Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto, women & entrepreneurship

House Music Series -Typical Cat…everything bass. turntables only-LOCAL-Installment 6 (Toronto)

 

Typical Cat

It’s amazing to have a blast from the past……a lady I met about 7-8 years ago we talked about turntables and vinyl. We stayed in touch. Look at what she’s up to now…..

Who are you? DJ Typical Cat

What’s Her Story?

As far back as she could remember her Dad was a drummer. He collected records. Her aunt was a country music singer. ‘When I was younger I was listening to House Music and stuff…I’d turn on the radio and I would just feel it in my heart…stuff like Electric Circus or Much Dance…you know that kinda shit?’ When she first heard something she liked she says, ‘I felt it in my chest, I felt it in my heart…. in high school about grade 8 or 9, Freaky Flow was the first guy I heard of when it came to Jungle or Drum N Bass. In high school I heard his ‘World Domination’ album  and it got me hooked. I heard Nelly Furtado on a track with the drums and bass and I wanted to understand this type of music more. So I got into guys like Andy C, Dj Craze, Dj Hype. I’d always loved this music without knowing what it was. I wanted to know about it and I started to go to raves by myself and I just knew that I wanted to DJ and I was just there for that.

About her first gig…. Her very first event and it was bigger than she expected. This was one of  her very first BIG events at Velvet Underground. ‘I was nervous as hell but I had fun with it and opening up for Plastician was a huge deal for me because he was a DJ, I looked up to in so many ways.’ She noticed that people loved what she was doing. She mentioned that this is something that women go through. She remarked that women should be confident especially when wanting to pursue a thing like Dj’ing. Some people will like that. Focus on the positives.

About raves….I wasn’t going to party and do drugs. I would just watch what the DJ was doing- I just knew that I wanted to DJ.

What did you do the first time around? In grade 9 my mom asked me if I wanted to sign up for-those program books for summer classes. And right away I was like I’ll take that! Then in grade 11 when I had enough money, I bought tables!

How were those classes? What did you learn? ‘I took that class and actually Oscar ‘DJ Grouch’ was the first person to teach me how to use a turntable. He taught me VERY basic stuff-he taught me motions like scratching and stuff, not cuts but feeling it out with drums and using levels. He was an awesome connect because he’s pretty big in the city. Knowing him made me feel like I was on the right path. He wasn’t just some guy turned DJ. He was part of the scene, he was a great teacher. He would even give me records. I started with Hip hop and I went from that to Jungle.

 What kind of music do you like? ‘My heart’s with Drum N Bass. I love listening to the radio. I love top 40. I love funk. I love listening to things I’ve never heard. My sound right now is Bass.’ She plays unreleased dubs straight from producers-I love things that are brand new!

How’d you find your style?  It was a journey. It’s taken her a few years to know her musical taste. She plays a more Housier Bass style now but for awhile she went through a Jackin’ House style even. But really, mostly ‘I need that Heavy Bass…I think I found my sound at Plastician-it has the same BPM as House’ (Yes, it does.)

Working with Alan Lam-what’s that like? Her partnership with Alan Lam (Stranjah) didn’t just happen, It came after some time. ‘He’s got a wikked business sense and very passionate about his work. I’ve thrown parties with him and I know there’s a huge following. Regardless of that-I love this music! She is grateful for her crew because they know what they are talking about. They are pioneers of Jungle. It makes her feel confident.  When they’ve produced tracks he asks her opinion. She never questions his decisions when putting together events or tracks. She recalls her first ever event headlined party with Demuir which was a huge success.

About Vinyl and Serato ‘I really need to learn not to carry records everywhere that I spent so much money on. I went switched to Serato. It’s the next best thing. It’s like faking records. So now I just stick with Serato. It’s funny cuz I feel like I’m stuck in the past with all of this. People are all up on their shit with CDJs and all that. There are USBs wherever you go. Something about the CDJs are just not my thing….I’m a record and turntable person…it’s not the same feel. I need to feel it. People now know that if they’re booking me I won’t show up without turntables….I made it that way.’ She doesn’t care that it’s a hassle. ‘People have told me I wasn’t gonna make it anywhere because I insist on turntables. So many people say it’s not industry standard.’ She thanks and shouts out club owners who come through with turntables.

