Love or hate her, you can't ignore DJ Paris Hilton... and she's here!
Her Foam and Diamonds party in Ibiza may have pulled in thousands of kids to gawp each week. But Paris Hilton’s new ‘DJ career’ has jocks and club heads foaming at the mouth. Hype’s Kristan J Caryl investigates…
DJing, dance culture and electronic music have never been hotter than in 2013. Underground tendrils have well and truly reached out into the commercial overground so that every new pop single, TV ad and fashion campaign comes backed with glossy synths and screw face bass. Of course, it won’t be like this forever and indie will naturally come back into flavour before long, but while it is, certain people are hell bent on cashing in.
Despite the fact those not-in-the-know often deride the art of DJing as nothing more than “playing other people’s records”, that hasn’t and won’t stop hoards of celebrity wannabes dipping their toes into club life in a vain attempt to cash in on some contemporary cool. Although Paris Hilton is not a complete stranger to club life, having been spotted countless times at the annual Winter Music Conference in Miami (even winning a Best Celebrity DJ award during festivities there a decade ago) she is widely regarded as a prime offender.
What makes it worse for poor Paris (!) is that rather than battle it out in the privacy of her own failings with forgotten soap stars, reality TV stars or cheat sportsmen at inner city dives, her international profile means she gets put on actual pedestals at very real clubs like Amnesia in Ibiza – cue endless hoards of hate from keyboard warriors across the world.
But let’s take a step back, back to her doomed debut at Pop Music Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in June 2012. Despite having help from high-profile EDM pin-up Afrojack, she unsuccessfully debuted her first ever “self produced” dance cut and DJ set to a crowd of thousands. It was nothing if not notable for just how bad it was, featuring some random dude popping up to tweak knobs every few minutes, plenty of train crash mixes and incompatible key clashes.
Said Afrojack on the matter a little after the event: “It’s hard work, you know – as a lot of people say, it’s not just pressing play. You have to know how the laptop programmes or CDJs work, you have to know what the equaliser is, what the effects are. You can’t just pitch your flanger up and down and wave a flag. I saw [Paris’s set] and I was like … ugh,” he said. “I think it’s really important that if you go in front of a crowd and DJ, you actually take the time and practise becoming a DJ. Also, it was pre-recorded.”
A damming indictment indeed, but Paris herself is not exactly better equipped to talk about her DJ exploits despite being a regular face at Electric Daisy in New York. On a recent edition of US talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, host Ellen posited, tongue in cheek, “You are actually, like, a real DJ. You’ve been to DJ school and stuff?” Paris answered confidently enough, “I have,” before going on to totally not baffle anyone with her technical knowledge.
“I work on a Traktor S4. I also do CDJs as well,” she enthuses, before illuminating us all with details of her debut season as a resident at Ibiza superclub Amnesia. “I play to 10,000 people every night from about 4am to 6am. The foam comes out from 6 till 7,” she continues in typically coy tones. “It’s kind of like being in a car wash.” Sigh.
If you’ve ever wondered what you might hear during one of Paris’s ‘sets’ then pull up a chair, because in 2012 a chart under her named appeared on Beatport and was later verified by someone at the digital download store who reckoned it was “all legit”. Next to brainless bangers from Avicii and Afrojack, a choice cut from Alicia Keys (who DJs and produces as DJ AK47) and a track that sounds awful just in writing, let alone reality (a Ferry Corsten remix of Justin Bieber) you will also find, curiously enough, a track that is actually good: Sasha’s remix of Hot Chip tune Flutes.
If all this sounds like your kind of fun – or if you are the sort of person who slows down for accidents on motorways/laughs and points when strangers trip on the pavement – then get your glad rags on, because Paris comes to ‘DJ’ at Cavalli here in Dubai on Sunday.
As if that wasn’t enough, she has also signed to Cash Money Records and is working on a collab heavy debut album, due any day now. If recent single Good Time featuring pint-sized rap prince Lil Wayne is anything to go by, expect nothing less than a major key orgy of saw tooth synths and lame lyrics that’ll make you wish production software like Ableton had never been invented.
STATING THE OBVIOUS
When she’s not releasing lukewarm EDM music, winding people up with a residency at Amnesia or dropping numerous clangers in her sets, Paris Hilton can be found trawling through her extensive music collection, digging the crates for club bangers. The width and breadth of Hilton’s ‘taste’ in tunes was revealed this month as she went on Billboard’s Gimme Five video feature and revealed her top five tracks of the moment.
Anyone expecting diggers’ delights like Sun Ra, Ron Hardy, Kraftwerk or Mr Fingers will be disappointed. Instead, Paris reeled off Avicii, Nicky Romero and Bingo Players. While she could have used the spot to surprise us, she plumped for the obvious big room floor-fillers. So now you know what beats she’ll be relying on for her burgeoning DJ career. Give us strength.
Cavalli Club, Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Metro: World Trade Centre. Sunday December 1, 10pm to 1am. Free. cavalliclub.com