Members of the X and Y generations know Amanda Stepto and Stacie Mistysyn better as simply Spike and Caitlin, key characters from the Canadian cult classic Degrassi Junior High and its later incarnations. But these days, the talented ladies can be found in the DJ booth, assuming their new personas as DJ Demanda and DJ Mistylicious.
"DJing isn't all we're doing right now, it's just kind of a hobby that we've just gotten more and more into as it's developed because it's so fun," Mistysyn said with a laugh. "...The DJing just kind of grew out of our love for '80s music."
The pair grew up surrounded by 80s culture, and really, through their work on Degrassi, helped define the decade for Canadian youth, so it should be no surprise that they still share a love for the music from that time in their lives.
"It's so funny, I don't think I've ever really grown out of the '80s," Stepto mused. "Even before DJing, a lot of the bands that I've listened to are from the '80s and the early '90s."
The pair has stayed close since their early days on Degrassi .
"Growing up on the show we were always friends, but our characters, number one, didn't interact a lot - we were in different grades - and it was really only after the show ended and we both started working on The Next Generation that we really kind of bonded more and really got to know each other better," Mistysyn added.
Their foray into the world of DJing was, in large part, influenced by their friend Shawn MacDonald, a professional DJ who goes by the moniker DJ Shawn MacD.
"He knew how much we enjoyed going to '80s parties and '80s nights at clubs, so it was his brainchild and we just kind of went with it," Mistysyn said.
They began working to learn the skills and tricks of the trade from their friend and other local DJs, which has been a huge process for the two.
"You're getting advice and tips from various DJs and, believe it or not, it's all different," said Stepto, "and sometimes it's completely opposite. So it really is your own interpretation, because one DJ might say it's all about flow, another will say it's all about BPMs (beats per minute), another one will say it's all about the type and genre of music."
Soon, they were hosting a monthly party, the Inbetween Days dance party, at the Annex Wreckroom, a club in their hometown of Toronto. The night, which features loads of fun retro throwbacks, quickly grew a loyal following and before they knew it they were taking the show on the road.