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Last Night, A DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Nov 04, 2008
In a male-dominated industry, itís hard to find girl DJs who are as down to earth and talented as J. Phlip. Hailing from the Midwest and a recent addition to the famous Dirtybird crew, J. Phlipís newest record Rumble Rumble drops this week. This prolific DJ also has remixes coming out on Dotbeep and Alland Byalloís Nightlight label. Blending the sounds of house and showing off her audio engineering skills, thereís no way one can ignore her original beats that radiate energy and innovation.
SF Station: How did you get involved in the DJ scene?
J. Phlip: I have always had a strong love for music and dancing, when I fell into that scene in Champaign I just fit, it felt like home - the people, the parties, the music, the dancefloor. I knew it was where I belonged. So right around when I turned 19 I bought a terrible pair of belt-drive decks and a mixer for 100 bucks off of one of my friends and I just started mixing in my room for hours. Getting two records locked at the same tempo was the coolest feeling ever, ya Iím a nerd.
Shortly after getting decks I got a cocktailing job Barfly in downtown Champaign, where I would watch the DJs in between getting everyone faded. They gave me my first opportunity to play out when they booked me for the "Fresh Face DJ" Sundays. The night was a hit even though I couldnít mix a damn thing and Iíve been going for it ever since!
SFS: Why did you decide to come to San Francisco?
J. Phlip: Because I wanted to go on vacation for the rest of my life! Really though, Iíve been drawn to this city for such a long time. I finally got to come for a real visit a few years ago when I flew out to see the opening night of Snakes on a Plane with the Dirtybird kids and I just wouldnít go home (yes, yes, that terrible movie - we had a big joke going about it ok!) anyway I kept extending and extending my flight and every gig was so much fun and I loved the vibe and people are so into the music and yearning to hear fresh new sounds. I could go on and on about why I love this city so much.
SFS: Do you like to play any particular venues here in San Francisco?
J. Phlip: The EndUp, Mezzanine, and the Catacombs at Temple have been my favorite so far. And undergrounds are really fun too! We didnít have nearly as many in the Midwest.
SFS: What made you want to get started in this male-dominated industry?
J. Phlip: Because Iím everybodyís homegirl! Really though, I didnít think of it like that when I got started. But I always seem to fall into male-dominated fields. From being a math and science nerd all my life ... to studying engineering and being the only girl in the Audio Engineering Society to working at a video game company that was probably only 5% women.
After getting deeper into the music scene though I've realized that there are tons of women who are working it behind the scenes! This industry is full of women agents, managers, promoters, music writers etcÖlike you!
SFS: Thank you, thank you. Were there any instances when people did not take you seriously?
J. Phlip: Oh yes, I just ignore them and do my thing and eventually they realize that Iím in it for the right reasonsÖlike to get all the bitches of course.
SFS: How does it feel to be a part of the Dirtybird crew?
J. Phlip: So lucky! They are the best ever! Although I failed Dirtybird bootcamp , but I think they are going to keep me anyway! (laughs)
SFS: Who are your biggest influences?
J. Phlip: My friends the Dirtybirds! Justin, Barclay (Claude), Tanner, Christian, and Worthy. Also, my parents, my little brother, and my best friend Anu (aka my unofficial manager) give me more support than anyone could ever ask for.
Come support the Dirtybird crew at Temple Nightclub on November 19 and listen live to the sounds of charismatic J. Phlip at Whatís the Werd? Sundays at Otis Lounge on November 30. You can also catch her at Hay Maze Party in Half Moon Bay on Nov 7, Paradise Lounge on Nov 22 and The EndUp with Funk D'Void on Nov 27. With a bubbly persona and talent to match, it is no wonder San Francisco has opened and embraced this young DJ.
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by Christina Li on Nov 04, 2008