Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

caliXta: Molding her career as a VJ/DJ
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2015-06-24

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Isabel Buchanan Arellano transforms into caliXta, a dual VJ and DJ—it's a job she created because "I didn't see [the dual role] happening in Chicago," she said.

Her first venture was as a DJ, which she ended up learning out of necessity when she and some friends were interested in similar music, mostly from Latin America, but would lament that they weren't hearing those sounds at bars, clubs or shows.

Several months after she started working as a DJ, a friend and fellow DJ wanted to do visuals for a show he was working. He asked if she would help and she agreed "because I thought it would be interesting to learn," she said. Two days before the gig, he showed her how to use a VJ program, which basically allows you to do live visual/film editing. After their 20-minute lesson, "I jumped right in doing some visuals for his gig that weekend," she said. "It was very experimental for me since I was basically exploring what he had briefly showed me, but I thought my visuals came out great considering everything.

"I really enjoyed doing visuals for the party that night and saw the potential for bridging space through music and visuals, so I continued to learn, mostly through self-guided learning."

caliXta, 26, who lives in LaVillita and is "dating a wonderful woman," admitted that she was "very nervous" before her first gig as a VDJ. "I wasn't sure if people would like the music I played since it was going to be pretty new for almost everyone," she said.

caliXta was VJing at the 2015 South by Southwest ( SXSW ), an annual film, interactive, and music festival and conference held in March in Austin, Texas.

"A friend, fellow DJ and one of my original inspirations for scene-building through music, DJ rat from the Maracuyeah DJ collective in Washington DC, asked me to be her VJ. I was really honored and excited to work with her again, and SXSW is a highlight for a lot of artistic careers," caliXta said. "We played the Sol Life label launch party and official SXSW showcase, organized by Sol Collective."

One of caliXta's crews is the CumbiaSazo! crew, which organizes the monthly CumbiaSazo! party at Double Door in Wicker Park. "I've been working on doing more hand-made stage decor and decorations for the party, which has been really fun and an exciting venture," she said. "I like thinking of new ideas and themes that I can work with to incorporate hand-made art and projected visuals with the music.

"In general, I take all the gigs and moments of my career as highlights. Every experience is special and is something I can learn from. Even if a night or an event doesn't turn out how I imagined, I [still will] reflect and learn from it."

Some of her favorite career moments have been VJing for Los Macuanos and Maria y José ( two separate events ), who are two of her favorite artists. "VJing for them has really brought it home for me that the work I'm doing, along with other Chicago DJs, artists and friends, is creating a space in Chicago and bringing artists that may not have come before to our city," she said. "The Los Macuanos show was organized by the Festival de Musical Electronica Latina ( Festival of Latin Electronic Music ), and Maria y José was the headliner for a CumbiaSazo! party."

When asked why she does what she does, caliXta replied, "For myself and the people I've collaborated most deeply with, my and our work has been about more than just being able to listen to or see certain artists/music in Chicago—it's a movement to bridge the beautiful, often revolutionary and political messages, of different artists to our home, and to re-shape the boundaries of what Latinx music is or can be, especially when it is so often pigeon-holed into very traditional sounds, artists, songs and genres. [Note: "Latinx" queers the Spanish grammatical Latino ( universal or male ) and Latina ( female ) adjectives by replacing gendering ( o/a endings ) with the unknown "x."]

"Latino culture tends to be stereotyped in dominant society, so I think it is important to show that we change, develop, grow, fuse, expand and innovate beyond tradition. To clarify, there is nothing wrong with traditional Latinx music, artists, songs or genres, and I love that music very much and it constantly influences me. The point is that it's not the only music out there from Latin America or Latinxs, but that there's a very active, growing and innovative Latinx music scene happening that is bringing together past and future sounds."

caliXta said one of her career goals is to VJ/do visuals for Javiera Mena, another favorite artist of hers, and also book an overseas gig, preferably in Tokyo or Seoul. "I'd like to get into making custom visual graphics for clients, produce my own music tracks, and also toy with the idea of making music videos," she said.

"I love creating. I've always been someone who has a million ideas and images in her head and now I feel like I have an outlet for them."

caliXta said that the events she does usually have a heavy queer contingent. "I think that's because myself and others work very hard to make parties, in particular, a safe space for everyone and also because a lot of my friends and their friends go," she said.

