What was your first rave?
My First rave was EDC Los Angeles 2007. My friend asked me if I wanted to go with him and since I'd had a small interest in electronic music I decided to give it a try. It was held at the LA Coliseum which was a magical venue. At first, I thought it was just a daytime concert with rides but the more I explored the festival the more I started to realize that people here were...different. I remember thinking how strange it was to see a guy jamming out in a hamster onesie next to a girl in...basically underwear. I wore jeans and a zip-up hoodie to my first rave. When night fell and the party really started I was embraced by a community that I initially was a bit apprehensive about. I instantly fell in love with the music, the lights, the culture, the fashion, and THE PEOPLE! We closed out the night with Above & Beyond at Kinetic Field and that was basically when I decided that I was a raver.
What does rave culture mean to you?
Rave culture is a way of life! It's a love for the culture that starts infiltrating every part of your daily routine. It's the music that I listen to on the way to work. It's the special kandi that I keep on my desk to remind me of the nights spent with friends. It's the sequins and platforms that are slowly taking over my closet. It's the hospitality I try to put out into the world that was given to me at my first event. It's about the lessons and values I've learned from the rave scene and applying them to my everyday life. I think it's crucial to teach people who are new to the scene about the importance of culture and keeping it alive. Too often people will see raves as an excuse to party. You get so much more from the experience when you apply a deeper meaning to the event.
How has your rave fashion evolved over the years?
Rave fashion has always fascinated me. I think it's a wonderful way to add to the overall experience and can help you feel more comfortable in your own skin. After my first rave, I was inspired to start planning out my outfits for every event I went to. I've always loved colors, sequins, sparkles, glitter, anything girly like bows or crowns. At first, I wasn't confident enough anything too revealing and would opt for colorful shorts, tank tops, and hair accessories. Eventually, as I grew more confident and comfortable with myself and had the courage to get more creative with my outfits. Booty shorts, crop tops, and fishnets were my go-to. As rave fashion became more popular and affordable I found myself with even more options than before and it really challenged my styling skills. Working at iHeartRaves has inspired me to try out styles that I would never have considered before like rocking platform shoes, pasties, and micro cut out booty shorts. I feel the most me when I'm decked out in glitter and dressed for the rave.
What advice do you have for people who want to step up their rave fashion but don't know where to start?
Rave fashion is a great way to show the rave world who you are. I would suggest picking a color or theme that represents you and build off of it. For example, some people like Zelda, so they incorporate a triforce in their outfit. Some people love unicorns so they decide to go full on rainbow theme, including unicorn pasties. Draw styling inspiration from Instagram pages or make a Pinterest board. We also have an outfits section on iHeartraves.com where you can see how we put together outfits for our photo shoots. This is a great way to get a better understanding of styling. Remember, you don't have to go full-on raver your first time. Start with something that you're comfortable with and you'll inspire yourself to get a bit more creative each time. Raves are a safe place where we are told to treat others with peace, love, unity, and respect. It's supposed to be a judgment-free zone where you can express yourself however you want whether it's through fashion, flow arts, dance, etc. Raves take on more meaning when you contribute through the art you choose.
How has your musical taste transformed over the years?
Trance has always been my first true love of electronic music. Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Costen, Tiesto and Cosmic Gate were some of my favorites when I first started raving. However, trance music has changed a lot over the years. Many artists I used to love don't make music like they used to since trance isn't as popular. Since then I've expanded my music taste to include variations of melodic bass, drum and bass, deep house, and techno. My current favorites include Above & Beyond, Kaskade, Nero, Feed Me, Lane 8, Eric Prydz, Wilkinson and Delta Heavy.
What are you currently listening to?
I always try to mix it up so I don't get bored of the same sounds. Tthe freshest sound to me right now is probably house music. I curate a monthly playlist
of all the music I'm listening to at the moment. I always put the link to my playlist in my Instagram bio so anyone can access it. Next month I'm planning to make a playlist especially curated for all the artist I was to see at EDC Las Vegas.