Before a crowd of young bass heads looking to party, DJ provocateur, Carter Cruise played a rousing set at Elektricity last Friday. Talking to Carter before she hit the decks I found out she’s a versatile DJ that can adapt her set to whatever an audience gives her. She’s also a change agent with a mission to open up people’s minds as well as their ears.
MCB – Have you played in the area before?
CC – Yes, I played here just a couple of weeks, or maybe a month ago at V nightclub.
MCB – I’ve been there before, that’s a different crowd compared to Elektricity.
CC—Totally different, which is good to switch things up.
MCB – What is your typical set selection process?
CC—I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to play based on the crowd. But I spend a lot of time thinking about my set. The age range, how early am I playing and what the area I’m playing in is into. I also think about how drunk people are going to be. It all determines what I’m going to play. I actually played Grand Rapids a few months ago and I know all the kids here like bass, but this was a much more toned down set.
MCB – How did you spend your New Year’s Eve?
CC – I was in North Carolina which is where I am from. I played kind of a private party where a bunch of my friends were at. It was a last minute booking, but it was kind of cool, it wasn’t my normal scene. It was more like I was a regular DJ not at a club. I had to play classics, like “No Diggity,” I can’t believe I played that! But you have to throw a few of those in to make people happy.
MCB – Where do you play after tonight?
CC—I think I just go home after this. I kind of hop all over, I was in New York a few days ago, then North Carolina. I don’t usually play more than one night in a city.
MCB – Do you have some goals for the new year?
CC – I would like to produce more. I never saw myself as a producer, but I have been working at it. I have been taught a few things recently. Last week I played my own mashups out, so I’m excited to do more of that in 2016.
MCB – How did you start DJing?
CC – I was going to clubs for EMD and go go dancing. But I would go to clubs and think “I hate this music. My music would be so much better.” So I started showing my music to my friends. I wanted to play what I wanted on stage and dance where I wanted. Then, I saw Gareth Emery play and while I’m not a huge trance fan, he was just so great with his energy. I was watching him and I told my friend I want to do that. I convinced this kid that lived near me to teach me on this shitty little mixer. So it was just a hobby, but the guy who is now my manager said I could make money at it and it developed from there.
MCB – DJ equipment changes from club to club, is this a challenge for you?
CC – I’m a perfectionist, so yes! But, like 80% of DJing, is you have your selection, then the rest of it is troubleshooting what could go wrong the rest of the night! Kids are jumping and the stage is shaking, my laptop could fall off the table, you never know what can happen. When I first started playing I hated that. Now it’s kind of fun, like “what’s going to happen this time.” You never get bored because there is always something new to learn.
MCB – I’m a big nerd, so I have to ask you if you have seen the new Star Wars movie?
CC – I haven’t, but I want to! I’ve been travelling non-stop since it came out so I haven’t had time.
MCB – Okay, one more, who’s your favorite superhero?
CC – Hmmm. I’d have to say Supergirl, because she’s like me. I could be Supergirl and you wouldn’t even know it. Underneath my “Unicorn Cum for Breakfast” shirt, I have my Supergirl gear on and I save little blond chicks. I can identify with that.
MCB – You are pretty active on twitter..
CC – Yeah, I like it. It’s not like everyone knows it. And I am more of a word person than a photo person. I think it’s the most interactive way to get to know your fans. There’s a girl here tonight that I have known for years through twitter.
MCB – You have a new mixtape out.CC – I actually put it out a long time ago but Soundcloud deleted it as soon as it was uploaded. I was so disheartened I took like a month off to redo it. I’ll probably do a new one in a few weeks. The one that is out now is my favorite. I like each one for different reasons, the first mixtape, I do like but I was just getting comfortable. Now I’m super ambitious about doing it, packing in as many songs as I can.
MCB – Do you stick with a genre with your mixtapes?
CC – Mostly trap music, but I’m trying to switch things up and find music that is different. One track I have on my the mixtape is so dope, but only has 3,000 plays. They have a similar vibe, it’s party music. It’s enough to introduce new people to the music. It’s not so bass heavy that it scares people off but not so mainstream that it is just towing the line.
MCB – Do you think of yourself as a left field role model? That’s what I see you as.
CC – Sure. This is hard work. What I do is way harder than waitressing. To me this (DJing, etc.) is more work, but I was a waitress and I hated it. It wasn’t hard, but I didn’t like it. I was a terrible waitress! I’d be good with one table but 3 or more and it was like oh fuck! I had girls come up to me and say I’ve inspired them to be more open with who they are. I’m not trying to be a role model. I look at myself more like a person who is trying to change society to be more open. There are people who do things totally outside the box and people look at them and think they are freaks. But, if those people never did that society would not move forward. So I think someone has to do it. So are you going to be a follower or a leader? My main message to people is we are only as limitless as we allow ourselves to be. You are not restricted by labels. It doesn’t mean you can’t be something else. You can transcend that and that is what I am trying to prove.
Interview and pics by Mikel OD Pfeiffer of MPAD Media