MUSIC | FASHION | CULTURE
FOOD, DRINK, & RESTUARANT ISSUE
DJ BABY ANNE DARUDE DJ DIVERSE KIDS AT THE BAR DJ P ALEX PEACE FASHION
CULTURE VINYL NOT INCLUDED W/
EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE W/
NICOLE GIBBONS THE MANY FACES OF
DOUG SCHWARZ MUVEMAG.COM
MUSIC_________________________________ BEYOND THE STORM DARUDE p. 8 RAISING THE BAR KIDS AT THE BAR p. 10 MASTERING THE MIX DJ P p. 14 THE QUEEN OF MIAMI BASS DJ BABY ANNE p. 20 GETTING FADED ALEX PEACE p. 24 THE KING OF CLUBS DJ DIVERSE p. 28
FASHION_______________________________ FEATURED FASHIONS FROM APRICOTE LANE p. 36
CULTURE_______________________________ THE MANY FACES OF DOUG p. 44 VINYL NOT INCLUDED DAVEN TREAGUE DELIVERS AN INSIDERS VIEW OF THE TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 p. 50 EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE FEATURING NICOLE GIBBBONS p. 52 ©Copyright 2012 MUVE MAGAZINE. All rights reserved.
BEYOND THE STORM WITH
Darude has become a name synonymous with driving beats coupled with passionate and energetic DJ sets which can be summed up in one word, PARTY! Darude’s (Finnish DJ/artist/ producer Ville Virtanen) grand entrance into the music industry came in 1999, when he slipped a demo CD to one of his idols, acclaimed Finnish dance producer, Jaakko ‘JS16’ Salovaara. Jaakko immediately snatched up Darude and signed him to his own label, 16 Inch Records. The two hit the studio together to put the final touches on the demo Darude had handed to Jaakko. The result of this studio time would be a track that would eventually spread to every corner of the world; that track was “Sandstorm”. Once “Sandstorm” was out, it took the world by storm. It started in Darude’s home country, Finland, where it went directly to #1 on the Finnish Dance Chart; a spot that it would dominate for 17 weeks. Its next stop would be the UK, where Neo Records would snap up the track after coming across it on the internet. In June 2000, Darude became the first Finnish artist ever to reachthe top 3 positions on the UK singles chart. DJing has led Darude to radio, for which he now hosts a widely followed mixshow, “Salmiakki Sessions” on ETN.fm. In addition, Darude has done several guest mixes for other top radio programs, including Above & Beyond’s “Trance Around the World” on Ministry of Sound UK.
A few years ago you had one of the largest dance music songs of the decade. “Sandstorm” was an international hit. How did it feel to have something that you created reach that kind of level of popularity? I’ve been asked that so many times. It’s a valid question. And I’ve thought of it a lot. I can only take it to a practical level. I’m here because of that I dont want to be known as the “Sandstorm Guy” But the reality is that alot of people only know that track from me. And that’s fine. If that brings people to a club 12 years after I’m okay with that. At that point I have the opportunity to bring them up to date with what I currently do. Because it all started with that one song I’m able to be a 24/7 musician. And I’m very thankful for that. Also I can name countless pieces of music that inspired me to begin producing and affected me profoundly. So today when someone approaches me and says that they were inspired by my track I
can identify why that. It’s the biggest complement I could ever get. You have been an International DJ for countless years. While on tour have you noticed a difference in EDM culture around the world. I believe shows differ from city to city, night to night, from promoter to promoter. I can’t say that events are different in Finland opposed to Austraila or even California it’s alll about that one night. What’s really cool about dance music is that its so universal you can have a similar playlist that works well in New York and that same playlist may work in OKC or even a small town in Finland for that matter. Of course scene sizes differ from city to city, some places have local DJs that are more involved about educating their community about the fundamentals of Dance Music..I like them all though Because I just enjoy playing and putting on a great show.
