DJ Mary Jane: L.A.’s Flyest Party GirlJune 26, 2007 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment
-by Charles “CZA” Sweet II
There is a definite art form to DJing. One of the essential components of hip hop since its inception, the DJ was often the party starter, the hype man (or woman) and the best source of information as to the after party. Throughout history, no one has commanded as much respect and appreciation than the DJ, an ideal well in practice today. A prime example of what DJing is, and what it ultimately is supposed to be is DJ Mary Jane. Hailing from London, England, Mary found herself in the middle of a sonic revolution in the Drum N Bass clubs. This passion moved her to Miami where she began playing in South Beach’s most renowned hot spots and garnered a strong following that followed her westward to Los Angeles where she took up residence. Since then she has worked with such people as NBA’s own Dale Davis and has DJ’ed a large number of celebrity outings. These are the words of a DJ on the move…catch up.
Q. How did you get on the scene?
A. Basically, my best friend in England was already on the scene; already playing out and we would do a party or something and I would always get on the tables. She saw that I had an interest in this for real, so she bought me my first two records. She showed me the basics, and I fell in love with it. House music is really different than hip hop, being that there are 8 beats to the bar, you know, pretty standard stuff. Hip hop is such an unorthodox music, where you could have one track playing really slow, and the next being Outkast fast. I got into it and played some spots in London, and then decided to take the next step for my career and came out to the U.S. like 4 and half years ago. Miami is where my career really took off, you know, where it started happening at.
Q. Tell us about the Miami scene.
A. I think the first club I played at was a gay club, and I was ripping it there. After that, I played all over the place. Really all night lounges and the like. People there are so animated. So alive. I can’t really explain in words the atmosphere there. You go outside and the air is crackling with electricity. They PARTY down there, go all the way out. The clubs are open a lot later, and I find that it’s harder to get that whole vibe going in L.A. because the clubs close so early. I used to get there at 10 and go on at 11 and you could start building up the crowd there. By the end of the set, the crowd is so wild that you can’t help but feel the groove and the vibe. In Miami, you could just get wasted and because it’s such a small area, you don’t have to worry about getting cuffed by the police. You can usually walk home. In L.A., the clubs are so spread out and the people live so far away that you see cruisers just sitting outside the clubs waiting for people. There’s a lot of drama out here, as well. Promoters are scared to play some records because they’re afraid of rioting. It’s a good scene, but I preferred playing in Miami. Not living there. I mean, it’s cool for networking but I don’t like the fact that I worked in most of the hot clubs and when I wasn’t working, there wasn’t a lot of options for me to go out and party because it would be like me going back to work! You end up staying out till six in the morning and it was that crazy lifestyle that I couldn’t handle anymore.
Q. What do you think of the mixtape scene?
A. Mixtapes are an east coast thing, I think, and it’s really important to the trade of DJing. I like [DJ] Vlad; he’s doing his thing with the mash-ups and DJ Ski is holding it down out here. I’ve wanted to do another, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. K. Foxx got me into it, but time permits wouldn’t let me. I’m trying to focus on acting right now as well and I hope to have another residency in a club in L.A. by next week.
Q. What’s going on with the acting thing?
A. I’ve been trying to really get into it ever since I came down here. My friend is a really good agent and I’m going to go at it full blast. There’s so much money in acting. Three Six Mafia is acting and I want to do it too. They’re crazy and they’re show is crazy too.
Q. What do you think of all these new DUI cases going on in Hollywood?
A. I don’t know. People like Lindsay Lohan should know better. Especially like at the end of the month when the police are trying to reach their quota, they’ll just wait outside of the clubs and pick up these dumb asses as they come out. I’m like, “Why don’t you get a driver?”
Q. Is there anything you want to let your fans know about you in closing?
A. I’m a crazy bitch? (laughs) No, just kidding. Keep looking out for me on the screen and the scene. Don’t drink and drive. Seriously. These tickets are ridiculous! Hit me up at http://www.myspace.com/djmaryj