In Vegas, it’s rare to catch genuinely talented “chicks with decks.” Female DJs headlining at our city’s hot spots usually have some sort of gimmick—a Playboy Playmate, the purported No. 1 topless DJ from Russia or just another pretty face to draw a crowd—while skill takes a backseat to sensation. Fortunately, instances in which mixing ability and production are showcased do occur from time to time. And while it’s true that DJs Heather and Colette are easy on the eyes, their set at Tabu on April 9 should also be well worth checking out.
“I think that if you really know how to play well and you’re picking good music, then you’re helping the industry,” Colette says of females commanding the ones and twos. “If, technically, you’re not a good DJ, and you’re using your sexuality to be the main attraction, then no, it’s not helping.”
Adds Heather, who has more than 15 years in the industry: “People can figure out what’s genuine and what’s [not]. If you enjoy what you’re doing and [you’re] in it for the right reasons, that translates no matter what.”
Both Heather and Colette hail from Chicago, the birthplace of house music. The two have been playing together for about 12 years, and were, alongside Lady D and Dayhota, members of the all-female DJ team Superjane. Though that foursome only occasionally performs as a complete group these days, each member has found success based on skill, and not purely on sexuality. “It’s still a male-dominated environment, but you definitely are seeing more and more women all the time,” Colette says. “As a woman, if you just focus on the music and not your gender, that’s really what’s going to help you.”
Preferring CDs and sometimes even vinyl to laptops and Serato, Colette and Heather rely on raw talent to insure their longevity in the industry. Vegas will mark one of the final stops on their House FM tour, which has been so far, so good for the duo. “During the state of the economy, we’ve been kind of concerned about people making their way to clubs,” Heather says. “But actually, it’s a way for everyone to kind of escape for a little bit and just not deal with what’s going on.”
Colette says she and Heather will take an extended tag-team approach for their Vegas appearance—they’ll switch off in 30-minute intervals, so no matter when you arrive at Tabu, you’ll probably catch both DJs at work. As an added bonus, Colette will also sing at points during the set. “There’s enough time in the beginning and the end of the songs so that I can have time to mix,” she says. “I allow myself time to do both things, even though it looks a little more tricky than that.”
“We work well together, so … it’s just a combination of what [Colette] brings to the table in terms of her unique sound, and I think I’m a good balance to that,” Heather says, adding that she believes their music can appeal to all tastes.
“Playing with [Heather] has been really fun, and it’s always an exciting show,” says Colette, who plans on releasing multiple new singles this year, plus provides free mixes for fans via her MySpace page. “I hope people come out and check it out, because it’s just been a really wonderful experience.”
Heather, who’s in the process of finishing her home studio and re-launching her record label, Blackcherry Recordings, adds, “We want people to definitely come out to the Tabu show, because the last one we had at Body English was good, so we’re hoping to make the Tabu [show] just as fun.”