Based in New York and known for her uplifting sets at her own weekly in the
East Village, Miss Bliss is on a mission to pioneer the happy sound in a
place where sunshine is not the norm. She's been spreading her sound in many
places, such as Los Angeles, Panama City, Atlanta, and Birmingham.
She started at a young age with classical piano and had such musical
influences as jazz, reggae, and surf-rock. By high school, she had been
exposed to Konkrete Jungle parties where she got her first taste of drum and
bass and breakbeats.
Miss Bliss moved to LA to attend college, where she quickly became part of
the electronic music scene on campus. She started spinning at a
student-organized weekly, "Table Manners." This opened many doors for her.
She soon began to play at campus events, house parties, and charity
She graduated and moved back to New York. There, she continued to
spin out at her own strictly-breaks "Sunday School" weekly. Shortly after,
Miss Bliss was booked for the annual "Goddess" party here in Atlanta. She
was then added to the Peace Continuum roster.
Miss Bliss encourages promoters to engage in community service activities.
Nomenclature, where she currently holds a residency, agreed to donate half
of its proceeds from the October "Fly Girls" party to the American Red Cross
following the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.
Miss Bliss is starting a weekly breaks party in Manhattan with DJ Wool
called "Big Apple Breaks." She also just recently signed with Intellihance
Miss Bliss has performed with: Polywog, Spacegirl, Debbie D, Odi, Analog
Pussy, Prophecy, Clay Ivey, Shortee, DJ Keri, Ariel Cybana, Eve, Trixie, and
JIVE: Who or what first influenced you to start spinning?
MISS BLISS: Although I'm a breaks DJ now, my first sweet taste of electronic
music was drum'n'bass. Omni Trio's "Haunted Science" album on Smile and
Dieselboy's "Drum n' Bass Selection USA" on SubBase were the first albums I
ever picked up. It was complete chance. I was exploring HMV back when they
had that awesome return policy, so I would buy all kinds of stuff and
audition it at home. If I didn't like it I could return it no questions
asked. I ended up really loving those albums (still do!) and so began my
quest to find out anything and everything I could about this new style of
music. I'd come home from school and spend hours scouring the internet --
reading up on the music, joining mailing lists, trading tapes with people
and all that. The internet was really an instrumental tool in getting me
When I was about 16 or 17 there was this party in NYC called Konkrete
Jungle. It's actually still happening although it's changed venues. As a
16-and-over party it was the only place that people under 18 could go, and
it was drum'n'bass all night long, so it worked out nicely. I heard a lot
of good music there and saw some really amazing DJs. When I moved out to
California for college, I went to a lot of desert parties -- not just the
Moontribe ones that everyone hears about, but kids at my school would rent
generators and just haul their decks out to the desert to party! It was so
fun! Eventually I decided I wanted to try my hand at DJing, I mean, I
wanted to share my own style, not just listen to other people.
What finally got me into it was a breaks tape from Florida that I got from
one of those tape-trading lists. Don't ask me how a Florida breaks tape
ended up on a drum'n'bass trading list but when I first heard it I knew it
was the sound for me. I've always been into happy music, and I knew I liked
the broken beat sound, so it was kind of a perfect fusion of the two.
JIVE: How long have you been spinning?
MISS BLISS: A few years now. I started in college and I've been playing ever
JIVE: Was it easy for you to be recognized in the industry?
MISS BLISS: No, it was hard work and a lot of hustling just to get the next
gig. It's not a steady or reliable business, and though you try to maintain
a calm appearance, you're paddling like mad underwater just to stay afloat.
It was a lot about knowing people, socializing, being friendly, passing out
tapes and going out a lot at night!!!
What is the New York breaks scene like right now?
MISS BLISS: Well, until recently, there wasn't really a breaks scene to
speak of. About a year ago I started a weekly breaks party in the East
Village called 'Sunday School' ,which was the first breaks-only party New
had seen in years. It was really key as far as getting breaks people
together, because before that we were all kind of floating by ourselves
wondering if other breaks fans existed. I mean, I knew there must be breaks
heads somewhere because Satellite Records stocked a small selection of
breaks and I knew I wasn't the only one buying records!! Sunday School sort
of helped us all find each other and start to get things going for New York.
Unfortunately that party is no longer happening, but I'm starting a new one
in February with this guy DJ Wool who is an incredible breaks DJ, producer
and turntablist -- he was the 1998 DMC Champion of Ireland! Our party is
going to be called Big Apple Breaks, and it's going to be in a brand new
venue called Coal in Manhattan. I also started a message board recently for
the NYC breaks scene - just to have a place to post information, meet people
and all that. People who are interested in visiting it or learning about
the breaks scene in New York should check out my website,
where there is a link to the message board.
JIVE: I know you're a big breaks fan, but what else do you listen to?