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You’ve recently toured with Havoc. An educator of all things smokefree. How has being smokefree impacted your life? It’s not a thing that I think about everyday. It’s really cool that now adays that more and more clubs are becoming smoke free or have an exclusive smoke ufree area. As a DJ I’m in clubs night after night, I really enjoy that the only stink that I go back to the hotel room is my own sweat, and not cigarrette smoke. Any current projects coming up. I’ve released a DJ Mix Compilation (Salmiakki Sessions) that features several remixes and original tracks from
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fellow producers. And I am currently working on an album. I haven’t set a deadline for the album because I’d like to avoid the pressure and allow the creative process to take its course. The compilation starts with foggy, housey, electro feel and transitions into uplifting trance. Much like what I’m known for. _______________________________ CONTACT www.darude.com Salmiakki Sessions on www.etn.fm soundcloud.com/darude
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RAISING THE BAR W/
BAR Hailing from Oklahoma City, Kids At The Bar is the musical project of Producer/DJ duo Chad “Rad” Raunborg and Matt Buckley. Kids at the Bar have quickly become one of the hottest emerging acts in electronic music. After gaining popularity from their remixes (including official remixes for Ellie Goulding, Kill Hannah, Les Savy Fav, Harlem Shakes, Trash Yourself, Toxic Avenger, and Morning Benders to name a few) the duo caught the attention of Eli Smith (So Sweet Records cofounder). So impressed with their work, he jumped at the opportunity to release their debut EP “Exile” on his brand new label KillPop Records, coowned with Frankmusik. Since that debut album KATB have toured abroad and released countless critically acclaimed tracks.
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You guys are resident DJ’s at one of the longest running weekly dance parties in your home state. How did Robotic Wednesday’s get it’s start? It was started 6 years ago by a group of DJs that called themselves Dance Robots, Dance! They just wanted to start a fun party in Oklahoma with good dance music. We were asked to be apart about 3 years ago and its been an honor and privilege to be involved ever since. Winter of 2012 saw you on tour with The Sounds. Any plans to hit the road soon? We just got off an Australian tour so we are slowing our touring schedule to work on writing tracks.
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You’ve just released a remix of Justice’s “DVNO”. When approaching a remix project what elements do you tackle first? Any track or remix for us has got to have a great hook. So we sift through the parts of the original to find the catchiest parts and assemble them in a hook. Something that moves people and makes them want to sing along or throw their hand in the air before the drop hits. Do you utilize that same formula for your original tracks? We may use a lot of our own sounds and structures that we would on a remix but when constructing an original, there are no stems from another track to work with so it’s all from scratch. We write & perform everything. How do you go about selecting the tracks for your VIA MIX’s? We usually just find tracks we enjoy and then we will play them live and depending on crowd response, we choose the best ones and throw them in the mix Is the a new KATB album in the works? We have several singles either awaiting release or that we are still shopping to labels but either way we have tracks we are very excited about that we are so ready for them to come out! _______________________________ www.kidsatthebar.com soundcloud.com/kidsatthebar twitter.com/kidsatthebar youtube.com/kidsatthebar
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MASTERING THE MIX W/
D.J.P is Danny Phillips, a party-rocking Hip Hop DJ hailing from Springfield, Missouri. Now, Springfield may not seem like a hotbed for Hip Hop talent, which is why D.J.P has had to work that much harder to put his genre-mixing brand of Hip Hop on the map. And he has. D.J.P is one of the pioneers of “blending,” a style that has recently become commonly known as the “mash-up”. His first big break came in 1999. He had won the DMC Midwest Championship a few months prior and was now competing against the country’s top turntablists in San Francisco at the 1999 DMC US Finals. His cutting and scratching were excellent, but it was the unlikely songs he was doing it with that showed just how much he could move the crowd. Ever the b-boy, P topped his performance off by coming out in front of the tables and breaking and popping. He was the only DJ who received a standing ovation that night at The Palace of Fine Arts. D.J.P had put his by any means necessary crowd-pleasing b-boy style on the map. Consider the following.
