DJ Dossier

DJ Sophia Gunn talks Boomstick, Beginnings and Being Crescent's Thursday Go-To Gal

Sophia Gunn blends old and new professionally.

She brings her "younger" humble beginnings to some of the Valley's hottest nights and mashes them with fresh, new technology to give her turntabling skills new edge. She mixes vinyl with MP3's. She has learned to adapt with the times. 

Now, she's adapting to a nice change of pace at Crescent Ballroom's Boomstick Thursdays starting in October. 

DJ name: Sophia Gunn
Real name: Tiffany Dew
Genres spun: I spin music people dance to, make love to and drink to.

Where do you play regularly? Every first Thursday of the month I'm at Sidebar. Starting in October I will be at the Crescent Ballroom every Thursdays for Boomstick. Also, in October I will be back at Bliss/Rebar every Sunday. Also guest DJing around town a lot. 
Tell me about the first time you decided you wanted to be a DJ. I attended a lot of electronic dance parties when I was younger. I would always find myself in the drum and bass room or the house room. Both styles of music were so powerful to me that I wanted to experience what the DJ was experiencing.

How did you initially get started as a DJ? At the ripe age of 22, my very kind parents bought me a very used set of turntables and a mixer. I ran to the local record shop and bought a ton of vinyl, locked myself in my bedroom and taught myself how to beat match and mix. When I built up the confidence I started to play out at small parties and club nights. 
Who is the one DJ that you admire most? Mary Anne- Hobbs, hands down! She is on the cutting edge of the electronic music scene. She has a show on Radio 1 that allows her to bring a lot of underground music to the masses. The underground needs a voice and I think she is a great one.
What's it like being a female in the mostly male-dominated DJ world? I do find myself shopping for low-cut tops more often (I kid.) For me, I have worked with both female and male DJs and at the end of the day it's what you bring to the table.
Do you spin vinyl or mix MP3s? I use the program Serato. Personally, it's the best of both worlds. I am able spin traditionally using vinyl and mixing in technology with Serato. So for me, I use both formats and it's all so nice.
What's your most prized record? [Laughs] If you would have asked me this question about six years ago, I had a pile of records that never left my sight. As a digital DJ my most prized song is hot one day and the dead the next.
Where's the best place to discover new, awesome local music? There are a ton of great places around town to listen to music. To name a few, Char's, BARsmith, The Brick, The Rhythm Room, Lost Leaf, and I am super stoked for the new venue opening in October, Crescent Ballroom.
What's the one band or artist that always seems to get the party started when you spin? It all depends on what the crowd is feeling. If everybody is having a great time and the vibe is just right, I can drop a song that was super hot five years ago and people will really get down. If the crowd is just warming up I will play a song that dropped that day or week and the crowd always reacts.
You can only spin ten artists for the rest of your DJ career. Who do you choose? This question is really difficult and almost impossible to say. What I can say is that these artists have been extremely influential in my ten years as a DJ in valley: Nightmares on Wax, DJ Shadow, Fever Ray, Tiga, Miss Kitten, Mary Ann-Hobbs, Massive Attack, DJ Food, Tosca and Tricky. They are all oh-so-close to my heart.
Where's the best place to shop for music in the Valley? I do all my shopping for my DJ. music online. Unfortunately a lot of great record shops are now closed in the Valley, and I'm strictly digital now. If I am looking for music for my own personal collection I go to Stinkweeds.

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