DJ Shawna Shares Her Lightning in a Bottle Performance Recording and Prepares for Upcoming Show in Los Angeles with Filastine and LOL Boys

We are excited to welcome Shawna back to Los Angeles on Thursday June 21st at King King in Hollywood also featuring performances from Filastine and LOL Boys, and live painting by Hans Walor. Be sure to pick up your tickets to this show here. 

Read our interview with Shawna and listen to her complete performance from Lightning in a Bottle 2012 below. 

Do LaB: Tell us about growing up Manitoba, Canada and how your passion for music started. 

Shawna: “Manitoba is possibly one of the flattest landscapes on earth, with the coldest drawn out winters and muggiest scorching mosquito infested mini summers Back then, the only thing to do in the summer worth anything, was to go to the Winnipeg Music Folk Festival, which I went to every year since I was an infant. That fest is famous for its caliber of music. I think I must have experienced the best of the best bands from just about every culture on earth, ranging from throat singers of Tuva, to Chinese Hill tribes playing strange haunting sounds, and even tribal folks from a village in Africa who had never left their lands, who could rock out so hard in the hottest sun for hours performing vigorous feats of acrobatic dancing (all sweat and pure muscle)… Anyway, that’s where my passion began, and runs deeeeep!”

Do LaB: How did you discover ‘electronic music?’

Shawna: “I began traveling around the world starting at 16. In my adventures passing thru California i discovered the “rave”. I went and checked a couple out with a friend, but really couldn’t get into the music. i went to a bunch of Moontribe parties in the desert and though I bonded with the culture and the people, I still couldn’t get into the music… until the morning came around and there I heard for the first time, “Downtempo.” I could actually dance, it was deep and diverse, intelligent, and I was enchanted. Eventually I started finding music like this and adding it to my already massive collection of world folk music. I was attracted to the new element of dance oriented bass. Then I began to hunt for music that contained elements of “ethnic” music that had that the seductive bass and modern electronic feel. For me, that combo made for superior dance-ability.”

Do LaB: How did you get started DJing?

Shawna: “Well, in the late 90’s, I already had a giant collection (of music) and I was already at all the underground parties because I was a fire/stilt/ritual performer back at the birth of all that kind of thing, which now exists as a cultural staple of our festival/neo tribal-west-coast/burningman/etc culture.”

“It was a natural evolution to start playing in the chill out rooms. Bassnectar, who was my boyfriend in those early years of my emigration to the bay, gave me my first and only 2 “DJ” lessons. I figured out the rest. It was just a hobby this past decade plus, until these last few years, where I realized that being in fashion and trying to squeeze a living out of my clothing line, was really stressing me out.” 

“DJing has always fulfilled me deeply by the experience of providing people with a musical journey that they can really, truly, passionately dance to. I feel I offer something unique in that way, I’ve always kept my sets extremely eclectic and I only play music iI would actually dance my own ass off to, not what I think is the current trend on the scene.”

Do LaB: How did you first cross paths with The Do LaB?  

Shawna: “Hmmm, good question. My crew is El Circo, and I think we all met and bonded at Burning Man years ago, but Icould be wrong that that was the first. So much happens in this lifestyle, it’s hard for me to keep a frame of reference in terms of time, space and placement of all these memories! But over the years, through working with them on production things together with our 2 crews, I got to see what super fun bad asses they are. Oh, and we had some Costa Rica adventures years ago that enhanced our burgeoning bonding process.”

Do LaB: Your most recent performance with us was at this year’s Lightning in a Bottle festival. How was it?

Shawna: “The 2 previous years playing there, i had SUCH an epic time! This year there were some elements that affected the attendance Sunday afternoon at that stage. I think Rab and Pumpkin were playing at the same time as me, so in my opinion it divided a certain demographic of dancers. I still enjoyed myself, and was very honored to play before Salva, who’s one of my latest faves.”

Do LaB: How would you describe your creative process when preparing for a performance? 

Shawna: “First I imagine and feel into what the vibe will be like in accordance with what the party is, the crowd that attends, who plays before and after me. Then I start collecting (music) like crazy with that vibe in mind. I always strive to play music that I think will not only move the crowd, but also surprise with sounds I hope have not been heard before.”

Do LaB: Who are some of your creative influences? 

Shawna: “Ethnic traditional music from all cultures. I love Dirtybird sounds especially Claude, the new sounds that are coming out that bend genres together like Tropical Bass, Bass, Bubbling, Dancehall, Techno/House, HipHop and Club. Salva fits into that zone, so do LOL Boys

I love novelty, but warmth and listenability/danceability are crucial. I’m not into ear abuse! Too much screech, smash or repetitive womping hurts my feelings.”

Do LaB: What are your thoughts on sharing the stage with Filastine and LOL Boys?

Shawna: “Filastine, (or Grey) is an acquaintance of mine, and friends with many of my fam. I’ve always admired his commitment to content, and cultural contribution. He is SO original! And he’s a really sweet and interesting person.

LOL Boys are one of those bands that have that cutting edge sound I was speaking of in the last question… I’m a big fan. So sharing the stage with these two is definitely a thrill! And I suppose I can admit to a wee bit of nervousness because I look up to them!”

Do LaB: What’s next on the horizon? 

Shawna: “I’ll be headed on a Northern West Coast tour up to What The Festival at the end of July,  it’s looking to be the epic new fest on the scene. from there, I’ll head up to play at Bass Coast in Whistler B.C., and then go for fun to Shambhala, (i played there last year so i can’t be booked again this year, but maybe I’ll score a set anyway wink wink. I just began posting my schedule on my Soundcloud page.”

“It’s hard to scrape out the time for production whilst touring all the time, but that is my goal, it’s time to produce!  I’ll be doing some of that tomorrow with Zoe Jakes of Pussymonster in the Beat’s Antique studio….then off to LA!”

Thanks to Shawna for taking some time to talk with us. As a special treat for all of our loyal readers, you can enjoy her full Lightning in a Bottle performance via Soundcloud below: 

Be sure to pick up your tickets for Thursday’s show featuring performances by Shawna, Filastine, LOL Boys and live painting by Hans Walor at King King in Hollywood. 

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