How do you go about creating a MashUp? I usuallly look for two pieces of wax that I can blend with another. I call it “blend” some people call it “mash-ups.” It actually got it’s name , publicly, from the computer geeks. They started calling it “mashups”. You’ve got Serato and all of the computer stuff now. I’ve used Serato. I’v’e used CDJ’s, but I prefer vinyl. The science is just finding the two pieces of wax that you can sing together and get creative with. How do you incorporate recently released music into your sets? As far as new music goes I’m not really
doing it. I’m not trying to find the newest 2 Chain’s accappela , Lil Wayne or T.I. I’m not really a fan of the music now. I guess you could say I’m more of a classic guy. If you recall my mixes from back in the 80’s and 90’s and earlier 2000’s that’s what I’m doing now. I’m not coming up with alot of new stuff. I really don’t like anything new. Now some of it is alright but you can’t really get any of it on vinyl. The last vinyl that I bought was “Pumped Kicks” by Foster the People. As far as the whole mash up thing with current music, to be honest I don’t think alot of the new kids want to hear that, because they aren’t sure exactly what it is. Journeys blended with the latest 2 Chans songs? I don’t think that they would appreciate it. That was something that was appreciated by
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people from my era. I think younger kids may like it but they may not understand that it was something that we had to sit behind two tables to make it work, not a computer. There wasn’t a such thing as fixing the key of the track or digital pitch control. But again as far as top 40 songs, I’m not blending any of that stuff. But if there is a new song I like I may use Serato, but that is never my first option.
for this thing. So I flew out to Atlanta and the rest is history. I made the show and there it is. When I first heard about it I was leary because I don’t like reality TV and all the wierdness. But when I saw who was involved with show I knew that I had to be a part of it.
What inspired you to compete on Master of Mix.
All of the music that we used had to be cleared through the label. So every DJ had the same playlist. I just worked with what I could. It was very hard, because I had stuff were I mixed metallica and other big bands. But they stated they could clear songs from artist like Eminem but couldn’t clear the Metallica. In that
A few friends had talked to me about the show. So I looked into it and found out Kid Capri was one of the judges on the show. So I knew it had to be somewhat legit. I thought what the heck I’m going to try out
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How Did you prepare for Master of the Mix?
situation I had to learn how to blend Hip Hop to Hip Hop and make it more interesting than the next guy. Because anybody can do that. The show was set up into challenges. One challenge you had to run up a flight of stairs with a record case. Another challenge you would go toe to toe in a dj battle. If you were the weakest link you went home. I just tried not to be the weakest link. How did you feel after winning Master of the Mix? It felt great. I consider it another accomplishment. It enables me to attend season 3. The next year it will be on VH1. So many great things came out of it. Publicity, great money and the ability to do what I love to do in a big way. What’s next for DJ P? I’ve got a new DVD coming out in about two weeks or so. It’s a kids mix. I took Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of Oz, Back to the Future and Alice and Wonderland, blending Hip Hop and Rock beats. It’s a video. It looks like this kid sneaks into my studio after I just left, and starts scratching, mixing and cutting these records while recording to a Real to Real. In reality of course I made the mix but I’m no where to be seen. It’s called “Beats in Toyland”. Doing Master of the Mix season 3 and still doing shows. I have some events coming up with Mr. Freeze from the Rock Steady Crew. Freeze will talk about hip hop and I’ll follow with a DJ set. I think right now that’s were it needs to go. These kids right now aren’t really
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seeing a DJ when they attend shows. Everyone has switched to DJ. Because of that they don’t see how it really went down. Seeing guys like Ztrip, Spinbad or myself you’ll see us flip vinyl nonstop. It’s a total different thing that’s going on now. It’s an art form. I think that art form was swallowed by the digital dj transition. Someone like myself should go out and say, “Kids, you should learn how to do it this way instead of mashing beats with wave files.”
It’s not as exciting to see a DJ to me anymore. I get excited when a DJ walks in with a crate of records. My first reaction is , “Damn, there is somebody out there that is still doing it besides me.” I appreciate Serato and respect it. But like DJ Scratch from Master of the Mix season one said “When Serato came out it should have been $10,000 not $500 so the real DJs would own it. That way it won’t be so easy and accessible for every to buy it and call themselves a DJ.”
