Tag Archives: dj lady lane

Saturday Site Love: Paying Our Dues

13 Mar

Today’s Saturday Site Love is actually a reminder for you to check out the websites, blogs, podcasts, and mixes of some of the artists we have featured here, lest you somehow forget to check out what they’re up to these days.

Here’s a little roundup:

DJ Lady Lane: DJ, actress, model, and personality powerhouse

can be found on facebook, pod-o-matic, twitter, her blog, her site, and spinning throughout Vancover (her most recent stomping ground)

her interview (parts 1 and 2), photoshoot, and exclusive mix for Retail DJ (+ special goodie remix)

NSR: Noah Souder-Russo, MC/rapper, DJ, charismatic musical overachiever

can be found on myspace, facebook, twitter,  and oftentimes playing at Gallery Bar and Arrow Bar

his interviews (parts 1 and 2), photoshoot, and exclusive mix for Retail DJ

EZRAKH: producer, DJ, pensive source of inspiration

can be found on facebook, twitter, his site, his soundcloud, and spinning throughout NYC and NJ

his interview (parts 1 and 2), photoshoot, and exclusive mix for Retail DJ (+ special goodie remix)

Felix Flores: singer/songwriter, fashion-forward citizen of the world

can be found on facebook, myspace, his site, and this month, doing projects and performing throughout Mexico

his interview (parts 1 and 2), photoshoot, and tracklist for Retail DJ

Enjoy the work from these amazing artists, and keep checking outretaildj.com for more where these came from!

Retail DJ


Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane – The Mix

4 Feb

DJ Lady Lane was kind enough to make an exclusive mix for us here at Retail DJ! Her “Get Dressed to This” Mix fuses tracks that go from grown and sexy to young and silly, chill to dance, and overall really encompasses the ideal vibe for getting ready for the weekend by way of music.

Retail DJ Presents . . . DJ Lady Lane’s Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane – The Mix

Retail DJ Presents Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane – the Mix by RetailDJ


“Boop Boop” Betty Boop
“Jumping Jack” Tune-Yards
“Chemical Edu K-tion” (Croookers Remix Mashup w/ DJ Lady Lane)
[“The Salmon Dance (Crookers Remix)” The Chemical Brothers, “Dr Love (Remix)”-Crookers &
“Gatas Gatas Gatas” Edu K ft. Crookers]
“Zap Zap” Cut Copy
“Jungle Fever” Chakachas
“Smooth Criminal (Bugz In The Attic Vocal Remix)” J.Viewz
“Crawl All Over” J*DaVeY
“Funky Shit” The Prodigy
“Doo Doo Brown feat. Luke” 2 Live Crew
“Up In The Club” Swizz Beatz ft Lil’ Wayne
“Show Me What You Go”t Jay-Z
“Nasty Boy Remix” Notorious B.I.G.
“Hold the Line (DJ Lady Lane Extra Booty ReFix)” Major Lazer
“Une Bande De Mecs Sympas” TTC
“Harder Better Stronger Faster  (Neptunes Remix)”  Daft Punk
“Nightlite feat. Bajka”  Bonobo

Also, check out DJ Lady Lane’s pod-O-matic page, which includes a slew of other awesome mixes!

– – – –


Special thanks to . . .

Rena Anakwe, aka DJ Lady Lane, for being so gracious in sharing so much of yourself with us and being so energetic in all of our group endeavors . . .


Kristal Munoz, for yet another awesome set of photos and GRW question contributions

– Retail DJ

Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane!

4 Feb

Remember DJ Lady Lane, whom we interviewed back in January? We were lucky enough to get ahold of her again to watch her get ready. Though in the process of moving out of the country (!), DJ Lady Lane was chill enough to let us come over amid suitcases to watch a Jersey Shore marathon on mute, listen to some music, and ultimately invade her space entirely to take some pics of her getting purty.

Her style fits her personality quite well–an eclectic yet easy blend of glamour and grunge. Her outfits are Saks Fifth Avenue meets American Apparel, Betsey Johnson meets thrift store. So take a moment with us to check out what we did a few weekends ago in Brooklyn as we Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane!


