Ayesha Adamo is a DJ, producer, recording artist, and actor, and this is her super-long bio for all you über-fans. Yes, now would be the time to take that potty break and silence your cell phones. It’s gonna be a while.
Ayesha grew up by the oceans and sands of the pre-Snooki era Jersey Shore in the tiny town of Island Heights. Her love of music first developed during many years of ballet class, which ultimately lead her to New York to pursue a career as a professional ballerina. She stepped off the bus with a suitcase full of pointe shoes and visions of sugar plums, but soon found herself in sparkles and glowsticks, working as a club dancer at the legendary superclub, Twilo. That’s where Ayesha first took an interest in DJing, and it was only a few nights of glitter and neon before she saved up enough money to buy her first 1200′s and teach herself the art of beat-mixing.
Not long after, Ayesha began classes at Barnard College, with an interest in studying computer music at Columbia University’s Computer Music Center, the oldest center for electronic music in the United States, founded in the 1950s. She lied about being able to read sheet music, and soon found herself as a freshman in her first graduate level music class on electronic music composition, taught by Thanassis Rikakis and his then-TA, Luke DuBois. The first program she learned? Max/MSP: probably the last program in the world any DJ wants to fuss with. Such was Ayesha’s crash course in electronic music and sound synthesis. But that was only the beginning…
While in Taiwan on a summer scholarship program to study Chinese, Ayesha unexpectedly found herself joining pop singing group Beauty4 and signing with EMI Records. Beauty4 released their first album to much success, particularly considering that they were the first international, racially mixed group to release a Mandarin Chinese album in Taiwan, singing and interviewing entirely in Chinese. The group toured Taiwan and other areas in Asia, and Beauty4 found themselves all over TV, radio, and the side of public busses.
Of course, Ayesha still had a passion for DJing, and it was her special blend of techno, trance and deep house that ultimately landed her the opportunity to record her first double mix CD set for the Muzik Boutique series on Highnote Records (映象唱片). She continued to play clubs all over Taiwan, including a residency at 2F–one of the largest clubs in Taipei—as well as nights at the legendary Texound and the ever-popular Luxy.
Upon returning to the US to finish school, Ayesha continued to play DJ gigs in North and Central America. She worked to finish her degree in Music at Columbia University, where she continued to hone her skills in both electronic music production and classical music theory and composition. By now, she no longer had to lie about being able to read sheet music…or being able to write it either, for that matter. She graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Ethel Stone LeFrak Prize in Music, as well as several awards in poetry—all of which was in keeping with her path as a burgeoning songwriter.
Being the chronic over-achiever that she probably always will be, Ayesha figured that this would be a great time to up the ante on her acting abilities, having been a SAG member since the nineties. She first took on the rigorous two-year Meisner program at William Esper Studios where she studied with Nancy Mayans, Deb Jackel, and Karen Chamberlain. She then continued her studies with celebrated acting coach and Artistic Director of The American Place Theater, Wynn Handman, who has trained many excellent actors including Michael Douglas, Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, and Richard Gere.
During the acting years, Ayesha still managed to flex her singer/songwriter muscles and collaborate on rock music project, Loss of Eden, recorded with producer Danny Leake (Kanye West, Janet Jackson, Sting, Hank Williams Jr, Stevie Wonder) and vocal producer Fran Allen Leake. Unlike her previous pop and dance incarnations, this project emphasized an earthy, naturalistic, under-produced approach. With lush layers of un-auto-tuned vocals and harmonies, as well as songwriting partner David Deau’s stunning layers of guitars, the Loss of Eden project is Ayesha’s most honest and raw work to date.
Coming full circle, Ayesha now returns to her EDM roots, and has begun work on several hot new tracks as one half of dance music duo, Alchemical Disco. Juggling her roles as producer, vocalist, and DJ, it seems that Ayesha has finally found the perfect fit for her talent that has always been, and hopefully always will be, delightfully far outside the box.
Ayesha has played in clubs across the globe as a DJ and is one half of the production team, Alchemical Disco. Her first DJ mix CD release was a boxed set for the Muzik Boutique series on Highnote Records (映象唱片). Ayesha plays a melodically complex and aggressively building mixture of tech house, deep house, techno, trance, progressive and nu disco. Though her style has changed over the years, her excellent ear for melodic but tasteful tracks in any genre remains constant, as does her aptitude for seamlessly programmed and effortlessly extended beatmixes that don’t shy away from risk taking. While Ayesha began her DJ career spinning vinyl, she currently prefers Ableton and the APC 40, which allows her to bring elements of a live-PA-style set into her DJing. Her latest mixes can be found on Beatport. Other mixes are available on SoundCloud, while her previous podcasts for Knights of Pan can be found at www.knightsofpan.com. To keep posted on upcoming performance dates, go to Ayesha’s Facebook or Twitter.
