Meet Marisa Meow, a leading lady in the male-dominated industry of DJing. Breaking the stereotype and conquering the DJ scene beat-by-beat - Marisa shares her stories with Everland.
How long have you been DJing for and why did you start?
As of right now have been DJing for just over 2 years, and producing music for about a year of that.
I was inspired to start a couple of years ago because whenever I went to a party I would always want to play my music, but somebody would always insist on playing theirs as well.
I wanted to express myself through music with no interruptions. I can’t really pin point the exact moment when the idea of becoming a DJ dawned on me because it came about in such a natural, organic way and has taken on a life of its own.
How would you describe your style and/or genre?
I am completely and utterly a House Head. I play all kinds of house music ranging from deep, tech, tribal, disco, to funky and beyond! The type of set that I will play on a given night depends on a lot of factors such as the venue, who I am opening up for, my timeslot, and what type of crowd I will be expecting.
There are a lot of factors that go into each of my sets but I usually keep them deep and tech house with music from artists such as Maceo Plex, Pleasurekraft, Justin Martin, Nicolas Jaar, and more. This is the direction I see house music heading in the future once people become tired of the glitzy David Guetta and Avicii tracks that are so popular right now.
Firstly, with all of this new music being constantly released around the world, I am usually itching to burn the tracks to a CD and try out the different ways I can incorporate them into a mix.
I am the type of person where if you tell me that I am not good enough or that I cant do something, then I will make a point to prove you wrong.
A lot of people have not approved of my DJing or thought that I was doing it for ulterior motives, and this doubt has lit the fire under my ass and led to some of my most inspired creative breakthroughs.
In your personal opinion, how hard is it for women DJs to get recognized and be respected these days?
Becoming recognized as a female DJ is not difficult, but becoming recognized for the right reasons is even harder than it is for males. In this day and age many female DJs out there are considered “skin” DJs, and I am sure you all have seen the half naked playboy type DJs playing at parties and night clubs.
In these cases a lot of females have done relatively well for themselves, playing at credible festivals, headlining at clubs, and gaining a lot of recognition and fame within the industry. Even though these women have recognition they do not have the respect of the community and in the end will have a short career after their looks fade.
The other type of girl DJ (including myself) is in the game because we have a love of music and desire to share it with others. For female DJs in this category being a female can be helpful but can actually be a hindrance at times.
You may not have considered it but there have been many times when I will have to play an earlier time slot, and even miss opportunities to DJ just because I am a girl and people perceive me as less competent than a guy playing the exact same music. So when it comes to being recognized as a girl DJ you can either take the “skin” road and have a lot of recognition instantly, or you can take the music road and while you will not gain popularity as quickly you will have a long lasting and respected career.
I would say some of my biggest accomplishments would be opening up for some of my favorite DJs such as Lucky Date, Cold Blank, Nervo, Loco Dice, Crizzly, and Autoerotique.
Opening up for and becoming friends with some of these DJs has been a pleasure and something that I would not have even dreamed about a couple of years ago when I started.
I would have to say though that my biggest accomplishment was being chosen to play at one of the biggest EDM festivals in America, Nocturnal Wonderland. That day will forever be in my heart as the first big festival and I am so thankful that Insomniac took a chance to let me DJ there.
What are your future goals, how do you see yourself taking your DJing further?
Some of my future goals with DJing are more related to the production of music rather than just DJing. Djing is awesome and is a vehicle to show others your music and style, but DJing alone will only gain you local fame and recognition.
To become a top DJ and to express yourself to the highest degree you must produce/create your own music piece-by-piece, and beat-by-beat. Although this process is infinitely more difficult and time consuming than DJing the rewards and the potential for total self-expression are much greater. I have been using the DAW (digital audio workstation) Ableton Live for the past year and have created a few tech house tracks.
The ultimate goal would be to play an entire set of my own original music and headline at clubs and festivals such as Ultra, Tomorrowland, Pacha, Cocoon, and Coachella. I do not have any tracks yet but I plan to have an EP (4 songs) released by the time I graduate from The University of Texas at the end of 2014.