Retail DJ: Why are you into makeup now more so than before?
DJ Lady Lane: Now [makeup is] easier because I know how to do it. Before, it used to be so tedious. I used to not care about it as much, but then once I put on makeup, I realized that it looked nice, and I thought, “Why not do it?” So I don’t think there’s any problem with putting a little bit on. I like something really natural that’s fast and easy. My whole concern is that if it takes too much time out of my daily schedule, then it’s not worth it. My makeup routine really doesn’t take that long. I feel like it takes longer to fix myself up without makeup because then I spend so much time trying to overcompensate for some other dumb sh*t.

Whenever I’d go out to a party, I’d always put on mascara. My favorite mascara—my secret weapon—is one I have by Christian Dior. Typically, I don’t like spending a lot on makeup products, but then it seems like all of it starts costing the same—it doesn’t really matter what brand, especially if you’re getting something of quality. I used to just use Maybelline (you know, the pink tube), but then my mom gave me this, and I really liked it.

Retail DJ: What other makeup lines do you typically use?
DJ Lady Lane: I really like Smashbox foundation because it’s really easy and it’s not cakey. It’s also good for cover-up. I was given some Laura Mercier concealer as a gift from a friend Alex who used to be a makeup artist. It’s really great, especially for under-eye circles. Sometimes, I’ll have a late night, and I don’t want to wake up looking like I’ve been fighting people [laughs]. I like Nars for blush and eyeshadow. Alex gave me some really good Nars eyeliner too. I used to put it on with the pencil, but then I switched to applying it with a brush because I got tired of stabbing myself in the eye! I typically only put eyeliner on my bottom lid, like if I am going out at night.

Retail DJ: Your eyes are great for eye makeup because they are a bit bigger, so you can have more range, more fun with what you do to the lid, etc.
DJ Lady Lane: Yeah, when I was younger, I used to kind of mess around with eye makeup but never really took it seriously, but now it’s fun because I have real brushes that don’t have fibers that fall out in your face! [laughs].

Retail DJ: Do you have brush preferences too?
DJ Lady Lane: Yeah, I really like the brushes by EcoTools. They don’t cost too much, and they are made of bamboo and earth-friendly. I think I got them at Duane Reade. They come in a carrying case. One day, I saw them and I just thought, “Let me try these,” and they worked out really well.

Retail DJ: Is there anything that’s a must have in your makeup kit? Something you cannot live without?
DJ Lady Lane: There’s this really cool lipgloss that I have that has a little bit of color, but some menthol too, so it serves as a balm. It’s very light. I don’t like wearing lipstick. I also have a water-based blush I love by Alison Raffaele called “Inner Glow.” I really like samples too, because it makes it easy for you to mix and match products, colors, etc.

Retail DJ: What colors work best for you?
DJ Lady Lane: Actually, almost anything works. Before I used to be big into color on my face. I am not in earth tones; I’m just noooooot. I’m sorry [laughs]. People always try to put earth tones on me, and I’m like, “I really don’t think that’s for me.” I am still into colors, but in terms of eye shadow and stuff, I just need a light tint. I don’t like looking like I put on a whole bunch of sh*t.

Retail DJ: Do you think the colors you use are reflected in the music you play?
DJ Lady Lane: Yeah! There’s a subtlety, but it’s like a morphing thing. It’ll be like, “Oh, that’s my song, then ‘BAM!’ you don’t know what that was!” [laughs] it’s like, “Oh there’s a little pink in there!”
Retail DJ: The artists or the color? [laughs]
DJ Lady Lane: It’s a bit like a patchwork quilt. That’s how my music is sometimes. It all fits together, though. There’s a continuing line that goes through the story that I tell each time I spin, but those little underlying subtleties are always nice little surprises. I like to shake it up a little bit with the random songs.

Retail DJ: What do you think differs between the makeup routines you had when you were doing more modeling vs. now that you do your own makeup?
DJ Lady Lane: For photoshoots, the amount of makeup that is put on you is a lot more. They cake on the makeup—they put on a face for you, even though they say that the end result is going to be really natural (which is how it appears in the photos). It’s the makeup artist’s interpretation of you. They are dressing your face based on how they think you should look. And some of them get it, some of them do not. But I like doing things myself.

