Who: DJs Sw@t & Crystal Fresh (DnB Girls of Canada)
When: Sunday, May 23, 10 p.m.
Where: Tommy Africa's
Cost: $5 cover for first 50 people
Early Monday morning, DJ Sw@t (better known as Darlene Friesen) and her partner in musical crime, Crystal Fresh (also known as Crystal Rhodes), were just getting ready to tackle another show on their L.O.U.D. 2010 tour. So far, they've played gigs in Banff, Calgary and Edmonton. They are preparing to make their way West to British Columbia for shows in Abbotsford, Vancouver and finally, right here in Whistler.
"So far, it's amazing! It's been pretty busy. The first couple nights were pretty hectic," said Sw@t.
Both ladies hail from Winnipeg, Manitoba. And while that city isn't renowned for being a hotbed of the Canadian DJ scene, Sw@t points out that there are a lot of big up-and-coming names emerging from the 'Peg.
"I feel like it's going in a really positive direction and we are getting a lot more notice," she said, pointing out that well-known DJs and producers like Harry Chan and RCola got their start in Winnipeg.
Sw@t was introduced to the rave scene almost five years ago. She was hooked immediately on the upbeat vibe and energy of the dance floor.
"The people that actually got me into a lot of that music, it was just a friend, they were all playing records and I was like, 'oh, that looks cool! Can I try this out?' And it was a bunch of boys and they were like, 'Um, no, I think it's going to be a little too technical for you,'" she recalled, laughing.
"I was like, 'Yeah, we'll see about that.'"
The very next day, she jumped on another (more open-minded) friend's turntables and was hooked. Just three months later, she had started amassing her own collection of vinyl and was set up with her own turntables.
After six months of learning the ropes in Winnipeg she started thinking about taking her show on the road.
"At first, a lot of the people who had been on the scene for the past 10, 12 years, they were like, 'You know, we haven't really done that, so I don't know if you're going to have too easy of a time getting noticed.' So again, I was like, 'Yeah, we'll see about that.'"
She began talking to successful touring DJs like B.Traits and Freaky Flow, trying to find out how to best promote herself and get bookings. She started an online radio show just one year into DJing to create a buzz. And within a few years, had made a name for herself.