Mizeyesis

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Hi Mizeyesis my name is Elvis, co-founder of Clubbers 4 EDM, It has been an honor to you have featured on our website. You are our first international female feature.

Lets get straight into the interview. Most of these questions were give to me by one of our followers, Shannon Nicole Smith.

mize

For those unfortunate people who are yet to know about Mizeyesis, please introduce yourself.

Well I’m a US (North-East, New England based) junglist who has been involved in the EDM scene for the past 15-16 years.  I fell in love with jungle in 1997 after becoming pretty bored with many other sounds of music, finding it by accident, or maybe it was coincidental that I would come across it.  In 2002, I purchased my first pair of Technics turntables from one of my best friends, DJ Danny Cruz, and spent two years practicing and playing at house parties before in 2004, Mighty Mouse another dj decided to book me for my first show, 100% High Octane at the legendary Municipal Café in Hartford, CT.   I really worked very hard before my set and years before that getting my dj skills together, so after that booking, promoters contacted me left and right to perform at shows and the rest is history.  Also in 2004 I started a group called THRESHOLD Sound with two homies of mine, Torrential and Oneself in Hartford, CT which was focused on bringing the sounds of jungle & Drum and bass outside of just raves which at the time, there wasn’t many in the area.  We had a hiatus of raves from 2003-2008 due to loss of venues, legislation and stigmas, so many EDM enthusiasts around that time started to work with bars, private clubs and miscellaneous venues to throw events.   I’m apart of several crews and organizations like in the local and international DNB and EDM realms.  For example I just got added to the MIA (Murder in America) DNB roster which has over 62 members from around the world based in Chicago, run by Alfonz Delamota; DNBC which is based out of Albany, NY spearheaded by DJ Leila; Hipstep Zuluz spearheaded by TC Izlam which is a faction of the international and highly respected hip hop organization Zulu Nation founded by Afrika Bambataa; SatelliteEDM which I do drum & bass curations for the site;  Wu DJ Coalition, a dj chapter of Wu Tang Clan which was started by RZA himself to push out innovative and underground sounds; And of course how you guys found me, Jungletrain.net based out of The Netherlands.

What did you get up to this morning?

Well I meditated for about 20 minutes and stretched. I try to do this to set my intentions for the day as for me its necessary. Then I do what I normally do after, put on some music, and then go through my emails lol, facebook, twitter lol.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Well its 10:20 Am my time and I didn’t have breakfast yet, but I did have a glass of lemon water which helps cleanse the liver. I’ll have some fruit in a minute though, lol.

 Mizeyesi

Anyways Mizeyesis, how did you come about choosing that name as your alias name?

Well, I’m a woman who loves history, especially ancient Egyptian history.  The Goddess Isis (Auset) is the mother of Horus and wife of Osiris.  I remember first having who she was resonate with me when I was a teenager as I always intensely studied history in general, all kinds.  When I decided to become a dj in 2002, I at first was going to go with “Isis”. My buddy another dj in the area Snafu said, ‘nah, you are bigger than just an “Isis”, which everybody is going to use that name, and you know that, and you are way too original than that.  How about putting Miz, not Miss which is too prissy for you, Miz, because you have that flava”. And I liked that idea because it was truth. I grew up around graff artists, djs, skaters, and just urban subculture in general, also I was always the only girl around a bunch of dudes as I was more tomboyish given my artistic interests, it was reflective of my roots.  I also like deeper esoteric meanings of things and chose to alter the spelling to “Eyesis” also throwing in the 3rd eye connection which is key in djing, to connect with your crowd on a deeper level in order to give them the vibes they want and sis for obvious reasons lol.  Its a very personal thing for me and if you know me, it truly reflective of whom I am. I like to take my own essence and add that to the ordinary which I believe more should do as we seem to be becoming a world where individuality and originality is lost.

Influences, we all have someone or something that influence us to do something or achieve. Who or what would you say is your big influence? What roll does your influence play?

There are many influences in my life. My mother who has always pushed me to never give up on my dreams.  Goldie who is pretty much responsible for my love of jungle/drum & bass after hearing “Timeless” for the first time in 1997.  Alvin Ailey as I was a former professional dancer who studied at the Ailey school, looking at his life and what he accomplished in the United States during a time when it was hard for people of color to do such.  Kemistry, Storm & DJ Rap as being some beautiful, amazing and bad ass female jungle pioneers that ripped up the decks!  Giles Peterson for his effortless flow between genres… So many inspirations… However I would say my biggest inspiration out of them all is life.  Life in itself, and all the experiences is what allows me to be energized in order to do my craft.

What does your day to day consists of?

Many things… Music, approvals for  the Satellite EDM site, conversing with promoters, getting new bookings, talking to fellow djs, listening to new music, promotion, working on my own tunes and many personal non music related things. Lol. Cooking, cleaning, running errands, making money… lol… I have a normal life too! 🙂

 mizey

When did you decide that you wanted to become a DJ? How long have to you been DJ’ing?

As I did mention, 2002 was when I got my techs.  2004 was my first gig, so I would say 11 years of djing, 9 years of gigging and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon as I feel I just got my feet wet. Lol…

Being a successful female DJ in such a male dominated industry is quite an achievement. What obstacles do you think woman specifically face trying to crack into the industry?

