#604SPOTLIGHT no.2 : Sivz
One of our goals at Electric Love is to provide opportunities for local artists to showcase and share their work with the community. We think local talent is important, so we reached out to some Electric Love performers who live in the 604 area code for our #604Spotlight series. For our second #604Spotlight Interview we will be talking to our Vancouver 2016 DJ Contest winner DJ/Producer Sivz.
Since she started DJing in 2014 Sivz has quickly become a fixture in Vancouvers nightclub and underground scene. A trained pianist, drummer, guitarist and singer/songwriter, she is also a producer in training in addition to keeping herself busy with residencies at Are You MIA and Gorgomish. Using house music as the backbone for her sets, she specializes on the low-end, bass heavy subgenres such as Tech House, Deep House, and G-house. Whether its a nightclub, warehouse or a festival, Sivz is talented at reading the dancefloor and providing the proper fuel to keep it movin'. Now learning the craft of production, Sivz is on the verge of making it to the next level of her career. This year she will be making her return to Electric Love on the wormhole stage to bring some riverside vibin'.
How long have you been performing? Did you start producing before or after you started performing? Do you think this impacted your outlook towards creating music? If so, why?
I've been performing as a DJ for about 3 years and I'd definitely say I'm a DJ-turned Producer rather than a Producer-turned DJ. I almost wish it would have been the other way around because producing so much more challenging. Going from DJ to Producer has only made me have way more respect for
Producers. I find I really "listen" to tracks more now, paying attention to the finer details and concept and creativity of a track. I always make it a point to credit producers where I can. People always praise the DJ for performances but I try my best to remind people who's really putting in the studio time for us. At the same time, I played piano, guitar, drums and sang and wrote my own songs in high school. That musical foundation has been a huge help to me as a DJ and I can only imagine how it might help me as I make more time for producing. My goal for the next year is to focus more on producing and keep building on the musical education I'm fortunate to have had growing up.
What Gear & Software do you use while performing?
I'm a CDJ girl and a Pioneer girl. CDJ 2000s/2000s Nexus and DJM 900 mixer.
What about when you produce or compose? Could you give us a little bit of insight into your process?
I wish I had a tried and true workflow I could walk you though, but I still consider myself very new to making music. I’m still learning from other people’s processes. I’ve worked with producers who showed me it’s great to start with the drums, the driving force behind house music. Sometimes I toss in any drum sample for background sounds while I work on nailing a catchy bassline before I even try to take it anywhere else. Other days I go through endless samples until I find something that inspires me, like a cool vocal that I’ll build a whole track around. Most days things happen by complete accident. I’ve gone into the studio adamant to make make a G House track one night and come out with a Progressive, almost Psytrance track! I think that's how it goes for most people though so maybe I'm on the right track?
Most people have one or two iconic moments that inspires one to follow along with their musical path. Have you had such an experience? Please elaborate a bit if possible.
There's definitely been a few. The was when I first learned how to DJ. When I learned the whole concept, I immediately had an "aha" moment. I've always been able to recognize samples in songs, tell when something was out of key, and know what track the DJ was cuing in next at the club well before the crowd could catch on. I never thought that counted for anything though. When I learned how to DJ I really discovered that I had the ear I could now put towards a massive skill. I was immediately hooked. Secondly, a year or so ago I remember watching locals Yurie and Grayson Repp go back to back at Celebrities and just saw them having so much fun together mixing so flawlessly like it was second nature to them. I remember fixating on them and saying to myself "I'm going to do that one day". A year goes by and without noticing, one night I find myself on stage with Mychal Ferriera opening for Bakermat going back to back feeding off each other's energy. That was a special moment for me looking back at the videos and thinking, "Wow. I actually did it." That made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to musically.
What are the top 3 influences that you feel have helped shape your sound?
Duke Dumont - housey
Shiba San - dirty
Latmun - techy
What are your 3 favorite artists that don't sound like you but have had a big impact on you?
Do you have any sort of pre-performance routine to prepare yourself? Could you tell us alittle bit about it?
I limit my set prep time to no more than 2 hours these days not to over-stress. Usually squeeze in a nap, and definitely, need about 3 drinks before I go on. Vodka Redbull is my drink of choice - Burt Reynolds too.
What are your three favorite up and comers in your local community? What in particular do you like about what they are doing with their music?
Diana Boss - They continue to impress me with their talent and flexibility. I've heard the sexiest vocal house by them, then couple months later I'm listening to bumpin' deep tech house from the same guys in just as much awe. I'll put my money on them any day for destined global success. Bass Legacy - I have absolutely no inclination towards Trap/Bass heavy music, but this guy is a god in the studio and I'm always wowed by his productions. He blows minds. ACTNTRL - I respect him for being someone who's actively made sacrifices to dedicate time towards producing. He's got the right idea. His music is sounding SO good in such a short time and I really dig his style. I have a strong feeling he'll soon be releasing on Confessions and taking off. One to watch.
What is best and/or most memorable performance you have had before?
Oh man, so many good ones it's hard to pick! Opening for Shiba San was another dream come true for me and it was so great to play a Celebs show that was right up my alley sound-wise. My best performance mixing-wise was probably when I opened for Eats Everything. I just felt like I did my best work that night and got mad compliments from him and Lord Leopard. Back to iconic moments, there was a time when I played at VAL for the Good Night Out fundraiser. The party was almost dying down early until the organizers bumped me off the side stage and onto main. I don't know what I did that night but I definitely saved the party and ended up pushing it past close. It got wild and sweaty and I think it was just from my ability to read the room, make the right selections and bring the energy. That made me think "I really have something and need to keep going.".
Any bad experiences? maybe ones that you can look back at and laugh at now?
Also so so many bad ones! DJing is very mental for me and if I'm not in a prime mood or am even slightly doubting myself it always goes terribly. I've played many shows that felt like a nightmare from start to finish, particularly one at Gorgomish in front of all the residents. I just couldn't shake how upset I was about it for a good week after that. I was in a mental slump for a long stretch a few months a while ago so I had many nights like that till I came out of it and regained my confidence. I always take the bad with the good though; it wouldn't be as meaningful to me if every single performance was a 10/10. I think every DJ needs their train-wrecks and empty dance floors in their career. I want everything good set of mine to be earned not given.
What is the best way for fans to engage with and keep up with you? Is there a specific social network in which you are more active or are you easier to interact with through more traditional means like E-mail or at a show?
There's no network you can't find me on haha. My most active would be SOUNDCLOUD, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM
Universal handle: @SivzMusic
What excites you the most about playing or going to electric love this year?
Last year I performed after winning the Electric Love DJ Competition out of 10 contestants in Vancouver. I'm happy to come back this year for a daytime set on the Wormhole stage (beach stage). I had my heart set on that stage last year so I'm ready to play some funky house to match the sandy dance floor
Is there anything else you would like to let us know about?
Keep your eyes peeled for some releases from me coming in the fall. - If you're a DJ/Producer looking for opportunities in Vancouver check out a monthly submit-to-play event I co-founded called Beatginnings at https://facebook.com/beatginnings - If you're on the festival train, you can also catch me at Festivus and Motion Notion this summer!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to let us learn a bit more about you. Your inner strength combined with the support network you have been building seems to be opening up a lot of doors for you. I am excited to see which ones you walk through. - G
ALL NETWORKS: @SIVZMUSIC