Lindsey Caldwell packing up her Brooklyn studio
Tell us about your favorite childhood object...
This was my first record player ever. I drove my parents crazy with it. I had a Sesame Street alphabet record (my favorite song was the D song). I had a Strawberry Shortcake record (my favorite song was Strawberry Rap "say straaaw straaaw strawberry rap cuz you like it like that"). Then my first real record was a 45 of rapture by Blondie. I played it so much that I burned out the record and had to get a new copy!! I used it from time to time once I got older when I'd go digging for records at places that didn't have listening stations. It now mainly collects dust. I will most likely keep it forever.
When did you live in Atlanta? How did you end up there?
I lived in Atlanta for 41/2 years. I ended up being there to be closer to my family.
At what point did you realize music was something you wanted to pursue?
I grew up listening to music (this was in St. Louis, MO) and I was a latch key kid so I came home and took care of myself and my little sister after school every day. We spent a lot of time watching MTV. When I was living in Atlanta and had started Frank with the Malbons. I got the chance to talk to some other DJs and I had always been very interested in music and DJing seemed like the perfect compliment to writing about music for Frank.
Describe your sound. How did you get into playing that type of music?
There's not really a neat way to sum up what I play. I guess you could say I play classics, but then I still play current music... Anything that is soulful and good.
Which music medium do you prefer to use and why? Vinyl? CD? MP3?
I prefer the sound of vinyl, I like the convenience of playing Serato and only having to bring my laptop to gigs. Before I switched to Serato I was bringing about 3 bags of records to gigs and carrying them myself. I went to the doctor one day and she was like, "What are you carrying on your right shoulder?! Whatever it is stop because it's twisting your back." I switched to Serato the next day. You just have to be so versatile these days that just bringing a couple of bags of records isn't going to cut it. Especially since I've been doing a lot of residencies where I play 3-4 hour sets lately.
How do you discover new music? any secret resources you want to turn us onto?
I go out and listen to other DJs play. I read a few blogs to keep me up to date on new music. I try to read books that cover the history of certain styles of music. I buy old albums and listen to them from start to finish
Take us through your creative process.
Right now I treat it like homework. I study music and other DJs and then create sets on what I think will work best for me and what people respond to out in the club.
How would you say Southern culture/living in Atlanta has influenced your work??
Atlanta is just a slower more chill pace. It helped me prepare for living in New York because before that, in Arizona, I was younger and on top of that it wasn't the kind of city for a music career. I also was exposed to some amazing artists at a time where things were bubbling like crazy in Atlanta. Everybody was open to everything, you could go to a rave and see the Dungeon Family, Outkast and TLC in the drum and bass room all the way up in Gwinnett County, and then hear Donnie, India Arie, the Roots play at tiny little venues. You could hang out with the weirdos at MJQ before it moved when it was next door to the Phoenix on Ponce de Leon. It was just an amazing time and I had some amazing friends who I went everywhere with and I think having those years there really helped shape my point of view when it came to music.
Who/What are some of your inspirations?
I am constantly inspired by my friends, I feel really lucky to be able to have such talented people around me and then just walking around the city really inspires me sometimes. I try to walk around and remember what it was like the first time I visited New York. Madonna was doing a promo appearance for "Who's That Girl" in Times Square and I had family living in Jamaica, Queens and I just got to see a bunch of the boroughs, see people wilding out in the streets and feeling the energy of all the people and my nervous mom and her friend trying to keep up with me haha. The whole time I was just walking and looking up at the sky and I remember just thinking how different it was from anywhere I'd ever been. I was a little girl then and I knew from that trip on that I wanted to live there. And here I am.
Who are some of your favorite Atlanta artists??
Does everyone say Outkast? Outkast, Sleepy Brown, Goodie Mob, The B-52s, Monica, TI (swoon!), Otis Redding, Keith Sweat, Jermaine Dupri (in the late 90s), Gladys Knight & the Pips
Where is your favorite local hang out?
What music/album are you currently listening to?
I listen to a ton of music all the time. My new project with The Twilite Tone is all I am listening to lately. Hopefully you'll hear about it.
What is one thing you love about your life?
I love that I can just pick up and go. My husband and I have set our lives up so that we have a lot of free days together (then work at night) and we aren't tied down to anything so if we want to travel we can. I love that and I love that despite all of the stress of being a freelancer, I get to do what I truly love for a living.
check out lindsey on www.djlindsey.com her new blog will be up soon