Oh man… there’s a lot of obstacles. To be taken seriously as more than just a pretty face is the biggest obstacle I think a lot of women have to face initially.  Society perpetuates that only men are qualified to know about music which is kind of an unspoken stigma.  When I first got into drum & bass, I read up on as much of it as possible to understand its roots and always made sure I was on top of producers and labels. You will be surprised at the arrogance of some individuals when they find out you are a women who loves drum and bass, although such stigmas seem to not exist at the moment, I can’t tell you how many times back in the day I went through interrogations from insecure males only to blow their minds and really show them yes, I love this music and that I might know more about it than you! Lol. I try not to judge the path of other women, but to be taken seriously as an artist and not a sex symbol or just a cute girl behind the decks is the ticket here so to say.  This is why so many women get very serious about their djing, and history because of it or on the flip you might have those who feel they need to use sex in order to rise to the top. Me, I’d rather use my mind and my talent. It may take longer, but quality wins over quantity any day in my book.

mizeyes

You host a show on Jungle Train – the #1 Drum & Bass internet radio station – how did that come about?

Yes I do. And for over a year now. In late 2011, I was approached by Antidote who is also a well known producer (Outsiders, Rupture – UK) and dj Burnrate (UK) on hosting a show. I have known both for a long time through message boards, myspace and the DNB scene in general. You never know who’s watching you and it was a shock to me to be respected by my peers in the UK on that level, I mean they pretty much invented jungle music and have a different perspective about it which I revere.  They had been watching my posts to educate kids here in the US on the origins of this music from my website and fb posts, as well as my mixes and felt it would be a great idea for me to host my own show.  There was no way I was saying no to this idea. And I owe the both of them a lot for the doors they opened for me.  Truly (Thanks guys!). My show is bi-weekly on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm EST. I sometimes do the entire show myself or will have guests from all over the North-East join in on the second hour.  I play cutting edge sounds from the past and future as I get a lot of unreleased material from labels which I’ll share on the show to help with exposure for the artists and label.  Sharing knowledge and music with others is a passion of mine as well as exposing others to new artists and djs.

This past September (2012) I went to the UK for the second time as I have a lot of family and friends living over there, being Caribbean, most of us do. I linked with the Rupture family and my Jungletrain.net family as we all went to Rupture which had Paradox Live. Such a wonderful experience.

In your twitter bio you have ‘Hipstep zuluz’ Care to explain what it is & your connection to it?

As far as Hipstep Zuluz as I did mention, its a chapter of the international organization, Zulu Nation (www.zulunation.com) founded by the legend, Afrika Bambattaa.  Hipstep Zuluz was founded by TC Izlam and stands for “H-iphop I-nfluenced P-roductions S-timulating T-he E-arth P-eople”. Like me TC Izlam is very passionate about making sure people understand the roots of this music. He foresaw the coming boom of electronic dance music in the US many moons ago and founded this chapter over ten years ago.  Many non electronic dance music individuals have come to accept these sounds as music and are hungry for collaborations especially in the hip hop world.  So in order for people to truly know about the roots of this music and for it to not get lost in the shuffle, TC Izlam put this group together for that purpose.  I joined Hipstep Zuluz in 2010, and do work with Zulu Nation like this past fall I opened up with Meszenjah at the 39th Annual Zulu Nation anniversary at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC which was an honor.

 Mizeyesis

What do you do on your spare time? This excludes music.

Many things… I listen to a LOT of music either from working with Satellite EDM (www.satelliteedm.com) as we put up new and old releases, to working with labels and producers myself that send me promos and unreleases or scouting new materials through blogs and soundcloud. I would say a good percentage of my day consists of this which is important for any dj.  Also I’ve been working on making tunes myself in Abelton and hope to have an EP at the end of this year (2013) myself. I also love to explore wellness, fitness, nature, skin-care, nutrition, spirituality as those subjects are important to me as well as spending time with those who are important to me.  So with all those interests, my day can vary from working, to doing music stuff, to other hobbies and fellowship with other individuals or just being domestic around my house, lol.

In your bio I see that you have studied at numerous prestigious dance and art schools. Care to explain as to why you went through so many dance and art schools?

I have always been a pretty artistic individual, and when I was 7 my mother put me in dance class after I begged her to. I performed and studied with Alvin Ailey & Brooklyn Music School in NYC, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford Conservatory & Hartford City Ballet in CT an d a TON of other dance schools, dance companies as well as peforming and interning with them in my dance years. My forte was modern dance with an emphasis on Horton, Graham and Limon techniques and Contact improvisation (think dance groups Momix & Philobolous).  Also Rhythm Tap in the tradition of Jimmie Slyde & Gregory Hines; various West African & Afro Caribbean techniques like Dunham; Kathak which is a Southeast Indian style of dancing; Classical Ballet (Vaganova & Cecchetti); and hip hop/breakdancing/house dancing which I still do especially when I’m out dancing and hanging out in circles.   Dancing is a big part of my life, not in the professional sense as it was, since I retired in 2001 due to injuries, thus becoming a dj after, but I still move as music will incite emotions which transfer to movement for me, and lets face it the b-girl in me loves some time in the circle with my peeps.

Also I studied art, music, music theory, and humanities for a long time on my journey as well as a little bit of acting especially with doing shows so, again, being an artist isn’t something new for me, I’ve always been one.

What advice would you give aspiring female DJ’s?

As I hinted I don’t like to judge but you don’t have to use sex to get ahead. Talent & smarts although not as glamorous as sex appeal in today’s society lasts a lot longer. After a while we all age or the interest in our looks may fade and what do you have after that? Stand on your own, and really push out there your heart and soul. Those who matter will relate to you when you are truly loving your craft and not selling your soul and body. And in the end, its better.

How does someone get a hold of you Facebook, twitter?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MizeyesisDJOfficial
Twitter: http://twitter.com/mizeyesis

Website: www.mizeyesis.com

And to hear my sounds and also link to more sites: http://soundcloud.com/mizeyesis

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