MISS BLISS: I listen to a lot of different styles of music. I'm a huge fan
of old vocal jazz - Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, that kind
of stuff. I like a lot of those old-time jazz ditties that rhyme and are
just so carefree and fun. Billie Holiday is famous for her sad songs, but
she has a lot of lesser-known cute ones too! I listen to reggae too. I love
the old school Bob Marley - this one album I have called "Rock to the Rock"
is so great, he has a doo-wop sound in his early work that I adore! Toots &
the Maytals are really great too. I listen to a fair bit of rock too - I
love this band called Saves The Day, I think The Queers are fantastic and
also Blonde Redhead. There are some good public radio stations in New York
that play interesting music, and actually, good radio is one of the things I
miss about LA (besides the sun!) KCRW in LA is such a great station -- I
mean, every single show on that station is just 100% quality. Thank god for
the internet because I can stream it from home! As far as electronic music
goes, I still love drum n' bass but I also listen to a lot of downtempo. In
general I pretty much go for the happy, up-beat sound, it doesn't matter
what genre it is.
JIVE: You recently signed with Intellihance Records, are you making a CD
with them, and if so, when is it going to be available to the public?
MISS BLISS: I'm working on a track with the guy who started Intellihance,
but it's kind of on hold for now since there are a lot of things on my plate
with getting my new weekly party started and all that. As far as CDs, I
have one mix CD available, people who are interested should contact me
through my website, djmissbliss.com.
JIVE: What do you do when you're not working? Are you married, or have any
children? Is there any time for a social life?
MISS BLISS: The music industry is very social by nature, I almost feel like
I HAVE to go out even if I'm completely exhausted! So, yes, there's plenty
of room for a social life. Fortunately, the people who are into breaks in
NYC are really nice, and it's been just fantastic meeting all of them and
getting to know them better. I've been doing some web-design & graphic
stuff as well, I made djmissbliss.com myself and really had a blast! I
discovered it's something I really enjoy doing, and I've made a few sites
for friends as well. I just picked up two books on color theory and I've
been completely engrossed in them since.
I'm not married -- don't plan on getting married any time soon, and no, I
don't have any kids.
JIVE: As an artist from New York, how did the World Trade Center bombing
impact your life and your career?
MISS BLISS: Well, negatively. I think that's the most obvious answer.
Fortunately no one in my immediate circle of friends and family was directly
involved, although I did know people who were killed or who lost loved ones
in the incident. At first I was really terrified - my mom works on the 23rd
floor of the United Nations building so as far as how it affected me
personally, I was afraid for her. Fortunately, I live uptown and I didn't
really feel like any place in my neighborhood would be a target, but my
parents & brother live in midtown and every time I heard sirens I had the
urge to turn on the TV just to make sure nothing horrible had happened.
Obviously the whole situation has impacted the economy in a negative way,
and the music & clubbing industry was probably one of the first sectors to
really feel that pain. When people are poor or when their jobs are unstable
they don't want to go out and spend money on drinks which, in New York at
least, are really expensive. Things have been pretty slow, but recently
bookings have started to pick up again I expect that in the spring things
will start slowly returning to a more normal state.
JIVE: As a woman in this industry, how do you feel about the growing number
of female DJs? Do you ever feel like you do or do not get a gig because you
are a woman?
BLISS: It has helped, definitely. A lot of my first gigs were all-female
parties. Although I try not to pigeon-hole myself as a female DJ,
it's part of who I am. I was a female before I became a DJ. The music
I listen to has lots of girls singing, and pianos. I'd say it's pretty
feminine. The all-female parties were cool because the environment
was very supportive and it was a good way to gain exposure. I think
the growing number of female DJs is partially due to the fact that
DJing has become more popular in and of itself, so there are more
male DJs and more female DJs too. It's also reflective of the fact
that women are moving in to traditionally male fields more and more
these days which I think is a great thing. I think soon it will become
less of a novelty.
JIVE: Who do you look up to musically and why?
MISS BLISS: I have to say, BT has been an inspiration in a lot of ways. Not
only is he an incredible producer, but the story about how N'Sync heard
"Hip-Hop Phenomenon" and said, "Make us a track like that!" just blows my
mind every time. Being able to cross over like that and produce a
breaky-pop track for the masses is so cool. I think to one day have a song
on the radio would be the most amazing thing, and it's definitely something
that I aspire to. I want to be walking around in the supermarket and hear
my track come out of their dinky speakers or walking down the street and
hear some car pass by bumping my tune. Playing on Atlanta's 88.5
last year was the closest I've ever come to that.
Favorite song: 'You're Not Alone' (Infiniti's remix). Not a new track, but
still love it!! Also, anything off the Freskanova label. I wish they still
Favorite movie: Memento. That movie was so cool.
Favorite city: New York! But I also love Hong Kong.
Favorite club: Baktun - great drum'n'bass and the bartenders always treat me
Exciting project coming up: My new weekly, Big Apple Breaks!!