Casey Connor Exclusive Interview

Casey ConnorCasey Connor is a celebrity DJ who has been in the business for years. Popular with star parties, such as Madonna after parties, Britney Spears, Kanye West parties, plus she’s a DJ at some of Hollywood’s hottest clubs. We talked with Casey to get the spin on what being a DJ is really all about!

THE STAR SCOOP:
Tell us about yourself and what you do, for fans who don’t know you yet..

CASEY CONNOR:
Basically, I’m a female celebrity DJ, one of the top three female DJ’s in Los Angeles and New York. I started DJing about five years ago. Spinderella basically trained me. Some of the events I’ve done: I’ve DJ’d for Britney Spears, Kanye West, Puff Daddy, Jennifer Lopez, countless other celebrities. Just being a female DJ is a talent in its own, because not a lot of DJs really look at females as people that they can really get to spin and that know music. When I show up to an event, there are a lot of guys that really question me, like, oh, can she really DJ, and when I show what I can do, a lot of the people are a lot more impressed. Female DJing has become a novelty in the last two years, but I’ve been doing it five, a lot longer. I have a different kind of look that definitely helps me get a lot of events. I don’t only DJ, I actually perform when I DJ. I’m kind of singing along to some of the songs, I’m dancing.

THE STAR SCOOP:
A lot of people think DJs play music. So can you tell us more about what it means to be a DJ?

CASEY CONNOR:
I really try to give more of a performance. A lot of DJs that are out there, they just only spin records. I’m really feeding off what they audience is giving me, and I try to give that back to them, so the energy really maintains throughout the whole entire night. I’m kind of on the microphone, and I’m singing, and I’m talking to the crowd, and I’m dancing, and I’m giving the crowd little shout-outs here and there. It’s really an actual party atmosphere when I’m DJing. I’m not just spinning. I was a singer; I still am a singer and songwriter. When I used to go out to dance, it’s like wow, [DJ’s] are the reason why people break moves if you’re at a club, and I really decided to get into the music industry as a singer-songwriter, but DJing started catching on as an actual talent. Everyone thinks that they’re just pressing play on an i-pod. It’s definitely not that. If you’re not reading your crowd, your audience, they’re not going to respond to you.

When I got into it, it was a little hard at first because you really have to make a name for yourself. You’re actually the conductor of the night. If you’re playing music that people do not want to hear, the whole entire energy level is down, you know?

THE STAR SCOOP:
How does this job help you personally?

CASEY CONNOR:
That automatically helps me with my other side of my career, which is singing and songwriting. But just to have Britney Spears come up to me and hug me and say you are the reason why I’m in a good mood right now, because of the music that you’re playing, that’s so gratifying right there. I just love making people dance and I love watching their expressions when they see a female DJ, and I totally shock them with the style music I’m playing. Being that I’m only 26, a lot of people don’t expect me to know some of the music I’m playing from like the 60s. I’ll play 60s mashups. I’ll play Van Morrison or Bob Dylan remixes over hip hop. It’s really self-rewarding. I love shocking people. When you have celebrities really giving you credit, for the vibe that you’re producing for them, that says it all right there. It’s an amazing feeling.

THE STAR SCOOP:
You must really have to be attune to the music industry.

CASEY CONNOR:
I really pay attention to the Billboard charts. A lot of times I’ll play something that people are like, I’ve never heard of that song, what is it, and then the next week it will be a top 10 song on the radio. The charts are important, but also. showing your musicianship as a DJ as well.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What kind of music are you into?

CASEY CONNOR:
I love funk, I love 70s funk music. If you put Stevie Wonder song on over a Justin Timberlake song or a Timbaland song, I would love to hear that. I love soulful R&B music. Anything that’s really going to make me dance. Madonna, Prince, Janet, Michael Jackson. Really, my love is R&B, pop music from the 80s, 90s, today. I love hip hop. I grew up in New York City, so hip hop was really important in my upbringing.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What are you up to now?

CASEY CONNOR:
I do about four, five events a week. I have every week, I DJ at one of the biggest clubs in L.A. I spin there every Thursday. I have different events. I’m DJing a Lionsgate film premiere, I’m DJing a New Year’s countdown at Hollywood in the Kodak Theater. I’ll be focused on that, in front of five thousand people. Wolfgang Puck is catering it, and it’s being hosted by Jeff Goldbloom. Up next, I’m DJing in Los Vegas with 50 Cent and 2Short. A lot of film premieres, a gallery opening, a holiday party. I DJ at The Lodge, which is a very exclusive Beverly Hills club on Fridays. So, I’m staying very, very busy.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Also, you do songwriting, and you’ve written songs for artists. Do you ever feel like you want to put out an album?

CASEY CONNOR:
Oh yeah, I’m actually currently working on my album now, writing songs for myself, but I also enjoy writing for other artists because they put a different spin on the song. They can put a different feeling towards it without you even knowing what they can do. They’re singing it differently that I would sing it, it makes a different type of song. It’s very gratifying when you hear a famous artist like the Backstreet Boys or Michelle Branch sing the song that you created because they’re singing it in a way you couldn’t. At the same time, of course I’d like to sing my own music, but there’s a tme and place for that.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Is there an artist you would like to write a song for?

CASEY CONNOR:
Janet Jackson. That’s my idol. Janet Jackson. And Michael Jackson’s my idol. I know her[Janet’s] voice, I emulated her my whole life, dancing and singing. I would love to get a song on Janet’s album, have her sing it, that’d be a huge honor for me.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What advice do you have for people who are interested in getting into DJing?

CASEY CONNOR:
You have to really prove yourself in this industry. I would just say go out and get equipment. Just try and play music as if you were in a club, and what you would want to hear. That’s how I started off. When I was training with Spinderella, she basically asked me to go home and not just mix, but actually put songs on a CD that I would love to listen to back to back to back in a club. And I did that. Knowing music is first and foremost. If you don’t know music, I don’t care how well you mix, and I don’t care how well you scratch. If you don’t know music, you might as well pick another career. Because that’s 90 percent of DJing, how well you know the music, because that will really determine how well you’ll be able to respond to your crowd.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What would you like us to know about before we let you go?

CASEY CONNOR:
Just really giving DJs credit as musicians. A lot of people, they might look at DJs, like, they play songs in a club, We really are musicians because we’re studying the music that people are making, and we’re playing it, and without DJs, it wouldn’t be possible for the public to hear that song. I would really like to see in the near future, DJs actually getting categorized as actual musicians, because there are a lot of superstar DJs that don’t really get recognized as musicians. We are performers. When we’re out there, we are performers for four hours straight for our audience, and we really don’t get credit for that. So that’s really what I would love to see, have DJs be a household name as musicians, nominated for Grammy’s in the near future.

THE STAR SCOOP:
You can learn more about Casey Connor at www.caseylive.com.

CASEY CONNOR:
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