Yvette Fernandez spins into Big D for New Year’s
House music completes Yvette Fernandez. Spinning up-tempo funky soul music at gay parties paid the bills for the New Jersey-bred DJ at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York. When she graduated at 24, Fernandez started working on her forensic psychology degree, but she was already making a name for herself as DJ Pride on Manhattan dance floors.
Her passion, however, was dance music. And DJ Pride kissed her jurisprudence dreams goodbye.
On Wednesday, she spins into Dallas, a city she’s played several times. Earlier this week, Dallas Voice caught up with the Miami-based mix mistress.
Were your parents happy when you abandoned law for the DJ booth?
My mother’s incredibly proud. My parents are happy that I finished college. But DJ-ing is a calling; you do it because you love it.
Was that calling about being a glamorous woman DJ?
It’s not about glamour or even being a woman DJ. When you love music — specifically house music — it’s not a male or female thing. Part of the calling is that rush you get from the crowd. It’s about providing that blissful escape for people on the dance floor. People underestimate what a great night out can do for you — that feeling at 2 a.m., when everyone is jumping up and down on the dance floor.
Do you ever play, like, Foreigner’s "Hot Blooded" right in the middle of your set?
Sometimes I find a crazy Journey mix with the original tracks or some early Depeche Mode, a capellas and voiceovers. But what I don’t do is play a lot of commercial stuff that’s already playing on the radio, like the new Mary J. Blige and Beyonce.
What happens if the power goes out?
It does happen. You wait it out. Sometimes people clap, and you sit a little flush-faced for a while. And once the power kicks back on, you work twice as hard.
How can you tell if a DJ is being lazy?
If they’re working hard, they’re jumping up and down and dancing in the booth. If the DJ’s not moving around and not into what they’re doing, they’re lazy. If the DJ doesn’t love what they’re playing, why should anyone else?
Ever caught Samantha Ronson in action?
I haven’t. I understand she’s very hip-hop influenced, like DJ AM. Samantha’s not really my scene. I’d love to hear her and figure out what all the hype is about.
Weirdest thing you’ve seen from your perch? A lot of debaucherous sex, which is very weird in a large open space.
Like, no pants and no underwear sex?
Yes, brazen full-on sex — and not hiding it whatsoever. And Dallas is a very sexually charged audience.
If the room dropped into a total orgy, would you conduct a soundtrack to compliment that?
If an orgy started, then I created that setting. If you can wield that "drop your inhibitions" vibe into a good sexual energy, then you’ve done an amazing job as a DJ. And if I helped create the mood for a 2009 orgy, then I’d pat myself on the back.
Why should Dallas’ lesbian community slap themselves silly if they don’t see you spin on Wednesday?
It’s not really a lesbian event. I would love for them to come. There are lesbians that come to hear house music at the boy parties, but truth be told, it’s not really a lesbian event. From my experience, lesbians like an open format. But this event will be more geared towards gay men.
Fischerspooner RINGS IN ’09
Casey Spooner’s reputation as a rock god has spread like wild fire. As the frontman for Fischerspooner, Spooner, pictured, has cultivated a high-gloss persona that spoofs the trappings of Robert Plant’s flouncing gestures and Simon LeBon’s camera-ready swagger.
If you’re familiar with Fischerspooner’s dance-pop, you also know he’s quiet the art-directed showman — intense choreography and fashion-mad camp. On Wednesday in Deep Ellum, the queer maestro mans the turntables as we say goodbye to 2008.
Lizard Lounge, 2424 Swiss Ave. Dec. 31, from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Admission, $30 advance; $40 at door. 214-826-4768.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 26, 2008.