This pass weekend we had a chance to sit down with one of L.A's favorite Hip Hop/Funk female DJ's, our girl DJ Soulre, take a glimpse into what makes her unique in an industry filled with thousands. After sitting down with miss Soulre we truly noticed and confirmed that she is, & will definitely remain in a league of her own.
(L.A Clique) Why “Soulre”? Where where you raised & how did you find yourself rocking the turntables?
(Soulre) Damn coming up with a moniker can be pretty tricky! I had gone through so many suggestions that friends had made and I just wasn't feeling that anything fit me and my sound. For a good while all I could think of was how all of the music I love and play has all grown from soul music, an evolution or renaissance of it if you will, on top of that I was going through a huge soul searching and growth period. So this "Soul Renaissance" became "Soulre".
I was raised in Diamond Bar, California. Basically 30 minutes from Los Angeles and 30 minutes from the beaches of Orange County. Heavily involved in a bunch of different music scenes since I was super young, going to jazz festivals with my Mother as a kid, hardcore, ska, electro, and indie shows all through early high school, until I started really getting deep into hip hop and the whole LA beat scene. Having some of my closest guy friends all come from years of DJing/production and being so in love with hip hop and its culture, I became so inspired and obsessed with the art of Djing. I wanted to be able to express myself and share the music that I loved so much with anyone who cared to listen. Plus I saw that the people playing the kind of music I loved were almost 99% male. Had to rep it for the ladies;) So I bought a pair of 1200's, "borrowed" a bunch of my Mom's soul and funk vinyls, and started playing around (thankfully I had a lot of help from friends because damn, mixing is hard as hell to learn starting out!)
(L.A Clique) What does it mean to you, to be a female deejay in the industry? What challenges have you found in your line of work?
(Soulre) This world/industry is almost entirely run by men. Male Djs, male promoters and male venue owners. It's rough as hell to be taken seriously as a female in the beginning, especially playing more hip hop based music (most other female dj's play house/electro/indie). Besides getting people to give a shit and hear me do my thing, I face the same challenges as a male DJ. Getting booked, standing out from the other 3892842937 DJs in LA, etc. My BIGGEST annoyance though is that sometimes Im expected to jump around with my hands in the air just being "cute". I dont play like that. I get really into what Im doing and dance around of course but Im there to play music and not flip my hair.
(L.A Clique) We've heard your past few mix-tapes and recognize the heavy influence in early 90's funky hip hop & dig it!, how would you describe your style of mixing?
(Soulre) Like I mentioned before, soul music and all of its offsprings have really had a huge influence on me. 90's hip hop and r&b is just...prime. Obviously I cant only play that at every venue, it really depends on the crowd and type of event but whether Im playing more disco, deep house, funk, hip hop, r&b, more mainstream,...whatever..Ill always find a way to work in some of my favorite jams. One of the best things I learned from friends that taught me was that sometimes you have to play shit you don't love, but you just kind of sandwich it between the music that you do. Until I have enough of a following to be able to say "naaah I dont play that" Ive found ways to educate listeners while still giving them what they want to hear and sing along to.
(L.A Clique) What keeps you motivated? & what is your overall goal?
(Soulre) I honestly just want to play dope music for anyone that wants to listen and eventually start making my own. If I gain huge success then thats rad, if I don't then it's not going to make me love what I do any less. Being surrounded by inspiring musicians, DJ's, and beat makers keeps me pushing though. Seeing where I can possibly be one day and having the opportunity to have so many excited and willing listeners keeps me on my hustle.
(L.A Clique) Who are your influences?
(Soulre) Oh lord, how can I narrow this down to not be a giant novel....Ok Adam 12, because he can literally play anything, any genre, and make it sound dope. Plus he's keeping this rad old school hip hop night called Afex poppin in LA. Gaslamp Killer, because he's taught me that just staying true to the music and never giving up can bring success and happiness without selling out. Tokimonsta..she is a killler in the beat world..so much respect for her as a woman and a musician. Erykah Badu, who Ive been a huge fan of since I was a kid listening to Baduizm on the way to elementary school in the car got me really into neo-soul and has always been a backbone for most of my sets. DJ Lady Sha, she's a really respected and influential female in the industry that is just a damn good DJ. Annnnd Im going to try to stop myself because there are about a million more haha
(L.A Clique) What are your current top 3 favorite artists?