About Old Skool tunes…. Some old heads have said that they’ve heard some parts of her mixes/sets. They listen to her mixes and they say that the samples or funk records are from back in their B-Boy days…..’If I hear it and I like it and it’s usually from an older genre’.

Vocals? No vocals? ‘I like some singing but not too much of it. It must be subtle….not too overdone. It’s hard when you have a set with too many vocals. Actually, it’s just not my style. Sometimes I like vocals every 2 or 3 tunes. I usually like vocals at the beginning of my mixes because it draws attention to the crowd.’

How do you prep for a gig? ‘You overcome your nerves. Even if the bar is empty I used to get nervous but like always I’m still riding off of it. The rush you get from it is amazing. You break walls after the first gig. You reach out to people you don’t even know. People tell me they’ve downloaded my shit and bump it in their car. And I’m thinking…. I did that just for me….I’m still riding off the gig I did 2 nights ago’ lol

Your Mom and Cousin were at your last gig…..

She told her Mom to wear black to fit in. She thought it was everything that her Mom felt it would be. I talked to her about what my mother said also. It was something out of a movie. ‘I didn’t think my cousin was gonna stick around but she stayed ’til the end of the show!’ She remembers how her mom used to yell at her because all she would hear is Bass shaking the entire house and she’d tell her to stop. Shockingly she kinda yells out ‘Now she’s coming to my parties?!!!! It was very weird. I haven’t even heard her opinion yet. I’m so scared. I don’t even think she has an opinion it was just something for her to experience in the moment. It was amazing. My mom would ask me back in the day about the Bass shaking the walls. I think my mom was very proud of me.’

Cat, who do you wanna work with? She wants to work with anyone specifically with the people who throw Promise parties. She wants to bring her sound to Costa Rica. She sees herself in Europe. (Anywhere in the UK) and many of the people she works with are always touring there. We talked about the Underground and how our scene is quite different from across the pond. For example how progressive and genre flexible the musical tastes are.

Any advice to those in the creative field who want to venture into production, promotion, Dj’ing anything related to the industry/scene? (As a woman to the ladies out there what would you say?) Throughout our talk she kept referring to the old her…’. I was so concerned what others thought about the music I played-now I don’t give a shit’….You don’t always have to play for everybody else just play for yourself. The people who like it will enjoy it….!

How about people who have an original skill/sound….We talked about upcoming female producer Wondagurl she comments ‘I can guarantee you she’s doing shit she loves. I’m not big time nothing but I’m just doing it cuz I love it. I wasn’t ready for it before. I’m ready now. And all the things I’ve always wanted are coming to me. I love this music!’

Cat emphasizes….‘I can’t stress enough…you need to stop caring what other people think of you. Just do it. Reach out to whatever connection you have-because not everyone has them-and if you know even one person that’s into the same thing as you or if you know one person that you’ve looked up to, reach out to them’. She’s reached out to people from across the world on Facebook alone…. ‘It’s that easy, some are flattered and will do everything they can to help you. Take the plunge and just ask. She realizes that she’s the only person holding her back and if it’s meant to be it’ll come’.

Typical Cat spins next at Round Venue in Kensington Market, August 25th 2016

 

Thanks, Cat!

Check out her set Typical Cat – Live @ Rumpshakers Present AMIT + COMPA – July 2nd, 2016 on SoundCloud!

Vinyl Rainbow

 

 

 

 

DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto

House Music Series Toronto LOCAL – Summer 2014 – Installment 1 – LetThereBeHouse.ca

This year’s House Music segment is gonna be off the charts! I’m looking forward to it! Just so you know….blog readers and viewers have visited the SHINE prjct from all over the world! shine2u gets the most hits and shares for its House music features….

Canadians are talented! 

Toronto’s got talent! The Toronto House/Dance/Electro Music scene is burgeoning. This year it’ll be local, ALL local……look out DJs, promoters, club owners….I might be at your doorstep! 🙂

See you on the dancefloor people! LMAO #dancenation #beatjunkies#vinyljunkies #flyers #promotion #interviews #toronto #nightlife

 ———————————————————————————————-

soiree

Sometimes it’s a one person machine other times it’s a collaborative cipher. Let There Be House has truly made its mark on the small but tight-knit Toronto House scene. Let There Be House was a creative project designed as a go –to everyday-all day-what’s–going-on- in-the-Toronto-scene-one-stop-shop.

On that site you’ll find DJ listings, podcasts, interviews, events and more!

