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Artist Interview: Behind the Decks with Sober DJ AthenaLuv

Updated: Feb 22


female dj raising hand behind the dj deck

We're ecstatic to spotlight the dynamic Techno DJ, AthenaLuv. With her vinyl roots and a powerful journey of sobriety, she's not just a DJ but a story of resilience and passion. We're humbled by her raw honesty and profound love for music and deeply grateful that she has chosen to throw down a mix for our REBOS Sessions - DJ Mix feature. Prepare to be taken on a melodic ride infused with depth, authenticity, and passion.


AthenaLuv continues to light up the scene with her mixes and competing in contests like "get aempd!", the Association of Electronic Music Producers and DJs (AEMPD), a US-based 501(c)(6) nonprofit, at the forefront of the electronic music industry. Let's get into it! 🎧


"Sobriety means channeling my passions healthily." - AthenaLuv

Female dj mixing music on stage

Q: Can you share how you began your DJing career?

A: I started learning to DJ in 2004 on vinyl. In 2019 a Good friend of mine (DJ Trixie) told me if I didn’t start djing again after an 8-year hiatus she would be very upset; she brought her turntables to my house and gave me lessons on her Serato vinyl and this restarted my passion for DJing electronic music.


Q: Your journey to sobriety is inspiring. How has this influenced your work?

A: Isolation is a consequence of drug use for me, which isn’t ideal for a professional DJ. Now, sobriety means channeling my passions healthily.


Q: What's the story behind the mix you created for REBOS Sessions?

A: I crafted it during a live event at the 'Sanctuary of Techno' at AS220/Blackbox in Providence.


Q: How has sobriety influenced your music selection and style?

A: Being sober has enhanced my mixing skills, and I've gained a deeper comprehension of music.


Q: Has sobriety brought about any shifts in your DJing approach?

A: I consciously steer clear of tracks promoting heavy drug use.


Q: Dive a little into the track selection for this mix. Were there any particular themes or emotions you were aiming for?

A: The mix is anchored by 'Pulsif' by Matt Sassari. My penchant for dark, hard-driving techno shaped the selection.


Q: How does the sober community influence you?

A: I will always remain true to myself and my passions. The sober community has just been solid support for pursuing my passions in times when I’m feeling we. I have the opportunity to be a light and inspiration to other creatives who want to get sober.


Q: Any challenges faced maintaining sobriety amidst the music/DJ scene?

A: As a DJ, certain environments can be triggering. It's pivotal for me to set clear boundaries and ensure I'm not around excessive substance use.


Q: What aspirations do you hold for your collaboration with The Creative Sober?

A: It's to voice that RECOVERY, even for a DJ, is achievable. Opening up can pave the way for other creatives into sobriety.


Q: Since sharing your sobriety journey, any feedback that's resonated with you?

A: Many have expressed how my journey serves as an inspiration for them.


Q: How do you prep for a DJ set nowadays compared to before?

A: My approach remains consistent. Interestingly, my prep time seems to have reduced.


Q: Who are the artists that have impacted your sober journey?

A: The likes of Dirty Dan, Miko Franconi (Soundsex), SeanTilDawn, and Hollywood Dog (wArren Zera) have been instrumental.


Q: Could you share some technical insights about your mix?

A: I think having versatility that’s involved with being a good DJ comes with playing on different equipment.


Q: How do you fuel your creativity and source inspiration while sober?

A: My muse is discovering new music.


Q: A word of advice for artists contemplating a sober lifestyle?

A: Stop thinking about it and do it. It will be hard, but it is worth it. The sober gifts that I have found on my journey are far more important than what I experienced when I wasn’t sober. Life is too precious.


 

AthenaLuv concludes our interview:


"A significant part of my journey is that I have lost 9 of my best friends in the industry and life to drug overdoses or suicides; this has been in the last seven years. I’ve lost even more people over the 25 years I have been involved in the industry. Quite frankly, I’m over it. I’m sick of seeing my friends and colleagues struggle, and if I can be a light for them, I will do it. Life is too precious and short to contribute to the negative aspects of this industry. I believe that standing for what is right and being public about it is my way of helping people get the help they need."


Group photo taken in Hawaii

 

Drop into AthenaLuv's Set

As we hit the final note, it's time to turn up the volume and let loose. DJ AthenaLuv has crafted a techno masterpiece for our REBOS Sessions. Hit play, feel the bass, and let's get this party started! 🎶



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