BA Spotlight - DJ Lani Love
Meet Lani Love: DJ, Brand Consultant, and burgeoning health and wellness extraordinaire. The 32-year-old Chicago native has showcased her skills at major concerts, such as opening for Fall Out Boy in front of a crowd of 23,000 people. Despite her busy and outgoing lifestyle, the self-proclaimed “introvert/extrovert”, she says her high energy career is separate from her personality.
“I’m not wanting to be the center of attention. I’m pretty happy being in the background,” she says. “I get my energy off of other people. I think that’s why I love DJing so much. I like collaborating and group projects. To be around other people, it helps me come up with better work too. I have no desire to be under a spotlight.”
In 2007, Lani began her career as a DJ in New York City. She DJed at venues such as Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan and The Counting Room in Brooklyn. She then relocated to Chicago, performing at venues such as SoHo House and Virgin Hotel. She returned to California in 2016, but still performs gigs between LA and Chicago.
Now a seasoned performer, Lani says she’s learned how to balance her her public lifestyle with her more low key personality.
"I just had to worry less about being embarrassed. I wouldn’t identify as a perfectionist, but if you talk to my friends they would definitely that I am.” I think just letting go of ego a little and bit and personal pride, and knowing that everyone has to start from somewhere."
Lani says her passion for music began in high school. Going through a teenage angst phase at 16, she says her favorite genres included Punk and Alternative Rock. She took that passion to the Internet and began blogging with two other teens she met online.
“[They were] just a couple of 16-year-olds going to concerts-music from small, indie labels,” she says. “I would interview bands, and I was really awkward [laughs]. I was really passionate about spreading the word on artists that I liked and that [passion] just carried.”
Having built a successful career, Lani says she’s developing her passions into other areas, such as original music, and most recently, sharing her love for cooking vegetarian meals.
Sitting in Downtown LA, Lani shares how she balances her busy schedule with healthy routines, and how she plans to change people’s perspectives on a vegetarian lifestyle."
On Her Morning Routine:
"I’m trying to establish a new routine admittedly, I’m trying to start everyday with a mini workout. It’s hard for me to commit to a full morning workout because I have a lot of late nights. But I think if I start every morning with some light cardio and some muscle building, I’ll be happy with myself. From reading various articles and compiling things that I think are good for my body, it’s always good to have upper body strength. Every now and then I’ll be carrying vinyl, so that’s one incentive to have good strong arms."
“Usually I'm not carrying gear too often, but I started on vinyl with turn-tables. Each table is like 50 to 200 with the case. So it’s like 150, plus your records. When I was doing private events and house parties, I would carry speakers, and each of those is about 40-something pounds. But you have to hoist onto a stand, above your head.
[I need] Music for sure. I have a view playlist on my phone and on Spotify, that is on repeat maybe for a few months at a time. I find that in the morning just having the same songs, I don’t get too sucked up into it. But if it’s new music I can get lost and not get ready. But if it’s something that I listen to over and over if kind of becomes relaxing and meditative and gets me in the zone."
Favorite song for a busy day:
"If I need to focus, I want something that’s not too busy, more chill, “Feel It All Around” by Washed Out is an old record. It’s so dreamy. I feel like it’s good for my workflow because I’m not distracted by the lyrics or anything. It’s just kind of ambient."
"It depends if I’m tired relaxing or happy energetic relaxing. If I still have some energy at the end of the day, there’s this song Bunny by Linky Lee 47. It’s a dope track. Her new album is really good. If I’m exhausted, then I’ll probably just listen to some RnB tracks."
On Her Skincare Routine:
"In the morning I just wash my face with just water. I do my cleansing at night. It works best that way. I like to clean with an oil, I like using coconut oil. Specifically 'Coco V brand'. I just find that their coconut oil is the least greasy. And for moisturizing, I like to use rose hemp oil. I also have Lenaj products, like a mask."
On getting into Her Mental Groove for Work:
"I always focus on the mindset of people that I’m going to be working with my audience. If it’s [brand strategy], am i talking to a group of moms, or am i talking to young girls who are struggle with self identity and confidence. And then with DJing, I’m thinking what’s this venue, average demographic, [and] what’s the mood that people will want to have when they go here. Are they going to be out on dates and be cute and have fun and get kind of sexy, or are they going out to..I’m trying to establish a new routine?
Just letting go of ego a little bit and personal pride. Knowing that everyone has to start somewhere. It’s okay to make mistakes. Your first DJ set is not going to be amazing. I was a bedroom DJ for a bit before I even worked up the confidence to play out. I just felt like I wanted to pay my respects to the art form and really do my due diligence. Learn the technique and all the records that really shaped the art form before I play out [in public]"
On How She Became Vegetarian:
"Actually my mom started it. She was diagnosed with potentially being terminally ill. She started exploring different diets For her, it was kind of health-related but also spiritually as well. She got more into Buddhism, and one the presubs is no killing. Going vegetarian saved her life. My family, we have doctors, and we don’t really know about going to plant-based. But, at this point, it’s your life. Do what you want. She cured herself. She had a recurring brain tumor. Afte she went vegetarian, it was the end of that. I saw that transition and I was really amazed by it."
On Her Future Projects:
"I’m actively working on original music. For me, DJing for so long- I have a signature sound as a DJ, but I think what would be really great is to be able to create an original sound from scratch. That’s been something I’ve been working on for the past few years. I told myself I have to put something out on my sound cloud by the end of the year.
I’m making Youtube cooking videos. I’m really passionate about cooking. I just love food. I've been vegetarian for 22 years. I think a lot of people find vegetarianism intimidating. It’s actually really easy.Because I love to eat so much, I had to figure out how to make things. I don’t have a lot of time. I’m not home a lot. I’m just kind of sloppily chopping vegetables in a pot. It tastes bomb! I want to share some of these recipes with people."
On Being a Woman in the Industry:
"There’s [sometimes the assumption that you’re [a woman] is just in it to be cute for the attention. She says, “Oh that's so sweet. But I’m really passionate about music and I’m also going to rock this party."
Her Advice For Young Women Entering the Industry:
"Finding a mentor, someone that believes in you is really helpful. I don’t know if that’s something you can really force, but it’s something to keep in mind. I don’t think you can meet with someone and say, ‘will you be my mentor?’. It just kind of happens organically. I think if you know in your mind that relationships really will be a big part of your growth, then when you meet someone who you do have chemistry with or admire, make sure you reach out to them again and foster a relationship."