What brought this team together? Simply put, the collective love of music that emerged from the early 90s house catalogue. Front lady and promoter Tas felt the need to do things a little differently while embracing the challenge to jump into the existing “HOUSE” and make a noticeable difference!
This difference was attained with the use of more recent methods of promotion. Back in the day mainly flyers and sometimes email got the word out. A website, a Tumblr blog, a Twitter page and FB page allowed for a little more reach. The site (www.lettherebehouse.ca ) began by giving house music lovers the chance to self-inform. This is absolutely one of the main ways that the music and the culture has remained and stayed very much alive in Toronto. This seemed like a better alternative to pushing promo material both on and offline.
What started as online house music hub housing Jack Declared “@jackdeclared” (a play on the classic house song…… ‘In the beginning there was Jack … and Jack had a groove …And from this groove came the grooves of all grooves….And while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared “Let There Be House” that is how Lettherebehouse.ca was born. (Pretty clever) 🙂
This site’s been around for almost 4 years this November and naturally there’s been a transition. With this transition comes ‘Soiree’-A night where ‘Let There Be House’ is VERY concerned about ambience. A night where the focus is on THIS city. A night where there’s a different line-up EVERY time, a night where people come out of the woodwork to dance their asses off….did I mention it’s a night where the goal is to grab DJs  from other dance scenes?
Soiree takes place on Sundays which for some time has been a rarity in Toronto. For a big city you’d think Sunday would be a weekend add-on but it’s hasn’t been until last year. Let There Be House took a risk that pays off and with Summer under way…it’s one of the few places you’ll wanna be at!
Here’s a little something about Toronto that LTBH wants the world to know: No matter what you like musically; it exists HERE. (in Toronto) There are a number of movements operating synonymously! All good quality music. Whatever your flavour of “dance” music, just like this city and its people-there’s a scene for it! At ‘Soiree’ DJs and dancers have the freedom to do what they want. It’s not genre specific. Let There Be House states that House is House is House. Whether it’s Deep, Techy, Soulful, Jazzy or Afro. Expect anything…..expect to DANCE.
For those from out-of-town coming to Toronto and you’re interested in the dance in this city…..you’ve got an extra day to take it all in there was a ‘Soiree’  last Sunday, this past Thursday for the Canada Day Long Weekend and there’s another one coming up for the Caribana Long Weekend- going LATE into the night (yay!) and just so you know……

Soiree’ locales are always a surprise!!! That’s the fun part. It could happen at its home ‘Bassline ’ (865 Bloor St. West) or it could be anywhere in the city! All you need to know is that it’s gonna be a good time, it’s gonna go late and you’ll be served some great music TORONTO underground style. Where can you find this info? www.lettherebehouse.ca!

 

Don’t forget!

 

-shine

I’m really excited to showcase Toronto’s scene. Hope you enjoy reading the series as much as I enjoy interviewing everyone!

There’s more for this Toronto Summer series…stayed tuned!

Contests, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Toronto

Teedra Moses – Cognac and Conversations – Live! – Revival TO – The Main Ingredient

Teedra Moses - The Main Ingredient

Bravo, bravo, bravo! I had a ball at this show! I found out last-minute and was pretty excited to see her live! I didn’t get a chance to see her the last time she was in Toronto….Here’s a little story about when I found her music….

I was in Japan in 2003. I strolled into a massive Tower Records in Downtown Osaka. I used to run in there to purchase vinyl for my weekend gigs but I also went in there because I missed music I could easily hear at home! Japan has this thing about separating their music by genre.

Japanese are HUGE purveyors of music and devote full floors and/or sections to musical genres. I was a little put off when I found the ‘Black Music’ section (this is what they call RnB, Hip Hop, Soul, Reggae etc.) But DAMN it had its own floor!!!

I looked around and they had a huge display with multiple magazines and articles about Teedra Moses. I looked at her dress and shoes on the CD cover and first thing I thought was ‘classic 80s look….I’m buying this’! I took ‘Complex Simplicity’ home and that was it! The album hadn’t been released in Canada yet so I brought it home with me the following year when I came home for Christmas……it got  scratched and my sister took it…..it was hers.

I got back to Osaka-bought another copy…..that was also acquired by another friend. Bought another copy and that was scratched and eventually cracked. Bought another copy and I only have the page insert now. lol (Now we’ve got iTunes so I’m good!)

