Miss Bliss

by Misty Thomas
photos by Jem and Low Tek

NEW Photography
First Sunrise (FL)
Rollergasm 2 (GA)
DJ Irene @ Globe (GA)
NEW Interviews
Madame Buddafly
Roger Sanchez
DJ Gruvgirl
NEW Event Reviews
Deja Vu Night Two (Atlanta, GA)
Deja Vu Night One (Atlanta, GA)
Tiesto (Atlanta, GA)
NEW Music Reviews
The Avalanches - Since I Left You
Quivver-Transport 5

Click here for NEW Music

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 fund raisers.

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 Records.

Miss Bliss has performed with: Polywog, Spacegirl, Debbie D, Odi, Analog Pussy, Prophecy, Clay Ivey, Shortee, DJ Keri, Ariel Cybana, Eve, Trixie, and many more.

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 started.

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 since!

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!!!

JIVE: 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 York 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, www.djmissbliss.com, 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?

MISS 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 I still love it!! Also, anything off the Freskanova label. I wish they still existed.

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 right!

Exciting project coming up: My new weekly, Big Apple Breaks!!


Big Apple Breaks



© 2000-2002 J.I.V.E. (Jewels and Invisions Vivid Entertainment) Magazine, All rights reserved.

Please do not use the material or photographs published on JIVE Magazine without contacting us first.
All photography with our logo on it is specifically copyrighted by JIVE Magazine.

Read our Privacy & Disclaimer