by Hao Nguyen
As DJ Me Time, she’s disrupting dancefloor tradition in additional methods than one.
Ask any introvert who’s been so carried away by a killer groove that she’s deserted her inhibitions and busted a transfer in the course of a crowded flooring: At its core, dance music is about tapping into some kind of primal impulse. So it’s one of many nice ironies of membership tradition that the tracks that spark most pleasure (and numerous carpool karaoke classes) for thus many—that’s, singalong pop songs— are thought of kryptonite to DJs. “There’s a level of seriousness that goes together with DJing within the dance-music neighborhood,” explains Sarah Barrable-Tishauer, a former Degrassi: The Subsequent Technology star (followers will keep in mind her because the fiercely bold Liberty Van Zandt) who performs beneath the title Me Time. “You don’t play music with lyrics, and also you don’t play what’s common.”
A lot to the enjoyment of the a whole lot (perhaps hundreds) of revelers who’ve danced like nobody’s watching whereas she’s behind the decks, Me Time has no time for such arbitrary guidelines. Make no mistake: The Toronto-based DJ takes her craft extremely severely. She simply occurs to additionally take severely the assumption that a dance flooring must be a protected, supportive and constructive house for everybody—no matter gender, race, class…or musical proclivities. She ended an early-autumn set at Toronto’s Cherry Seaside with the heart-surging strains of Cher’s Consider; throughout one other latest gig, she gleefully dropped J.Lo’s Ready for Tonight into the combination.
“These are the moments when individuals get to toss away their attitudes and belt from the highest of their lungs,” she says. An astute observer would possibly discover that these tracks occur to be smash hits by powerhouse ladies of the pre-millennial period. DJ Me Time, who got here of age through the late 1990s and early 2000s, nonetheless has a tender spot for music from that interval—and as a staunch believer of intersectional feminism (recognition of the methods totally different types of marginalization, like racism, misogyny and homophobia, work together to create complicated methods of oppression), she’s deeply attuned to amplifying feminized voices.
Sarah Barrable-Tishauer. by Hao Nguyen
That impulse comes by loud and clear whenever you take heed to the Spotify playlist she curated for LAT, a gorgeously wide-ranging assortment of tracks that DJ Me Time performs throughout her personal “me time.” For her, every of those songs sparks considered one of 4 emotional responses: inspiration, appreciation, leisure and amazement. Amongst her alternatives: A jazzy home revamp of 1960s soul siren Dusty Springfield; a down-tempo, self-love anthem by India.Arie; a reggae-tinged Nina Simone jam; a heart-stirring, head-nodding monologue about insecurity and inspiration by Toronto artist DaethePoet. As DJ Me Time explains, her choice to focus on these specific performers and producers stems from each a way that they should be listened to, and her personal deep reference to their sounds and lived experiences. “That is consultant of my perception which you can be taught extra about an individual by music and dance than you may by phrases,” she says.
DJ Me Time’s funding in prioritizing ladies and non-binary of us can also be mirrored within the our bodies who come out to see her carry out: To paraphrase a latest publish by a fan on a Fb web page for Harvest pageant, an al fresco DJ and tenting occasion held on the grounds of a castle-like dwelling in southwestern Ontario, “You’ll be able to assure at a Me Time present, the primary three rows of individuals will probably be badass ladies killing it on the ground.” That is by each selection and design. It’s no secret that membership tradition just isn’t sometimes the most secure house for non-binary and trans of us or for ladies. As DJ Me Time explains, “From the time I began going out, it felt prefer it was simply a part of the drill that you simply had been going to be harassed. It felt innate to this world—even now, even with the #MeToo motion, lots of people nonetheless suppose that when you’re going to a bar, you’re there to be hit on.” Whereas she’s acutely conscious that on a big-picture degree, no house is inherently protected—”All of us have the capability to hurt and be harmed”— DJ Me Time is dedicated to taking cost of those she occupies.
Typically that is an ideological train; different instances, it’s a sensible one. “Once I play M.I.A.’s Dangerous Ladies, I prefer to get on the mic and name all of the dangerous ladies to the entrance,” she says. “It’s my method of claiming, ‘I see you!’ And I wish to see you, from a security perspective. If I noticed somebody in a scenario that was clearly making them uncomfortable, I’d not hesitate to name it out. My feeling is, hopefully in the event that they’re on the entrance, they’re with a bunch of badass ladies who’re additionally searching for them.”
Within the three years since she started DJing, Me Time’s rising profile has meant that she’s now capable of extra actively management the venues she performs and the individuals in these venues. She’s working to incorporate others in that vibe of security and liberation in a large number of how. Till not too long ago, she managed the Safer Bars and Areas program for the Dandelion Initiative, a survivor-run group that goals to fight sexual violence in all workplaces. She moved on to deal with her personal tasks, together with a month-to-month dance get together EveryBody, the place all our bodies are welcomed and inspired to maneuver freely, and Bass Witch, a recurring occasion that honours female vitality and performers. DJ Me Time can also be connecting with individuals one on one, giving workshops and personal classes by her personal Faculty of Beats—an effort, as she places it, to “make DJing extra accessible, inclusive and enjoyable.” That is how she is ready to rework the expertise of revelers, dancers and dreamers. As she explains, the ability to deliver your message to individuals is one thing she discovered from her time on Degrassi.
“It was attention-grabbing to begin out from a younger age with a way of the ability of media,” she says. “I all the time revered that the present by no means strayed from actually powerful subjects. Early on, I spotted that fame for the sake of being well-known wasn’t one thing I used to be fascinated with. I used to be terrified to see individuals round me skyrocketing, and the way they misplaced management of their lives in consequence. To me, being an influencer is about influencing individuals. I’m not going to inform you what sneakers to purchase or what meals to eat. Individuals message me to thank me for speaking in regards to the issues I speak about, however actually, what else would I take advantage of [the platform] for?” says DJ Me Time. “Certain, individuals prefer to see fairly footage of you. I’ll do this, nevertheless it’ll be accompanied by a two-page remark about one thing that’s necessary to me.”
The above is a sneak preview from Latitude, a platform for ladies to attach, have interaction and share their tales. To search out out extra about Latitude, click on right here.