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audrey napoleon
Audrey Napoleon brought something different to the scene the first time she stepped onstage with her edgy dress and makeup. We spoke with her at Identity Houston, where she told us about the origins of her Ornamental Egos EP & the similarities between DJing & a sexual encounter.
Audrey Napoleon - B*tchy Queen (Original Mix) [SQE]
LessThan3: How was touring with Identity Festival this summer?
Audrey: It’s been great so far! Everyone has been so nice, attentive, and there are so many talented artists on the tour. It’s been quite an honor to be included in such a talented group of people, especially Eric Prydz, who’s a huge role model for me as an artist.
LessThan3: We heard you’re also a big fan of James Zabiela?
Audrey: I love James! As I was rediscovering dance music, he was the DJ at Avalon Hollywood that gave me that eureka moment where I decided this what I wanted to do. I don’t know how he moves his hands that quickly!
LessThan3: Didn’t you open for him at one of your first gigs?
Audrey: After I saw James play that night, I decided I wanted to be a DJ and began to teach myself. I started playing gigs for no money at first and I even threw my own parties because I wanted to play so much. Later the Avalon caught wind of my name and I got my first residency there, and my first night I opened for James.
LessThan3: We hear you have a special connection with Houston.
Audrey: I was actually born in Houston, so playing in Houston today will be sort of homecoming, and it’s the first time I’ve played here. It feels good to be playing at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion since it’s actually where I saw my first concert back when my mom took me to see the Spice Girls.
LessThan3: You released your Ornamental Egos EP a few weeks ago. Where did the idea for the title come from?
Audrey: It stemmed from what it takes for me to be Audrey Napoleon on stage. I feel that in order for anyone to walk out and be able to deal with reality, they have to have these defensive egos to wear like armor. I named this EP Ornamental Egos because it is my first EP and I’m in this vulnerable state. I’m an only child and I’m basically putting my music out into the world to be loved, hated, or dismissed.
LessThan3: Would you say some of the tracks show your darker side?
Audrey: Absolutely; my dark side comes out all the time.
LessThan3: We recently heard you spinning a remix of Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson.
Audrey: Yeah, I was! I’m a huge fan of his. Someone once told me that if Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson had a lovechild, it would be me.
LessThan3: There’s a lot of mystique in your music video for Poison. Did you have a big hand in producing it?
Audrey: It was all my idea, actually. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a day in the life of Audrey Napoleon, but it does show my different personalities. It’s a bit difficult for me sometimes to get what’s in my head out of my mouth so I sat with a number of different producers. I ended up choosing Nicole McDonnel who worked with Marilyn Manson on Doppelherz. We discussed the whole theme and shot the video in two days. I wanted to show all my different personalities that I need to get on stage and perform. First there’s the normal Audrey that’s just waking up and having coffee in her black gown. Later you see the part that shows me with eight legs like a spider, which taps into how I see myself with men—I sleep with them and them kill them off. There’s the princess part too where it’s me getting ready for the show, and then at the end you see me become the queen. I also love the part with the puppetmaster who drugs everyone in the room, which is how I feel when I’m playing—l feel like the puppetmaster.
LessThan3: Do you think it’s been harder to succeed as a female DJ or easier?
Audrey: I don’t really recognize the a gender as a factor. I think the bottom line is talent and that the cream rises to the top. I will say that being a female DJ does opens a window, but once you’re through that window there’s a door, and you better know your sh*t if you want to get through that door, otherwise you’ll be stuck in the puppeteer female DJ area. I really don’t see it as being an obstacle though. I love being a woman and it’s a beautiful thing that I embrace. I feel that anyone who watches me on stage, in the studio, or listens to my music will hear that I’m not faking it. I exercise creativity in nearly everything I do; even in simple things like how I make my coffee and how I prepare to go to sleep. Even when I dream I’m dreaming of the things I want to do and I’ll wake up with all sorts of ideas.
LessThan3: What do you want to accomplish within the coming years?
Audrey: I would like to headline my own tour that will have live theatrical aspects, much like how when you go to a pop concert.
LessThan3: You’ve mentioned that playing out is a lot like having sex ,where you start slow and build the excitement. When opening DJs play big room bangers, do you feel that’s like skipping foreplay?
Audrey: I always say I feel bad for the girlfriends of DJs that just bang out on stage because I’m sure they’re like jackrabbits in bed. I won’t give you everything in the first thirty minutes of my set, I’ll give it to you in the middle, then take it back down and give it to you again. Also on the note of opening DJs playing bangers, that should never happen. You should open properly for the headliner instead of playing like you’re the headliner. This drives me mental. If I’m opening for Eric Prydz or Deadmau5 at a club, I’m not going to play as if I’m a headliner. If an opening DJ plays bangers at eleven o’clock at night it just seems like a bad joke. Open the night properly and let the headliner give the crowd the orgasm. Play with the crowd to make them want the headliner instead of just banging out. That’s no fun for anyone. Nobody wants to hear One by Swedish House Mafia at ten o’clock in the evening.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Audrey: Gnossienne No.1 by Erik Satie.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Audrey: Underground Pop.