The CumbiaSazo! party is held every fourth Saturday at Double Door.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'V for Vendetta' at Music Box; includes talk with Wachowski 2020-10-22
- The 15th-anniversary theatrical re-release of V for Vendetta, which now includes bonus content—a 13-minute, pre-recorded conversation with director James McTeigue and writer/producer Lana Wachowski—will run at the Music Box Theatre ...


Gay News

Jeannie Tanner releases inspirational song, art-inclusive video 2020-10-17
- Local singer-songwriter Jeannie Tanner has released her new single and video, "I Wanna Be the Change." According to a press release, the song was inspired by many of the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ...


Gay News

Queen + Adam Lambert release first live album 2020-10-15
- Queen + Adam Lambert have released their first-ever live album, Queen + Adam Lambert: Live Around the World. The release is in CD, CD+DVD, CD+Blu-ray and vinyl formats. The set presents a compilation of concert highlights ...


Gay News

Linda Ronstadt, Danny Glover, Beto O' Rourke in 'All Souls to the Polls' 2020-10-14
- More than 50 artists, social justice and grassroots activists from across the country have created two nights of concerts to spur national voter turnout, with "All Souls to the Polls" on Oct. 17-18 at 7 p.m. ...


Gay News

50-50 All Souls to the Polls benefit concert to get out the vote 2020-10-13
--From a press release - Oct. 13, 2020-(Chicago, IL) - A coalition of the nation's top arts presenters have joined forces to create a 6 hour "People's Benefit Concert" to spur Get Out The Vote action in all fifty states. More ...


Gay News

Sarah Brightman in Chicago in Dec. 2021 2020-10-13
- Soprano Sarah Brightman will bring "HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert" to the historic Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 at 8 p.m. CDT. To enhance her world of enchantment, ...


Gay News

Philharmonic orchestra's free virtual concert Oct. 24 2020-10-13
- Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), named 2020 Professional Orchestra of the Year by Illinois Council of Orchestras, announced its virtual opening night concert, "IPO Reimagined," featuring 30 IPO string players performing ...


Gay News

Collaborate Arts Institute to mark 10th anniversary 2020-10-12
- Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC), 7409 N. Greenview Ave., is celebrating its 10th-anniversary season with fall offerings that include the annual Collaborative Works Festival, two recitals as part of the Lieder Lounge series and the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Diversity report, Zachary Quinto, 'Schitt's Creek,' Mariah Carey 2020-10-12
- In a new report from the UCLA-based Center for Scholars and Storytellers titled "Beyond Checking A Box: A Lack of Authentically Inclusive Representation Has Costs at the Box Office," researchers found that bringing authentic diversity to ...


Gay News

"All Souls to the Polls" concerts to help fund GOTV efforts 2020-10-11
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—Adding art to the urgency of ensuring a robust voter turnout for what all consider to be 'the most important election of our lifetimes, more than 50 artists and activists from 50 states have created ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Whitney Houston, all-trans 'Brokeback,' Sam Smith, 'Chicago Med' 2020-10-05
- A hologram of the late Whitney Houston was used in a livestream show—allegedly without permission from her estate, NME.com reported. Hologram USA founder Alki David had originally worked on Houston's likeness in 2016. The hologram appeared ...


Gay News

Around the World in 80 Minutes, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus virtual cabaret in October 2020-10-01
--From a press release - CHICAGO, October 1, 2020 — Chicago Gay Men's Chorus kicks off Season 37 with Around the World in 80 Minutes, a virtual cabaret featuring a small cast of 24 virtual performers that will take you on ...


Gay News

Feminist icon/singer Helen Reddy dies at 78 2020-09-30
- Helen Reddy—the Australian-born singer whose 1972 hit song "I Am Woman" made her a feminist icon—died Sept. 29 in Los Angeles. She was 78. According to The New York Times, Reddy suffered for decades from Addison's ...


Gay News

MUSIC Davis Mallory name-drops Jane Fonda with new song 2020-09-29
- Openly gay singer Davis Mallory has debuted a new pop song called "Jane Fonda" for the masses. The track was written in Stockholm, Sweden and the video was directed by Cooper Smith in Nashville, Tennessee. Many ...


Gay News

Artist-led "Retreat" to provide platform for creatives in food, music, art 2020-09-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Rebuild Foundation, the arts, education and cultural development organization founded by artist Theaster Gates, and Dorchester Industries today announced the opening of "RETREAT," an artist-led activation aimed at ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Privacy Policy      Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.