This week in our Artist Spotlight we bring you an interview with Unlisted’s very own Amy Unland. She is a resident at a few of the hottest parties in Chicago including Afterlife, Transmit and Techno Breakfast. Amy has been in the music scene for well over a decade. We had a little chat with Amy and picked her brain a bit. Give the interview below a read to learn more about how she got started in the scene and what she has in store for 2016.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
I took and taught dancing all my life and have always been in to dance music. When I was 18 I was working in a record store and my coworkers took me to a nightclub and I was immediately hooked. I started going to clubs and dancing the night away every night that I could. It wasn’t long before I met the DJs and began asking them how I could become a DJ. They told me to buy turntables so I did. I was able to beat match after just a few tries and just kept practicing until I was ready to play out.
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
I have always loved Madonna and she has been a big influence on me both as a woman and a performer. As far as electronic music, some of my early influences were The Pet Shop Boys, Deep Dish and Steve Lawler. Currently a few of my favorites are Metodi Hristov, ShoSho & DJ Lion.
What’s your favorite record of all time?
PQM- You are Sleeping
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
My favorite party I have ever played was Coven in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico with during BPM last January. Unlisted, a Chicago based DJ and Promotional crew, took over a venue right on the beach called Coca Maya for six day and nights where they booked some of the top Chicago DJs to play. It was such an amazing experience getting to DJ there and watch the sunrise every morning while dancing to some of my favorite Chicago DJs, many of whom are also my good friends.
Who do you want to collaborate with in the future?
I am very excited to have projects started with some of my favorite Chicago artists such as Sombionx, Happyghost, Housework, Nick J., Tim Baker, Dirty Dish and Romany. After I complete my current projects I am looking forward to continuing to work with other local artists as well as other artists around the world. Eventually I would love to collaborate with some of the artists that have influenced me the most throughout my DJ career.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at a show?
I’ve been playing out for over 15 years now so I’ve pretty much made every mistake you can make at least once. When you make a mistake as a DJ it can be totally embarrassing but the good thing about that is the embarrassment helps you learn quickly not to make that mistake again. If I had to choose the most embarrassing thing that has happened it would be when I loaded a track into the wrong side of Final Scratch at a rave about 12 years ago. It was a super embarrassing moment but luckily I was able to recover and ended up having a good set overall. After that I changed my settings so that the playing deck could not be loaded which ensured that mistake could not be repeated.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
I love to go out and dance to other DJs, especially during the week when it’s not as crowded. I also enjoy walking, biking, swimming, playing Dance Dance Revolution, camping, boating and float trips. I also like fixing computers, graphic design and painting.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
As far as the underground tech house and techno scene in Chicago goes I feel like there is great energy there right now. It seems like Djs are collaborating and supporting each other and some great things are coming out of it. There are also a lot of local artists creating and releasing some amazing music. I am having a great time working with amazing artists and people and I feel really lucky to be a part of it of it.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
Technology and ways to create electronic music are continually changing and evolving. I think that the music will continue to change and evolve with the technology and new genres as well as spin offs of current genres will be created.
What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
I feel like it’s a hallow victory. For me the best part of success is knowing that you earned and deserve it. You may be able to fool other people but you can’t fool yourself. I also believe in karma and that most of the time the truth will come out.
Are there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
As far as releases, I have about ten tracks that are finished or almost finished that I am planning to release on several different labels. You can find my current releases on Beatport Pro under Amy Unland.
As far as shows, I am a resident at Techno Breakfast at along with Bucky Fargo and Twitchin Scratch. Techno Breakfast is a weekly party at Grandbar every Saturday morning from 7am until noon. I am also play at Spybar one Wednesday a month for Unlisted’s Transmit at Spybar. You can also catch me this Saturday (and every other Saturday after this one) with Unlisted in the third floor “Attic” at Annex nightclub in Wicker Park. I am also scheduled to play a Sunrise Deep party April 1st.