By Monica Morones
Up and coming DJ Annie Flores, also known as DJ Femme A, has been captivating audiences around the valley with her beauty, style, and most of all, her versatility as a DJ. From electronica to throwbacks, Flores loves to keep her mixes energetic and high-spirited, and is not afraid to cater to the “mainstream.”
MM: How did you come up with the name FEMME A?
AF: Many people do not know this but my full name is AnnaMarie, but most people call me Annie so when I was deciding on an artist name for myself I wanted something that would define myself as a person and artist combined. I have been out for 10 years so that’s when I thought of using the word “femme” and added the ‘A’ to represent my first name. I had a few other names but I went with Femme A because it has both my first and last initials.
MM: How old are you and where are you from?
AF: I’m 31 and I’m from the San Fernando Valley, which is a suburb north of Los Angeles. I first moved to Palm Springs when I was 22 back in 2005 with a former partner which was almost ten years ago. I moved back to L.A. a few times, but my friends and this beautiful town is what keeps me coming back. It has been three years since I moved back to The Coachella Valley and one of the reasons was to pursue music here and to start gigging around town locally.
MM: When did you get into music?
AF: I’ve been infatuated with music since as long as I can remember, anything melodic caught my attention. My grandpa played the harmonica and my dad was a part time drummer during my childhood. I really got into music and learning about artist that I enjoyed when I was about 12 years old. I had a collection of cassette tapes and I would listen to the radio in order to make my own bootleg mix tapes. If I heard a song I liked I’d run to my boombox and hit record and that tape would last about a month before I’d make another one. In High School it was my CD collection that I was obsessed with!
MM: What music did you listen to growing up?
AF: Growing up I’d say I listened to it all, anything from Biggie to Janet Jackson, Nirvana, Ace of Base, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, No Doubt to Bob Marley… Hip Hop, Alternative, R&B pretty much all the 90’s music I was into. Late High School was 99′ so that was when I was introduced to Electronica Dance Music and the more “underground” scene. When I was 18 l discovered Electro… like Miss Kittin, Felix Da House Cat, Green Velvet and I absolutely fell in love. That lead me to more and more electronica artists who I still enjoy and put in my sets today.
MM: When did you know you wanted to become a DJ?
AF: I remember being on a field trip in Jr High, we went to visit a College Campus and I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I just blurted out that I wanted to be a DJ. When I was old enough to “club” that was when I was able to see live DJ’s and was more and more inspired, so deep down I knew then.
MM: When did you become a DJ professionally?
AF: I’ve been a DJ and learning the art for a few years, but I had my first paid gig almost a year and a half ago in 2013. Since then I’m grateful and lucky to say that one gig lead to the next, and next, and next. I’ve worked with clubs, bars with Entertainment Companies and promoters at Boudoir Entertainment, Plab Productions, at Copa Nightclub, Clinic Bar, Alibi’s, The Curve Hotel, weddings and even corporate events like Saks Fifth Ave (Alice & Olivia Day Event), The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce & The Desert Aids project.
MM: Who are your favorite musical inspirations?
AF: One of my biggest inspirations is Gwen Stefani, although she is not a DJ I’ve looked up to her as an artist since I was 14 years old. I love her style when she is performing, her attitude is always positive and she always comes off as being grateful in interviews. Miss Kittin is another inspiration and I first heard of her 13 years ago. I love the fact that she is a female DJ, singer and producer. I love her sound -it’s dark electro/ electronica.
MM: I saw you are going to the Arts Institute for music and engineering…what is the ultimate goal?
AF: Yes, I am an Audio Production student at the Art Institute & I initially started with the intent of doing Sound Engineering in major studios but since I’ve been in school I’ve had the opportunity to learn Sound Design for videos and it’s pretty awesome. At this point in my education today, I plan on continuing to obtain my degree and I’m keeping my options open until I’m near the end of my program which will be in 18 months.
MM: What do you think of the music scene in the Coachella Valley?
AF: I love that the music scene out here has grown compared to 9 years ago when I first moved here. Since I’ve started gigging I have met many artists, musicians and DJ’s that I never knew before but I have to say it’s pretty sweet to see that a community of one does exist and I’m excited for what the future brings. I’m proud of my town but I’m still in awe when I think about how there are so many new bars & venues that are open to having local artists showcase their talent and passion.
MM: What makes you different than any other DJ out there?
AF: I think what makes me different is that I don’t stick to just one genre of music when playing to a crowd and I consider myself to be versatile. I love making people happy by giving them energy through music and I’m not afraid to play what I know people like, even if it is “mainstream”.
MM: What is it like being a female DJ in a male dominated profession?
AF: Sometimes I don’t realize it’s an all-male profession but other times it gets interesting, but I have no major complaints.
MM: What kind of mixes do you like to do? What would you describe as your style?
AF: When I create mixes it’s usually include songs that I am really into at that particular moment. Lately they have been very Electronica Dance Music inspired such as Trap, Electro House, Big Room, some House and anything else, funky, that has deep sounding bass and makes you want to dance. I would describe my style of mixes as versatile but EDM influenced.