“Literally, I grab a mic and play some old Cassie or Nina Sky. Some Britney Spears, still Y2K dance-y for the ladies to dance.”
DJs aren’t just there to provide the music, they’re there to bring all the good vibrations and spread them in and out of the room they’re spinning in. Insert Parisa, who treats each day/evening like it’s her last. Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, the mecca of fashion, Parisa brings style, swag, and undeniable energy into all her DJ sets, now calling sunny Los Angeles home for the past 5 years.
While it may seem like the city is so vast and equipped with endless options in regards to the nightlife scene, not everything is worth attending. Thanks to Parisa, she provides all the insight on the go-to venues and clubs, for every day of the week. Having DJed since the age of 16, her passion for music is unmatched, and her ability to turn the crowd all the way up is one we can all appreciate.
Loop Magazine caught up with Parisa in Little Tokyo/Arts District to discuss her take on nightlife in Los Angeles, the best venues for each day of the week, her favorite songs to drop in a set, her fashion inspo and love for thrifting, and more!
You’ve been in LA for 5 years, how’s it feel to get so many bookings?
I usually get my own bookings, I still don’t have a day to day manager but my manager Punch, who would make deals for me. Let’s say “Hey, I’ve got this venue. What do you think?” “What’s the deal?” I share the deals with him, he says “Oh this is good” or “Naaa.” He owns a company called 740 Project.
I know Rahim!
Yeah Rahim, they’re together. There’s Charley, Rahim, then Punch. 3 of them, they’re all very nice guys. Punch is a party twin, whatever, because he always hits me up like “What’s good tonight?” I always have an idea of “alright it’s Monday, da-da-da is going to have a party for sure. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…” Quinn used to have that and he calls me “Little Quinn”
Dang, are you out every night like that?
No, I just know what’s going on. Charles hit me up and emailed me saying “Hey, this is a nightlife magazine…” This is great timing because I do know what’s going on in nightlife. In LA.
First of all, we survived a pandemic. How has your DJing career been since then?
Since then, things are opening back up eventually. All the venues say “Show your proof of vaccine, or show your proof of a negative Covid test.” However they want to do it, they’re going to do it to continue in this industry for this community. The disco parties I used to do as Word of Mouth came back. Justin is the other DJ. We did a couple DJ parties at Gold Diggers after the pandemic stopped. It’s very recent, then I got a residency at Apartment 503. That’s K-town, so I’m there Friday or Saturday. If I ever want to continue DJing every night, I could.
That’s a lot. That has to be draining, right?
Nah. Well the thing is, I definitely enjoyed it. So I used to be the general manager of a small salon. It was an independent company. I used to intern for this Jewish lady, she’s the best woman I’ve ever worked for. During the day I was there, basically learning how to own a business right next to her. At night, I go DJ. Then I woke up and went to work, so it was a lot but fun. Sometimes I had to go to work and straight to the DJ set. My cats would be staying in my house for 24 hours with maybe no food. I had to clean the litter etc. But, Thank God, it’s a blessing.
I do have a couple residencies here and there. Thursday through Sunday, I’m usually booked. Remember A Simple Bar, Word of Mouth? They started to do parties again, it’s pretty packed inside. I’m trying to do something with them again as my own thing maybe, as an extension of Word of Mouth. If I ever want to have a party every day, I could. Monday, my friend named Early Hall. He used to do Thank God it’s Monday at Shoo Shoo Baby in downtown. He doesn’t do it anymore, but he still has Monday gigs at different locations. Tuesday, Wednesday there’s a new club called the Classic Cat.
I’ve heard of that. Where is that?
It’s on Sunset. You know where that big Chase building is on street level? It’s underground. It’s crazy because I went there to check it out because I did want to DJ there or have a party there. I met a DJ and promoter there, introduced myself. They said “Yes, let’s do something.” So I might be a promoter there and get a table, because Punch gets a table literally anywhere. [laughs] I call Punch “Hey, I’m DJing tonight, pull up.” He’s like “Uh, table?” I’m not a promoter, I’m just a DJ! [laughs] I am down to being a promoter and DJ because I always bring 10 to 20 people (well mostly my cool home girls) with me to walk into the venue all the time. Plus my managers get bottle service/tables all the time. So that is a whole package right ? [laughs] Why don’t I be a promoter and a DJ?
But when you’re DJing and they’re hitting you to come in, you can’t get them in!
