Yes, they’re Swedish. No, they aren’t part of a bikini team, nor will you see them spin while wearing one. And yes, they can actually mix.
For females in the DJ world, there’s still the added scrutiny regarding skills thanks to numerous former models slapping on some pasties, picking up a pair of headphones and buying a laptop. But Rebecca Scheja and Fiona Fitzpatrick are on the path to proving they’re more than just a pair of pretty faces and in-demand vocalists who’ve worked with Kaskade. They’re legit, passionate producers first, and earned support from Tiësto for their track “Bullets.” We chat with the duo working their way up the ranks in the boys’ club of electronic music before their next set at Marquee Dayclub on May 18.
What are your respective music backgrounds before you got into electronic music?
Fitzpatrick: Both our fathers are respected musicians in Sweden. My father did a lot of synth music in the ’80s and produced big artists, and Rebecca’s father is a classical pianist.
Do they ever help with your productions?
Scheja: No, not with productions. Fiona’s father is remixing our stuff sometimes. He’s a good producer, and of course they influenced us to make music from the beginning.
Fitzpatrick: He gave me Cubase [music software] when I was 10, I think, and he always wanted me to do music.
What challenges do you face in such a male-dominated industry?
Fitzpatrick: There’s a lot of sexism, of course. You could turn it into something negative, but for us it’s only been very positive because it’s always easier for us to stand [out].
Scheja: Because we are girls, they look one more time. But then the guys in the business treat us pretty bad sometimes, like look down on us, like they don’t respect us in the same way they would male DJs.
Fitzpatrick: We don’t want to just sing on [tracks], we want to produce together, but people are just asking for our vocals all the time because that’s what they think we do, I guess. So that’s interesting.
Scheja: A guy actually came up to me [while DJing at Lavo] and was like, “This is amazing, everything is amazing, but are you actually mixing?” That question to me is like, how can you even ask? I felt so offended.
Is there added pressure on you to …
Fitzpatrick: To show our boobs? [Laughs.]
Well, pressure to appear a certain way?
Fitzpatrick: No, we’re very male in the way we are; we don’t wear high-heeled shoes, we don’t dress up that way at all because we’re all about the music. We don’t have that big of boobs to show, either! [Laughs.]
How would you describe your personal style?
Fitzpatrick: It’s very cheap. We buy vintage clothes, both for the price but also for the environment and in Sweden …
Scheja: We affect a lot of young kids.
Fitzpatrick: What clothes they buy. We don’t want them to buy lots of expensive and stupid stuff.
Scheja: It doesn’t make you happy to buy the new style everyday because it always changes; find what you like and make your own personality.
How do you make your sets stand out from other DJs?
Fitzpatrick: She’s a Nazi mixer! Rebecca plans everything.
Scheja: I’m very sensitive to melody; I want it to go well together. I usually listen a lot to the music that we’re gonna play and try to find the perfect match with every song.
Fitzpatrick: We hear that everybody says they do a different Vegas set, but we’re doing exactly the same sets.
Scheja: We’d never change, not for anybody.
Fitzpatrick: We don’t play any of the big hits, we don’t play any of the big vocals. We play pretty underground actually.
Scheja: We play what we like, and we hope to make people like it as well.
Fitzpatrick: It takes a while. Maybe the first 20 minutes people are like, “What is this?” Then people get into it. We love introducing new music and teaching people new music.