DJ Dossier

Alkemé: "If It Were Up to Me, Everyone Would Go Home and Make Babies After My Sets"

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When the esteemed local DJ gets behind the mixers on Bar Smith's rooftop lounge during her weekly residency at Solstice Saturdays, one of her aims is create a seductive atmosphere and sexy groove with her mixes -- and she does so with such sensuous sounds as deep house, downtempo, and nu-disco.

Her flirtatious audio isn't just limited to the rooftop of Bar Smith, however, as Saturday nights are Alkemé's night to shine over the local airwaves as well, via her weekly dance music radio show Zulé: An Hour of Extraordinary Sound that airs from 10 p.m to 11 p.m. Plus, she's also got a new mix called Kunoichi that she's getting ready to release by the end of the year.

The program has been on the air since 2011 and features Alkemé doing what she does best: creating intoxicating mixes of chill and oftentimes ambient soundscapes that are perfect for getting one in the mood while heading out for the evening. In the near future, Alkemé will be featuring the efforts of other local DJs on Zulé, which should help to heighten the show's atmosphere even more.

But while Alkemé is a big believer in supporting her fellow DJs, there are many ways in which she stands out from most in the Phoenix scene. First, there's the fact that her moniker is inspired, in part, by Jungian philosophy. And then there's the particular goal she has in mind with her sets, which she told us about during a recent interview.

"If it were up to me, everyone would go home and make babies after my sets or mixes. I've been hard-pressed to find any other DJ with that same goal in mind and with good reason," Alkemé says. "We all want to find our own unique sound and that's one of mine, it's a point of reference when looking for the difference."

Name: Elizabeth Quintanilla

AKA: Alkemé

Current gigs: Solstice Saturdays at Bar Smith for Solstice; and Zulé: An Hour of Extraordinary Sound every Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on KWSS.

Preferred genres: Preferred genres: Anything that turns you on, all across the board, is my preference. Whether it's to turn you on to dance or to turn you on to move or entice your mind. I love being turned on and getting other people tuned on as well -- deep house, nu-disco, downtempo, hip-hop, dancehall, reggaeton, salsa, cumbias, bachata, jazz, blues.

Deep house music can be a very versatile genre, correct? It's been my experience that deep house is always an excellent option, you can go hard, or soft -- the people who partake in setting the vibe for the music and the space are an imperative ingredient.

Has deep house evolved over the years? And is considered to be more of a niche genre? Nowadays, deep house incorporates a bit of different genres and it really depends on the DJ to form an opinion about the selection. As we are now starting to experience, popular music is starting to bring the beats per minute back dbaown, it is now starting to incorporate organic instruments, lyrics that encompass the melody, starting and stopping on beat.

This is what deep house incorporates, and slowly but surely it will be mass-produced and yet and still underground will always be underground. There are those of us who love to dig and for those who love to listen, dance, and enjoy we are both grateful for the other.

What was your first ever exposure to those kinds of sounds? As a child -- I can't remember a day without music.

What sort of sounds were you listening to? Salsa, I grew up in Lima, Peru. It is considered the capital of salsa in South America.

How much preparation goes into the mix for one of your radio shows or sets? Preparation spans across years of experience and it is a thought that starts as soon as I'm done with the previous one. I'd call it, perpetual preparation. Preparation doesn't end.

What's your favorite track of the moment? "Onto you" by Marley Waters. It turns me on.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.