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Burning The Dance Floor: DJ Missy Flame

alt Somebody call 911 - Missy Flame is burning Colombo’s nightlife with her scorching mixes. Introducing Sri Lanka’s first female dj, follow her journey as she steps into the club scene.

Asha P.Tania : First of all one thing I really want to know – your name ‘DJ Missy Flame’. Now that’s one catchy name! How did you get it?
Missy Flame : Wow…well that would be from my Mum and DJ Dilruk. DJ Steven told me that I needed to come up with a stage name for a gig at Bistro Latino done by a good friend of mine DJ Rizni back in 2008 (Event name : Ladies Lockdown),so I went home and asked my Mum. From there we were brain storming for about an hour, when the name “Flame” came up. I thought it was cool. Eventually on the night of the event, out of the blue seconds before I was about to spin, DJ Dilruk announced “… and here we have Missy Flame” and I was like “woah.. that’s so cool”. It sounded much better, actually gave the name a sort of umph factor so since then it’s been stuck with me.

Asha P.Tania : It certainly does have that kick to it. You mentioned you got that name in 2008, Was Ladies Lockdown the first event you played at?
Missy Flame : Not quite, Ladies Lockdown was a gig DJ Steven had arranged for me to play at after undertaking 5 1/2 months of training. The first event was a BK Production event called Neon Nite, which was held at Club Nuovo (Presently Mojo).

Asha P.Tania : Wow so many DJs involved getting you into the club scene. How did it all initially start?
Missy Flame: I’ve always had a strong passion for music. I grew up listening to all kinds of western music from various eras so it was something I had always wanted to do since I was young. At 13 I went for a party where the music was by a DJ, that’s when where I took an immediate passion to it. I didn’t decide to spin until I was already 24 since I had work and exams on my plate at that moment – quite late though when compared with other DJ’s. It was DJ Steven encouraged me to take that initial step to follow my dream, which has lead me to where I am today.

Asha P.Tania : Firstly congrats for taking a dive into the deep end. I know I would be to chicken to take the step LOL! Did you find it a struggle being introduced into the DJing scene at an older age compared to the rest? And being a female, how does it feel going head-to-head with a male dominated industry who have already earned big names?
Missy Flame: At times yes it can a struggle but I take the time lapse as a challenge. As for the gender difference, living in a country where values, culture and traditions are highly regarded, when you say your a female dj, people have different views about it. I have admired and derived inspiration from DJs such as Tareeq (Who started the country’s first DJ Academy), Dr. J, Dilruk, Ricky Q, Steven who in my opinion are trail blazers, not only because of their performances and talent but also for encouraging a new comer; a female to the male dominated field in Sri lanka and for all the advice they’ve given me since the start of this wonderful journey.

Asha P.Tania : So where has this journey taken you to?
Missy Flame: At the moment only in Sri Lanka. I’ve performed at multiple venues around Colombo including Amuseum, Tabu, Zanziba, H2O, Underground (Presently Zouk), Club D’s, Cocoon (Holiday Inn), and various other theme club and beach parties. Someday I would love to play at some of the hottest clubs in Singapore or India.

Asha P.Tania : That’s a lot of clubs. When you’re out doing your thing, is it all live or are there any pre-planned sets?
Missy Flame: Of course at the beginning I had pre planned sets, but after a couple of gigs I practiced and understood the music, it came natural. As I played I realized the crowd varied of course from party to party so you can never have pre planned sets. It’s all about studying their moods and knowing the crowd.

Asha P.Tania : That’s true, gotta get to know them to satisfy them. What was the most happening event you’ve played at/put on?
Missy Flame: Well I haven’t put on any events yet but, so far the most happening event for me would have been when I performed at Hikkaduwa Fest 2009 at Space Ibiza. I got to meet two fantastic female DJs: DJ Edele and DJ Carina Faye. It was a long night but I loved playing to the crowd.

Asha P.Tania : I remember that event, lots of talk about it. Hikkaduwa Beach Fest is happening again soon in August 2010. There’s always a new party/event happening in Sri Lanka, who do you feel is throwing the best parties at the moment?
Missy Flame : Well I always thought that DJ Tim’s Offshore Life Parties, Frequency 69’s Parties are pretty good too. I’ve been to a few good beach parties held in the past year,not too sure about the event names though. I love watching DJ Tim and Shiyam perform, it’s exhilarating.

