Getting to Know The Lisbona Sisters
The Lisbona Sisters are no strangers to the entertainment industry. Growing up in Atlantic City with their father the Director of Entertainment at the Golden Nugget in the 80’s and a musician himself the girls grew up around the Rat Pack and more influencial talent of that time.
Their style varies from dance floor to dance floor; house, disco, techno and sweet ass funk have been known to weave their ways in with little surprise visits from 80s pop/electro and 90s R&B. In only a couple years of DJing, they’ve played alongside some of the industry’s finest, including Soul Clap, Mr. C, Crazy P, Climbers and Lee Foss.
Check out our interview with these very talented DJ sister duo below
What drew the Lisbona Sisters to become EDM DJ’s?
Laura: Alright, before we go any further, just want to clear something up because I know some people can get sensitive to the term “EDM”…but let’s remember that “EDM” stands for “Electronic Dance Music” and move on 🙂 I’ve been following house music since I was about 10 years old and I’ve always loved it. It was pretty much a natural progression since then.
Ava: I have the same story but only I was 3.5 years younger and started listening to whatever my sister bought with the allowance our mother gave us. We always bought music and had almost exactly same taste (there have been some exceptions). We hung out a lot and played music, made mix tapes and dance moves up to our favorite songs. We are still doing the same thing 20 years later. Anyhow, I digress. We were going out a lot and I really loved the idea of making people dance since its something that has always made me (and Laura) feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s a really nice feeling when someone attributes the level of fun at a party to the selections you make. Now I get to do something I love with my greatest homie on the planet. (Don’t roll your eyes at how cute this is, we fight and want to smack each other in the head at times as well.)
What is it like being a woman in the EDM world?
Laura: Overall, fabulous, but also…interesting. On one hand, we have an advantage because the female DJ pool isn’t as crowded, and the female sisters DJ pool, even less so. From that angle, it’s a wonderful edge to have. On the other hand, I feel like we’ve really had to work extra hard to get people to take us seriously in this industry, but I’m fine with that, because it’s really only made us stronger. I elected to learn on vinyl, even though I rarely play it out (#goals). I just never want to be in the situation where I need to mix into another DJ playing vinyl and I don’t know WTF I’m doing…not a good look. What was so telling was when we opened for Seth Troxler. We finished playing and he said, “Woah…I didn’t realize you guys actually DJ.” Seth is such a real and transparent person, so it was such a big compliment coming from him; in another way, it was a big reminder of the fact that, as emerging female artists in the house scene, we are put under the magnifying glass by a lot of people who want to see if we can actually bring it…so we’d better.
Ava: Laura nailed that one, NEXT.
Growing up, did you always have a passion for music?
Ava: YEP. All kinds
What song do you love to play for your fans and why?
Laura: Oh jeez…this varies because music, before anything, is about context. I love being able to mix in different genres. Some of my recent favorites to drop in a set have been Chingy “Holidae In” (check the end of our HARD Summer mix), Steelers Wheel “Stuck in the Middle With You” and R. Kelly “Ignition”. We obviously all love house music, but jamz are jamz, yo.
Ava: Those are totally “Laura” jams – I also love them, but totally her jammys. I’ve been staring at my computer too scared to look at my iTunes at how overwhelming this question is.
What is your pre-show ritual?
Laura: Pre-show ritual is that I get really nervous and think I’m going to forget how to DJ and then Ava has to calm me down. Then we take a shot of tequila and some deep breaths and hope that one of the CDJs doesn’t have any technical difficulties, like my personal “favorite”, Emergency-fucking-Loop-Mode.
Ava: Shorter version: Freak out, take shots, hope for the best. How dare you Emergency Loop?
What artists inspire you?
Laura: OK, not where to start with this one. If we’re keeping it to the electronic genre, I’ll say Green Velvet, Felix da Housecat, Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Lauren Lane, Justin Martin…I could go on for awhile here, but artists like these are particularly inspiring to me because they’ve done such a great job of bridging the gap between the underground and the mainstream. All of these artists are playing big stages at some of the most notable festivals in the world; they can tailor their sound for the massive environment and still keep their authenticity in tact. It’s a delicate balance to achieve and it’s freaking impressive.
Where do you see EDM in 5 years?
Ava: In 5 years, I don’t even think the term “EDM” will even mean as much because it will become more and more difficult to classify.
Laura: Exactly. More of a clusterfuck than ever, and I mean that in a good way. 30 years ago, if you said you were into house music, it meant you were into house music. Now, there are a crazy amount of sub-genres under the dance music umbrella, which I think is a beautiful thing. With how technology has progressed, you can combine so many different sounds and the possibilities are limitless.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Ava: Shaq, Remember when he made a rap album? Or Rednex. Shout out to anyone who remembers “Cotton Eye Joe”.
Laura: Damn, that’s a tricky pitch, so I’m going to throw you some curve balls. I mean, Shaq, OBVIOUSLY. Missy Elliott, Rae Sremmurd, Hannah Wants. Missy because I’m pretty sure she made me into a woman; she is a true artist and she never fails to inspire me. Rae Sremmurd because I love their frivolous go-dumb swagger and trappy beats. Hannah Wants because she looks like a badass and makes dance tracks that are the perfect balance of radio and underground.
What makes your music different from the rest?
Laura: We’ve been inspired by so many pockets of music and are constantly checking ourselves to keep our ears open. Right now, we’re aiming to achieve in our production the same thing we do in our sets, which is collect a bunch of sounds we love, take the best from them, and fuse it all together to make it nothing but us (and also dope as hell).
Ava: Pretty much. One of my favorite pieces we’re working on now is a track with our boy VALI where we sample this hilarious little kid from a YouTube video; it’s got a tech house foundation to it with a trap breakdown in the middle. We’ll probably put some hip hop vocals over it. It really brings together a few things we love: nasty tech house beats, hip hop vibes, and funny YouTube videos. If that’s not us, I don’t know what is.
What is the strangest situation the Lisbona Sisters have had to deal with while performing?
Ava: Oh man, the things people do when they are wasted. One time a guy came up to the DJ booth and started throwing $100 bills at us. While I can see how that could sound totally awesome, it was really so extremely awkward. We had to get security.
Laura: I literally never thought I would ever say I had someone thrown out of an establishment for giving me money.
STRETCH Sunday is a spandex-themed dance party. Bend, flex, and work your weekend into the next echelon of awesome. Picking up where the 80s left off, STRETCH resurrects the gratuitous workout videos, big hair, and bright lipstick that punctuated an iconic era.
Carla Tutu and residents LISBONA founded STRETCH on a shared affection for flexible clothing and tight tech-house tracks. In its short but sweet history, guests have included Mr. C and Lee Foss with crowd-pleasing results.
The Lisbona Sisters also want everyone to know:
- We’ll have our E.P. coming out on Australian record label Sweat It Out, home to artists such as Yolanda Be Cool, RÜFUS, Go Freek, and Cassian. Sweat It Out: http://www.sweatitoutmusic.com
- We have a remix for indie electro-pop band Date Nite coming out on the band’s own label Moon Milk.
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