Lynda Phoenix: DJ & Runner
There’s no denying the relationship between music and exercise is vital for many. We caught up with DJ Lynda Phoenix to get her take on why it’s so important and what it means to her.
- How long have you been DJing?
I have been mixing since I was 16 and my first major gig was at ‘Ministry of Sound’ when I was 19. So it’s been around 18 years or so (even though it doesn’t feel that long!)
- When did you start running?
I started running 15 months ago after downloading a beginner running app on my phone. This got me to the 5k distance and I just progressed from there. The beginning of the year I joined Run Dem Crew which inspired me to run the Berlin Half Marathon with the crew.
- How much importance do you place on the relationship between music and exercise?
Both fitness and music make me escape from reality but at the same time both make me feel very real, grounded and complete. The beat from music helps me with pace and focus and emulates a heartbeat, so I can put certain tracks to power me through certain stages of races or distances.
There’s a magical point when you run that you don’t even feel yourself putting one foot in front of the other – it just feels like you are floating (runners high!) and teamed with music the combination is out of this world. You can’t beat it.
- Which gives you the bigger high; DJing or running?
Music evokes emotion and exercise also evokes emotion, both are a form of escapism.
The combination of both is intense, so I can’t imagine one without the other; they are definitely on an equal par.
- What are your top five tracks to run to?
1. Dusky – Flo Jam – Dogmatik Records
2. Huxley – Box Clever – 2020 Vision
3. Matthew Dekay & Lee Burridge – Fur Die Liebe – All Day Dream
4. Le Vinyl, Melohman, Javi Bora – Soul Story – Defected
5. Kevin Yost – Bally Who – I Records
- Have you been to an exercise class where you felt the music just didn’t work at all? Do you have to hold yourself back from taking charge of the stereo?
It’s actually the reason I don’t attend many fitness classes as the music can be so bad it’s distracting! I have no idea why instructors play stuff like euro-house versions of ‘Pump up the Jam’ or trance remixes of pop acts, it’s just pure ear bleed.
If thought was put into the music played in fitness classes the feeling you’d get working out would be amplified. I know I’m sounding like a complete music snob, but there’s such great music around that could really make exercise classes extra special.
- Would you like to work on projects that combine music and exercise?
I’m currently working on a fitness/music project at Defected Records with London gym company ‘Gymbox’. We’ve created a special fitness compilation series called ‘Bodymusic’ which is a mix of upfront house with a tempo of 138 BPM – designed to keep you moving. The mixes are also used in the variety of classes at Gymbox.
There’s a definite lack of compilations dedicated to people who work out so these mixes will be perfect for people who like both fitness and house music and hopefully improve the music played in exercise classes! So I am really blessed to be working on both of my passions, fitness and music!
- What role does fitness play in your life?
Its part of my daily life, I run around 4 or 5 times a week and practise Yoga and strength training daily.
After dedicating so much time into fitness I realised that my mind held me back much more than my actual ability (in both fitness and life in general) so it’s been my mission to strengthen myself mentally to improve and keep moving forward. Running helps break mental barriers down and Yoga gives me clarity and peace.
Through my love of running I’ve met new friends and it has opened to door to so many new experiences. I’m a member of Run Dem Crew headed up by Charlie Dark from Attica Blues/ Blacktronica, so the music element is a real part of what the crew is about, we train hard, run hard and party hard.
Fitness has also had a positive effect on job as a DJ. I sleep well and use the time running to clear my head, listen to new music to prepare for gigs and escape from technology overload. It’s amazing how fresh air and running outside can both relax you and energise you. My life is more balanced and I’m more focused and disciplined.
- What are your next big DJ and running gigs?
Next big DJ gig is at the ‘Arenal Sound Festival’ in Valencia on the 3/4/5th August alongside Felix Da Housecat, Crookers and Digitalism. It’s a great honour to play at this festival as its one of the biggest in Spain.
My next big race is the Royal Park and Amsterdam Half Marathon both in October. The ‘Amsterdam Half Marathon’ falls on the same week as ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) so after four days of business meetings by day and partying by night it ends with 13 miles on the road – my two worlds will truly collide!