DJ RHIANNON SMAG’s JULY 2017 AMAZING GAL OF THE MONTH
After a nice long spring break, we here at SMAG are back, and we figured there’d be no better way to christen in the start of the summertime fun, than by featuring the gal who knows how to host a bash at the beach better than anyone- the diva of disc jockeys, the electrifying DJ Rhiannon. Hard to believe it’s been the better part of half’a decade since we last spoke to this Vancouver vixen, but that’s all the more reason for us to stop blathering on and get to the good stuff.
Smartasses: So tell us what you’ve been up to since we last spoke in December 2012 during the Nasty Bitch era.
DJ: I’ve been traveling the world sharing music and the moment with people. It’s been incredible! The travel is intense, so I’m grateful to be grounded and in the studio more this year. 2018 and 2019 are going to be busy, so hopefully I can catch up on sleep before then. For the last year and a half I’ve also been volunteering at a women’s center called Journey Out. I do Spanish translation and counseling for them. If you ever need a non-profit organization to donate to, I can personally vouch for this one. The money will be responsibly spent and it is much needed.
Smartasses: Talk to us about Chéri Poppinz, that’s new.
DJ: I decided to make an alias for my writer/rapper/vocalist self because some people didn’t quite get that I was the artist on my tracks. Plus I’ve been told, “In person you’re so different from how you appear in your music videos.” I’m comfortable being a versatile person. but I think some people get confused about that kind of fluidity. An artist is like a brand, so it requires a level of consistency I suppose. It might seem redundant to release my new singles as DJ Rhiannon featuring Chéri Poppinz but the idea is to make it clear that DJ Rhiannon created and produced the song while Chéri Poppinz wrote and recorded the vocals on it. Different roles, same person. It will help with bookings and collaborations as well.
Smartasses: Sounds like a good plan. Have you done any more acting gigs or television appearances since 2012?
DJ: Funny you should ask. It hasn’t been a focus at all but I was actually scouted at the Vancouver airport by Peter Farrelly himself! He gave me a script for the TV show that he’s currently producing and had me read for one of the lead roles. It felt amazing to get back in the audition room and I got excellent feedback. I would love to work with him, so I hope the opportunity blossoms. Other than that, I’m putting my voice over acting demo together and I might get an agent in Los Angeles. I’m hesitant because music is the biggest focus for me right now, but I really enjoy doing voiceover work and I miss it.
Smartasses: You’re preaching to the choir on the voiceovers, ha ha. So tell us… a good DJ can really control the entire vibe for thousands of people, so, like it or not, you’re a role model for female empowerment. Have you consciously given that any thought?
DJ: Yes. I could write a novel in response to this question, so I’ll choose just a few points to touch on. One point is that if I am truly an “empowered female” then I am allowed to express myself however I want, because that’s real freedom, true empowerment. Many people don’t understand that, and they think that I’m only empowering myself if I stop wearing makeup and I dress in a baggy t-shirt when I perform. They don’t get that they’re actually disempowering me by reducing my personal choice, applying expectation, and thus requesting my obedience, yet again. It’s a complicated subject to discuss within the confines of our patriarchal society. Another important thing to understand is that it’s not up to women to empower women, it’s up to everyone. Perhaps more so the men because they are the ones who currently hold the power here. The fact is, it requires a huge psychological revolution and the only way for you to help make that happen is to work on your self. See your own prejudices, become aware of your own sexism, racism, intolerance– and notice when you are judging yourself and others. That’s proactive. That’s revolutionary. Pointing fingers at others is not. It only perpetuates the problem and bypasses the solution by avoiding the self. As one of my favourite thinkers of the last century brilliantly stated, “The world is nothing but a collection of individuals. Change the individual. Change the world.” -Krishnamurti. Take responsibility for yourself first.
Smartasses: Sounds like a good plan. So… rather than ask for a list of all the countries you’ve performed in, a better question may be, how many countries do you have left to visit?
DJ: Ha. There’s a big wide world out there. Even within a country that I’ve already visited there are more cities that I’d like to experience and perform in. I’ve yet to explore many parts of Europe and Asia so those are definitely on the bucket list. I’d like to visit places with safe and clean ocean water that I can surf in. I don’t really surf in Los Angeles anymore, too much funk for my liking.
Smartasses: Speaking of “funk”… what’s your take on Trumpmerica?
