10 Questions with ... Caroline D'Amore
September 15, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) Where are you from?
I live in L.A. My grandparents are Italian from Italy. D'Amore is my real last name. A lot of people think it's a stage name, but it's my real name.
2) Your parents own a pizza place in L.A.; D'Amore's Pizza, what can you tell us about it?
The restaurant is known for pizza, but there are all different types of items on the menu, but get the pizza, we're #1 for pizza. There are two in Malibu and one on 3rd Street in Hollywood, which I just took over. My dad was thinking about getting out of the business and I was like, no, "No, that's my pizza place," and he was like, "Fine, you deal with it and run it." It was pretty funny.
3) Do you cook any of the dishes or make the pizzas?
I'm such a bad kitchen cook. You know what it is; it's the pounding out of the dough that I'm not very good at, but it tastes good when I make it.
4) Your parents own a pizza place, but you get into the music business as a DJ. How did that happen?
I was quite the wild party girl in L.A., I was in the clubs a lot sneaking in when I was around 14 and honestly, being a party girl turned me into a DJ because DJ AM was a good friend. I would go into his club and watch him take over the room; sometimes I would be the only girl on the dance floor, blown away by all his control and the excitement, and the crowd felt joy. Whenever he felt joy, the crown felt joy, and I loved it, so I went from dancing on the booths and the tables to being in the DJ booth mesmerized by him DJ-ing. I was also an actor in L.A. and one of the directors I was working with asked me if I knew any DJs for a show he was doing at the El Ray Theater. I fully lied and said, "I'm a DJ," and he said, "You're hired." I hung up the phone, freaked out and I called AM and said, "I did this," and he said, "You idiot" and then he told me where to go to buy equipment. I spent all my money on brand new CDJs and fell in love with electronic music way before it was cool to play electronic music in L.A. One thing led to another ... my dad thought it was a phase or a fad, it would pass and that I would go back to acting. I had to let him know that this is my love and here I am today, I'm not going to say how many years later because then you would know how old I am.
5) After you bought your first CDJs, do you remember what some of the first music bought was?
There was a lot of file sharing back then, so there wasn't too much at the iTunes store. Electronic-wise, I was really into Bob Sinclar. I remember the first time I heard "World Hold On," I fell in love with the peaceful happy sound, so a lot of songs like that and then Moby... and Madonna's "Ray Of Light." I'm still super girlie and '90s, which is why my new record "Gypsy Woman" makes so much sense. I love bringing the '90s sound and mixing it with the whole electronic dance world.
6) Your current single is a remake of Crystal Waters "Gypsy Woman," which features Natalie La Rose. What can you tell us about it?
It's a classic and if you break down the lyrics and listen to it, it's actually quite an interesting song. It's not just a "party all night long and put your hands up" song. It's something that I really loved about the song; it actually reminded me of a friend of mine who was a total gypsy. She went from house to house, couch to couch, her car was dirty and a mess, but she always made sure that she put on tons of makeup and looked perfect. So the song just resonated; I loved the original and I thought what a good way to come out, since no one really knew who I was, so let's take a song that everyone knows and give it a little spice and a little meat. I was asked to do a remix of her song "Somebody," so I did that and the label put out my mix.
When I originally recorded "Gypsy Woman," I had a make vocal on the track and it sounded really cool; that's what got everyone's attention at the label, I guess that I flipped on the track and they were like, "Well" we love it." Natalie had been wanting to get on an electronic record; she heard it and the timing could not have been better. I was about eight months pregnant and I was in the studio with her at midnight putting the record together; it was pretty cool.
7) When your fans come see you DJ, is there a sound or something that they know you for?
One thing that people have definitely come to know me for is that I love to take throwbacks, super-old classics, and kind of bring them back into my sets, mixed with the sound of today. So I'll definitely throw in some really fun, out-of-leftfield classics that not everyone is playing and stuff like that. So I definitely like to bring back the classics, which is really cool because the kids don't really know the songs and the older crowd is like, "Whoa this is an awesome song from my childhood," so it's great to see the kids singing it. I really love seeing that. You can also expect to party with me. I'm having just as good a time as they are with dancing the whole time. Before the baby, I was crowd surfing; now I'm a little more cautious. Everyone has a really good time. It gets really wild at my shows.
8) Speaking of classics you've been involved with some classic TV shows and movies. You were on Entourage and in the movie Sorority Row. Do you like acting or DJ-ing more?
Sorority Row was an absolutely hilarious horror film; it was fun to do that. People ask me all the time if I like acting or music more. Honestly, music, because when you are doing a movie you are on the set all day long, you get up for your one moment to perform, which is why actors love what they are doing, and then you don't know for months if anyone will ever see it. When you are DJ-ing, you are performing and it's instant gratification; you see if they are having a good time, you see if they are loving your work. So yes, I like DJ-ing more.
9) You've been featured on the cover of many magazines over the years, including Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, Nylon ...
I also dabbled in some modeling when I was younger and then it kind of became more of hiring not a model, but having Caroline D'Amore for articles.
10) You've done TV, film, modeling, DJ-ing, and now you are doing radio. What can you tell us about what you are doing with Dash Radio?
DJ Skee, the CEO and brains behind it all, had a show on KIIS FM and he had me on the show to play one of my songs I did with Stonebridge. It was a song I wrote called "Music Man." I just boldly walked into his office after our interview and said, "I want my own show on radio." It's big in the electronic world for DJs to have their own shows; almost everyone does, and he said, "Okay, sure, why not." So I started doing my own weekly show called Heartbeats and within a few weeks it was picked up by a national syndicator. It's been syndicated in over 37 countries; a few of my guests have included Alesso, The Chainsmokers and Ferry Corsten. It's been blowing up; it's so much fun. From that, Dash Radio came along and being the main person in electronic music that Skee knew, he said, "How about you program four radio stations for me ... all the electronica stuff here?" I'd never programmed before, but I was heavily into the music and I was getting sent all of the new music from all of the labels for my radio show at the time, so I thought why not.
It's pretty cool to see both sides of the world. I'm hearing every record and I'm making my own records, so I might have a slight edge because I am hearing so many things. It's really fun. I get to work with so many artists and I love having the power to be able to help so many artists, so many unknown as well as up-and-coming artists. It's not just the biggest labels sending me music to play; it's people and artists from all over the world giving me good records that I can play. If your record is a great record, I am going to play it.
If you could be on the cover of one magazine with a feature story today, which one would it be?
Without a doubt it would be Rolling Stone.
What's one must have travel item?
Obviously I need my computer, because I am always working on edits for my sets. You need a pillow. I'm always that girl walking through the airport with a big pillow. And I also use traveling as the only time to read trashy magazines, silly magazines ... nothing too out of the ordinary.