I’m getting of track of what you asked me. But my next move is to keep doing what I do. I’ve tossed around the idea of starting my own DJ school here in the Midwest. It’s up in the air. I’m to that age I’m over doing the nightclubs and bars. It’s not what it used to be. People use to go out to hear the music. To really HEAR a DJ play. Now they go for a fashion show and it’s more drama than it’s ever been. I’m not even sure if they appreciate what a DJ does any more. It could be because all of the club DJs are now staring at computers.
When is your next DJ set? I’ll be in Oklahoma City on the 21st of December at Frequency Nightclub. New Years Eve I’ll be in Tulsa Oklahoma. Then after that I’ll be doing Master of the Mix. We just had auditions for the show so it’s about to get underway. _______________________________ CONTACT www.djpmix.com
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THE QUEEN OF MIAMI BASS
DJBABYANNE Baby Anne aka “The Bass Queen” has blazed a Trail across North America and Beyond with her DJ sets and Original Productions. Her signature recipe is a delicious fusion of high energy Electro Breaks and Miami Bass seasoned with funky beats and driving bass lines. Her musical influences range from Miami Bass stalwarts Dynamix II and AfroRican, to overseas tunes by Kraftwerk & 808 State, from statesides DJ Icey and Information Society to a host of Funky Freestyle records from back in the day! Baby Anne is known not only as a DJ but also a recording artist, having dropped loads of tracks on her own Bad Baby record label and DJ Icey’s Zone Records Imprint as well as other labels. Her latest single “Baby Vicious”, on Bad Baby is rocking dance floors across the country. Baby Anne has pounded out 11 Mix Cds, all of which have charted on the Billboard Soundscan Electronic Top 50 album chart.
Over the Years you have DJ’ed across the nation. At what point in your career did you decide that becoming a touring DJ was in your future? I never made that decision, it was never something that I thought about. I wouldn’t even call it a hobby I was just messing around. People liked what I played and they came out to hear it. I kinda grew with it and got really lucky. Overtime, it turned into something that I made enough money doing. So much so , I didnt have to do anything else. I’ve kind of been rolling with it ever since, so I’ve been very lucky. I understand that you work with Havoc, the national smokefree nightlife brand. How has being smokefree impacted your life? That’s funny because I’ve never smoked. As I was growing up my parents smoked in the house. I just cant stand it. It’s not easy for me to be in smoky nightclubs with cigarettes all around . I tend to walk away if someone lights up next to me. I
dont consider that a choice either it was just never something that I was interested in. I actually did try to smoke one time when I was a teenager and I didnt like it. It just wasn’t working for me. I am very healthy. I eat really healthy, I practice yoga, and I even feed my pets well. I do encourage people not to smoke and live a healthy lifestyle. When I was approached by Havoc and had the opportunity to hear their message, I was really happy to be involved any way I could. You have had successful mixes How would you of having your internationally?
many internationally and original releases. describe the feeling first single released
I dont really think that way. it’s cool. I do this because I like it. I dont have goals. I dont try to be in the spotlight, so I dont really pay attention to that. I mean it was exciting. One of my releases with moonshine ranked on the top Billboards. I thought that was really cool. I grew up knowing what Billboard was. It’s just one part of my life. It’s not my whole life.
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Your advice to aspiring musicians? I’ve always said the same thing to people, do it because you love it. Don’t do it for the wrong reasons. There are so many people that say, “I want to be up there. Where the DJ is.” Because they want attention. If you have nothing to back that up you are never going to get very far. But if you do it because you love it, and it just flows out of you, people will respect that. I think if you put your heart
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into anything you can make it work. For me I just got really lucky because it was a hobby, I really love and still love music. It’s my career and I’m very grateful. _______________________________ CONTACT www.bassqueen.com facebook.com/bassqueen
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MUSIC FASHION CULTURE
WHAT MUVES YOU?
