Gearing up from her native Chicago to come to Minneapolis to headline the super-club-event Bassgasm, Dani tells City Pages she's excited to spend the whole weekend in our city. We checked in with her before Friday's big event, this time chatting about something other than dance music: Her own style.
[jump] You're known for your sense of fashion behind the turntables. How do you keep it sexy without playing into "That girl DJ" stereotype?
It took a long time for me to be comfortable with dressing in a feminine way while DJing because I wanted to steer as far away from that stereotype as possible. What I learned over the years was that so long as I am confident in my craft and represent myself well, then what I wear doesn't matter. Now I find myself showing more skin, but I'm comfortable with it -- I dress in a way that showcases my personality, not how I think a 'girl DJ' should dress.
What's your favorite thing to wear when you're onstage? Any fashion tips for summer?
I joke that my wardrobe only consists of four colors -- black, white, pink, and purple. Lots of metal, classic symbols (crosses, skulls, etc.), big graphics. I have to simplify a lot since my pink-and-black hair always has to come into consideration. Like for example, I can never wear green shirts again -- think watermelon. As far as fashion tips, I've never been one to follow trends but I have been big into feathers this summer--feather headbands, necklaces, earrings--I even have some feather hair extensions.
Where's your favorite place to DJ and why?
There have been so many wonderful cities and parties that I've played... but my favorite right now has to be a hometown pick: Porn & Chicken Mondays at Evil Olive in Chicago. The whole crew there truly feels like a second family and it's one of the only nights where artists can truly play whatever they want, and the crowd eats it up. Literally, it's an anything goes event. They have porn playing on the TVs, free fried chicken, girls on the bar, and DJs playing all their favorite, banging b-sides.
Who is the most interesting person you've met during your travels as a DJ?
I'm not sure I can pick just one! There was the promoter in Nicaragua who was an avid surfer and picked me up an hour late from the airport, barefoot, with the surfboard in the back of his truck...the drifters I met in Bolivia who were from Argentina and traveling country to country with the money they made from selling handmade bracelets...the guy who wound up being the producer for the Olympics opening ceremonies...a professional, full time beat boxer...the list goes on.
You also run your D-Squared blog on the side -- what's new in your blogger world and what keeps you excited to keep going?
The quality of the music keeps me going. Because my blog is established, the quality of the music that is sent to me is exceptional. When I first started, I had to sort through a lot of sub-par entries, but keeping to a format -- high bitrate mp3s, electro and indie house, artist-approved for posting -- tailored over time what was getting sent to me. I love that people really read my blog and enjoy the reviews, that artists have taken my critiques and in some cases, revised their songs based upon what I write. It's just rewarding to have people respond to something I do that I love and takes a lot of hard work to execute and maintain!
Bassgasm happens Friday night at First Avenue;