An Exclusive Interview with Shakti Bliss with The Temporal Times: A Steampunk Events and Lifestyle Blog
From the Temporal Times:
· TT: Ok, I have to get this out of the way, being a fan of your Grandfather’s work Gil Snyder, who was the bees knees on the banjo (as I’m a bassist), did you ever get to meet him, see him perform? Also would you say with the talents of your grandparents, did you know as a child, you wanted to be an entertainer like them?
SB: Vaudeville is in my blood. When I was a little girl I used to pretend that I was a jazz singer on a big stage, even though I was super shy and hid behind my mother’s skirt. I heard stories from my family about my crazy grandparents that used to tour with the USO, run around with the Rat Pack, host wild bohemian parties with mushroom tea, and lived the rockstar life in the 40′s and 50′s. My grandmother, who was a singer and MC for the USO entertainment shows during the war, took care of little Sammy Davis Jr. on tour as his stand in mama chaperone when they were on the road. My grandfather, virtuoso banjo player Gil Snyder, who was once featured on the Ed Sullivan Show, passed long before I was born. If I knew I was to follow in their footsteps, decades later, I would have made sure I inherited my grandmothers wardrobe and my grandfathers record collection!
· TT: Your known for your Dirty Electro Swing, what was the inspiration for it?
SB: I have an infatuation with dirty bass music as much as I do for vintage 1920′s jazz. Utilizing modern DJ production technology, I mash the two sounds together during my sets and created my own genre that I coined “Dirty Electro Swing”. Regular bass music does not have enough melody for my liking, just as average electro swing tracks do not have enough heavy bass notes, so I decided to create what I really want to dance to myself.
·TT: How do you pick your music, what do you look for?
SB: When I am at home I listen to vintage 1920′s pop music most of the time. I love old time female singers from that era like Josephine Baker, Annette Hanshaw, the Boswell Sisters, Lil Armstrong, Lee Wiley. Then I spend days on end searching online through European music labels for the latest cutting edge dirty electro and fidget house tracks from producers that know how to throw down a solid four to the floor bass line and crazy dirty drop interludes. I cut up, edit, mix and mash up the two sounds to create my DJ sets, since I have yet to master the art of music production on my own. I think of it as being a digital patchwork quilter of sound with a huge learning curve ahead of me.
· TT: What programs do you utilize to create your mixes?
SB: Luckily I have rubbed elbows with some top notch music producers and DJ’s over the years, so I was introduced to Ableton Live from the get go. I decided to start DJing on that interface so I can eventually move into original music production on the same software. Old school DJ’s may say I am cheating by going digital, but I have a good ear for timing with my experience as a dancer and absolutely love the advancement of technology that is available for this generation. I do so much more than just spin CD’s during my set. I mash up three tracks at a time, cut up loops and samples, and create something completely unique with each song I play. Someday I should probably learn how to use CD-J’s, but it feels limiting to me.
· TT: Which venues do you prefer? Underground Burner Speakeasies? Dance clubs? Or those highbrow corporate parties and fancy weddings as you mentioned on http://djshaktibliss.com/about ??
SB: My favorite events are at the huge, old historic grand ballroom theaters. I’ve been blessed to perform at the Palace Theater, the Regency Ballroom, and the Fonda Theater to name a few. I love being backstage in my dressing room imagining what amazing famous artists once played on that same stage as me back in the day. I have to wonder, did my grandfather play here too? Did he use this same dressing room? It’s quite likely.
· TT: One has to ask the question, how many hats do you own?
SB: Looking around my bedroom right now, I see twenty! Yes, it is an addiction of mine.
·TT: Where do you generally buy your hats?
SB: I use to find my hats at vintage boutique thrift stores, probably paying way too much money for them! Now I make my own and have created a handmade fashion line of Flapper Dapper hats and accessories at http://www.shaktibliss.com.
·TT: If you could be booked by anyone, for any venue, who would it be and where?
SB: An unfulfilled dream of mine is to go on tour in Europe. There is a huge electroswing community out there! The day I rock a speakeasy club in Paris and can woo the French swingsters with my west coast American style is the day I can die happy and complete. Half of my Soundcloud followers are from Europe, with a significant following in Germany, so that dream is not far off from coming true.
READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE: http://wp.me/p4fWim-1x