GETTING FADED W/
ALEX PEACE DJ, producer, emcee, radio personality – no matter how you refer to Alex Peace, it’s fair to say that this Chicago mainstay is as much a part of the city’s illustrious house history as he is in reshaping its changing future. Stumbling into electronic music at eighteen, his resume now boasts vocal appearances on hits like “Bringin’ The Funk” to “Fast Life”, impressive CD sales tipping 100,000 units, a hosting position with one of Chicago’s largest FM stations, and global touring from Rotterdam to Hong Kong. Referred to as leader of the Chicago hard house movement, Alex’s career beginnings were impressive by any standard. Working with legendary Chicago label Underground Construction, Alex not only created a number of defining hard house records including #1 single with Donna Blakely, “Take Me Up”, but was also named Producer of the Year in both 1997 and 1998. Those days laid the groundwork for what has become a vast catalog of solo and collaboration work with some of the most prestigious names in house music, such as Bad Boy Bill, Hatiras, and DJ Bam Bam. His current projects, including recent single “Dance Pop Shake Rock” with hip pop group the Jump Smokers, convey an evolution in sound that also nods to his history. Alex now runs popular electro label Movement Music with partner Mixin Marc, which has borne chart-toppers that have appeared on Defected, Ministry of Sound and Ultra, among others, and charted by Pete Tong, Erick Morillo and David Emerson. While this multidimensionality has continually defined Alex, it’s what’s stayed the same that makes him a true original. A passion for house led him to not only help define a genre, but stay at its forefront by constantly drawing from the rich resulting culture - and reinventing it.
When you hear the word “electro” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Science Class in Grammar School In your podcast you feature some of your own remixes and mashups. What kind of studio pieces are in The Peace studio? My studio was consolidated a few years ago. It’s more like a workstation now. 2 JBL Monitors, Lexicon i-onix/u-22, Axiom 25 Midi Keyboard, MacBook Pro, 24”,
Samsung HDTV and a SHURE KSM-44 Microphone. Your Faded podcast has a consistently growing fan base. What inspired the podcast series? A few things lead to me starting a weekly podcast. I was doing a monthly Podcast in 2011 on Podomatic.com and about I had to upgrade my subscription because I was exceeding my monthly 200GB Bandwidth by almost double. [See Bandwidth Image] During this time I came across a Radio Station on iHeartRadio called Club Phusion [clubphusion.com] and made
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contact with the Program Director. I had considered starting my own 24 Hour internet Station but felt doing a weekly mix show was more realistic. With the help of DJ Bam Bam, I transferred my show to iTunes and it was the best decision ever. My podcast has grown tremendously and I now have unlimited Bandwidth!!! [See Bandwidth Usage Image ] Do you like bass? Do you, do you like Bass, Alex? Indeed. Trap, GO! Loving it! I usually play some in my set to shock the dance floor. You can also hear some in my weekly podcast.
being smokefree impacted your life? I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis 7 years ago. To keep it simple, i have asthmatic tendencies. Having a smokefree life is both a self-choice and a necessity. Breathing is very important to me and Iâ€™d like to keep working at a maximum capacity. LOL _______________________________ PODCAST Search: ALEX PEACE in itunes http://soundcloud.com/alexpeace CONTACT facebook.com/AlexPeaceFanPage twitter.com/alexpeace1
Youâ€™ll be in OKC and Tulsa this month djing a few Havoc events. How has
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THE KING OF CLUBS
You may have heard this DJ mixing it up on the WILD 104.9, at Citywalk, or Cowboys. This master of the decks has lead a dynamic DJ career. Branded as the King of Clubs Diverse has DJ’ed at just about every nightlife destination in Oklahoma City and continues to deliver his signature style every weekend in the main room at Citywalk. Tune into DJ Diverse on Wild 104.9 OKC, OK Monday - Friday at 5pm and Friday mornings at 9am.
