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EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE #012 – WHITNEY FIERCE

2016 February 19

Whitney

This months guest mix comes from the fabulous Whitney Fierce, her biog reads like a Hollywood Blockbuster action movie; from being kidnapped in Egypt by camelback at 11, being held hostage in Ethiopia years later to learning Swahili in Zanzibar, Fierce certainly lives up to her name. She prides herself on playing ‘non-shitty tunes’ and is stoked about not being universally hated; quite the opposite we say, she’s one uber cool chick with impeccable music taste. We had a chat with her about living in LA, being part of Hercules and Love Affair, being New Orders tour DJ and her forthcoming release among other things. Check out the interview and mix below.

Describe your sound in 5 words?
Raw, Worldly, Deep, Mirthful, Provocative

We hear you’ve backpacked through nine countries, lived over seas as well as both coasts of the states, now currently living between LA  & NYC. but but what is it about these citie that’s keeping you pinned there right now?
I love both New York and LA. While I’m constantly back and forth between the two, I spend more time in the City of Angels. I love the space and sun, and I’m constantly inspired and energized. The multiculturalism that makes up LA is enlivening. I can feel like I’m in a different country within a couple of blocks, and that really influences and motivates what I’ve been doing musically. I’ve been working to create a melange of sounds that reflects my experiences and desires, and LA’s diversity informs that. Plus I can run off to the desert and feel like I’m on Mars any day of the week.

The US, is of course the birthplace of House music, but how is the underground House music scene looking like in the States at the moment?
I feel like the underground house music scene in The States is finally maturing. We definitely had some rough times in the past decade, with “EDM” which I would argue is the worst thing to have ever happened to dance music, especially of the electronic nature. People, it seems, are beginning to appreciate and seek out sounds that are more refined, or deep, or techy, or just generally less shitty. And I can appreciate that.

You’re quite the multi-talented creative, from model to magazine editor, fashion entrepreneur to cultural curator and photographer, but what’s made you settle into the music side of things?
Thank you for your kind words, those are all definitely facets of my past; but to be fair, they’re not entirely different than DJing. DJing is live curation of sound, taking a snapshot of the crowd and editing tunes accordingly. Making music and fashion aren’t wildly divided either, you have a particular aesthetic and strive to make the best version of that, with your own personal style. Music has been an ongoing thread through my entire life, having begun classical piano lessons at the age of 6, and I’ve always reacted emotionally to sound and dance (I spent a good 12 years of my life in a dance studio). Music is the thread that also ties all of my interests together, and I get to use this weapon (of mass seduction, ha) to make people happy, to escape, to feel better, or to just feel, and that is what I love to do.

As well as being a DJ and Producer, you’re also a vocalist, which seems to be quite a trend among female DJ’s, (Maya Jane Coles, Joyce Muniz, Kim Ann Foxman, Virgina to name a few!) why do you think this is?
It’s not hard to see that the dance music world is dominated by males, but it seems everyone’s looking for a female vocalist. The community is pretty tight knit and if you can call up a friend who would mutually benefit from collaborating on a track, be it vocally or otherwise, why not? Also we’re all super awesome, and have our own flair, technique and phrasing — PLUS we all already know dance music, so that’s helpful 😉

You were vocalist for Hercules & Love Affair for a while, well known for it’s interchangeable line-ups, how did your involvement come about? and tell us your favourite memory from your time with them.
Andy (Butler) and I met playing together in a basement Paris many years ago. We had mutual admiration and became fast friends, as I did with the rest of the band. Andy had originally approached me about collaborating on a solo project EP, but when we got in the studio, it became obvious that I would become part of the HALA family. It’s hard to pick favorites, as the whole time we were together was pretty amazing. We were always lucky to play amazing shows and festivals all over the world. Perhaps my favorite moment offstage with the band was visiting the Batu Caves in Malaysia, a truly beautiful experience. Onstage, I think I might say Exit Festival in Serbia.

You are also the tour DJ for New Order, how does being a tour DJ for a band differ from DJ-ing in clubs?
I am lucky enough to be part of the New Order family too, and it’s amazing that the band and their whole team are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They encourage me to play what I want, and Bernard educates me on songs and artists that inspired him and the band, which is cool because so many acts post New Order, look to them for inspiration. Being on stage, often dozens of feet from your audience is strange. They are not there to party all night (especially to the DJ), and often, they’re just having their first drink. Many shows are seated as well, which is something that you’re not dealing with in a club. People will get up and dance, but it’s definitely a process. What I play is somewhat different than the band, and I love to be able to musically educate the crowd. But when it comes down to it, and I think this goes for all heritage acts, everyone is there to see the headliner, and you are there to make them less bored on the way. (Which I’m absolutely honored to do.)

We hear you have your own single due for release in March on RIS Labs, what can we expect to hear?
You can expect to hear a really fun dance jam (if I do say so myself), that empowers women to do what they want. It directly battles slut shaming in a super fucking fun way. Because, as the song says, “The idea of a slut is a useless social construct that doesn’t mean shit.” AND OH MY GOD IT’S TRUE. It’s upbeat and features a lot of ethnic drums. I’m probably more excited about this than any other track I’ve made. While getting people on the real, it gets bodies in motion. Could I ask for anything more? Maybe. But I’m not going to.

You pride yourself on playing non-shitty tunes, but what’s the shittiest tune you’ve had to drop and when was it?
The beauty of how I work, is that I never have to play anything. It would cost a pretty penny to buy my artistic integrity.

What’s your guilty pleasure song?
I actually added one of my favorite guilty pleasures in this mix. Mine Bengidzakiwe by Sabside Feat. Deborah is a jam that was super hot when I was living in East Africa in 2007. I’ve just rediscovered it and am absolutely in love. Like how does a song feel that good? SERIOUSLY?!

As you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to give the musical ladies a shout out, so tell us who’s your favourite fellow female DJ?
So this is a funny question, as I like what I like based on music and not gender. Obviously, that’s not particularly mind blowing. While people will say “I don’t see color” which is questionable, I really don’t see gender in music. While I do recognize that female DJs and producers are wildly underrepresented, it’s never my aim to get into stuff based on the fact that we have the same reproductive parts. THAT BEING SAID, there are some seriously sick ladies out there, but not because they’re women, but because they can put most boys to shame, and give heavy hitters a run for their money. I’d say that Francesca Lombardo is one of my top picks and of course Kim Ann Foxman, and I’m so lucky to know both of these incredible humans.

And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
My favorite drink is called “The origin of love” — It has mezcal, chartreuse, lemon, and honey. It’ll make you believe in love, but a much better version than you’ve ever known before.

So there you have it, sit back, press play and if you ever catch Whitney behind tge deck, her’s is The Origin of Love.

 

FOLLOW WHITNEY FIERCE: SOUNDCLOUD / FACEBOOK / TWITTER

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