Exclusive Interview with DJ and producer Ophelia

With a signature sound and unique style, Ophelia certainly stands out for being a truly impressive artist. With a classical music background, her passion for music, drive and talent proves with every release and through every live performance that she’s set to reach new heights and conquer dance floors all over the world.

We sat down with Ophelia to learn more about her beginnings as a live performer and her experience so far behind the mixing decks.

Hi Ophelia, how are you?

I’m fantastic and marvelous.

Do you remember your first live performance? Where was it and how did it go?

Probably ‘The Drifters’ at a local outdoor concert. I was around 7 years old. I grew up on Motown so it was a real treat even though there weren’t many original members on stage. I still have memories of some of the songs and how the stage and lights looked.

What’s your usual routine to get ready for a live show?

I have a gig bag that has everything I need for a live show in it. I have a large metal chain necklace with my USB. I do a quick checklist and make sure I have more cables than I need, I’ve learned that playing raves and random outdoor locations that my live sound experience comes in handy in case something happens.

If I have a hotel room I just put hot towels on my face and just lay in bed in a meditative state. Then I put on my outfit and makeup and grab a water and something with caffeine.

What do you look for in a track to add it to a live set?

I purposefully have a lot of tracks that are random numbers. I just scan the song and look at the key and throw it in and always improv my setlist. If I spent the time to put it on my USB I must have saved it to my list of tracks I like. Normally, it’s a track that I heard and knew it would either mix well or stand out as a solo piece. Anything clean and minimal gets added to the random folder.

What’s your favorite thing about mixing live?

4 CDs and completely random tracks. All I do is problem solve the entire set and try to create something so unique and impactful. I have to read the crowd to see what it sounds like.

Can you tell us what would you say it’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your time performing live?

Playing it safe and just barely fading in and out of tracks is great if you want to pose for photos and video. When I’m actually DJing and I see a photographer or videographer I always try hard to pose because when I’m in a deep mix I can have a gnarly musicians snarl since I’m deep in thought and emotion.

What’s the funniest or most exciting story you have involving a live show?

I played this trendy after hours in Los Angeles (where I’m from) and I got kicked off the decks because the promoter who was also a DJ said I wasn’t playing 4/4 and the party would end early unless I played “Techno.”

Are there any new skills or gear would you like to incorporate in the near future? If so, which ones?

I use an Ableton Live setup with a Push 2 but I’d like to use a Pioneer RMX-500.

Which venue or festival would you like to perform at in the future?

I personally reached out to Berghain and they got back to me and said not at this time. So next time. 🙂

What piece of advice would you give to a DJ that’s starting their live performance/ music production journey?

I think practice is great. I think learning rhythms is great. Listen to other people’s mixes and see what you like about them. Everyone has different styles that fit different vibes. I also recommend finding a DAW that works for you no matter what other people recommend.