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15 Minutes of Fame: Druid at the decks


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Did you know that players on Argent Dawn-US have their own soundtrack? Fellow AD player Aspeth -- aka DJ Aspeth of Sao Paulo, Brazil – has been posting trance mixes on the AD forums since she was a lowbie DJ still spinning her first talent points. Now, she jet sets from continent to continent (hope the screenshots for this profile make it in before she hops her next plane for Europe; if you don't see them, you'll know why!) to mix it up for a ballooning fan base entranced with the Aspeth sound.

Her fans on Argent Dawn are both vocal and loyal. "Thanks for the new mix! I've been a huge fan of yours for years," posted Athraku. She repays that following by dropping by the AD forums with a sample of her latest work. "Whenever I can, I share a mix in the forums," she says. "I haven't been able to do it monthly lately, but I try to at least once every two months or so." When you get a look at Aspeth's wicked schedule, you'll wonder how she ever finds time – but find it she does, as well as carving out a few moments to keep her little Druid soaking up the sounds (and sights) of Azeroth.

Current main character Aspeth
Server Argent Dawn

15 Minutes of Fame: Being a full-time DJ and playing WoW – that's a pretty time-intensive combination. How did you get started playing WoW?
Aspeth: This is actually a funny story. WoW is not popular at all in Brazil. Nowadays, it's a bit more popular because of the LA servers, but when I started, pretty much nobody knew it existed here. But when I started, I was dating a guy who lived in New York. He loved playing the game, and he gave me a copy so we could play together when we were in different countries. I loved it instantly.

I don't play a lot of video games, but I love fantasy books, so I was hooked with the depth and the lore and the characters of WoW. Even after we stopped dating, we kept playing together. Then I made other friends in the game, so it became really cool to pass the time. I got a Rogue to level 35 or so; then real life caught up with me when my DJ career really started to pick up. I came back after a while and decided to play Horde-side for a bit. It was really fun, but again, I had to stop playing after getting to level 22 or so.

I came back with the expansion ... but unfortunately, it seems I need to be much higher level to actually explore it. I did enjoy the makeover thingie, though; I change my hairstyle and colour a lot! This time, I decided to play a Druid. I'm having a lot of fun exploring the Elf area, and I love how nice the Druid spells look. =) I just wish it had a Stretch Time spell so I could play her more! My playing schedule is very limited, but I'm level 14 and climbing! I usually play on Sundays, which is usually a slower day for me.

You may still be in the lower levels with your Druid, but we see your career as a DJ is leveling up at epic speed.
I've always loved music and everything related to it. I have pictures of myself playing dual xylophones when I was 1! So cute ... LOL I've been dancing since I was 4 -- classical ballet, then jazz and street dance -- and I'm listening to music pretty much the entire time. I have 2 iPods I take with me everywhere (yes, both of them :p), and when I come back from a gig or the studio, I rest my ears by ... listening to ambient music! It's my passion. It's been with me for my entire life.

When I was 16, one of my best friends was starting out as a DJ. One day when I visited, I asked him to teach me how to DJ with his gear. I was instantly hooked (even though I was terrible :p). That summer, I got my own DJ equipment (basically entry-level pickups and a mixer) and spent the three-month summer break pretty much in my room learning to beatmatch.

After a lot of practice, I finally had the guts to actually DJ in public. I started out DJing at my friend's parties, then at some private parties for free -- but at that time, I had no idea it was going to be my career. I was just having fun. Then one day, I was playing at a party and this guy comes to talk to me afterwards, saying he's a resident DJ at a club called and that he saw me playing and really liked my set and if I wasn't interested in doing a live set at the club next week. I immediately said no. :p Luckily, he left me his phone number, so after much convincing by my friends, I called him.

A week later, I was at the decks in front of about 500 people in a club -- and I played what I still think to this day was the best set of my life. Technically, it was pretty awful. I had no idea how to build up a set, so I just dropped hit after hit after hit. But the feeling was so amazing. The crowd was having so much fun, and I had tears in my eyes for pretty much the whole thing. I was supposed to play for one hour, then give it away for the resident DJ. I ended up playing for four and a half hours. After that, I called my parents and I told them that I wanted to be a professional DJ. (They were asleep so they said "Umm, sure sweetheart, whatever you say!")

Things were slowly but steadily happening after that. I started to get gigs, first one or two per week. Then it picked up, and on top of that, I landed a residency at a nice club in Sao Paulo. Today, I have around four to five gigs a week and play at some really cool places all over the world.

Now that sounds pretty darn cool. Is there such a thing as a typical workday for you?
It definitely is cool, but it's also a lot of work! It's easy to just concentrate on the glamorous part of it and forget how much work it takes to prepare a set, how much time you spend on planes or in the studio. On a typical week, I work around 70 hours or so -- not including traveling. A typical week for me consists of around four to five gigs. For every gig, I need about four to five hours to prepare the set: select tracks, do edits, burn CDs, get familiarized with new tracks, etc. The rest of the time, I'm in the studio scouting tracks, doing production work (new tracks, remixes) or recording sets for guest mixes, radio shows, producing my podcast, etc.

On top of that, there's all the administrative work -- things like bookings, finances, maintaining a web presence, planning tours, dealing with labels, getting promos, etc. I do have an agent and a webmaster who help me a lot with those things.

To give you a better idea of what it consists of, here's a practical example of my weekday two weeks ago (not super accurate coz it's off the top of my head -- but you get the idea):

Sunday Off; woke up at like 5 p.m., coz I had a huuuge gig on Saturday :p
Monday Studio in the morning, doing production for my new track; prepping set in the afternoon; gig in the evening
Tuesday Morning in a radio station for an interview + guest mix; afternoon prepping a set; gig in the evening
Wednesday Morning off; afternoon producing a guest mix for a German show (aired Sunday, BTW!); evening in the studio doing production for new track
Thursday Morning in the studio, scouting tracks, then trip to Rio; afternoon prepping set; gig in the evening
Friday Morning, trip back home; afternoon prepping set; gig in the evening
Saturday Morning in the studio; remix work; lunch meeting; afternoon prepping set; gig in the evening
Sunday Morning off; afternoon in studio working on new track; plane to Santiago, Chile in the evening

So it's pretty intense and busy, but I can't really complain. I love what I do, and the pay is excellent at this level, so it's very much worth it.

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