**DISCLAIMER: This interview took place when Lauren’s moniker was DJ Soulre. She is now known to the world as KITTENS. Reowr!**
Lauren Abedini is a name that you should be aware of. Hailing from California, Abedini is better known under her moniker DJ Soulre. Falling in love with hip hop and its culture at a young age, Soulre became so inspired and obsessed with the art of DJing, she wanted to be able to express herself and share the music that she loved with anyone who cared to listen.
Those who are regular readers will already know how much I love her mixes when I posted about her mixtape for Hellz Bellz a couple of months ago. Wanting to know more about the sassy deejay, I was lucky enough to get in contact with Abedini, so find out what she had to say, then listen to her tunes!
1. Who are you and how would you describe yourself?
This is always a hard question because I dont know if one can properly describe themselves soley based on their interests or cultural involvement…but Ill try! My name is Lauren Abedini but I go by Soulre. I’m a Persian mutt who grew up on a whole lot of good music. Lots of Jazz, RnB, Hip Hop, Funk, and Disco thanks to my mother and more modern stuff from taking dance classes my whole life.
I’m pretty shy and awkward when around a lot of people. I love cats more than the average human, or cat lover even. I just love music and anything related to it. Listening to it, djing with it, manipulating it, dancing to it. You get the idea. I’m a math geek and I eat sweets all day.
2. How did you get your start rocking the turntables, and why did you choose the moniker ‘Soulre’?
A lot of my friends have been djing and producing for a while, they’re all dudes… I love music and have always been the girl who likes to do what the boys are doing so I bought some turntables and a mixer. After a few months of learning to beat match on J Dilla instrumentals, I started mixing all of my favorite tunes, convinced friends and promoters into letting me play their events (opening of course because I still sucked pretty bad lol)… Turns out that was and is still the best practice for me…playing in front of other people.
Soulre came up while I was sitting in terrible traffic on the 101 freeway in LA, going through downtown. All of the music I love most has evolved from or pays an homage to soul music so the renaissance of soul music became Soulre(naissance). Ta daaah!
3. How did your mixtape with Hellz Bellz, ‘In The Mood 4 Summer Love’, come about?
A lovely lady named Brittany Wood whom I had met many years back at a party my brother had thrown when my Dad was out of town was working for Hellz. She hit me up and asked if I was down to do a mix for them. Simple as that.
4. How do you distinguish yourself amongst other female DJs (and the huge proportion of male DJs) in the industry right now?
I really just play whatever I want and don’t care about what I’m “supposed” to play. Granted I will always make sure I’m playing to the crowd, after all it’s my job and responsibility for people at any event to have a good time but I never ever lose myself in it. I’ll always find a way to mix in things that may be a little bit of an odd choice but really represent something I dig and make me shake my ass a bit. Anyone can play the top 100 songs on whatever download site. It’s about being an individual and finding a way to showcase your taste no matter what kind of situation you’re in.
5. What do you want people to get out of your creations?
Damn…anything positive would be great. I just want people to listen and be inspired to do something, dance, create, get sexy with someone, smile… whatever makes them feel.
6. Let’s talk tech – what are your weapons of choice?
To DJ, I use Serato scratch live or proper vinyl when I can. Ableton I’ve been messing around with lately to make my own music/remix/etc but definitely still in the figuring things out phase of that. LOL
7. If you had to create the perfect mixtape for your 5 to 9 life, which artists would be featured?
Ahhh that’s hard! It really depends on my mood. From 5pm-9am, I’m either in shut down, mellow, sleepytime mode, orrr getting ready to go to work and/or go out on the town.
If I’m chillin’ at home, it’s definitely going to have some Erykah Badu, Dwele, Sade, Bondax, Disclosure, Al Green, Teebs, Ta-Ku, and Teddy Pendergrass. If I’m going out and want to feel sassy, it will definitely have some Trina, French Montana, Flosstradamus, Baauer, Brenmar, and old Lil Kim & Missy tracks.
8. What inspires you to wake up in the morning?
My amazing daughter/cat Tina Turner! She wont stop licking me and meowing at 7am to feed and play with her. So needy.
9. What have been some of the highlights in your DJ career thus far, and what plans do you have for 2012 and beyond?
Definitely opening for Peanut Butter Wolf… I’ve got so much respect for that man and what he and his label Stones Throw have done for hip hop.
2012 and beyond… I have plans for a few shows with someone from Odd Future which I shouldn’t be talking about and getting on board and releasing a few things with a dope label that I also shouldn’t be taking about annnnnd hopefully some other big things that I shouldn’t be talking about. LOL
10. Pay it forward: what’s the best advice you’ve received that you would happily share with others?
Always make your crowd happy – not just any one individual – but don’t forget about yourself. Sandwiching tracks you love and feel between some of those that you may not be as fond of but you know the people really want to hear will keep your sanity, credibility, and schedule booked.