time to hone my skills. Then it all really got going.
Are there any upcoming projects we should look out for?
I’m excited to have my first single dropping next month, at the start. I also have a Lana Del Rey edit - not an official one - that just dropped. I don't know if you're a fan but it's of one of her old demos which everyone loves but that she never released, it’s called Yes To Heaven and I've put that edit on SoundCloud. I’ve also just come back from Snowbombing in Austria where I played my first international festival.
What’s one thing you'd like to see change in the world? And is there anything you do that you think helps that change along?
I love the internet but it's kind of almost gotten to the point where people are so disconnected in real life. I would really like to see people focus more on community and empathy in the real world and using that alongside technology to build something better, rather than people just being so online. Which I know is ironic because I’m online constantly.
I definitely have always had such a big interest in politics. I try and use my platform, but I've really become a bit disillusioned with politics, which is quite easy to do living in the UK, obviously. But I try to use the fact that I have a voice to try and amplify those that don't.
What's the one thing in your career you're most proud of?
Well, I have a couple of global modelling campaigns under my belt but at the moment, I'm in talks with several record labels, some of them major record labels. That's just something I never could have dreamed or envisioned I would be doing so I'm really proud and excited to be going through that at the moment.
And what's one thing you would do if you were Prime Minister for the day?
I would ironclad the reformed Gender Recognition Act because trans rights are human rights.
Is there any one thing you do on the regular to take care of your mental health?
I am a big fan of the endorphins after working out. I hate to say it but everyone that said to get up early and go to the gym to feel better were right. It does make you feel good.
What's one lesson that changed your life?
I think receiving hate online, which sounds funny, but I used to really try and edit myself so as to avoid it. I was a bit of a people pleaser and I was still getting these awful comments. So it kind of taught me that I can just do whatever I want to because people are going to project how they feel onto you regardless of what you're doing. You might as well do what you'd like to do.
How about one moment in your career that you will cherish forever?
So the first club show I ever played was last year in Hackney and I played to 1000 people and I was absolutely terrified. I was so scared, but I did it. And there was this moment where I was like, “Okay, well, everyone's here like, I'm just just gonna have to do it.” And then afterwards, I had this rush, and it really cemented that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have never felt so clear about anything ever before.
What's one thing you want to achieve in the next year?
As I mentioned, I'm working on an EP right now. So I am pretty excited.
If you had a number one song, what would it sound like?
Who's your number one fan?
And who's number one on your speed dial?
Name one person who's killing the game right now.
Not a person but I wanted to shout out Rinse FM. I’m completely biassed as one of their residents but I think it has an incredible roster of talent. They have been such a stronghold in the industry, but they've really adapted to the new landscape and I'm really grateful for everything they've done for me so far.
What's one piece of clothing you can't live without?
Chunky black shoes. I just bought the Heaven Marc Jacobs Margaret boots, you know, the platforms. They’re my pride and joy, like I will not take them off.
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