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Alkemé Talks She-Jays, Carl Jung, Outkast, Sade, Fuse Fridays, Tom Novy, and More

Name: Elizabeth Quintanilla

AKA: Alkemé

Current club nights: Thursdays: Azúl at San Carlos, Fridays: Fuse at Bar Smith, Saturdays: Z Girl Club. Guest spots at other venues such as Cream Stereo Lounge.

Genres spun: All that encompasses sexy...mmm, I love me some sexy. Yet, I love what gets the crowd hyped on the dance floor; what keeps my people coming back. It's all about the crowd, the heads, the people. Downtempo, deep house, neo-soul, jazz, electro, hip hop, and more...what can I say, I have a sweet tooth.

Explanation behind your DJ name: Jungian Psychology. Food for thought Psychology and Alchemy by Carl Jung and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; continual growth, a state of constant belief without the reward of instant gratification. It retains a steady progression.

What are your feelings about the local DJ scene? It is in full bloom, Time is the Aesop I know.

What would you change if you could: Less ego.

Alkemé (left) with her "partner in crime" Deon Pearson.
Alkemé (left) with her "partner in crime" Deon Pearson.

How did you get started as a DJ? 101.1 & 92.7 fm (Energy Radio) before changing their format used to play electronic music. I was fortunate enough to start sharing my music with the masses via this medium. I had a show every Sunday called Sunday Brunch Lounge where I played a lot of downtempo, lounge and deep house. My heart goes out to the Solstice crew and founders Pete "Supermix Salaz" and Sean "Senbad" Badger for giving me my first opportunity to perform behind the decks.

What do you think of your DJ career thus far? I compare this career to a professional sport. Most professional athletes start practicing their craft at a very early age; practiced, fell, got up again, then honed their craft. I've done many things, studied various career options and ultimately came back full circle. It's good for me to dive head first into what I know best. I've been in love with music ever since I could hear it. I will continue to practice it, listen to it, mix it, produce it, learn it, and share it. I am honing my craft.

Why are there only a handful of female DJs in Phoenix? I believe a lot of females are focused in their search for stability. As a DJ I never know where music's going to take me. All I know is that I'll follow.

Is there a certain "boys club" mentality to the DJ booth? Not at all. Knowledgeable male DJs are quick to give a female props for being a good DJ and sticking to it regardless of any situation. People take notice -- male or female -- when there's tenacity in the mix.

Are you involved with any DJ crews? Absolutely! I am a partner and resident of FUSE Fridays at Bar Smith, mad luv for my crew!! I am also co-founder and organizer for Azúl Thursdays starting July 8th with my partner in crime: the "Fundance Kid" Deon Pearson. In addition, dk.strickler & Dr. Drea (Dessert House Productions) and Rani G (World, Life, Music) were the crews who first gave me the opportunity to openly perform my most beloved chill-out sessions.

What is your mantra when it coming to DJing: I listen, observe, study, practice, and most importantly, I stay in love with what I do.

Most you've ever been paid for a gig? Experience.

 

Do you prefer to DJ in a wine bar or a club? I enjoy both for different reasons. My slogan reads: music is...everything. Wherever I get to share IT, I'm good.


Preferred poison while DJing? Water, coffee, and...a good Malbec, or preferably my old faithful: Folie á Deux's Ménage á Trois.

How do you get a crowd going? Every time I spin on the rooftop at FUSE I go nuts. I love the bass traveling from head to toe. I love the people who are projecting that energy on the dance floor -- they feel it, I feel it, we all combust...in unison!! Music is a beautiful thing...very powerful.

Worst request you've ever gotten? Everyone's got their own taste in music - what works and what doesn't. I may not particularly like a song, and trust, it often happens that someone requests a song that is completely off the wall for the vibe and the venue. Yet, I respect that it is what they like. No request is the worst -- we just have a difference in opinion about what should be played.

Which artists have you been championing lately in your sets? Sade, Esthero, Suges, etc.

Last album purchased: Sade, Soldier of Love.

Last song downloaded: "Love to Love You Baby" (Tom Novy & Pufo)

Track currently stuck in your head: "Slum Beautiful" (Outkast)

What other projects are you currently working on? Azúl Phoenix starting July 8th at Hotel San Carlos, and a CD release coming up soon! Also (super stoked about this), I am partnering with DJ Tranzit and Brad Devore, working on the music video for "Obsession" strictly produced by Tranzit and Dooz. So far, I partook in writing the script and we'll be set for production very soon. Stay tuned!!

When not DJing, where can you be found? At the studio, and always in good company.


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