CGNY: Tell us about yourself - where do you come from?
Connie: I was born and raised in New York City. I had a strict upbringing -all study and no play. Both my parents were educators, and valued a good education and a good profession. Parties were out of the question. I remembered not being able to even listen to the radio or watch more than two hours of TV a week! And even in high school I had to be home by 8pm. I attended NYC's top high school - Stuyvesant High School and then, fortunately, got accepted to University of California at Berkeley. When I left for college was basically when I started to live my life and discover the world and who I am.
CGNY: What got you into the electronic music scene?
Connie: My first taste of electronic music was in high school when my friends introduced me to bands like New Order and Depeche Mode. At that time, I didn't even know what electronic music was, really. It was not until I left for college when I started going to clubs in San Francisco where I became exposed to DJ culture and dance music, and at that time, I enjoyed it because it made me dance. When I got back to NYC in 1997, and now being independent from my parent's strict rule, I was able to truly experience NYC nightlife for the first time in my life. Venues like Twilo and Vinyl/Arc became my favorite places to frequent. But it was not until my visit to Ibiza in 2001 where I made the decision that I not only wanted to dance to electronic music, I wanted to DJ it!
CGNY: Who/what were your influences growing up?
Connie: Musically, in my early years, my influences included: Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, New Order, the Cure predominantly. Listening to music was my only escape from being locked up at home at night. :) My parents were also a big influence while I was growing up. Although they were restrictive, they also taught me discipline, patience, and strong work ethics.
CGNY: You are one of the few NYC female djs that plays consistently in the underground techno scene - can you tell us a little bit about what that’s like? How did you morph into that scene? Connie: Being a female DJ can be tough. I think it takes a little more effort for women DJs to gain respect from both the audience as well as from other DJs than men; but once you achieve that respect, then it's awesome! I feel extremely lucky to have the privilege to be a consistent presence in the underground techno/house scene. For the last six years, I was able to maintain at least four gigs a month. It's a very competitive scene, that's for sure. And through the last eight years as a DJ, I've seen a growing number of DJs in NYC. So to stay alive, you have to constantly better yourself, find ways to stand out from the others, produce, network with promoters old and new, and also, very important, know how to market yourself. You have to learn to choose your gigs and not be afraid to turn down gigs. Always be professional, and always thank the people that got you where you are today. And remain humble because there's no room for egos. I started DJing on vinyl when there was only vinyl and no CDs or Traktor/Serato. What was great about the vinyl days was that we all had to go to the record store to get new music, so record stores were a fun place where DJs networked and hung out. I started meeting local DJs at Satellite Records and Halcyon Records, and it was at Satellite where I met Elon and Justin, and we formed EJC Collective. We started throwing weekly parties booking local and international DJs and, through that, started getting gigs at Sullivan Room, Le Souk, Pacha, etc. And that's how it started, 8 years ago.
CGNY: What do you think is the most important thing to becoming a successful dj?
Connie: I think there are three "most important" things to becoming a successful dj: keeping your music fresh and changing with the times; knowing how to market yourself; and producing. CGNY: You also play in a live band? How did that come about? Does one influence the other? Connie: Currently I am in a pop band named POP Gotham. The lead singer is the daughter of the drummer from Violent Femmes, who is also one of our producers. The band has been together for almost two years and our music should be on itunes in the next six month (I hope). Before this band, I was in another really cool band named Psychic Drive, more surfy punk with pop sensibility. Our manager was the manager of Twisted Sister... but sadly, the band broke up and we all went our separate ways. Currently, I am in the midst of forming a new electronic band. It's called P3. I started playing drums before I learned how to DJ, taking lessons from a guy named Phil Bloom. I became interested in drumming after seeing a performance named "Bring on the Noise, Bring on the Funk." It was a tap dance and percussion show and I was so impressed that I started taking drum lessons and tap dance lessons the week after! I think drumming does influence my Djing, but I don't think my DJing influences my drumming. When I choose music for my gigs, I do tend to drift towards tracks with more interesting drum patterns.
CGNY: How do you think the NYC dance scene is evolving or changing over the years?
Connie: When I first started going out in NYC, and before I became a DJ, it was all about the megaclubs. There was Twilo, Vinyl/Arc, and Limelight, to name a few. I felt like going out was so much more of a production back then, and DJs were more like rockstars. Those clubs still exist, but there are more options now, I believe. There are warehouse parties, weekly parties at small bars and lounges, and parties at people's apartments, all having a more intimate setting. There's probably something going on everyday of the week. So more choices but usually at a smaller scale.
CGNY: What artists are you listening to you these days - anyone in particular you are loving?
Connie: My favorite producers right now are Maetrik and Tanner Ross/Voodeux. They have that ability to combine that deep dark sound that I love with super funky bass lines. Elon is also a favorite.
CGNY: What’s next for Connie?
Connie: Well, in terms of gigs, my next one is this Friday, October 8. The party is called Trilogy and the headliner is Perc. Really excited about this one... As for ReSolute, we are preparing for our Halloween party in conjunction with BlkMkt Membership and Esthetik, and then after that we have the ReSolute 3-year anniversary end of November. And in December, we are doing a ReSolute party in Moscow and probably St. Petersburg too. I've always wanted to go to those places so I am extremely excited about that. Also, I mentioned before, I am working on a new electronic band project called P3 and we are hoping to be ready to play at the 3-year anniversary. What else? I am going to be involved with a new monthly party, more on the housey tip, called Republic, working with Seph, Ino, and Holmar. And last, but not least, I am going to start producing again under the moniker conStar. It's been over a year sine my last production was released on Airdrop Records. My next project will be for the Nosi Music label and should be ready by the end of November so look out for it!