DJ Shred One, aka Sheila Red, co-founded the all-female DJ crew RRS FEED with her pals DJs Roza and Raichous (Shred One is in the middle, above). Based in Chicago, she’s gone from LA to Brooklyn and back spinning and touring with artists like Talib Kweli and Exile. She’s playing tonight at Ace Hotel Palm Springs with DJ Day at his weekly party, ¡Reunión!, and she talked with us about the endangered art of DJing, her collective, and the beauty of analog modes.
Tell me about your creative process and how you go about approaching edits and mixes.
I still dig and collect records, so finding new and old music is my main inspiration for making mixes and edits. When I discover a song that’s new to my ears and hits me in the gut, I like to fiddle with it. I’ve been using Ableton, and the more I learn the program the more I get inspired to create the music I hear in my head. For mixes, I like to record live as it keeps an honest element in the sound. In a world of digital perfection, there’s beauty in analog imperfections.
How did RRS FEED come to be, and what are the benefits of working as a collective?
DJ Roza, DJ Raichous and myself all played together for the first time at a party in LA the summer of 2009. I was so impressed by both of their skills and unique styles, I emailed them to see if they wanted to have a practice session together. That session changed my life — we discovered we had so much musical chemistry and created a collective that would help all of us become greater DJs individually as well as together. We all learn from each other, bring out each other’s personal creativity and push each other to be the best. We’ve also nurtured lifelong friendships with each other…an essential gift in this industry.
What’s the world of DJing and producing like for ladies?
Just like all industries, DJing has always been and remained male-dominated, so female DJs go through and will always go through the standard sexist experiences that occur in male-dominated industries. But with the current state of the industry, there are so many DJs now and the issue of the female experience is less important to me compared to what is happening to the value of the art of DJing. The art as a profession has been devalued due to saturation, and the art itself is becoming lost. But there are still talented and creative DJs out there that I am inspired by, and I owe it to those artists for keeping the game fun for me.
If you could choose a producer to make the soundtrack for the next year of your life, who would it be and why?
One of my biggest musical inspirations, DJ Spinna. He’s musically diverse as a producer, a master of connecting with the crowd while DJing, and one of the most humble and cool people in the game. I hope my career may follow a similar path.
Photo of RRS FEED by El Ferrer, photo of Shred One by Michelle Villaroel
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