For someone whose profile is growing meteorically with every gig and release, Helena Hauff is still a little self-conscious. "I feel a bit weird being on stage," she says. "As long as I've got something to do, I'm alright. But as soon as the next record's mixed in then I'm standing and dancing… but sometimes I stop. It's like a nervous twitch, I don't know what to do any more. I realise that there are a lot of people actually staring at me."
It's a couple of hours after she was in complete control of an early evening slot at Dekmantel festival. But even though hundreds of people crammed into The Lab area to see her, it was at the 30-minute mark that the 27-year-old Hamburg-born DJ/producer first looked up and out across their sun-splashed faces, smiling widely as a particularly punchy techno cut rolled through the system. "I like being quite close to the crowd and seeing them and feeling them and getting the vibe, just realising what's going on," she says. "You can be disconnected when you're on a bigger stage. I like seeing the crowd, knowing that they're there, knowing that they're having fun. That's the most important thing at the end of the day: I want them to have fun. But I [also] feel a bit strange sometimes and kind of want to hide – but that's impossible."
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