Starr has been DJing since the ripe age of 17. With her roots starting in the 80s, New Wave, Goth and Industrial scenes, overtime her skills and tastes have progressed. She now showcases some of the hottest and up and coming Indie Electro artists. This unique DJ seeks out the freshest remixes and hard bass lines to keep the dance floor moving. It’s always a good day when can you discover great individuals…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in a smaller town, in the Central Valley of California called Los Banos, but fled from that place at a very young age. My formative years I spent growing up in Oakland, CA and I have resided all over the Bay Area since. Coming here was the best decision I could have made for myself at 15 years of age. It afforded me so much opportunity to be submersed in so many cultures and diversity. The Bay Area is my home, I would have a very hard time leaving it.
Tell us about your talents:
I guess it’s hard to really talk about ones own talents. I strive to be humble about anything I do. I DJ, do hair, and know things? My passion for music and dancing really pushed me into DJing as a teenager. I started when I worked in a record store, doing in-store sets. It was fun. Friends would come by and dance in the isles and shoppers would experience new music. I moved onto house parties and eventually clubs. As for hair, I always had a passion for fashion, makeup and really out of this world hair. I was the friend who colored everyones hair in our social circles. When I found myself at 30 years of age at this fork in the road, a place that presented me with an opportunity to really decide what I wanted to do with my life – I took that passion for hair and makeup and went to Cosmetology School. Second best decision I ever made in my life! If you consider dropping things, falling and forgetting stuff talents, you could lump them in there as well.
How would you describe the DJ side of you and the type of music you play for the crowds?
One could say I’m a DJ of many faces. It really depends on where I am and the party I’m at. My roots are in the Goth and Industrial genres, but my palette is wide. The majority of my gigs focus on Goth, Darkwave, etc. This is also the core of my stronger social circles in general, and it’s my true love, in terms of music. From classics to new stuff, there’s a deep ocean of so much good music in the goth scene. However, you can also find me at Indie parties. You can catch me recording a Minimal Tech set at home on a Thursday night. You can hear me spinning pop remixes at SF Pride. You can find me throwing down classic cuts at a New Wave party. I love it all! The DJ side of me just loves a good party. Whether it’s at a dive bar in the heart of Oakland with a dozen good friends, or if it’s packing the dance floor at Cat Club – there’s not much more to compare to the feeling of sharing music and having people like, enjoy it and dance to it.
You’ve been a staple in the Bay Area nightlife scene for years DJing and producing events. Could you tell us what events you’ve been behind?
With 20+ years behind the decks, that’s a hefty list and my memory is a bit foggy these days. I’ve had numerous nights come and go. Landing at places we call home on any given night of the week like Cat Club or DNA Lounge. I miss some nights in the past, like Compulsion and Apocalypso, Pop Roxx and Hotline. I’ve guest DJ’d at many staple nights in the Bay Area such as Death Guild, Dark Shadows [RIP], and New Wave City. Right now, for myself, I’m focusing on smaller, more intimate things – and leaving plenty of room for guest DJing at larger scale events. I seem to be back in rotation guest DJing at Bondage A Go Go, Dancing Ghosts, Boy Division. I also started DJing at SF Pride about 10 years ago, and now have 3 years under my belt producing the Indie Oasis stage.
What would you like to see more of in San Francisco nightlife?
In terms of Darker music, honestly, nights that cater to new music. There’s nothing wrong with classics and old school, but there is a continual stream of new music coming out. It’s a hard battle, because people love to dance to what they are familiar with, that’s 100% understandable. I’ve watched nights that cater to newer Darkwave come and go, such as The Witching Hour, produced by DJs Daniel Skellington and Sage – which featured not only new music, but a nice variety across a darker music range. There’s something really special about finding new thing that you want to share and then seeing folks really enjoy it. I wish I could see nights that specifically catered to music created at least within the last decade to recent months thrive but I understand you gotta keep your dance floor going.
For myself, continuing to foster more intimate nights in various places. I’ve come to a place in my life where I find the smaller nights at smaller venues enjoyable in a way that is vastly different than larger scale parties. I find it easier to connect with others in slightly less crowded environments. On the opposite side of that spectrum, I really want to continue focusing on producing events that give. We started The Cauldron Collective, here in the Bay, which holds benefits quarterly for causes we find very important. Right now, it’s very, very important to use all of our platforms to fight the good fight. To take a stand against racism, xenophobia, to promote equality and justice for all, to fight for civil rights and bodily autonomy. To hold our LGBTQIA+ community up. To stand up for sex workers and their rights. To help homeless and minorities in whatever way we can. We can fight on the internet all day, but taking our talents and using them to do tangible work to give aid to non-profits that help uphold our values, that’s magic. Apathy is not an option, I hope to keep working with my wonderful team of Witches to keep creating spaces that give and do good.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
You cannot have light without the dark. Embracing Dark Beauty is finding beauty in everything society may deem maybe “not normal.” Who defines beauty for you? And who decided that dark things, aesthetics and sounds were not beautiful? They have always been beautiful. It’s the ability to swim against the tide. It’s fighting the patriarchy. It is reveling in and embracing our morbid curiosities instead of denying ourselves. It’s saying “fuck you” to your typical beauty standards. It’s finding solace in the quiet, dark spaces. It’s glitter on top of our black eyeshadow. It’s holding each other up through pain. It’s finding community, family and love with all the other outcasts, the kids who grew up being told they didn’t belong – you always did. We were always here for you, you just had to find your way. It is the ability to grow from our pains, traumas and flourish brightly, without denying that those things shaped us. It is gnashing teeth on a steamy night. It’s a firm hand of comfort holding you in the dark. It is relief after tears. It’s Indulgence. It’s not being in denial of the circle of life and death, but welcoming it and finding ways to make this human experience tolerable. Dark Beauty is not about dying, its about living as boldly as one can and projecting that outward in ways we find express ourselves to make others feel welcome, valued and loved. It’s finding balance and fully grasping As Above, So Below. Dark Beauty IS being the light.