She goes by DJ Crykit (pronounced “cricket”), but Michelle Kolnik’s skills go far beyond the decks. As a DJ, dancer and budding entrepreneur, she’s a triple threat ready to take Las Vegas by storm.
“I used to go to raves all the time in the late ‘90s,” says Crykit, who grew up in Wisconsin before moving to San Francisco, where she discovered electronic music. “I loved dancing. I really loved the way the DJ held the attention of people and created the vibe.” She started buying drum ’n’ bass and jungle records, amassing her own vinyl collection and spinning at underground parties before getting into hip-hop and breakdancing. “About two years into that scene I met all these b-boys and b-girls. Once I learned a little, my focus shifted to breaking and hip-hop culture altogether.” She was even in Sisterz of the Underground, an all-female hip-hop collective that, on top of battling, hosted workshops, events and after-school programs.
After a friend told her about the DJ software Serato, Crykit started landing more DJ gigs at venues like Tao and Downtown’s former barcade, Insert Coin(s). “That was my favorite stomping grounds,” she says of Coin(s). “I got to really play a lot of different styles. The people Downtown are eclectic.”
Lately, she’s been playing steadily at Skyfall Lounge at Delano and Bond at the Cosmopolitan. She even opened for Bruno Mars last New Year’s Eve. Her next big venture, however, is her online thrift store, Crykit’s Playhouse. “I’ve always loved fashion. I was a big sneaker collector for a long time. So that’s kinda how it came about.”
The next frontier: incorporating Crykit’s Playhouse into her live events. “Musically, the next step is to be a producer, but it’s not my thing,” she says. “My goal is really fusing the fashion I love with the music I love.” DJ Crykit at Bond at the Cosmopolitan, October 23; at Skyfall at Delano, October 24.