We had the great pleasure of doing a fun little Q+A with Scarlett Lapidus to get to know her a bit better, understand her musical influences and see what makes her tick, of course, we also included a few of her DJ mixes, it wouldn't feel right otherwise. Don't forget to head to the bottom of this article to find all the locations where you can discover Scarlett on the web.
Scarlett has been a permanent fixture in the London and European party scene for the last couple of years. She is currently a resident DJ at exclusive hangouts The Chiltern Firehouse, Park Chinois and The Arts Club on Dover Street and Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch. Last year she was the on-stage DJ for pop-star Charli XCX and has played at world-famous venues including The Grande Palais in Paris and Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Club. Recent appearances include Bradley Theodore’s private art show at The Maddox Gallery, the Nicole Farhi S/S show, Elton John at the Battersea Power Station and for fashion brands Armani, Kate Moss, Louis Vuitton ,The Kooples, French Connection, HnM, Topshop, Belvedere and Harrods. Past festival performances include the Secret Garden Party, On Black Heath, Notting Hill Carnival and the 2016 Rio Carnival in Brazil. Scarlett’s DJ music style is heavily influenced by all things disco, combining 90’s/80s remixes, R n’B, old time classic soul and funk right through to Chicago House. With original mixes and vocals on request, she curates every set and sound to bring an event to life. In 2017 Scarlett signed with the prestigious Ministry of Sound under the Hed Kandi label. Catch her this year spinning in Bahrian, Ibiza, Istanbul, Brazil or London and watch out for her music curation work with luxury retail and fashion brands worldwide.
So let's start this off, can you tell us a little bit about who you are, how you got started in DJing?
My name is Scarlett; I am originally from Jersey, a small islands near France but I have been living in Hackney, East London for about seven years.
I got into DJing about four years ago when I moved back to London from 9 months living in Brazil. I wasn’t gigging with my band anymore as we had broken up and I wanted to play out; I missed the stage.I was always searching for blogs and mixes for new music so it made sense that I should start DJing. I then bought Serato and a controller from West End DJ and taught myself.
Describe your sound?
My DJ sound is always rooted in Disco. Whether that be soul/funk, soulful House, Nu Disco, world Disco or even Hip Hop (as Hip-Hop sampled from Disco records). I just love DISCO!
Can you talk about your upcoming EP?
My Ep has been put on the back burner for now as I am so busy with DJing. 🙁 The music is 80s disco pop with a lot of Juno synthesizer sounds. I am waiting for the right time to release it. I will, however, be performing some of the tracks live at some of 10 Tigers shows in London in October. (He’s the producer I worked with on the EP).
Can you tell us what to expect from your live show?
Well apart from singing live with 10 Tigers, which is a full band set up. I am now working on singing and DJing together. The sets will be upbeat with Soulful/ vocal House and of course some new Disco edits. Its pretty hard djing and singing at the same time, I am just trying to work out the best way to do this so I can still perform the songs properly without being stuck behind the DJ booth. Exciting things to come.
We always see you playing in different cities. What are some of the differences you see between the people, parties, and musical tasks?
Playing in different cities is always a bit challenging as you are never quite sure what people expect. You can’t be too clever and play things the crowd doesn't know but you also must be true to your style. What you consider a ‘hit' might not be a ‘hit’ in that country. I try to throw in some local music edits to satisfy the crowds. For instance if i was playing in Brazil i would defiantly play some Brazilian music, some Brazilian Disco edits or there are a lot of House tracks out at the moment that have sampled Brazilian tunes. Always good to give a nod to the local music scene.
Where is your favorite place to play and why? I love playing at festivals as people are always in such a good mood and up for anything. You can also get away with playing a real mix of everything.
We see that you often title your podcasts based on place you have traveled. How do you go about selecting the music for your travel inspired mixes?
I usually go vinyl shopping everywhere i visit and i always make sure i immerse myself with the local music. I tend to base most of my big trips around music discovery. This year i went to as i was desperate to learn more about the Cuban music scene which is vast and so interesting. i do a lot of research before i go to the country. I contact fellow musicians/DJs who might have been to the country i am visiting or can give me a heads up on what to look out for. i also reference Gilles Peterson who is such a hero of mine and a huge pioneer of World music. If theres a good music scene you can bet Gilles has been there already and shared his wisdom on his radio shows or podcasts.
What trip do you have planned next?
I usually stay in Europe for the summer and next weekend I’m back to Ibiza. I think my next big trip will be to Mexico and Central America but who knows? I haven’t got that far yet!
Where are technology geeks, what are you using, CDJ, Traktor, Serato. Something else? So i use CDJs with Rekord box and USBs and for some gigs i also use Vinyl. I learnt on Serato but i never ever use it anymore to be honest.
What else can we expect from you this year? I have just started my own radio show on Hoxton Radio. You can also catch up with shows on Mixcloud. I am also proud to announce that i am officially signed as a Hed Kandi DJ under Ministry of Sound so hopefully have more gigs coming up worldwide. I have also just started a new project working for a company called Playlsiter.fm. We specialise in sound advice for a whole host of venues and brands through curation, compilation and composition. I am super excited about some of the projects we have coming up.