Leisan may have a smile that can light up the room, but it’s her infectious sound that will light it on fire.
Whether she’s slaying behind the decks or showcasing her killer style on social, this rising DJ talent commands attention…and people are noticing. Hailing originally from Russia, this pint-size powerhouse is now crushing it in Los Angeles with a slew of upcoming gigs, including Pinky’s in Los Feliz on Sept. 29 and the Under Los Angeles PLUS+ONE concert series in DTLA on Oct. 1.
Loop Magazine recently caught up with Leisan to chat about L.A. nightlife, new music, her eclectic collection of tattoos, what really goes down at 2 a.m. and more.
Check out our exclusive interview with Leisan below.
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LM: Take us back to your origin story! Where are you from and how did you get into DJing?
DV: I’m from Russia. I came here about five years ago. I was always in the music industry but never had it as a profession. It was a hobby and year-by-year it became a big part of my life. I don’t know if I will be a DJ all my life because life is so unpredictable and surprises me all the time, but for now, music is a big part of my life.
Do you remember your first gig?
My first gig was very very interesting. I was throwing a party with my friend. It was our first event with 200 people. I didn’t even know where the cue buttons were. I wrote out the timecode of the tracks on a piece of paper and tried to follow every second. I was nervous very very much. But it was successful.
Describe your music style.
My style of music changes every time. It depends on my mood, what I’m feeling inside. For now I’m playing more tech-house and house music. But I always make people dance. The main idea of my style is playing with people, like playing ping pong, I serve them the ball and get it back. It’s a game and that’s when the magic happens.
What makes L.A. nightlife unique?
The interesting thing about Los Angeles nightlife is the diversity. As a DJ you want to play the music you want to play and it doesn’t matter what kind of music you play—techno, hip-hop or house—you will always find a crowd that likes what you are playing. It’s priceless for you as an artist.
Describe your favorite kind of gigs.
The most memorable gigs for me are the ones where I connect with the crowd. I was just doing this huge party with 500 people and I was playing tech-house with Latina vocals, some Brazilian and Columbian tracks. It was 3 a.m., everyone was very dancey, very playful. When I see the people feel the same way I feel, it’s a crazy energy. It’s hard to explain, you have butterflies in your stomach and goosebumps like, “oh my god, yes yes yes, it’s happening!”
Describe your personal style. Who or what inspires your ‘fits?
I’m a very moody person so I love changes. I love bright colors. If I want to change my haircut today, I will just do that now. I will not wait two months thinking about it. That’s why I have a lot of tattoos not matching with each other, but that’s me. Every day I’m a new person.
I’m inspired by my friends. I’m surrounded by very talented and creative people, like fashion stylists, makeup artists, hairstylists, people who are always creating something. They inspire me with my style, my outfits, what I want to do with my nails etc.
Take us on a tattoo tour.
Any time I get a tattoo it’s just like, “take my hands, do whatever you want.” I’m a kid inside that’s why I have a lot of cartoon characters. I love Mulan, I love Groot, This one (points to a tiny tattoo her shoulder) is a matching tattoo I promised to my friend when she was in “immigration jail.” This is the big one, the first one (pointing to a bear tattooed on her rib cage) when I met a bear in Colorado and I was. so appreciative that he didn’t eat me and I was like, “ok guy, I’ll do a tattoo for you.” I have a lot of things on my body. They are small memories of the moments in my life.
Any favorite venues in L.A.?
Last time it was this very cool warehouse in DTLA. They have a stage where people can stand around you with you in the middle with a cool light on you. Before my performance, the engineer asked what light I preferred. And it was so cool, of course I said pink.
What’s on deck for you this fall?
I have my next release this autumn with a very cool Columbian label called Candy Flip. I’m very excited. Hope you will like it, it’s a really dancey house track.
In reference to the viral TikTok question, what do DJs actually do?
They’re kind servers. They serve the mood, they serve the vibe to you. When you are coming to the party and it’s bad music it ruins the vibe. Maybe it’s not technically hard to learn how to be DJ, it’s not hard to learn what this button means, but it’s the feeling you have to teach yourself of what music to bring, how to start your set, how to end your set, to feel the vibe. It’s very important to analyze, you’re like Terminator, scan everything. You’re the manager of the party.
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