What sparked your passion for DJing? I grew up around music. My dad and uncle are both drummers. My mom always had music playing around the house and in the car. Even my grandmother had a “music room” at her house . I took piano lessons when I was young but that faded out after about 6 months. However, it was always in the back of my mind that I still wanted to do something with music. When I got a little older and started to be exposed to the emmerging Hip Hop culture in the United States, it seemed like I was paying more attention to the DJ’s than I did the MC’s. Then I noticed when I would go to the skating rink or school dances in junior high, I was always listening to the DJ and thinking to myself, I can do a better job than they are doing. My friends would come over after school and comment on how I had a large music collection, which I thought ever kid had. So the summer between 9th and 10th grade I decided to really try to get in to DJing. I convinced my mom to take me to the flee market and buy me some used
turntables and a mixer. Being a single mom she was on a tight budget but did what she could to help me. It was not top of the line equipment by any means, but it got me started and I never turned back. So I guess I will always have my mom to thank for getting my start. How has it impacted your life? DJing always has its ups and downs. But the ups are well worth having to deal with the downs. I’ve gotten to travel throughout the United States and even internationally. I really enjoy going to new places and seeing first hand what the local music scenes are like in other parts of the world. I have met a lot of interesting people over the years and have made many friends. One of the hardest things about being a steady working DJ is it can be hard on relationships. But over the years I have made a lot of improvement on how to deal with that. At the end of the day, I have enjoyed everything I have gotten from Djing. I love the good and the bad. It makes me who I am as a DJ.
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You’ve been in several DJ Battles over the years, what’s your take on Red Bull 3Style? I love the concept of the Thre3style. And Red Bull is definitely one of the better corporations who really takes care of their DJ’s. They put on great events. This type of DJing can get frustrating at times because there are always politics involved in DJ battles/spinoffs. But at the end of the day, succeeding in a DJ battle or spinoff will always bring you good exposure. How do you prepare for a battle? I don’t really battle as much as I used to. But when I do, I try to find out as much about the competition as I can and just think of the best way I would like to approach the format of the battle and the other competitors. From there I just try to represent my style as best as I can. If it’s good enought to win, then I am happy with that. To truly succeed in battles, you have practice all day every day. Even when you don’t have a battle coming up. It’s not like riding a bike. You have to always practice if you want to stay sharp and on top of your game.
We all know you as a DJ but word has it your a shoe enthusiast too. I used to be out of control when it came to sneakers. I’ve slowed down A LOT since becoming a dad. Your money priorities change when you have another mouth to feed. I have been on a Nike Air Max 90’s kick (pun intended) this Spring and Summer. So all I am buying/collecting right now are the Air Max 90’s.
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What’s your take on the current state of the bass music movement. Nothing new to me really. I have seen many different styles of Bass music gain popluarity or become a fad over the years. Be it Drum & Bass, Miamie Bass, Speed Garage, 2 Step, Grime, Dubstep, whatever. There are about 4 or 5 genres that has and always will be the foundation of EDM. And there will always be a new genre branching off from one of them from time to time and gaining brief popularity. I have never let my DJing be defined by one genre of music. Hence
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the name Diverse. If it’s a good song I will play it. You’ve been an on air radio DJ for sometime now. Where can we here you? You can check me out Monday through Friday on Wild 104.9HD in OKC at 5pm for the Wild 405 Traffic Jam Mix. And also Friday mornings at 9:15am on the Joey And Heather Morning Show with the Big Friday Mix. Playing out locally any where? I do Wild Wednesdays at Cowboys. It’s
their Hip Hop night (no I donâ€™t play country music). Thursday-Saturday at Citywalk I play EDM, Hip Hop, Top 40. Sunday nights I do Syrup Sundays at Frequency Nightclub which is all Trap music. Do you have any advice to deliver to those people out there that want to become a DJ?
music moves your soul, then DJing might just be for you. _______________________________ CONTACT twitter.com/djD_I_V_E_R_S_E soundcloud.com/djdiverse
If you are thinking about DJing just to get famous, cool points with friends, wealthy or laid, donâ€™t do it. If you stay up late at night by yourself listening to music because you truly love music. Because
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SWEATER BY: APRICOT LANE $60 JEANS BY:APRICOT LANE $120
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Nicole Gibbons hails from Mississippi but this kind hearted southern girl made the move to the sooner state shortly after hurricane Katrina. Gibbons attended Moss Point High School in Mississippi until she embarked upon her senior year. She the attended Mustang Highschool in Mustang, Oklahoma. After graduation Nicole attended the University of Central Oklahoma where her course of study was Pyschology with a minor in leadership and philospy. Gibbons then acquired a masters degree in Experimental Psychology and Excercise Science. Nicole may not be a native Oklahoman but she proudly calls Oklahoma her home. However, shortly after concluding her education she desired a change of scenery in a dynamic way. She now calls Africa her home away from home.