DJ: If history has taught me anything, it’s that often things have to get worse before they get better. If Hillary had become president I think things would have more or less plateaued. If Bernie had become president it would have pissed off the opposers, strengthening them, and then four years later they would have taken power anyway. Why not get the sh*t show over with now? Then let things swing forward (not back) to sanity. The thick silver lining of all of this is that change is coming. It has to. Or we perish. This is an opportunity for the “United” States to actually unite. Americans (and everyone else in the world) must realize that they care about one another as human beings. That’s everyone’s truth, even Trump’s, he’s just very lost and lacking in love and compassion, completely out of touch with the true essence of what it is to be human. It’s time for every person to feel it. You can’t be told to not be sexist or racist or prejudiced or intolerant. You have to understand for yourself why it’s wrong; why it doesn’t work for you anymore. Divide and conquer. That’s an old game. Let’s hope everyone wakes up and claims their power. How? As I said before, focus on yourself. Heal yourself first, only then can you help heal others. We are suffering because we are injured – mentally, emotionally, energetically, spiritually, sexually, physically… Focusing on violence and fear, even if you’re trying to stop it, creates more violence and fear. Sorry. What you resist persists. Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Answer this question: What would make this world better? More compassion? More love? More courage? More understanding? If you think so, then focus on those things. Inside yourself. It will heal you and uplift you and then you’ll radiate that energy and understanding which will help heal and uplift those around you, and so on, and so on. We really do have the power to make a difference; the problem is we’re looking outside of ourselves for the answer when in fact it’s inside. Don’t know where to start? Learn how to meditate.
Smartasses: Well said. but back to you, I understand you’re releasing an EP this year?
DJ: Yes! I’m very excited about the new songs I’m working on right now. It’s a ton of work because I’m producing everything from scratch. It’s very time-consuming stuff but I’m chipping away at it. I am also taking music production classes at Matrix Sessions in downtown Los Angeles so I have guidance when I need it. It’s a great studio and community space to be part of.
Smartasses: Awesome! Anything else up and coming we need to know about?
DJ: I recently wrote and recorded vocals for Sak Noel. The song is called Chúpala and I rap in both English and Spanish on it. It was super fun to write and even more fun to perform and record. It sounds like a follow-up to his hit single Trumpets but this time with a woman’s touch. I’m also looking forward to releasing a song with house music producer Noise Frenzy. He produced a great track and I wrote lyrics for it which he loved so we proceeded to record my vocals. It’s called Watch Me. So watch out for it! Noise Frenzy ft. Chéri Poppinz.
DJ Rhiannon – “We really do have the power to make a difference. Don’t know where to start? Learn how to meditate.”
20 NEW Questions with DJ Rhiannon – Miss July 2017
1 – What was your funniest moment in life? I don’t remember exactly but I can assure you it happened while hanging with my best friends. When you trust your friends deeply it makes for some very entertaining times.
2 – Has anyone ever asked you 100% seriously to marry them? Yes. Long story short, traditional marriage is not for this chick.
3 – What is your Can’t Miss TV show? So far I’m really enjoying Sense8, Orphan Black, The OA, Broad City, Magicians, and Cosmos.
4 – What is your favorite sports car? I used to have a manual transmission Audi A5 and I loved it. That is, until the engine exploded on the highway one night last year. Audis look hot but I would never buy one again.
5 – What is your “Inane Superpower” (climbing stairs really fast, not making a mess when you cook, etc)? I’m organized AF. Which is great because I pack suitcases for a living.
6 – What superpower do you dream of having? Material detachment.
7 – Which famous person would you like to be? I’m quite happy being me, but if I could have two full-time careers the other one definitely would have been in comedy. It’s great that female comics are being more celebrated and exposed now.
8 – Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton? I don’t know much about either of them other than they’re both great at making money. So… Paris, so I can steal her headphones.
9 – If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? I would narrow the gap between sexuality and spirituality in order to increase understanding about who and what we really are as human beings, and therein lower sexual crime rates.
10 – Do you have any phobias? Yes. Injustice. Makes my skin crawl.
11 – Betty or Veronica… or Josie? All three. At the same time.
12 – If your job caused you to move, which country besides the US would you choose to live in? Good question. I’m pretty open to wherever the wind blows. Living in Vancouver again would be nice but I think I’d rather experience something new like Mexico. I’m there a lot anyway and I have great friends in various parts.
13 – What is your favorite cocktail? Margherita.
14 – If a DJ drinks JD while DJing for Johnny Depp (JD)… would this rip open rifts in the fabric of the space-time continuum? Possibly. If the DJ is me then it might also rip open rifts in the fabric of my panties.
15 – Supergirl or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.
16 – Smallville, Lois & Clark or Supergirl? Smallville. Biased decision because I appeared in the show.
17 – If you could bring one album to a deserted island with you, what would it be? Dewdrops in the Garden by Deee-Lite.
18 – If you had to give up one of the two, which would it be – Car or Cellphone? Car. This girl’s gotta do business!
20 – How would you describe yourself in five words? Loving, Passionate, Determined, Cheeky, Intelligent.