Asha P.Tania : You got that right sister! Frequency 69 sure knows how to pull a great crowd. Even I’d vouch for their beach parties; their music line up is always on point. Out of all the tunes you play or have heard people play, which do you think “never fails”?
Missy Flame: Well since I’m a electronica dj there’s not really a particular tune I can pick unlike retro or hip hop music. Where as people who love listening to Electro and Tech house, are known to be creative and in touch with their surroundings. So it’s all about establishing that musical connection between the dj and the audience. Feel what they feel, the beats and the atmosphere really. That’s what makes a crowd want to be at events where that particular dj performs. Playing this genre to a crowd that appreciates the music, is the best feeling an electronic dj could feel.

Asha P.Tania : With new dj’s and event management companies always emerging, does it create pressure on the current party scene?
Missy Flame: Yes it does. I feel with so many parties taking place, the event companies miss out on what’s really important, and the audience. It’s not about just advertising a theme party, it needs to reflect at the party well! Of course with so many options it’s quite a challenge for any event company to rope in a crowd. That’s why the event needs to be ideal in terms of delivering what they actually advertise and the music has to express that same. There are some very very talented djs coming in, that’s why having reputed DJs perform at events, brings in the crowd.

Asha P.Tania: If you could have a say in altering Colombo’s the current nightlife, what changes would you want to see?
Missy Flame: I hope Sri Lanka becomes a place where people all over the world would like to come and party down here. We live in such a beautiful country with such potential; it would be fantastic to bring in some big name DJs to perform here like they do at Ibiza. Hope the government would make some sort of allowance to encourage such events like they have at Hikkaduwa. People need entertainment, to dance and enjoy themselves - My motto : work hard and play harder

Asha P.Tania : Nice motto! If you could turn that motto into advice for upcoming DJ’s , what would you say?
Missy Flame: The best advice comes from experience. Over the last two years the 3 things important things I’ve learnt in this industry are: 1) Take the advice given by Djs who have been in the industry, and respect your fellow djs. Be professional. 2) Love the music you perform. Love the crowd. Once you get these two right everything else falls into place. 3) Before you perform at any event make sure you get an advance.

Asha P.Tania : Ouch! 3 third advice seems painful! Did it happen to you at an event?
Unfortunately yes. It’s sad but that’s how it is sometime. So it’s always better to avoid such situations, after all this is to most djs their livelihood.

Asha P.Tania : What’s the funniest thing that ever happened at an event/party?
Missy Flame : Well lot’s of crazy things happen J but nothing outlandishly nuts yet.

Asha P.Tania : Aww, come on there’s gotta be something! Keeping it hush hush are you? Talking about keeping things on a hush, what do you like to do when there’s no crowd around?
Missy Flame : ha ha no honestly. Shopping, reading, hanging out with my friends and catching a movie. That would be my perfect day.

Asha P.Tania: I always thought of a Disc Jockeys life to be on the fast lane, the stereotype image of drugs/alcohol, sex and music but that’s completely the opposite! What else hidden facts about your lifestyle?
Missy Flame: Well! J its always always about the music, I guess the rest are just perks J I work as a consultant for Three Sixty (it’s an outsourced marketing company) I just completed my CIM and hope to start on my MBA this year. Marketing is something I like studying and working for, it’s interesting. I love listening to jazz and the 70s 80s 90s music a total contrast from what I play ha ha.

Asha P.Tania: There you have it folks! Keep an eye out for the newest burning sensation Missy Flame at the next party in town. One last question as we finish up with Missy Flame tonight, any fina l words you’d like to say?
Missy Flame: I’m blessed to have the support and love from so many people and friends! couldn’t have been here with out them.

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Copyright © 2011 Xtream Youth. All rights reserved.

Written by Asha P. Tania (Creative Writer at Xtream Youth)

For further inquiries on articles please contact our administrators : Ignatious Jayathilake | Kasun Malith

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