Russian DJ Katya Kazanova was living the life even before she reached the age of 18. Blessed with head-turning looks—towering height, luscious black hair, flawless skin, a toned figure—she easily penetrated the modelling scene. At the tender age of 14, she had already graced the covers of magazines, landed catalogue gigs, and posed for the ads of major clothing brands abroad. She even starred in several commercials, music videos, and movies. Katya had everything a teenager could ever dream of, making her own money and carving out a name for herself in the process. But because she was a thrill-seeker, she was still not satisfied. She wanted more. She needed more. She longed to prove to the world that she was more than the pretty face, and that’s what exactly what she did.
Her weapon of choice? Music.
Katya traded in the runways for clubs, changing her name from Katya to Katty—DJ Katty Q. to be exact. Her love for music, plus exceptional talent for mixing songs, were tools that helped in her ascent to stardom.
It was hard threading the world of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), an industry dominated by men. Everyone thought that she was just banking on her good looks. “She has no talent,” they used to say. But the moment she stepped onstage, put on her headphones and touched the turntable, she proved them wrong. Now, whether it's in dingy clubs or big EDM festivals in Russia and around the world, she's making crowds go wild with her hits and beats.
Over the course of her DJ-ing career, 26-year-old Katty has already bagged the following titles: “Best Russian International Female DJs 2014 & 2015” by Russian Top 5, “World’s Sexiest Female DJ 2015” by EDMdroid.com, “World’s Sexiest Female DJ 2015” by WorldTopDJs Middle East, “Best International Female Breakthrough Artist 2015,” “The Queen of MashUp,” and “Most Travelled International Female DJ.”
Recently, the DJ performed at an event here in the Philippines. Luckily, just before she flew back home, FHM.com.ph managed to snag a bit of her time for an exclusive interview. Listen up, gents. DJ Katty Q. is ready to be heard.
What does it feels like being dubbed as one of the “World’s Sexiest Female DJs?”
Wow! I've had that title two years in a row and on different platforms. I wasn't even aware of this poll. But thank you everyone for voting for me! I really appreciate the support.
Aside from that, people have also tagged you as the “Most Travelled International Female DJ” and the “Queen of Mash-ups.” What can you say about that?
The best thing you can do in your life is to travel, that’s why I’m so happy that travelling is a part of my profession. I enjoy travelling—connecting with people, seeing new beautiful places, and sharing different vibes with my crowd. It gives me the energy I need to hype the crowd during gigs. It’s really a blessing that I get to travel and be tagged as the “Most Travelled International DJ.” As for the “Queen of Mash-ups,” it’s really flattering that people notice me for my work. Actually, the titles are just bonuses!
How often do you travel in a year? What countries have you been to and which are your favorites?
I’ve been to party capitals like Moscow, St Petersburg, Barcelona, Beirut, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bahrain, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Zurich, Saigon, and the latest, Manila! I've been here twice and I'm already in love with the culture. I have about 100 flights a year—seriously. And I’m loving it!
With all the titles that have been given to you, does it pressure on you to perform?
Definitely, it motivates me a lot. Once you reached one vertex, you want to get even better. As the famous Daft Punk line says: "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!"
How did you know that you wanted to become a DJ?
ISince my first visit to the club way back, I couldn't stop thinking about the idea of becoming a DJ, even if it was just on a local level. I never really planned on making a real profession out of my favorite hobby, but it just happened! I have no regrets though. What I'm doing is really enjoyable.
Tell us more about how you broke into the industry.
I started to DJ when I was 18 years old. I was already a professional model back then. After a year, my agency Escade Media discovered me. That's when my international career as a DJ really took off. And here I am now, playing literally all over the world every weekend.
Where was your first official gig? Any memorable stories to share?
I had my first gig in my hometown city call Novosibirsk, Russia. My friend had a bar and she asked me if I can play for them. With no official training, I played for them. Friends saw me play my favorite music for the first time, and were pretty much shocked. Nobody expected that the nerdy teenage model in me had the power to make the crowd go wild with my music.
Wait, you were nerdy before?
I know, it's hard to believe, but I was pretty quiet way back then. I was really, really shy and nerdy. I just learned how to handle a crowd thanks to my career.
We're sure you've encountered rowdy clubgoers through the course of your career. How do you deal with them?
Never had any issues so far—knock on wood. And I have to thank our hardworking guards for always being there for me. What I do have, though, are rude and sexist keyboard warriors on social media, which I just ignore.
When people think of DJs, they often automatically think of men. What's it like being a female DJ in an industry filled with men?
We live in the world of women's emancipation, even it's too global to say, but nowadays you can find females almost in any male profession. There are female pilots, doctors, drivers, drummers, and DJs. Now, more and more girls are becoming DJs, and I couldn’t be happier! Personally, I don't see any difference between female and male DJs. It's all a matter of talent, skill, and practice; it's not a matter of gender. Even though there are still more men in this business, women are already putting their pretty feet forward. We won't step back.
Is it true that there is a lack of attention paid to women in electronic dance music?
Sort of. There are only a few women who have made a name in the EDM industry. But I believe we'll be changing that soon. I'm working on it! It feels so right to find something you are so passionate about.
Any advice for those who are planning to pursue their passions as well?
As I usually say: "Work hard, have fun, no regrets." Most important is to find the right balance in between.
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