Download Ayesha’s latest mix here: http://mixes.beatport.com/mix/dj-ayesha-adamo-live-at-transcend-volume-4/124969
Ayesha began her music career as a member of pop sensation, Beauty4, a Spice-Girls-style girl group who released their first self-titled album on EMI Records Taiwan and performed internationally in Asia. Following her Asian pop success, Ayesha earned a BA in Music from Barnard College, Columbia University, confirming her ability to write both a pop hook and a Bach chorale. It was also during her college years that Ayesha honed her skills as a music producer, and she was awarded the Ethel Stone LeFrak Prize in Music upon graduation. Prior to her emergence as one half of Alchemical Disco, Ayesha collaborated on rock project, Loss of Eden, and contributed top lines and lyrics to projects with various producers.
Ayesha’s love of performing began with ballet. She has attended some of the most highly regarded ballet training programs in America, including summer programs at the School of American Ballet, the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and on scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dance USA summer program. In her late teens, she also fell in love with club dancing, and worked as a dancer at some of the best raves and nightclubs in New York, including Twilo, developing a signature style that was all her own. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she developed further as a choreographer, completing a minor in dance.
As an actor, Ayesha has trained for three years with legendary acting coach, Wynn Handman. Wynn founded The American Place Theatre in 1963, and has trained many excellent actors including Michael Douglas, Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, and Richard Gere. Ayesha is also a graduate of the two-year Meisner training program at William Esper Studios, where she studied with Nancy Mayans, Deb Jackel, and Karen Chamberlain. Ayesha continues to assist Nancy Mayans in teaching her Mayans Method Energy Training for Actors classes.
Writing has always been one of Ayesha’s stronger suits. While at Barnard College, Columbia University, Ayesha was awarded the Lenore Marshall Barnard Prize for Poetry and Helene Searcy Puls Poetry Prize (third). She created and served as Editor-in-chief of Trigger93—a printed and online literary journal loosely modeled after the early Semiotext(e), but focused primarily on magickal studies and cultural issues. Her work has appeared in Critical Quarterly, the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, Alternet.org, and Salon.com.
As you probably already know if you found your way to my blog, the debut release from Alchemical Disco (my new music project) is out now on Beatport. Since its release on July 23rd, it’s made the genre releases charts on Beatport (#23 in Electro House, #26 in Indie Dance/Nu Disco, and #89 in Tech
In case you missed it, here’s my last mix of 2013: TRANSCEND Volume 4. It made it all the way up to #23 on the Beatport mixes countdown, which is especially great because it’s my personal favorite mix of the series so far. Recorded live at Dark Room, NYC on September 25th, this volume has
Brilliant photographer John DeAmara does it again! Here are the pics from our last amazing shoot in Brooklyn. Enjoy!
Let’s celebrate the weird-ass squash that’s undeniably the cornerstone of Thanksgiving as we know it. Check out this festive piece, penned by Colin Nissan and performed by my alter ego, Little Custard. Laugh and give thanks:
In a grand streak of awesomeness, my most recent live DJ mix, TRANSCEND 2, reached #40 on the Beatport Top 100 mixes! This new one is a blend of progressive and deep trance grooves, that combines the latest from Pryda and Michael Woods with a few timeless Twilo favorites from back in the day. TRANSCEND
Check out my latest DJ mix, recorded live at Dark Room on the Lower East Side. This recording is the opening set of the very first night of TRANSCEND—an all new weekly party brought to you by the Trance music impresarios at Eris Revolution. Starting out in Tech House, this mix builds all the way
Who can manage to diss Rooney Mara and Conceptual Art all in one great article on the Punk exhibit at The Met? Many birds, one stone: how I roll? Check it out here on Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/culture/punk-met-people-whove-never-had-safety-pin-their-clothes And as if that weren’t enough, here’s another piece I did on the perennially awesome Lauryn Hill…who got into
At long last, I’ve finally posted an hour mix from one of my sets at New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Evenings in April. Spinning World Music for a change was an amazing challenge, and I think you’ll agree that journeying outside my usual EDM box has allowed me to create a mix that’s truly unique
World Music: it’s a crazy thing, but some of these people actually recorded their songs without using a click track! (All you DJs out there know what I’m talking about). Luckily the music itself is amazing and I’m excited to be spinning it tonight, tomorrow, and for the next few Fridays among the lovely tropical
Somewhere in between performing finger-tapping choreography in a cell phone commercial and compiling a Sitar Songbook for my DJing gig at the New York Botanical Gardens, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for Alternet.org. The two-part article that I did on Harmony Korine’s fantastic new film Spring Breakers has been trending pretty heavily, with
Traveling home on the train today with no giant plush teddy bear on the seat next to you? Me too! Awesome. Who needs another animal that was stuffed in China, prix fixe dinners, or chocolates from Duane Reade. Instead, I give you this mix. It’s the live recording from my set at Good Times Rivington
After a recent kung fu accident, I found myself weak in the knees…but not for long. I’m glad to report that I’m swiftly recovering from my recent ACL reconstruction—but be warned: the photos below are not for the faint of heart! I knew right away as I fell from a spinning jump and heard that familiar
Just in case you missed the show at Tammany Hall on the 13th, here are some photos to catch you up. Sorry, no one captured the moment when Georgia stripped down to that bright pink plastic codpiece on film, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
You never know what you might find when you show up at a yard sale…or when you show up at Sunshine to check out an unrated film because your friend’s friend is the DP. After reading the press online, I was a bit skeptical—thinking silly things like, “Not another film with a famous person’s kid
I was staying down in Soho with Henry after we returned to the city, having decided to cut short our weekend tour of Amish, coal, and hydrofracking sites in Pennsylvania. On the road back from Western PA, there were already caravans of electrical and tree cutting vehicles from as far as Missouri and Indiana,
Lily P, my best friend from high school, is getting married, and this weekend the boys are out in the Hamptons doing bachelor things…which leaves us in Manhattan with crepes, champagne, and those really cute fashion busboys at that Italian restaurant. Girls night!