Retail DJ: How long does your makeup/hair routine typically take when you’re ready for personal vs. DJ outings?
DJ Lady Lane: I usually give myself an hour for both. With DJ gigs, I usually have something already set out to wear. The makeup tends to be a little different—i.e. if the event takes place at night, I do a little more with my eyes. I like to pick out a couple things beforehand. I don’t really like bumming it anymore. I did too much of that in undergrad, and now I just think, “eh, I can do that in the house.”

The biggest thing for me now is accessories. [pointing to earrings] These look like clip-ons, but I can’t wear them. They really hurt my ears after a while. I have a problem though – I like buying books, earrings, and sneakers. When I went to Nigeria, I bought a ton of stuff from there!

Mercury – They Used To Sing On House Music DJ MIX by Mercury (Switzerland) [we were playing this during the interview]
The music reminds me of like, some freakin’ vogueing music, which I LOVE. I love watching balls on youtube. That’s a recent thing that was introduced to me like, last year, and I love it.

Retail DJ: I know that you said when you went to California, you had to make quite a shift appearance-wise (i.e. in terms of hairstyles, etc). How did that move affect your clothing style, if at all?
DJ Lady Lane: At that point, I realized there was a lot of crap in my closet. I had a ton of ragtag pieces, and I wanted more quality pieces and less quantity. Bloomingdales is trying to make me poor—they keep having sales and putting that info in my inbox, so I’m tempted to buy sh*t (and I do)! [laughs] I also wasn’t really into heels for a while because THEY HURT and I am partial to flats. But I found heels that DON’T hurt, that are high, and that I can walk in. There’s a good pair of Miss Sixty shoes that I found. I still do thrifting here and there, but I realized that so I switched to more of a focus on quality.

Retail DJ: So can you tell us a little bit about what you’re wearing?
DJ Lady Lane: This is a dress I bought recently from Bloomingdale’s online, which is sometimes risky because you don’t know how it’s going to fit. It’s made by Aqua. I thought it would be great for a party or something. Another thing I really like about it is that it has pockets. When I first bought it, I realized it was a little big, but fortunately it came with a little belt. But I would have moments where I would be like, “Um, is my dress still on? Because it’s kind of breezy all of a sudden.” [laughs] I wore it once in Vancouver with some snakeskin high-waisted tights from American Apparel.

[Pointing at leggings] Sometimes I run around the city in these, even though I KNOW leggings are not pants.
Retail DJ: So the choice to wear leggings with a more formal dress. . . how does that work out?
DJ Lady Lane: It’s honestly more for the cold. Usually, I would wear stirrup tights, but not the baggy old school ones, but the tights so that they STAY ON! The only reason I wear them is because they are comfortable! I have slim hips, so it’s hard for the tights to stay on and the stirrup part helps.


In terms of the boots…sometimes I make inappropriate clothing choices, but they’re comfortable. I call these my “homeless boots.” My mom hates them and threatens to throw them out! I bought these for like $20. They are by Palladium. I haven’t worn something like this in a while, but I don’t have my real going out shoes with me right now. Typically I’d wear this with my favorite Miss Sixty shoes I mentioned earlier.

Retail DJ: When you’re getting ready, is there a specific type of music you prefer?
DJ Lady Lane: It depends on my mood. I used to like getting ready to “Marina Gasolina” [by Bonde do Role]! It would put me in party mode. But then, when you go out, it’s like no one plays that song!

I also used to like getting ready to “Good Life” [by Inner City ]. But again, it depends on my mood.

For a while, I couldn’t get “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath out of my head! That has a sick beat to it, though! [laughs] The composition to that song is amazing. Black Sabbath is awesome.

Retail DJ: Typically, when you are getting ready, do you have any weird idiosyncrasies?
DJ Lady Lane: I have a perfume ritual! I was told it’s a little strange, especially by my friends. I have a tendency to spray…you know! I think you need to spray all the “good parts”! I spray everywhere!

Crotch spray! [all laugh] My favorite is Bulgari. I love the smell of it. Sometimes in the summer, I get in a Betsey Johnson mood. I go by seasons, because I feel like you change every season.


This bag is by Michael Kors (a gift from my mom. I love my mom!). This works with the outfit because I don’t do mixed metals! Gold with gold. With pearls, you can get away with stuff, but not metals.

