What was the worst/best experience you have had in your musical career?
DJ Collette: Many scary flights! I recently was on a plane when the wing slightly cracked and we had to make an emergency landing. That's when you ask yourself "Do I really need to be flying every week?". Then you remember all of the great experiences, which definitely outweigh the negative, and you get your ass back on the plane.
What were you doing before you started your music career?
DJ Collette: I was in school. As soon as I graduated I focused everything on music. I worked at a record shop, a record label, and a few different nightclubs as a promoter.
Your personal favorite musicians?
DJ Collette: Frou Frou, Police, Bjork, Gypsy Kings,Fleetwood Mac, Deee-Lite.
What do you think of Chicago expanding it's horizons from EDM into free city sponsored events such as the ones in Grant Park?
DJ Collette: I think that it shows how far dance music has come for the city to recognize it's importance in our community. Jazz and Blues have forever been highlighted in the city, but house music hasn't, even though it's been thriving in Chicago for more than twenty years.
Besides Chicago where is your favorite place to play?
DJ Collette: Right now I'm really loving playing in Southern California. It reminds me of old school parties in Chicago.
How was the "Love Parade" in San Francisco - I understand you were
working at the "My Space" booth?
DJ Collette: I also got to play on the Om float that day. Beyond the chilly weather, the event was perfect. It was an overload of the senses...every few steps there was a sound system. It was a great sight to see in a time when everyone thinks that dance music is losing it's impact in the States.
Do you believe musicians/actors should get involved in politics?
DJ Collette: I believe that everyone has the right to express their beliefs and support whatever causes they find relevant.
How often do you rehearse and write? Is it a daily thing?
DJ Collette: While I've been recording my album, I've been in the studio 3 to 4 days a week. When I didn't have this big project I was probably only writing 2 days out of the week and touring 3 days. Sometimes I get new ideas singing live. A mistake can turn into a great song.
DJ Collette: I don't really have a favorite book, but two of my favorite authors at the moment are David Sedaris and Dan Brown.
What's your secret to getting noticed - any tips for fellow D.J.'s?
DJ Collette: The best way to get noticed is to save all your drama for your performance. I think having a good attitude combined with serious skills is a perfect combination for getting anyone's attention.
You won a dance star award at WMC 2004 for best song in a commercial.
How did this impact your career?
DJ Collette: It didn't change that much for me, although it was highly flattering to win that award with Felix da Housecat and Paul Van Dyk. We spent a lot of time on those commercials so it was an extra bonus to be acknowledged for all that work.
What is the best thing you have ever done - outside of music?
DJ Collette: This still involves music, but the best thing I ever did outside of "dance music" was to teach. I used to teach kids music and art. It was something I was seriously considering for my occupation in life.
What was your best subject in school?
DJ Collette: Art, Music, and English. My parents were High School teachers. You had to do well in most subjects.
Is there a certain type of music/song that because of someone changed your opinion for the better/worse?
DJ Collette: About ten years ago I met Todd Kasten. He's a great friend of mine who really opened up my ears to a plethora of music. I would go to punk shows and rock shows ... anything that I normally wouldn't have experienced he brought me to. He made me more aware of how much great music is out there in all genres.
What inspires you?
DJ Collette: So many things! Watching people dance, getting lost in music where I forget about everything, laughing with my girlfriends (who really are the funniest people on the planet), and spending that rare moment outside of the city whether it be on the beach or in the desert.
Writer: Penny Hayward