Ask anyone who was there last Saturday at Revival and they’ll tell you- she’s got this ‘it’ factor. Her music is heartfelt and captures a point in time where music was REAL. She sings about love and heartbreak in a very pure way; almost matter-of-factly. She’s fierce and sweet at the same time! With songs like ‘Complex Simplicity’ and ‘Caught Up’, ‘R U 4 Real’, ‘Kisses Never Tasted So Sweet’, ‘All I Ever Wanted’ she just hits that sentiment called love…..The crowd sang along both men and women…! During the show she paid ode to ballad greats Evelyn Champagne and Caron Wheeler…..dope!

It’s unbelievable that Complex Simplicity didn’t sell when it debuted in 2004 but as per last Saturday……the proof is in the crowd’s presence. She’s considered Indie as she released her first album with TVT Records. Most recently she is signed to rapper Rick Ross’ (Maybach Music Group). Super kudos to CMW(@CMW_Week), The Main Ingredient (@TMIParty) for bringing her out here!Homegrown artist (Toronto) Leila Dey warmed up the show nicely. She’s got a gorgeous voice! Complemented the Teedra Moses show!

Moses is a classified Indie artist, you won’t see too much of her but when you find her stuff…..you’ll be blown. Teedra Moses Soundcloud right here. DO IT.

For my two-step heads- there’s a (Kaytranada Version) of ‘Be Your Girl’. Well selected set. She commands the stage. Her styling is on point. She’s got the pipes.She’s Old School, she’s Nu Skool!  Her wing man was quite the vocalist. You just had to be there!

 

teedra tmi

 

 

 

Back to our regular programming.

-shine

 

Beauty, Biography, Fashion & Beauty, Product Reviews, Toronto, women & entrepreneurship

After 18 years it was all worth it!!

I found out about her after seeing the work she had done on a photo shoot! I could see how swiftly she applied make up on the model-like she’d be doing it for years.

I met up with Dionne Lafond and was immediately floored at how long she worked at MAC cosmetics. She started her career at MAC 18 years ago in Ottawa, Canada at a time when the company was a young, innovative addition to retail and beauty industries in this country. She wasn’t necessarily keen on make up artistry- but was able to pick up skills quickly through her general curiosity to learn. When I asked her to tell me about her career she closes her eyes and said, ‘Let me think…….there’s so much-I can’t remember’. She looks incredibly young for a lady whose career spanned 20 years at the ‘trend-setting organization’.

DIONNE LAFOND
Dionne Lafond


A friend who worked for MAC who thought she had style + solid retail work experience recommended she apply for a job there. Once she applied she got the job with an aim to watch, practice and learn. She embraced the different opportunities outside of the retail floor to practice skills discovered from being at MAC.

She embraced many opportunities to take part in so many ‘fashion meets charity’ causes affiliated with MAC. She worked at the very first Fashion Cares fashion show, the MAC AIDS fund show, L’Oreal Fashion Week-And in the late 90’s she did quite a few notable music videos!

It’s through her love of creating  and learning that she’s realized she loves to teach. She prefers to teach skills and techniques to students. After so many years of learning and building her expertise it became less interesting. With her love of teaching, she explains ‘I gain customer/client trust with trust I can show them how to make visual changes’. i.e. eyebrows, lip colour, blush

So what’s in store for Ms. Lafond MUA? She is currently participating in a  hair styling for make up artists program at George Brown College in Toronto and looks so excitedly forward to embrace this change. She had a general energy about her and any client would be excited to get dolled up! She continues to freelance for new and longtime clients.

So of course, I took the chance to ask her what was trending in make up this year and her are some trends she mentioned from runway, fashion spread to client requests:

kim kardashian contour            nicki minaj

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lafond says ‘All women regardless of look or ethnicity enjoy the contouring and exaggerated fully made face it’s great for the camera’.

peachy tones, complementary for eyes and lips almost natural
Another spring trend is the peachy almost nude tone complementary to one’s skin tone

nude black girl look

nude_makeupmuted asian make up

funky cat eye 2                      funky cat eye

LOR

LORDE CAT EYE
The funky cat eye as seen on the runway and on singer Lorde

 

Her sound advice for those trying to get and stay in the game:

  • Times have changed things aren’t the way they were. The competition is stiff. Keep this in mind.
  • Get stuff published or at least ensure the projects you’re working  on get published-to get published means it’s decent work!
  • Always work on your craft, never stop learning.
  • Find other artists who inspire you-you don’t have to copy them per se but you can learn skills and techniques that they use (her inspirations are Sir John, Francesca Tolot, Lucia Pieroni and Pat McGrath).
  • About make up application for clients or for yourself-remember to keep it simple….it’s okay to pare it down and keep it clean!

