Thank You, 2015!
2015 was one of the fastest years of my life, and it's likely because I was working non-stop. I DJed more than ever this past year. Working so many venues, events, and different crowds has been an incredible experience. I'm so thankful for cool clients and supportive friends because this year wouldn't have been possible without them.
This past year had its share of lows too, but the highs gave me the strength to persevere. Here's a recap of highlights from 2015:
Rent the Runway
I partnered with Rent the Runway for the launch of their Chicago store and The Real Runway, their showcase for entrepreneurial women. It was such a dream to partner with a brand I've been following since their launch in 2009, and it was an absolute treat to wear dresses by some of my favorite designers like Matthew Williamson, Cushnie et Ochs, and Moschino! The photos taken by Stephanie Bassos were used for The Real Runway, email blasts, and collateral for the new store. DJing the store opening was a blast too. It was the ultimate girl power party!
I'm obsessed with Uniqlo. I swear by their Heattech thermals and basics, so you can only imagine my excitement when I was asked to DJ for them. To celebrate the opening of their Chicago flagship, Uniqlo took over several CTA trains in the middle of the day, and I DJed the takeovers! The train rides were fast, so I only had a matter of minutes to warm up the crowd and make it count. Now that I've DJed on a train, I'd like to DJ on a plane next.
When I was asked to DJ Microsoft Ignite's party, I had no idea I'd be opening for Fall Out Boy. I also had no idea that the conference would be bringing in 23k attendees. Let me just say that Microsoft knows how to throw a party! The stage was huge and surrounded with several jumbotron screens. Almost everyone there was seeing me for the first time, so you can only imagine my surprise when I got off stage and saw dozens of tweets about my set!
I'm not a battle style DJ, but when Complex Magazine invites you to enter for a chance to win $10k, sure why not?! I made a one minute mini mix, and after a couple rounds of eliminations, I was one of three finalists flying to New York City to battle in person for the grand prize! I shared the stage with DJ Rhetorik from NYC and DJ Soundwave from LA. I didn't win, but I'm proud of myself for stepping way outside my comfort zone. The judges said they would've liked to have seen more scratching in my sets, but they would have been dancing in the club. I couldn't ask for anything more.
I got the chance to play at my favorite venue in Chicago, Lincoln Hall, opening for Troye Sivan's show out show. His music is very dreamy and bass heavy, so I built my set with those elements in mind. It was really fun to play music that I don't usually get to play in the club.
The Virgin empire opened its first hotel ever in Chicago this year. I had the wonderful of DJing Virgin Hotel's grand opening with a sweet line up: A-Trak, Ryan Hemsworth, Haim . Following the opening, I continued playing at Cerise, the rooftop bar, which was especially nice in the summer.
I DJed for Tesla when they were showcasing their new Model S P90D. It was a great evening that ended with them giving me and my gear a ride home in a beautiful new car. No, I didn't get to keep it, but I was in it long enough to become totally obsessed.
This year, I DJed two Lollapalooza after parties. Both were incredibly fun and perfect examples of why Chicago summer is the best! Saturday, I opened Culture Collide's party with Jack Antonoff's band Bleachers at Hard Rock Hotel, and Sunday, I opened for The Hood Internet at Beauty Bar.
I'm passionate about health and wellness, so I was stoked to team up with SoulCycle Chicago for their first ever live DJ ride! At SoulCycle music selection is a big part of what instructors do for each class, so having a live DJ takes a great amount of trust and flexibility. Lucky for me, my partner in crime was Aya! She taught me how to craft a set for the ultimate workout, and she was so gracious in sharing her class with me. The first ride was honestly one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had, and one of the best sets I've ever played! Everyone in the room was so pumped; we had to do it again. Aya and I've now got two live DJ rides behind us - and hopefully more to come!
Brittany Julious is one of my favorite writers. In addition to writing for Chicago Tribune, she contributes to The Guardian, Vice, and MTV News, and above all, she knows music. She wrote an article about me for Chicago Tribune, which ran online and in print on Christmas Day. Her words were so wonderful; I'm still blushing!
2015 Best DJ! Chicago has so many amazing DJs, so it really means a lot to be recognized in a city where the bar is high.
There are more clients and events that made this past year great. I just don't have quite as many photos to accompany those stories, but I would be amiss if I didn't mention them.
Neiman Marcus, Room & Board, Nike, Chicago Athletic Club, STK, Interior Define, AC Hotel, Donna Mondi, PAWS Chicago, The 606, Soho House, Beauty Bar, East Room, Adler Planetarium
2015 was definitely one for the books. Thank you for being a part of it! I can't wait to see what the new year brings!