Retail DJ: What about when you’re dancing? What’s important?
DJ Lady Lane: If the music is really good, I forget what shoes I have on and then afterwards, I’m like, “Oh, I can’t feel my legs!” I can dance in anything, but comfortable shoes are important for the long haul! When I go out (because I don’t get a chance to go out that much), I GO OUT! But I like to comfortable. I don’t like going to frou frou places where it’s all about appearance. I feel like I have more fun where everybody’s more comfortable with themselves.

Retail DJ: Do you have anyspecific source of inspiration?
DJ Lady Lane: I am just a non-conformist. Don’t tell me what’s in and tell me what I’m supposed to be wearing based on what they say on, like, Good Morning America. I say dress comfortably. I just like to be myself. I say avoid trends and focus on quality not quantity. I just pick whatever I want. Whatever makes me feel good and gives off good energy, then that’s cool. Clothes sometimes find you in a way. . .


 You can check out the entire Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane photosession here: Get Ready With DJ Lady Lane (on Picasa) 

– Retail DJ

DJ Lady Lane Re-work of Major Lazer’s “Hold the Line”

3 Feb

diplo + switch = major lazer

Here’s DJ Lady Lane’s take on Major Lazer’s “Hold Line”:

via A DJ Lady Lane…..Remix aka The Love Child: LadyLazer (Major Lazer & DJ Lady Lane)

Be on the lookout for some fun new effects in this dacefloor banger!

You can subscribe to DJ Lady Lane’s podcast via itunes.

Also, stay posted for her Exclusive Mix for Retail DJ!

– Retail DJ

What’s Good? DJ Lady Lane (Part Two)

19 Jan

Here is the continuation of the What’s Good? Interview of DJ Lady Lane (continued from Part One)

Retail DJ: Can you tell us a little bit about your first official gig?

DJ Lady Lane: 169 Bar . Everybody has to have a sh*tty gig. The sad part about it is that my playing was not shitty, the venue was. When I saw an episode of Flight of the Concords where they played air guitar in the bar,  I thought it was hilarious and figured it would be fine for a first gig. The host wanted music that did not go past the 60s; he wanted all this random stuff. And I had it! He told me, “Don’t play any funk” even though it’s a good basis to get people moving, especially on a Monday night.

I get there, set myself up, no problems. He’s playing music already and I was like, “Oh, there’s music playing. Ok…” So finally, he was like, “Ok, I can let you play, but you can listen go some music first if you want…” But I let him know that I had the type of music he had requested and things that were good for a Monday night. So I start playing, and he puts his music on over mine, leading me to think, “What the f*ck is going on?” The thing is is that he had agreed to pay me a certain percentage from the bar if I played for 2 hours. What happened by the end of the night? He cut me off by putting his music on over mine THREE TIMES. During the course of the night, people came up to me asking how long I would be there, what songs I was playing, if I was going to be back as a regular guest, etc, and I just told them to go ask “that guy over there.”

It turns out that, by the end of the night, I didn’t play a consistent 2 hours because he’d cut me off and I’d have to stop as he put his music on over mine. [sigh] I was pissed, and just thought, “OK I’M DONE!” Considering you never know when you are going to see someone again, I didn’t want to be rude, but I just started packing my stuff up by the third time he put his music on over mine. It was unfortunate because people would start to dance to my music and then he’d put on his music over mine, saying, “You see? You didn’t know that I like French pop,” even though I played plenty of it, leaving me to wonder what the heck he was talking about.

I happen to have a lot of random music from traveling a lot and picking up music from friends along the way. But at the end of all of this, even though the experience was weird, I walked away from the experience having picked up a lot of good music from him having asked for all these obscure things.

So my first gig, I was just thinking, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that just happened,” but it was a learning experience at least. I was upset, particularly because I was providing a service that I ended up not even being compensated for because of an unfair situation. However, I knew I had done a good job and I was happy with that. I am always so honored when people come up to me to tell me they are enjoying my work.

Retail DJ: Did this first gig change the way you felt about DJing?