(Soulre) What's with the hard questions?! Obviously I have to mention J Dilla, he's been such a huge huge part of hip hop and really changed the game. Forever thankful for his work. Dwele...man if he could just sing to me allll day I would feel like happy, warm, and sexy all the time. Dwele has been my favorite since I first heard him on a mixtape in high school. Onra, his music is made from everything I love and am inspired by. Generally just makes me feel amazing. Annnnd Im adding one more because I can so it's gonna have to be Shalamar. Anytime I just need something feel good to dance around to, Shalamar gets it done.
(L.A Clique) What do you feel the DJ/nightlife industry is missing & what advice would you give to those upcoming female DJ's who would like to be successful in this industry?
(Soulre) Don't rely on your looks ladies. LEARN so you can get places the right way and have some credibility. Also, bring a fly swatter to all your gigs to get rid of the drunk dudes who won't leave you alone when you're working.
I think the nightlife industry is missing a lot of good music. Most of the main nightclubs are so focused on bottle service and the whole "celebrity" experience that really good music isn't as much of a focal point which is such a bummer. Its groomed a lot of club goers to be ok with mediocre, top 40 music and not care that much when a really talented DJ is doing something innovative or educating them.
(L.A Clique) How does L.A & its fashion influence Soulre?
(Soulre) Im a pretty casual girl but I do love my high waisted jeans, shorts, and skirts. Crop tops. Platform heels for days. I don't really try to hard to have a "look" or dress super steezy but living so close to Melrose and working in a industry with so many fashionable people, I would be lying if I said I didn't pick up a few inspirations from my surroundings.
(L.A Clique) You have been known & recognized to rock some of Southern Cali's hottest and trendiest crowds, whats one the craziest/funniest pick up lines a guy has shot at you?
(Soulre) Ive definitely gotten the "what's your sign" one too many times. I totally thought that no one would seriously ask that but I was wrong! Besides that I haven't gotten anything too crazy, Usually just dudes giving me really awesome compliments on my music selection or drunk guys actin a damn fool which is always something fun to laugh about.
(L.A Clique) Where can one go to watch you spin? Any residencies?
(Soulre) Right now I have a weekly residency at Drai's Hollywood but Im really all over the place. You can follow me on twitter @djsoulre or check my music page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/soulremusic) for all upcoming dates and set times.
(L.A Clique) Any shout outs/ Recognitions?
(Soulre) To my boys Jae R and WIllie, thank you guys for getting me started and helping me not sound like a total trainwreck. Mom...I wouldn't be anything without all of your musical influences and support towards everything I want to do. Bo, thanks for always believing in me and giving me so many great opportunities to grow. And last but not least, Bunny...you can forever take all of the credit for what I do. You got me into collecting vinyl. You loaded up my iPod with the most amazing stuff every week back in the day and just opened up my ears to a whole new world of heavenly sounds. And last but not least my fam at L.A Clique Clothing Co. for linking up with me. Forever thankful to all.
(L.A Clique) Any upcoming gigs/mixtapes?
(Soulre) Yes! Drip Drop at Verdugo Bar, June 12...going to be all experimental r&b and future soul. Just a chill night to listen to some really good music and every Saturday from 3pm-6pm at the Drai's Hollywood pool, playing more deep house, disco, funk, and classics. I have a mixtape coming out with Hellz Bellz any day now called "In The Mood For Summer Love" which is full of some of my favorite hip hop and r&b jams that make you want to get close with someone by the pool. Working on another mix right now actually called "The Feminine Mystic" that's got all female artists like Aaliyah, Little Dragon, Tokimonsta, etc. I've got a bunch of other really dope things in the works but can't announce yet so keep up with my facebook page for those and soundcloud for the new mixes
Listen to one of DJ Soulre's most recent mistapes by clicking play, & be sure to visit the following links to stay updated with her new music + much more.
visit DJ Soulre's SOUNDCLOUD by clicking HERE