Who's that lady?

We’ve been gone for a minute but we’re back and we hope you’re enjoying the summer as much as we are. What’s Your Poison is excited to introduce you to DJ Lady Sha.
Shaden Tavakoli brings to clubgoers a fusion of hip hop, R&B, and eclectic club bangers as well as her own rich middle eastern culture to the hottest clubs in Los Angeles, Miami, and Jamaica to name a few.
Her company, LionessLA, aims to bring you the ultimate experience in L.A. nightlife. I danced to one of the DJ’s sets at a club in Hollywood for some art/fashion show last spring. Lady Sha caught my attention with her mix of 90’s jams and current underground artists that made me ask: who is this chick? I needed to hear more of the phenomena that is Lady Sha and fortunately, the DJ agreed to let us bombard her with questions.
We love her knack for smiley faces after all of her phrases :) and mainly because she can hold her own in an unpredictable industry in an even more unpredictable city.
In the following interview, DJ Lady Sha talks about her musical influences, her company LionessLA, and the quirks of being a DJ at some of the hottest clubs in the country and all over the globe.

-How did you get your start DJing? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
I actually always wanted to be a singer/songwriter/guitarist.... but knew that wasn't a practical route (growing up in a Persian household, music is NOT the way to go).
So in college at Berkeley, I was pre-med & anthropology... doing spoken word & singing on the side. My sophomore year, my neighbor asked me to take his DJ-ing class on campus and I did it for fun. A few months later, I bought my own turntables and never thought twice about my path for the future. Now I can DJ and still pursue singing, etc.

-Are you a house DJ for a club?
I DJ at clubs, hotels, & special events all over LA & sometimes worldwide :)

-What are your favorite type of records to spin?
All the jams in hip hop, soul, reggae, & electro as well as underground artists & work from new producers that are coming out with fresh & banging music. :)

-Tell us about LionessLA.
I started LionessLA in 2006 with my friend and now business partner Aneesah. We wanted to create a presence in Los Angeles nightlife that was progressive, fresh, and feminine. Two years later, we are going strong and ready to take over the world's nightlife.

Here is our mission statement:
LionessLA is a marketing and production firm with an emphasis on exclusive nightlife experiences and special events. Established in 2006, the Lioness mission seeks to expose clients to the finest in music, art, cuisines, venues, and products. Co-founders Shaden Tavakoli (DJ Lady Sha) & Aneesah Williams engrave the LionessLA signature universally with an impeccable taste for quality and progressive entertainment. By continuously building strategic alliances with sponsors, press, & charitable organizations, LionessLA innovates the forefront of global nightlife & social philanthropy.

-Do you have any other side projects going on?
I'm recording an album with a few close producers where I am doing all vocals & songwriting. Very exciting to finally be working on something that is my own creation. Something I have been waiting for since I was 13 & bought my first guitar.

-What's the best part of DJ? the worst?
The best part is that my career is to rock dancefloors & move people by taking them on a music journey they hadn't anticipated but love :)
The worst? Dealing with shady people in the industry that don't handle things professionally.

-What music did you grow up listening to?
Mostly rock...alternative 90's rock & classic rock, and... if I was ever in the car with my mom as a kid... usually 80's & 90's pop like Elton John, Whitney Houston, & Phil Collins... I had no choice but to love it... mom instilled that in me.

-How do you find the music you spin?
From music blogs, music magazines, and watching other DJ's play. Also, labels & distributers send me a lot of new music.

-Were there any obstacles you faced being a DJ?
It takes a while before the gigs become steady enough to support you. So there was a lot of struggle & hustle to reach this point in the beginning and oftentimes I wasn't taken seriously as a female DJ & had to prove myself on the decks many times before promoters, DJs, and clubgoers could give the nod of approval. Luckily, I never did and still don't pay attention to other's approval. I know when I'm at my best or my worst. :)

-Any words of advice for anyone trying to be DJ?
Work on your skill, learn real vinyl before you jump into the digital world, & pay close attention to the energy you create when you spin. Be conscious of how you move a room.

-Finally, what's the motto you live by?
Dream big... then make it happen.

For more info on everything that is Dj Lady Sha:

Click to listen to and download her lastest mix: Hot Butter Volume 1 (futuristic soul-hop-reggae-dirtysouth-funk).

**Ohai, if you're in the Los Angeles area this week, hit up club Nightscape at the Republic restaurant and lounge this Thursday night to celebrate her two year anniversary of LionessLA. It's her biggest party of the year! You, yes, you are invited so don't miss it, mmkay?


Jack Young | June 27, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Nice read, I love seeing people out there doing what they love with pure passion, and drive! It's sweet. Are you gonna be hitting up the Sunset Music Fest? It should be pretty killer. There are several acts that I want to hit up: The Tattooed Millionaires, LA Guns, Hot Hot Heat, and Slash, it should be sweet! Nothing like partying it up on the Strip on a Friday night! I work at Hustler and see the fun all the time, I’m getting pumped up for this!

Like I said, I’m actually an ambassador for Hustler Hollywood, and we’re having a huge sale right now for the entire month of July called the Freedom Sale, all you have to do is bring in a coupon and you’ll get 15 % a big selection of stuff.

Hit me up if you want that coupon, I also have some other stuff I can send your way. It’d be great if you shared this with your readers, after all everyone loves Hustler, even if they don’t admit it, hahaha.

Hope posting on here didn’t overstep any bounds. Hope to hear from you!

Hustler Jack
HH Ambassador
jackyoung@ymail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it