DJ Sally Cinnamon


Words by Donal Dineen

Everybody wants to be a DJ & it ain't rocket science though it's a lot more fun. But not everyone can all the same. Dem's the breaks, or not as the case may be. Them that do though, approach the thing in different ways. That's what makes it interesting or boring, depending on their style. The job of the selector is similar to the storyteller. And one of the finest of them that do, Sally Cinnamon, most surely is a spinner of both classic yarns & diamond vinyl gems. That's Her, the Wild Combination. She certainly is not, never was & is unlikely to be, boring. Far from it. Her domain is the interesting stuff.

Some people were born to do it & she's one of those. Able to dance before she could walk, her musical adventures began by being spoonfed soul classics by clued in sisters & grooved up parents who loved to dance. As beginnings go, it was pretty rapid, as she might say herself. She was hooked, pretty much from day one and kicking the habit will never be an option. There was music everywhere and she was the keenest learner-toddler-dancer on the block. Her early years had a fair bit of Kingston and Rio in them. There were block parties, carnivals and basement sessions aplenty, mostly in Sally's own head. The music never stopped up there and throw in a fertile imagination and the glitter ball just kept spinning right round like a record, round, round. Dublin in the early '90's was abundant with bands, music fans, freaks and aficionados. Sally fit right in. She was a keen listener, an essential trait for an aspiring DJ. Wherever there was music she was there or thereabouts. 

Of course there's no magic formula to being a DJ but an intrinsic love of dancing is a definite prerequisite. Always be wary of DJ's who don't dance, I say. Sally Cinnamon sure can dance and she's good at turning standing-theres and sitting-downers into dancers too. That's what it's all about after all. That's the skill that sets her apart. She makes you want to put on your red shoes and dance the blues or perhaps even the night itself away. Either way it's infectious, contagious and very often glorious.

Her earliest adventures were journeys to the centre of Dublin town to as many music stores she could drag her minders and mentors to. Her search for something she had heard that nobody else had or cared about having became her calling. It wasn't an obsession, more a vocation. She searched relentlessly but chose carefully, another useful gift. She drifted towards Northern Soul yet always ventured further out in every direction. If there's a common thread, it's made of a funkily coloured stitching. She's not one for boundaries, limits and suchlike. She made her vows early & the deal was sealed well before she left school. Music was her light and her guide. There are still records in her bag from those early days and pretty rocking ones too. The bar was set rather high from the start you see. Perhaps taste is something you are born with after all. She makes up her own rules as regards what qualifies as a quality groove. She's just someone who knows. That's what makes her sets so exciting and compelling. There's no one style or era or place of origin, just a crystal clear devotion to the groove.

That devotion is in rude health right now. Here's a true believer and hero on the ground everyone. There ought to be an imminent lift-off so people get ready. Sally Cinnamon's on the up.

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