For the Love of Music: Millie Cotton, DJ.
We talk to Millie Cotton about playing live, listening to music and her new Bowers & Wilkins 603 S3 loudspeakers.
They say you should do what you love in life, which is advice Millie Cotton has taken to heart. Music is her passion and interest, turned career. A lot of us can get on board with that idea, although few people manage to do it.
As a DJ, Millie spent the past summer playing clubs and festivals across the UK – this year she has played to large crowds at the likes of Creamfields, Boardmasters and The Wilderness Festival, while also performing at more intimate events such as soundtracking the All Saints show at London Fashion Week and opening at London’s Ministry Of Sound.
It’s been quite a ride since her first festival appearance in 2021, in the aftermath of the Pandemic:
“It was the first night after we were all allowed to dance after having been in our houses for two years,” Millie says. “And I'd never really played to a crowd of more than like 10, 15 people who were my friends and family. And this crowd was thousands of people. Everyone had the best time; there were people jumping from the trees. It was absolutely mad."
Up until then, Millie, who has spent time as a fashion and music journalist, wasn’t totally sure becoming a DJ was the right option for her. “But the feeling that I got from this set and the way that everyone came together, it was magical. Honestly, it was amazing.”
From motorway to DJ
Millie’s journey into the DJ world is no fluke though, as music has been with her throughout her life, coming at it, as many of us do, through her parents’ listening habits. And as many others will have experienced, that listening started on car journeys.
“We didn't have that many CDs or a record player at home,” Millie says. “But the car was somewhere where we always listened to the radio and where I used to sing, and as I got older, I got into musical theatre.
“From there, deejaying was a natural progression, a way to make the most of my love of music. It’s perfect, as I don't love the idea of having a 9-to-5 job. I don't love routine, so I enjoy being able to kind of fill my days however I want to fill them.”
Today, that means filling them with music: “I wake up in the morning, I put music on, I sit and I search for new music. The thing I really love most about music is just the way that it can bring people together, the way that it can evoke emotions and memories.”
Millie’s listening habits have also moved on from listening to her parents’ car stereo. Millie got her first turntable and speakers for her 21st birthday, which also kickstarted her relationship with vinyl: “I wouldn't say I collect vinyl, but I buy specific records that hold memories and that I want to listen to really regularly. But I also go vinyl shopping and I'll buy random ones, too.”
Like many of us, it’s not only the sound quality but also the tactility of vinyl that makes Millie love it. “I love the way vinyl sounds; I love the physical touch of it,” she says. “It’s just not the same thing when you stream music. It's a whole experience, one that can overwhelm your senses – and you just don't get that from playing music off your phone.”
Millie’s favourite way of listening to music is via the intimacy of headphones: “I really like sitting in a dark room and putting on some big old headphones and enjoying whatever it is that I'm listening to… but REALLY hearing it.”
But a close second is listening via loudspeakers in her lounge, in the company of her precious dog. This is where Millie’s new Bowers & Wilkins 603 S3s come into play, obviously in terms of sound quality, but also how they look.
“Design aesthetic is really important because I think everyone wants their home to look a certain way, and you have to find what fits with you and having beautiful looking speakers to me is really important.”
But the primary reason music lovers like Millie opt for the Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series is because of the sound quality they deliver: “High-quality sound enhances your listening experience,” Millie says. “And with these, you can close your eyes and it sounds like the band is like in front of you.
“You can pick out specific instruments so easily and just because of that clarity, they let you experience the intricacies that you maybe wouldn't hear elsewhere. Those little bits that people have spent so long in the studio kind of mixing and mastering.”
You can start your own musical journey with the 600 Series here.