Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And Where do You "Where To?": DJ Lady Sha

Ever been in a nightclub at 1am and watched how a crowd worked itself into a frenzy once the DJ started blasting Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You?”

I know I have.

On several occasions.

DJs have never ceased to amaze me, with their fascinating ability to manipulate audiences’ moods with the switch of a song, their VIP treatment by club promoters/owners, their nocturnal tendencies and their innate cool-factor.

One DJ in particular who has always impressed me with her dope sets and successful longevity in the game is DJ Lady Sha (pictured above to the left). She’s fierce, she's talented and she’s most certainly held her own in a male-dominated industry. She’s brought soulful, funky music to the masses in Miami, South Africa, Europe and Jamaica, amongst many other places.

And as an LA native who currently resides here and has graced some of the city’s most popular nightspots – Teddy’s, H.WOOD, Bar Lubitsch, Crown Bar, Zanzibar, Stone Rose Lounge, the list goes on – DJ Lady Sha was the perfect guest for Wilson’s Guide. Here’s what she had to say!

Miss Wilson (MW): How did you get started as a DJ?
DJ LADY SHA: During my sophomore year at UC Berkeley, my neighbor, DJ Phatrick, convinced me to take his DJ course on campus so the class would get funding. Two weeks later I was on Craigslist purchasing the 2 technics turntables I have to this day. That semester changed the course of the rest of my life as I was pre-med and heading to med school up until that point. Once I got hooked into DJ culture through DJ Phatrick, I began taking gigs and realizing that could be the path I was looking for in music. I continued practicing and really fine-tuned my craft during my semester abroad in South Africa, where my university in Durban actually had a DJ practice room (coincidence or fate?) I always joke that I got all my mistakes out of my system on South African dance floors and came home from that semester a much more polished DJ. After graduating from CAL, I moved home to LA and went full force with DJ-ing to this day.

MW: You've had a lot of amazing accomplishments such as becoming the first female DJ to spin on live radio in South Africa. So what would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
DJ LADY SHA: My great accomplishment up to this point is becoming the first woman to not only compete in the Miami Winter Conference DJ Spinoff, but to also win first place in 2008. It was such an intense month of practice and nervousness leading up to that moment of competition. I remember when my plane was landing in LA after the competition, it finally sunk in that I had actually won, a moment I'll remember forever.

MW: Which city has the best nightlife scene, and what makes it so phenomenal?
DJ LADY SHA: I love the nightlife scenes of so many cities and appreciate them for their individual nightlife cultures. My favorites would have to be SF [San Francisco], Miami, Vegas, NY [New York], and my home of course, LA. Especially here in LA, there are at least 2-3 parties to attend any night of the week in almost any genre you are craving to hear. I would never take that for granted. I've been to cities where all there is to do at night is listen to crickets. LA has everything from live music on Sunset Blvd to indie/electro parties in Silverlake and downtown, with mainstream parties in between in Hollywood.

MW: Where are some of your favorite places to hang in LA?
DJ LADY SHA: My favorite spots are a combination of quality music and an amazing atmosphere or view. I love SoHo house, The Roosevelt Hotel (Teddy's, Tropicana pool, or The Penthouse), and the downstairs red room in the W Hotel on Hollywood.

So there you have it! Find this luminous lady making crowds shimmy at Champagne Fridays and hop on her email list to find out where else she’ll be.

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