Chicks That Mix: DJ Rap

Charissa Saverio, aka DJ Rap is the latest in our series of Chicks that Mix – some of the exceptional women of electronic, dance and experimental electronic music. 

DJ Rap has been voted Shejay’s #1 female DJ in the world. She owns, records for, runs and A&Rs two labels Proper Talent and Improper Talent. She’s a producer, recording artist and an actress.

She’s also worked with BT several times, contributing vocals to Giving Up The Ghost, and appearing in videos for his Never Gonna Come Back Down and Simply Being Loved

Rolling Stone Magazine gave her CD Learning Curve three and a half stars, saying “this is the record Madonna wanted to make.”

Learning Curve went on to sell over a million copies, bringing her total sales to over 3000,000 copies worldwide. Since Learning Curve, Saverio has focused more on DJ set CDs, including Touching Bass, a 2-CD set with drum and bass and breaks tracks.

DJ Rap has also written extensively about DJing professionally on her blog. Here are her tips on gear:

Decks: Although I still own the one and only pair of turntables I’ve ever bought, SL-1200’s the Pioneer CDJ-1000 or DVJ-1000 is my weapon of choice. I simply LOVE Pioneer. [yes I love vinyl, no I haven’t abandoned it. but you try carrying 20 20lb. crates to Ibiza only to find the crates nicked when you get there!] So CD’s are what I spin. 

Mixer: Now, I’m really fussy about this shit. It HAS to be a Pioneer-800 for me.  I don’t care what anyone else says, it’s the best. For me the effects, are stellar. The Pioneer-600 sounded a little too woody and muffled, if you like, often there were feedback problems. But the 800 is crystal clear. I love the fact that you can mix and blend effortlessly without too much tuning concerns due to the filter effect.

As I travel with a VJ, if you ever get the chance, check out Pioneer’s new SVM 1000. [] I went to the warehouse and they let me at it, needless to say I got a little excited and wet my pants. I feel visuals are very important to a DJ show, but let’s take it one step at a time… we’ll get into that a bit later.

Monitors: In my home studio I use the M-Audio BX5’s and the 10-inch sub that goes with it.[] I find they are incredibly accurate and really translate well to the dancefloor. I also use a pair of NS-10’s which help me with what I call the “car radio mix test.” In other words, if it sounds good in my car, it sounds good anywhere. For my mains, when I’m writing and producing I just got a hold of a pair of VXT-8’s which have a MASSIVE sound. []

Headphones: I only ever use Sony-MDRV700DJ’s. They’re solid. And I haven’t gone deaf yet. []

Of course you don’t need these items exactly to start with as I realize we’re all on our own budgets, however, you’ll only need it once and you get what you pay for. In the long run you’ll pay more to replace things if you’re buying shit equipment. Trust me, been there, done that. 

So, if there’s anybody out there that still thinks that female DJs can’t keep up with the guys, DJ Rap has a message for you:

DJ Rap Releases:

  • Intelligence (1995)
  • Journeys Through the Land of Drum N Bass (1995)
  • Learning Curve (1999)
  • Propa Talent Classics, Volume 1 (2001)
  • Touching Bass (2003)
  • Bulletproof (2005)
  • Up All Night (2006)
  • A Propa History, Volume 1 (2008)
  • Synthesis (2008)

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