What better way to celebrate our 300th interview then by putting the spotlight on one of the west coast’s most celebrated DJs! Ana Sia is known for not only energizing the dance floor, but consistently breaking new sounds from all over the world. Having championed some of the most beloved music festivals in the U.S., Canada and abroad, Ana Sia has gone from rocking house parties to stadiums by stylistically staying two steps ahead of the game. From huge festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival and others, and an array of clubs and venues spanning every major city, countless college towns and hot spots everywhere, Ana Sia has built a community just as fun, wild and eclectic as her style. She hits the road with Glitch Mob (certain cities only) and we were able to sit down with her in between cities and discuss her technique, expectations of the industry, films, her new EP and more! Read the full Q&A below…
How has the club scene evolved since first getting involved with it 20 years ago?
Ana: The most obvious change is that “clubbing” isn’t just for one demographic of peoples or limited to just a few genres of music. There’s literally something for everyone in current scenes, no matter what someone is into. Another huge change is the extreme focus on the DJ, whether that’s for better or worse. Before, you’d never know where the DJ was posted up and it was uncommon to have anyone play for less than four hours. It was just a totally different experience when it was a wizard-behind-the-curtain type thing. Just relying on the music to carry the crowd and not have all the extravagant stage production that feels so necessary to have now.
When we talked with edIT from the GLitch Mob, he pretty much said producing using Ableton was the ONLY way to go. When you started producing you started using the same. Do you use other plug-ins and soft synths along with it?
Ana: I agree w/ EdIT! I’ve been using Ableton for seven years with a shit ton of VST’s, but I’ve slowly been adding analog gear to my studio and that has opened up a whole different game in producing.
Speaking of Glitch Mob, you are hitting the road with them. What will you add or bring to the experience when people come to see you live? Do your energy levels mesh well?
Ana: My intention with this tour is to bring an arsenal of music that I am certain will be a new listening experience for their fans; that’s really my mission statement every time I play. The energy level of my music is real different from TGM’s mega-octane show but in a complimentary way. Mine’s more ‘get into your body’ and theirs is more ‘get outta your head’.
Has your gear setup changed much from your International Profile days?
Ana: I went back to basics in a sort. I’m back playing on CDJ’s and got off my laptop for shows.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or Anime?
You just released The Glass Delusion EP. Tell us a bit about your mindset going into the creative process with this project.
Ana: Being my 2nd dual single release of 2013, it was really about nailing down my *sound* and keep reinforcing that this is the kind of music that I write and play now. Through the years, my taste in music has evolved and it’s not going to stop changing. I think that’s always a little bit of an admitted fear for any artist when relating to the fan-base you’ve built over time but presenting your truth/art/creative output as it’s happening is also the most liberating. I used to play soft stuff, then really hard, now more avant garde, but it’s what I currently love. I can get down to it, and I can only hope it keeps others interested too!
I really like how Bassnectar kind of set this new trend of introducing more electronic artists to the festival scene but you yourself have played at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival and others. Do you feel like as an Asian woman you haven’t earned the recognition you deserve?
Ana: I really don’t live with the mentality of anyone for whoever they are, what their make up is, etc. deserves anything. I work hard and am grateful that I’ve been proposed with what I believe to be personal success in this field thus far. There’s endless opportunity for anyone, I certainly do not feel limited by being an Asian woman and I certainly do not want to be handed things because of it either.
How do you feel about how EDM is expanding and growing more popular? Your music is getting a wider audience than ever before as EDM is growing. What do you think?
Ana: It’s crazy and awesome how electronic music has really taken over major festivals and even radio now in such a short time, but I do fear it fading as fast as it grew. It’ll be interesting to see who will has the longevity in this EDM craze. The exposure is great for everyone, and it’s thrilling to see there’s more opportunities than anyone thought possible.
After you finish this leg of the tour in late March, do you have any plans? Any projects or new tracks you could tell us about?
Ana: Plan is to keep grinding! But yes, working on an EP next and got some side projects percolating!
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