Member Spotlight: Superstar DJ Daisy O'Dell
Daisy O'Dell is in a league of her own. A pioneer in the LA music scene and female DJ movement, the gorgeous mother of two has both curated and created music for some of Hollywood's most renowned parties. Her musical style ranges from contemporary crowd-pleasers to obscure retro tracks, and her personal style ranges from minimalist cool girl to vintage goddess. And although she's very much in the limelight, she's isn't afraid to fight for what's right. In short, she's our dream girl, which is why we named her one of our official Fashion Mamas LA Brand Ambassadors earlier this year.
We're honored to have blue-eyed Daisy curate the music for our first-ever Coachella event, Mama Mirage, this year. Check out her custom Mama Mirage playlist here — a pool party-perfect mix that also features several Coachella artists — and learn more about her below.
What are the names and ages of your little ones?
Henry is three years old (turning four this May!) and Faye is seven months.
What do you do, and what has been your career journey thus far?
I’m a DJ, producer and composer, singer, music supervisor and curator, and cultural activist. Basically, I select music for "things" — could be a fashion show, film, party, whatever — and if I can’t find the appropriate song, I create it. I grew up in Toronto, Canada. My father was an audiophile and early on introduced me to the virtues of his extensive classical collection on vinyl. I sang jazz standards in grade school, played double bass and steal drums in middle school, and then attended the Etobicoke School for The Arts majoring in Music Theater. While there I developed a fascination with anything vintage — clothing, accessories, art, and, of course, music — and began building my own collection of rare vinyl. After graduating I headed to London and became immersed in the VIP club scene. It was there that I fell in love with dance music and DJ culture. Then I moved to New York, was named a nightlife tastemaker, and within a month of my first paid DJ gig I was asked to tour with Gwen Stefani as part of the Harajuku Lovers Tour.
Fast forward to today, and currently (as in, over the next week) I am curating the music for a couple of Coachella parties (including Fashion Mamas!); DJing the Girlboss premiere for Netflix; in the studio with my production partner Julian Shah-Tayler scoring the PBS show Actors on Actors (featuring actors like Nicole Kidman and Oprah in conversation about their craft); putting out a Bjork bootleg that I made (I am so excited she is playing FYF and felt moved to create); and heading to New York to act as music director for Variety’s Power Of Women.
What is a typical workday like for you, from the moment you wake up?
Typical, ha! No two days are ever the same. A "sample" day? Last Wednesday I woke up at the crack of dawn to take my son to film a TV segment; had baby class at Little Knights where my daughter crawled forward for the first time; DJed the SHOT! premiere with Sheppard Fairly and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) for Mick Rock. I was already at sleep deficient from DJing The Leftovers premiere for HBO the night before. My days mainly belong to my children and their activities. I’m a typical stay-at-home mom in that regard. We go to classes, play dates, and the park. My nights are often dedicated to work — those are erratic. My job requires travel and I generally bring the kids for anything over 24 hours. I am exhausted and it’s intense right now, but I count my blessings and try to live in gratitude — I have a lot to be grateful for.
What is the best party you've ever DJed, and what was that like?
I’ve been fortunate enough to play some spectacular events, but two in particular come to mind: 1) playing after Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed at a benefit for the ICA Boston, and 2) DJing at the New York Public Library for the Broadway opening of Sunday In The Park With George.
Settle this once and for all: is it OK to ask the DJ to play your favorite song?
I can’t speak for all DJs but I am totally fine with requests as long as it’s appropriate for the time and place, cohesive with what I’m playing, and doesn’t come paired with an insult. I never promise I’ll fit it in, but sure, let me know what you want to hear — I’m not precious.
Favorite organizational tools/apps that help you balance work/mom life?
Shared iCal (with my husband) #gamechanger!
Your skin and hair are flawless. What are your absolute favorite beauty products that you can't live without?
Water, Shayna Schroeder at Ritual Skin Spa for facials, Biologique Recherché P50 toner, and Cherin Choi at Benjamin Arts for hair.
It's inspiring to see you leading the female DJ movement. Do you think there are more opportunities for women in your field now than there were when you first started?
There is a rich legacy of female electronic producers (like Daphne Oram or Laurie Spiegel) but the music industry (in general) is disproportionately men. When I started, female DJs were rare and, like in any male dominated industry, there was (and is) rampant misogyny and chauvinism. It can’t be especially enticing for women to enter a space where their technical abilities are excessively scrutinized — where they have to consistently validate their success. But, like me, girls who love music, who are called to the profession, and who respect the art form, find their niche. Today, there are more women in contention for the upper echelon but you only need to look at any festival lineup or club listing to see the pronounced disparity that still exists between the sexes. There is a perceived notion that women are booked for their look as opposed to their talent and, sometimes, we are. But, that being said, no one cares what you look like when they are dancing.
With the influx of influencer and hyphenate female DJs there has been a perceived devaluation of genuine skill but cool, attractive people just "playing music" has always been a "thing."
Best advice for anyone trying to break into the world of DJing:
If you have great taste, a burring desire to share music with the world, and a respect for the mechanics of it, give DJing a shot — it’s really fun.
Follow Daisy's musical adventures and adorable family on Instagram at @daisyodell.