Kristina Sky Was Dragged To Her First EDM Rave in the '90s, She Hasn't Looked Back Since
Kristina Sky sensed that the EDM movement would continue to gain popularity in the states since her early rave days in the 90s. The LA-bred trance artist started off promoting dessert parties before picking up vinyl records and a set of turntables 10 years ago. Today, she DJ's all over the world sharing stages and singles on record labels with idols like Armin Van Buuren and Paul Van Dyk. After playing on New Years Eve for power-house promoters Giant in 2006 alongside Ferry Corsten and Sasha & Digweed, she gained a much sought after residency at Avalon Nightclub in Hollywood and became one of the most in demand female DJ's of the decade. This Friday she comes back to her second home in OC for a headlining show at the Yost Theater in downtown Santa Ana. We spoke to Kristina about getting dragged to her first "rave," being a female in this mostly boys club and playing the ASOT stage at this years Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.
OC Weekly (Alejandra Loera): Describe to us that moment when you realized dance music and trance in particular spoke to you individually and changed your perspective on EDM.
Kristina Sky: Being a punk and ska girl, I was really resistant to attend my first rave in the early '90s. I got dragged into it by a friend, but soon saw how untrue some of the stigmas were. It was really different from the aggressive punk shows I was used to, filled with mosh pits and such. It was the exact opposite - very friendly, calm and accepting. At the time the music connected with my classical background. I was in choir and played the violin in an orchestra for over five years. The sounds in trance and a lot of electronic music was a more new age kind of take on my classical thing. Back then there were no DJ idols or icons. Rather than freaking out about a song or DJ, going to these types of events was about the people in the scene and the community behind it.
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John O'Callaghan and Kristina Sky at the Yost Theater Last Night
Do you see any events locally still trying to achieve this sense of togetherness that the old rave scene brought to the table?
As far as promoters, there aren't many that are doing it the old school way for the simple fact that they got a lot of slack in the media. Now they are trying to legitimize what they are doing and a lot of EDM shows have become more of a concert than the original "rave-like" experience and feeling. Incognito in LA does a lot of underground stuff which is the closest thing to the old scene I have seen today. It has intimate vibes at small venues were people connect through the music. Unfortunately, there aren't very many trance promoters doing this anymore. It's pretty much all mainstream now, but I'm sure it will go back to the underground. It always does.
We've noticed the lack of female DJs especially in the trance community even with how big the dance music scene has gotten. Why do you think that is?
It's still a mystery for me why there aren't more female DJs. I do see a lot more females than I have ever seen before now though. I get emails weekly with questions from girls who say I've inspired them to want to DJ. I think there are fewer females because it is also a very techy job and a lot of girls aren't into technical stuff - which is okay. With all of the technology that is around today, it takes a real tech nerd to be a able to do this job. It also has a rigorous traveling schedule you must endure especially in unknown countries. Some times being by yourself can be lonely at times until u get to the actual gig of course. But you have to be a very strong personality to handle the DJ life.
You have played some pretty career-changing gigs from Coachella to now Armin Van Buuren's A State of Trance Stage at EDC. How was Las Vegas and what did you take from it?
It is really on another level to play these festivals. Armin is a really nice guy and really cares about the scene and the music. It was a total honor getting invited to play back on the ASOT tent, especially in my own country at Electric Daisy Carnival. That was the icing on the cake. You know he's really trying to shine some light on the female DJs in our community. That's what he did at the ASOT in Den Bosh. He had an entire stage dedicated to female DJs. I was the only girl DJ from the US representing females in the Netherlands. It was an amazing gig and hopefully an inspiration to others.
What can we expect from your upcoming gig in Orange County this Friday October 19th?
I'm not a Beatport top 100 DJ. When you hear a DJ set of mine your going to hear some popular stuff but also a lot of classics with bootlegs, mash-ups and remixes. I like to DJ comprehensively and draw from all the music that inspires me. You can expect a very varied set of new and old stuff that brings back good memories. I'm not trying to play what's cool or hip. I'm just playing what I love and hope that everyone else enjoys it. I haven't exactly figured out what I am playing at the Yost on Friday. I will probably figure it out when I get there, but I am very excited to get back to that venue. It's the closest thing to an Avalon in OC and very different than then rest of the venue lounges.