Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir talk BASSINTHEGRASS, high-energy sets, and dance moves

We caught up with Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir ahead of their set at this year’s BASSINTHEGRASS festival

We are inching ever-closer to the 2024 edition of BASSINTHEGRASS, which means you might want to familiarise yourself with its lineup, which is so starry it warrants its own constellation. 

Taking place at Darwin’s iconic Mindil Beach on May 18, this year’s BASSINTHEGRASS will welcome the likes of Jet, Bag Raiders and King Stingray.

Sunshine & Disco Faith Band BASSINTHEGRASS

Perhaps the most exciting act for techno fans comes courtesy of Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir, the DJ and live choir group known for populating club setlists with uplifting gospel and soul vocals. 

In anticipation of their set at BASSINTHEGRASS, Sunshine swung by Happy to chat all things festival performances, mid-set surprises, and the one act she’s most excited to see.

Catch our full interview with Sunshine below, and head here to find more information about BASSINTHEGRASS 2024. 


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HAPPY: What are you up to today? 

SUNSHINE: I’m in the studio today working on some new Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir music and getting ready for my DJ gigs this weekend. 

HAPPY: Could you share with us some highlights of what you’ve been working on lately?

SUNSHINE: We’ve had a lot of incredible experiences over the last few months. On NYE we performed on the main stage at Beyond The Valley festival, supported Rudimental and Groove Armada at the Australian Open men’s final and a few weeks ago performed at Golden Plains Festival which has been a big dream since I first started the project in 2016. 

Sunshine & Disco Faith Band BASSINTHEGRASS

HAPPY: You have joined the incredible lineup at Bass in the Grass, any acts in particular you are keen to catch as a fan?

SUNSHINE: We’re so excited to be a part of Bass In The Grass. I’m keen to see Jet and Bliss n Eso. I’m a fan of both of those acts.

HAPPY: We’d love to hear about how Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir first came to be. What’s the origin story?

SUNSHINE: The concept started from a desire I had to add a live element of a choir to my dj sets. I’ve been DJing for 23yrs in Melbourne and around Australia and the DJ sound I’m well known for is the sound of Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir.

It was an idea I had wanted to do for years, I started the journey in 2016 when I started writing a track with one of our incredible leads Stellar Perry and wanted a choir to sing on it.

It turned out to be a challenge to find a choir who wanted to sing on the track and perform at the release party at a nightclub at 2am haha.

So I ended up starting my own choir – Disco Faith Choir – and our first performance was at The Prince Bandroom in Dec 2016.

Still to this day that’s one of my favourite performance’s we’ve done, the room was full of punters who had supported my dj sets over the years and the energy that was created in the room merging a dj set with the live element of the choir was a vibe unlike anything I’d experienced before at a club, it was electric.

And in that moment I knew I wanted to dedicate all my time to developing the concept and performance into the show it is today. I couldn’t be more happy with how well it’s being received and I really appreciate everyone’s support and love for us.

Sunshine & Disco Faith Band BASSINTHEGRASS

HAPPY: Moving from DJing to performing with a choir must be quite a shift. Did you find that there were any surprising common characteristics between DJ and choir music?

SUNSHINE: It’s been an exciting process and working with incredibly talented singers has made it an easy shift.

I think because the music and vocals I put together for the shows are all tracks I love and play in my DJ sets and know really well, hearing the choir sing the songs/work out harmonies and perform them at rehearsals is so inspiring and hearing my vision for a set come to life is unreal.

I’m really lucky to get to work with a really great group of people.

HAPPY: Your musical style is such a fascinating blend of genres. How do you go about merging these diverse sounds?

SUNSHINE: Yeah I’m a big fan of a lot of genres of music and over my DJ career I’ve played everything from RnB, hip hop, funk, soul, disco, house, techno, trance so mixing genres is definitely my vibe and comes naturally to me. 

HAPPY: Your covers have garnered a lot of attention ‘The Old Landmark,’ ‘Flowers’ and ‘A Deeper Love.’  What drew you to reinterpret these particular tracks with your choir?

SUNSHINE: ‘Old Landmark’ was the biggest track in my DJ sets for about 10yrs. I mix a techno underneath the vocal reprise and it goes off anywhere from a festival, underground club or a gig in the suburbs.

That is the track that inspired me to want to add a live choir to my sets and write the first Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir song.

The other two are vocals I love. I work off feeling, it doesn’t matter what genre a vocal is if it has the right feel and I love it I’d add it to our set. 

HAPPY: Aside from The Blues Brothers, are there any other artists or bands that have influenced the energy and style of the Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir?  

SUNSHINE: How my DJ sound evolves and the tracks I play in my sets influence the way our set develops and the energy in our sets. My DJ sets are very high energy and fun and Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir is an extension of that vibe.

At the moment some of my favourite artists are Rex The Dog, Nick Curly, Gary Bek, Cristoph and Audiojack. 

HAPPY: Your live performances are known for their energy. How do you and your choir prepare for such dynamic shows?

SUNSHINE: A lot of preparation goes into our sets. I’ll put the set together and for me it’s important there’s no boring bits and it’s high energy from start to finish and then we have rehearsals to perfect the choir vocals, dance moves etc.

When we’re on stage everyone puts in 100% of their energy for our set. It’s a great workout haha..

HAPPY: Playing at Bass in the Grass must be exciting! How do you plan to tailor your performance to match the festival’s vibe?

SUNSHINE: We’re so excited!! All I’ve heard is great things about Bass In The Grass. For this set it will be fun, high energy, a mix of vocals for all ages with a few special moments for the crowd. We love doing festival sets. 

Sunshine & Disco Faith Band BASSINTHEGRASS

HAPPY: Visuals are such a big part of disco. What is the process like when creating the visuals that audiences see during your performance?

SUNSHINE: Our costumes have a big visual impact onstage. A very talented costume designer in Melbourne, Lance Tucker, made them for us and went above and beyond to bring my vision to life.

HAPPY: Bass in the Grass is known for its community spirit. What aspect of performing at this festival excites you the most?

SUNSHINE: Darwin is such a special and unique city. The vibe and people were incredible to perform too at our first NT gig at Darwin Festival. I’m really excited we get to perform to the locals again, I know the vibe is going to be unreal. 

HAPPY: As someone who’s experienced festivals firsthand, what advice would you give to festival goers looking to maximise their enjoyment at Bass in the Grass?

SUNSHINE: Have fun enjoying all the great acts performing, look after your friends and stay hydrated. 

HAPPY: Give us a hint! Can fans expect any special surprises or collaborations during your Bass in the Grass set? We know the festival is known for bringing artists together!

SUNSHINE: My lips are sealed on that one. But there will definitely be a few surprises in our set :)

HAPPY: Lastly, what makes you happy?

SUNSHINE: Listening to music, DJing and hanging out with my son.