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Where did you grow up in Oklahoma? I am actually from Mississippi, but after hurricane Katrina, I relocated to Yukon, Oklahoma where I finished my senior year of High School. I then attended the University of Central Oklahoma.
There was a lot that influenced my decision to join the Peace Corps. I love helping people and meeting new people. I felt like I was ignorant in that I lived in a bubble and there were bigger problems in the world that I could help with.
What are your parents names? When did you make the decision? My parents names are Michael Gibbon, Nancy Borel and my stepmother’s name is Cheryl Gibbon. What was your hobby as a child? Hobbies as a child were really sports like softball and cheerleading. I rode my bike everyday! Where did you attend high school? I attended Moss Point High School in Mississippi until my senior year when I attended Mustang High School where I graduated. From there I attended University of Central Oklahoma. I got my BA in Psychology with a minor in leadership and philosophy. I also received my masters’ there in Experimental Psychology and Exercise Science. What influenced your decision to join the peace corps?
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I was in my first year of grad school sitting in the library at UCO and I knew I had to make some life decisions about my future. I knew I wasn’t ready for a Ph.D. program and I wasn’t sure I wanted a Ph.D. but if I did I knew I needed to take a break from school and I knew I wanted to do something meaningful during that break. I have ALWAYS wanted to travel especially to Africa and I hadn’t even travelled outside the US. That is the day I started the application process for the Peace Corps. How did your family respond to this decision? I have an amazing family whom support this decision fully. I remember my grandmother on my dad’s side (a woman that I respect the most in the world) sitting next to me that
thanksgiving and she grabbed my hand and told me that no one in our family could do it but she believed I could. This surprised me fully given that my entire family including her were military. How did you decide what roll you will provide for the peace corps? I did a ton of research about the peace corps., but I let them decide what role I would play at least in my primary project. When I applied I knew I wanted to help people and I told Peace Corps. to put me where I could be the most effective. I did not want to do this with expectations. I wanted to see what the people needed from me and do that. How did enrollment in the peace corps program go?
clearance which is extensive, then you have to have another interview and get matched with a country, then accept your country, once you except you have to write more letters and do more medical and apply for a visa and a special passport. Describe the moments that led up to your final days in the US. The last days were stressful, happy, sad, exciting, really all emotions mixed in one big ball. I sold everything I owned EVERYTHING. That was so stressful and sad. Packing was beyond stressful. Saying goodbye to everyone including my niece that isn’t even 1 yrs old yet broke my heart. But I was lucky enough to see everyone before I left and we were able to make memories and laugh.
Oh goodness, the application process took me 2 years,(that’s longer than it took me to get a master’s degree). I think that is part of joining though because this is not a quick decision and you have to be persistent which also reflections in the community you serve. I am an outsider here and I have to be persistent with my projects/causes if I want to be effective.
What were the qualifications? Qualifications vary really. There is an application (a long application) which includes essays, letters, I had to get SIX letters of recommendation, then there is an interview, followed by medical
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How long do you intend to provide your services in Namibia? The Peace Corps. requires us to serve 27 months and after I can apply to serve longer. So I plan to serve at least 27 months in Namibia. How has your decision impacted your life? How has this decision not impacted my life? I live in Africa hahaha. I finally feel like I am doing something with my life. I have multiple degrees, but really they are just pieces of paper in my bendy folder. I had been in school my whole life, it is safe, I know how to do it, but what was I going to do with it? I get to make a difference in the lives of people who drastically need it. I am finally doing something with my life!!!! What is the most challenging thing about being in the Peace Corps? The most challenging part is being the outsider. It takes so long just to learn culture norms. Things that are common sense are different because my common is different than theirs. I am southern and really big on respect, but respect is perceived differently here and not just in one way. There are 13 different tribes I believe in Namibia and most have their own language, norms, etc. The biggest challenge truly is integrating into my community. What would you like to share to those individuals that would like to be involved in the peace corps? To people who want to join: be persistent and be patient. Make sure this is really something you want to do because it truly is the hardest job you will ever love. ___________________________ CONTACT facebook.com/nicole.gibbon.56
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