DJ Lady Lane: No, but coming away from this, I wanted more advice. I knew that I didn’t want to do DJ classes because I like teaching myself and learn better that way. I decided to look into Black Girls Rock, which is a mentorship program started by DJ Beverly Bond and Michaela Angela Davis, but it was for people who were much younger than me. So I thought, ok, maybe DJ Beverly Bond could mentor me? That’d be cool. So I contacted them in the hopes of volunteering (i.e. doing a fitness program with the girls since I box) and bartering in the sense that then I could work with Beverly as my mentor. I sent them an email and called, and then someone called me. It was DJ Beverly Bond. She told me that my email had gotten lost, but that she wanted to call me back. I explained everything to her, knowing that I have never really been sure of what to do in a mentorship as the mentee. And when she called, Beverly just let me ask her questions then, and we ended up talking for about 20 minutes.

I am not sure if she knows this, though I hope she does—she is the reason I even ever started playing out anywhere. I was a bedroom DJ to the fullest. I would practice every day, but wouldn’t go out because I wasn’t sure what to do. But she gave me some of the best advice. She’s the one who told me about Pod-o-matic, she suggested Twitter, she made me feel better about not having a “crew,” and explained that it wasn’t really necessary in the first place. The only reason she was in a crew was because she was discovered by Heavy Hitters Crew, who asked her to join. She also explained that when she first started, she often opened for other acts. And while she didn’t get money, it was worth the experience and the exposure.

The advice and knowledge she imparted to me was invaluable, something I could truly never put a price on. That conversation is what gave me the courage to just start calling places. She also gave me connections to other female djs, like DJ Kiss and DJ Reborn. I then went on facebook and started a DJ Lady Lane page, I began using Pod-o-Matic and put up a mix.

But then I realized I needed more space, and that this would require another investment. So my when my dad realized how things were going, he volunteered to help. After all of that, I contacted DJ Reborn, who is the NICEST person. She is very busy, but got back to me and said I could open for her!

But I ended up going to California and getting an agent, so then that changed things completely.

More after the jump!

Continue reading

What’s Good?: DJ Lady Lane (Part 1)

15 Jan

One chilly January afternoon, despite my having been unable to get to Memphis due to a cancelled flight, I couldn’t have been happier to be in the city. Afterall, I was spending time with a talented Jill of All Trades: model, actress, and most recently DJ, who has a penchant for Polaroid film and cassette tapes. Between her imitation of her Nigerian parents’ accents and her thoughts on leggings, Rena Anakwe, better known to the club scene as DJ Lady Lane, had me practically rolling on the floor with her humor. Her energy, drive, and optimism are what have gotten her as far as she has come today, but clearly her amazing personality is what keeps her there.

I hope you, too, can gather from this interview alone, why DJ Lady Lane was the perfect person to use for Retail DJ’s first “What’s Good?” interview. May you enjoy reading it as much as I did conducting it:

DJ Lady Lane interview part 1


Retail DJ: I know that you’re on Twitter, and RetailDJ is on Twitter now, so we can be Twitter buddies! I wanted to open this interview by asking, if you could “tweet” your life, put your life in 140 characters, what would you say?

DJ Lady Lane: Before I answer that, I just want to say that I think it’s bullsh*t that you can only tweet 140 characters, but then I found this extension thing that Questlove posted, so I was like haha! I should not even use that because then it’s gonna be extensive. People would be like, “Why is she even sharing these things?”

Retail DJ: Well, you know, Kelly Bensimon from Real Housewives of New York supposedly wrote a whole book on her Blackberry, so… you could possibly tweet your life!

DJ Lady Lane: In multiple tweets or one tweet?

Retail DJ: Only one tweet.

DJ Lady Lane: Not 140 tweets, one tweet [laughs] Hmmm…Nomadic nomad. . . something that I’ve learned. By recognizing love through yourself, you can help and empower others. So through music, travel, and words, the nomadic nomad spreads the word?

Retail DJ: That might more than 140 characters, but that was good!

DJ Lady Lane: Yeah, I was close! I was close! No commas. We don’t need punctuation. [laughs]

Retail DJ: Ok, so in long form, can you tell the readers a little more about who you are? i.e. where you’re from (if that’s even possible because I know you’ve moved a lot)…can you expand your tweet?

