Dara Hayes AKA DJ Tigerlily

There is so much good electronic dance music out there! While the EDM genre boasts a diverse range of styles and sounds, one thing that isn’t so diverse is the fact that most leading DJ’s are male. But there is one woman who’s making great strides in the industry. Her name is Dara Hayes, or as she’s better known DJ Tigerlily.

Down under she is Australia’s EDM Queen. The 26-year-old from Sydney starting DJing at the age of 18. After playing around with a set of decks and learning what she could she entered YOUR SHOT, an Australian competition that teaches youths how to DJ. At the end of six weeks of DJ lessons, the show holds a competition. Hayes won second place in a DJ battle against 72 other competitors. The prize secured her a residency at Soho Nightclub in Sydney, where she played regularly until it shut down in 2015.

From there she started embracing DJing with everything she had. She booked as many gigs as possible, perfecting her skills and learning new techniques. At the age of 21 she had her big break. Hayes met international DJ Tiesto at a local festival. “We exchanged contact details, and I was like, ‘Ha-ha, very funny—I’m never going to get an email from him.’ But the next morning I wake up and there’s a message sitting in my inbox. I sent him all my music. He took a listen, and he liked it.”

Dara Hayes AKA DJ Tigerlily

Photo via Instagram / @djtigerlily

Tiesto offered Hayes a spot on his intercontinental tour of Asia and North America, which catapulted her into global spotlight. She went from local venues to international stages. And now she headlines her own tours around the world.

Hayes describes her brand as “embracing your inner wildness.” For years she was known for having colorful hair.  For a while, her signature color was gorgeous turquoise locks. Since then she has toned the hair down, doting an almost au natural honey blonde. But the wildness is still there.

Hayes is a great personality to follow on social media. She remains undoubtedly true to herself. Besides being an amazing musician, Hayes is also an activist for animal rights, as well as mental, sexual and physical health.

She’s a Friend to Animals

Dara Hayes is an avid animal rights activist and for several years now has been vegan. She regularly addresses problems of using animal products. She also promotes animal welfare and shares tips on how to help make a change. Along with her diet, she makes sure that her beauty products and clothing are cruelty-free. As an international DJ that travels the world, it can be tough to maintain this lifestyle. Her honesty and helpful tips are inspiring her fans and followers to look critically at what they eat, use and wear.

Dara Hayes AKA DJ Tigerlily

Photo via Instagram / @djtigerlily

She’s Keeps it Real About Mental Health

Dara Hayes is an ambassador to Lifeline, an organization that provides crisis support and suicide prevention. She takes the role very seriously. In the past, Hayes struggled with an eating disorder and deals with anxiety on an ongoing basis. On her social media, she will openly talk about her struggles with mental health.

“I think it’s pretty cool because I have quite a large audience of young people that I can speak to. They may hear their teachers or their parents talking about suicide prevention and mental health but it might not hit home. So I think having someone external that they maybe look up to or associate with because they see me partying in the clubs on the weekend, talking about these issues can be quite influential and quite positive,” Hayes said.

Dara Hayes AKA DJ Tigerlily

Photo via Instagram / @djtigerlily

She’s Comfortable with Her Sexuality

Scanning through her Instagram you’ll quickly see how confident and comfortable Dara Hayes is with her body. Speaking about her sexuality to Atlanta Business Chronicle, she said “I’m a very sexual woman and I’m proud of who I am. I love my femininity and I use my femininity because it makes me feel good, I encourage women to do that. I think it’s really important for us to express ourselves in the way we feel. In saying that, expressing oneself through femininity and sexuality is often taken the wrong way, especially when it comes to an industry such as dance music.”

Hayes continued “The only thing I can say to other women that I’ve potentially done differently is that it always comes from a place that’s really organic and I always try to be really honest with my audience about whatever it is I’m doing whether it’s a song or a photo-shoot, whether I’m wearing a bikini or jeans and a t-shirt.”  Her bold honesty and confidence are refreshing to see on Instagram.

Dara Hayes AKA DJ Tigerlily

Photo via Instagram / @djtigerlily

She’s a Fitness Fanatic

Dara Hayes loves a good workout. Posting almost daily she snaps or posts stories of her getting her sweat on. She takes her health very seriously. It wasn’t always that way though, as a DJ her life at one point consisted of partying way too much and eating the wrong foods and not exercising enough.

She told Fitness First Mag that her “Life then was hangover after hangover, party after party…I was DJ’ing a lot, I was working a lot and traveling a lot. One morning I remember waking up and thinking ‘enough is enough, I’ve got to stop. it’s time to make some changes.” Yoga is an essential part of her fitness routine. She tries to practice four to five times a week. The other parts of her routine are strength training, running and swimming.  Living near the ocean, Hayes tries to swim in it a couple of times a week.

Dara Hayes AKA DJ Tigerlily

Photo via Instagram / @djtigerlily

Beyond her Instagram, Hayes has her own YouTube channel and podcast. There’s nothing cooler than a female DJ, especially one as confident and socially conscious as DJ Tigerlily!

Edited by Chloe Lew

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