She does make-up for all occasions and can be contacted at dlafond@icloud.com!

-shine

Holistic Health, women & entrepreneurship

Chakras to Shock Ya…..!

Owner, Crystal Visions- Crystal Stokes
Owner, Crystal Visions- Crystal Stokes

What IF someone could tell you about your future…..or read you tarot cards that could give you advice about ‘what to do’? What if someone could ‘cast a spell’?In modern society all these remedies, answers and problem-solvers may seem like a quick solution……but truly understanding your self through study of the body/mind/spiritual soul connection is priceless! Navigating those parts of yourself with an awesome ‘Life Coach‘ who can show you how….is ideal-if you want….

Crystal Stokes owner and healer of Crystal Visions in (Kensington Market) has a very different concept of what ‘holistic’ means….I was introduced to Ms.Stokes a few years ago and I previously had a huge understanding of ‘holistic health‘. She showed me all types of things about holistic health that bolstered the nutritional concepts with the spiritual practices. What Stokes does is combine all disciplines together to offer multi dimensional services so it’s not a basic pay-for-service ‘tarot card reading’ experience.

How does she do it? Everything is connected right? In the physical and spiritual realm too? Holistic Practitioner and Psychic Crystal Stokes can show you all of that.

She uses readings and texts i.e.(The Artist’s Way-Julia Cameron, The Four AgreementsDon Miguel Ruiz, The Secret- Rhonda Byrne, Good, Better, Blessed-Joel Osten) that have very specific concepts to zero in on what one needs to learn. For faith-based clients she recommends holy texts(Bible, Koran, Torah) containing lessons and knowledge to widen one’s focus…..If there isn’t an underlying ‘faith’ she chooses what is best fit for the situation…something to assist your meditation. She teaches you to meditate. To focus on the issue/s or energy at hand and see beyond the surface.

When we hear the term holistic-we think of green tea, yoga,meditation wheatgrass juice and maybe-cleansing? For people not readily inclined to understand or follow these personal pursuits; it may seem confusing or redundant but she’s not there to force ideas-she’s showing you what you need to see.

Crystal is a psychic healer. Seven generations in. She began reading cards at 10 yrs old and would help people with real life problems at an early age. She says ‘at a young age, I wouldn’t really react about a death in the family the way most family members did-I already somehow understood where people were when they passed-it took until my late teens to understand how the spiritual part of things worked’.

As a teenager she started studying meditation, yoga, holistic healing, auras (chakras), colour therapy, aromatherapy and nutrition where she brought the mind and body connection together. When I first walked in there a few years ago I was a little weary….I pictured something out of Harry Potter with bats, owls and magic wands…it was so far from that! What you will find is a peaceful space (and Enya playing in the background) with precious stones, incense, essential oil, posters of chakras and various figures and photos of symbols from religions all over the world! About religious belief she says ‘I was raised Christian only to find out that even though I studied the Bible for personal clarity-I started reading everything to help all kinds of people to understand what I wanted them to learn-we are all the same….we are HUMAN’.

In the lounge

She encounters all types of issues on a regular basis:

  • The inability to identify character (friendship, relationships,business, life)
  • Stagnancy (environmental or in daily life) (lack of motivation, procrastination)
  • The search for your life’s (self) purpose
  • Difficulties achieving goals, students (Fear of failure)
  • Habits – Breaking those habits (Anything)
  • Achieving a peace of mind (busy people, career people)

And of course the most popular topics involve matters of the heart! She’ll talk to you about ANYTHING! I asked her why she felt it necessary to help people this way…she says ‘In my great grandmother’s day women were often persecuted for what they knew about the spiritual world and how to help people…..there weren’t doctors to fix things the way we do today-in the modern world you can’t always give a pill to fix something to change with one’s mind….sometimes clarity is achieved through study and understanding of the body, mind and soul, this is what I’m here for’. If you dare, go check her out!

https://www.crystalvisionsreader.com