DJ Lady Lane: I was born Chinazo Rena Anakwe, for Americans [American accent] “Chinaaaahzoh Reeena Anahkway.” I am the product of Nigerian parents – Nigerian born – of the Igbo tribe. I was actually born in Canada. My parents both met in Nigeria and got married. My dad came to Canada first and was going to school, then brought my mom to Canada. They both worked very hard, got degrees there, then moved to the U.S. They had my brother in Michigan, and my dad got a scholarship to the University of Michigan. Then we moved again. My family has moved a lot – and I am not even in the mafia or the child of diplomats! [laughs]

They traveled for schooling. My parents just wanted to give us a good quality of life and a good share of the opportunities they were seeking as well. So we moved outside of Philadelphia, PA (in Cheltenham). It was a very interesting place.

We then moved to Montgomery County, where I went to an all girls’ school. We then moved to Westchester, NY when I was in 7th grade. My mom was pregnant, so when she had my sister – who just turned 13 in December – we moved. I listened to music before, but I had to sneak a lot of things. My parents never know what anyone’s saying and would sometimes ask [Nigerian accent], “Why are you listening to the words? We are just dancing.”

Retail DJ: Love the accent.

DJ Lady Lane: Oh there will be many because I know lots of people from all over the place. It’s ridiculous! [laughs] A guy I met in California once said, “Oh you are definitely from New York, because everyone I know in New York has about 50 different accents that they go through during the course of a conversation.”

So my brother and I would listen to music together. We are only 2 years apart, which means that we often beat the crap out of each other, then we’d be friends the next day, dancing and listening to different types of music. My brother is actually a hip hop artist today, which is very interesting, at least for Nigerian kids, to be in a creative and have parents who still talk to them. It’s like that sometimes, but my parents are supportive so it’s cool.

In Philadelphia, I used to listen to Power 99, Y100 which was a rock station, and Q102. Q102 is very much like the New York version of Z100, very pop-centric, but it got so bad that I knew what song was coming up next because I listened to it that much. For Power99, I used to have to sneak a little more because of the songs…especially because LL Cool J’s “Doin’ It” had come out. So while no one knew what the hell he was saying, meaning my parents, it just sounded like sex! Honestly, it really did. So every time it would come on, we’d be in the car hoping it hadn’t. Our parents would ask, “What is this nonsense you are listening to? Turn this nonsense off! What kind of children are you, eh? What are they doing?” Awkward. Note: the word “sex” was never said to us as children til we moved to NYC, and my dad would slip STD/pregnancy prevention guides under our bedroom doors! [laughs]  We didn’t want to get in trouble so I’d say, “oh um, this is the first time I’ve heard this song. I don’t know what they’re talking about!”

In my room, I had my boombox, so I’d listen to everything. Music is definitely something that’s always been with me.

Retail DJ: How did living in NYC affect your music taste, if at all?

DJ Lady Lane: I have always listened all different types of music. As a child, I didn’t like country that much, but I have found a few artists that I actually enjoy now.

When I moved to New York, that’s when Brooklyn and Biggie were like…OH SNAP! Though unfortunately, Biggie died the same day I was born, March 9th, though in a different year.

Retail DJ: aww sad!

DJ Lady Lane: Yes, very sad. The first year I move to NY, Biggie Smalls dies. Sooo…

Retail DJ: Happy birthday!

DJ Lady Lane: Exactly. It’s like Happy birthday, STFU! I got the birthday punches, not the celebration! It was sad. The whole place, all of NY, was just down. I knew who Christopher Wallace was before I moved there and everything, but not to that capacity because I was in Philadelphia when he was still alive, so it was different. I remember when Junior Mafia was on the radio, but it just wasn’t the same as being in NY. But I got that little part right before he died, but then, boom, he died right on my birthday and I was like “oh sh*t.” So every year, when my birthday comes around, it’s happy and sad at the same time.

Then I went to NYU, of course you move every year because you’re getting kicked around all of the dorms. After my freshman year, my parents moved again, this time to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. But since I was in school, I didn’t really know anybody or anything there, so when I go, it’s literally just to visit my family. So even though I don’t have an official “home” so to speak, I feel like Brooklyn is the place where I am most comfortable. I don’t feel judged. I just feel like I am at home here when I come back.

More after the jump! Continue reading

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