What a killer night! After a few early technical difficulties, laid down a truly epic set at the inauguration of Good Times at House of Yes in Brooklyn last night. I love this crowd because I get to play all the big floor stuff for the real dancers that they all are. Tarik Najeddine sure
I remember my first class with Nancy Mayans at Esper Studios. When she walked into the room, it was like a tidal wave of Qi had just filled the place. I thought to myself, “I’ll have what she’s having.” For the next two years at Esper, I had the pleasure of studying Voice and Speech
I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing some of your lovely faces at Asellina—the restaurant in the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel where I’ve been DJing a bit lately. For those of you that I haven’t seen, have I got a live mix for you! One of the amazing things about DJing at Asellina is that
As many of you know, I have the wonderful good fortune of being able to study with one of the greatest living acting coaches, Wynn Handman. If you’re outside of the theater world, or even inside it, and haven’t heard of him, don’t beat yourself up over it. Finding his class requires having an ear
One of my poems from the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology has been included in the most recent issue of Critical Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, UK). Critical Quarterly is a lively literary-critical journal that cross-pollinates between cultural studies and creative writing. This issue (July 2012, Volume 54, Issue 2) is focused on Occupy, with an opening
If you missed Liquid Diet’s performance at R Bar for Mike Madrigal’s Olivia Garden of Eden on June 21st, then you missed a lot I’m afraid. I was singing and even dancing a bit—all without the Tron arm brace from my injury for the very first time! Georgia even propelled us into this impromptu a
You’ve seen her designs on the pages of Zink, Elle and L’Officiel, and on the bodies of Lady Gaga, Ciara and Lydia Hearst. She’s created performances for W Hotel openings, Marc Jacobs holiday parties, Tiesto tours. She is a Showgirl Of The Universe! A Visionary of Visionaries. My favorite entry on her blog has to
It’s that time of the month again…time for more nu disco dancing at Loreley—the best Brooklyn beer garden under the BQE. Yes, I’ll still be wearing my Tron arm, as healing from my kung fu accident is a slower process than I’d like, but I think it makes my DJing more bionic. In honor of
Come check out the debut of our all new party at Loreley in Brooklyn! When we get together it’s a serious throwdown, so don’t miss this night of sexy beats, dancefloor hustling and rock nouveau. Here’s the party info: Date: Wednesday April 18, 2012 Event Name: MOVEMENT (now renamed Alchemical Disco) Venue: Loreley Williamsburg, 64
On March 27th, I had the opportunity to participate in Great Small Works’ monthly Spaghetti Dinner Cabaret fundraiser at a fantastic space called One Arm Red out in DUMBO, Brooklyn. I was performing that evening as one of a group of five poets from the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, alongside Stephen Boyer, Ras Osagyefo,
Chelsea boys are serious about Sundays. Clad in their Marc Jacobs best, there’s no doubt about it: in certain downtown circles Sunday is far from being a day of rest. And this past Sunday was no different—except that the crowd at The Griffin was treated to a performance by Liquid Diet (think Whore’s Mascara 2.0),
Just finished this great shoot for Flaunt Magazine with photographer John Rusnak at a secret handmade hooked rug location in the Bronx. Rusnak sets up his shots so meticulously that he doesn’t need to take many, though he does use a combination of black and white Polaroid and digital color. This was a hand/parts shoot
Mic check! So…last night was the first OWS Poetry Anthology event that I’ve attended since back in the fall, when we were meeting in Zuccotti Park. Unlike our previous outdoor meeting grounds, the warm lovely space at St. Mark’s Church in the East Village comes equipped with an actual microphone, though some still preferred to
Don’t be shy. You only risk having me send you email updates for the rest of your natural-born life. I mean…only if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’d love to hear from you!