If you're from the L.A. area, SoSuperSam should be a household name. Born Samantha Duenas, the Los Angeles native is a successful DJ constantly in demand from music heads and Hollywood celebrities alike. In addition to frequenting local spots like Low End Theory and the Do Over, Sam has also had a fair share of national and international exposure. She had supported Childish Gambino for his 2012 Camp US tour, and has also worked with music legends such as Erykah Badu, Boyz II Men, Questlove, J. Cole and Dam Funk. Currently, the multitalented DJ is a member of Soulection and is touring heavily around the Asia circuit. In addition to music, Sam is also quite adept in the fashion industry, having been featured in highly-regarded print publications such as Elle, Vanity Fair, Glamour, and more. In our conversation with Samantha, she shares with us her journey as a DJ and musician -- such as her transition from stage performance to a quieter studio environment, her crazy moments -- like throwing pizza to her audience, as well as her upcoming aspirations. She wraps up the interview with a few words of wisdom for any up-and-coming individual regarding the attitude required for success and happiness. Without further ado, SoSuperSam:
How long have you been in the music grind for?
It's been five years.
Do you enjoy producing at the studio more or DJing for live events?
I grew up performing on stage, whether dancing or singing or DJ'ing. I thrive on that live, in-the-moment energy and feeding off of a crowd's reaction. The studio for me always felt so sterile, it's only lately that I am beginning to appreciate the nurturing quiet it offers.
We certainly appreciate that. What's your craziest club moment?
A tie between the time I was throwing pizza slices into the crowd during my set, and this other time when the stage started caving in from people dancing too hard. Luckily, in neither of those instances was anyone hurt, but everyone was fed.
Sounds like a win-win situation. Who are your Top 5 producers?
This is a list that is not in order and is only accurate at 9:30 a.m. on 4/7/15, subject to change and fluctuate at all times, but here you go:
Nice. Besides them, who would you like to work with?
Drake, Yukimi Nagano, ghost of Aaliyah, the Lakers, Frank Ocean, Abbi and Ilana from Broad City.
What are your upcoming projects on and off the music tip?
I am working a lot on my own music, which I hope to start sharing in the next few months. I have a slow jams, r&b-inused party in L.A. called "143" that I do every month with my friends, we have started taking it to other cities, so I'm looking forward to spreading that vibe.
What are your long term and short term goals right now as a DJ?
Short term, I really just want to see the world, perform in any city that will have me. I've been able to travel a bunch with Soulection recently, they're a global force, and I'm stoked to be a part of it. Long term, make a proper EP.
Aside from being a DJ, you're also known to be on par with the fashion, can tell us how much that plays a role in your craft, if at all?
I've always had a sincere interest in style and design. I used to work in the fashion industry, and I also had a silly fashion blog back in the day. I love that I get to mix my two worlds together.
The DJ circuit seems a bit saturated. What are your tips for up-and-coming DJs to make an impact?
A few things that I have always followed:
1. Trust your taste, don't just do what everyone else is doing. Follow your interests, let your personality shine through.
2. Share what you're working on, you never know whose ears will land on your music.
2. Always give your best effort, whether 1 person is watching you DJ or 50,000 people are watching.
3. Be polite to everyone, show up on time, say please and thank you. The little things go a long way.
4. Be patient!
5. Be hungry, don't be thirsty. There is absolutely a difference.
What is your industry rule number one?
Treat everyone with equal and utmost importance, treat every gig like it is the most important gig of your life.