DJ Spotlight on Babygirl
Babygirl, AKA Katie Marie Lavoie, is currently rocking our world. She’s the new kween of the warehouse jam. The princess of the underground. The fly female who can bump us into a Jersey club bouncy castle, drag us into the depths of techno, then whip us into a feel-good house frenzy. We like to think of her as a Lady Kier for the new generation. She brings looks, moves, and sounds no one else is playing in the city right now, and we’re honoured to have a mix from her. We also asked her a few questions to get to know this creature a little better.
How did you get your DJ name?
Babygirl has been a pet name of mine for a while. I think it was just a natural direction I landed on. That and it’s literally the opposite of who I am as a female and a DJ. I am loud, grown, and cunty. And yes, I love the Forever 21 merch. Not sorry!
Is DJing something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
DJing has been an extremely raw and cathartic outlet for me for almost ten years. I think of myself as a very extroverted introvert; it’s the perfect platform. I find so much power and solitude behind the decks. I have hustled extremely hard to be where I am with it.
We are already big fans, but tell our readers why this city needs a DJ like you.
I find that Toronto has this sort of archaic idea around parties. That certain DJs should play only one thing. Or that a bill needs to be stacked with “same-same” genres. I think that’s bullshit. I think it’s what stops communities from exchanging ideas, discussions, dance floors, and fluids. It’s tired. So when I have a party or when I play a gig, I want to bring sounds together. Lineups should be diverse. I always play sets that go in many directions and moods.
Give us three words that describe your musical styling.
Powerful, sexual, ethereal.
DJ pet peeve?
Sound guys. People who don’t dance. Also, DJs who are afraid to take chances. Not a pet peeve per se but – just go for it, girl!
DJ fave moment every time you spin?
When I have been concentrating and mixing for a while, maybe sweating on the decks or maybe I’m stressing, and I remember to look up, and I see how beautiful everyone is and how joyful music makes them. It’s a powerful thing. I also dance a lot when I DJ, so it’s infectious. Love a dance floor that doesn’t judge and feeds off itself.
Oh my god, so many. But this is a crazy-ass closer and sounds like what it feels like to fall in love.
Other Toronto DJs that you love?
That’s a tough one because I love so, so, so much music and have mad respect for many DJs in this city. However: Karim Olen Ash, who I’m playing with this Saturday for Yohomo, is my kindred DJ sister. Kieran Adams’ (Vibrant Matter) sets are some of the weirdest, most diverse things I’ve ever seen. Chippy Nonstop is GOAT. Kehdo’s sets rip holes in the techno biosphere. This is the tip of the iceberg. I am constantly in awe of people here.
Strangest place you’ve played?
Well, one of my favourite places to play is the Texas Lounge in Calgary, Alberta, which shares an entrance with Goliath bathhouse. Being a guest at any queer event or space is a blessing. I played the Good Room in NYC, and that was a dream.
How are things for you as a female DJ in Toronto these days?
They are getting better. I have made some really wonderful allies and deep friendships in the past year who have shown me so much support and love, and it keeps me going and keeps me energized and inspired. Old straight men in this city can suck the life out of you and wear you down. I wanted to quit DJing last January, but I pushed through it. I let go of trying to stay in a lane powered by old cis men and really explored what DJing could be without it. Spoiler: It rules. My sets are stronger, more cathartic and meaningful, knowing that I am doing it for me – and for every person out there who is living their truth or hasn’t discovered what that might be yet.
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