Exactly! I’m like “alright, how do I do that?” But I’m an aquarius, I get creative [laughs] Anyways, it’s so fun. So Tuesday, theres a new party at Harriets by DJ Butch. Wednesday: Classic Cat. Thursday: Lock & Key.. Friday or Saturday at Apartment 503. Sunday, at Harriets by William. I Personally want to do a Sunday Brunch: chill outside with patio. Drinks, food and mimosas, etc.
What is your favorite venue to DJ at and why?
Damn, I have so many venues that I play right now. That’s a good question. Let’s say the area: I do like Hollywood and West Hollywood. As a venue to DJ at? I like the Regent, the huge one. I like the Regent downtown because it’s a big stage, big crowd, and big screaming from behind. It’s so much fun, so much space for my friends to dance and be on the stage. Just enjoy, jump around behind the DJ. It feels like The Echo. I like the Regent because of how they set up, it’s professional. I do underground too, Lock & Key is very squeeze and outside. Bottles and booze, it’s crazy! It’s fun, but personally as a DJ, I like the stage that has security at the front. There’s Backstage, there’s the Green Room. I like that.
You’re super fashionable, I love your outfit. Is any of it Japanese inspired
I got this coat from a vintage selective store in Kyoto. The store is named Ako or the person is named Ako. I forgot. I like this vinyl texture, because it was fall and I didn’t want to wear a thick-ish jacket. I was traveling on tour. I got this st Rose Boal. It is thrifty. It’s Levi, I like how it ripped. [points to her jeans] So these shoes I got from Undefeated, Adidas. I was walking with the Y-3 sandals, and it was so uncomfortable. Shout out to Y-3 with the discount though! [laughs] So I had to change. Now I wear these pretty often. I like clothes. I thrift a lot.
Where do you thrift?
I like Saturday Silverlake Flea Market because they do have Y2K girls style. I have a lot of baggy pants, jeans, and cargo pants. I do like sexy mini-tees, that’s the vibe I’m going for. If I’m cold, I’ll just get a jacket. I like to thrift because I like the brand called History Glamour. It’s an old Japanese brand, my mom used to wear it. She handed me a bunch of them so that’s what I wear usually. This one is too. It’s a sexy lady silhouette, and has a boob in it. It’s so cute. It’s my inspiration for the design I’m going for. Because in Japan, it’s so rare that they appreciate the woman’s body. We all don’t do that. As Japanese, they want to hide their hair, body, and shape. I really like the brand because they show thick girls and thick booties. I like that.
What’s your ideal DJ set list and what songs are on there?
Recently, I have been going for the ladies. We’re in a bunch of crowds, let’s say half and half of boys and girls. Literally, I grab a mic and play some old Cassie or Nina Sky. Some Britney Spears, still Y2K dance-y for the ladies to dance. I’m like “Ayeee ladies!”, and they dance. Who doesn’t want to party where a bunch of ladies are shaking their asses? Dancing, opening bottles, drinking, who doesn’t want that? Instead of playing all this ghetto shit. Hood shit is like “ah ah ah.” No hate, it’s cool. I could do a mix of this and that, but my thing is that I want all my girls to dance comfortably. Enjoy and get drunk, have a good time. My focus is that 100%. Of course dudes, dudes like to drink and buy you a drink, but that’s not my main focus. It’s more so for my girls. I bring 10 to 20 girls with me, they dance. Sometimes they stop the music because they fuck around too much at the dj booth. [laughs] It’s fun though.
What song gets them the most hype?
Right now, it’s “Essence” by WizKid. That song for sure, also I play “Shabba” remix. I play Nina Sky after that. I let it play at the same time so it’s mixing, I hold onto it. It’s like “Shabba: dun dun dun.” They’re like “ahh! fireeee!” …So that’s my one of the mix movement.
What’s your favorite part about the nightlife in LA?
There’s good and bad. I like to see other DJs sets, but I’m coming from a place where you had to be trained. I practice a lot with a bunch of OGs from Japan. I used to bow before I got on the stage: appreciation, manners and respect, etc. What I see is, not a lot of people who live in LA would do that, which is fine because freedom, country, whatever. Sometimes, I see people that won’t appreciate the stage performance job. I thought “Oh, that’s sad”
On the happy side, at the end of the day, we all get connected. The producers, artists, songwriters, DJs, we all get connected somehow. A very small world we are in but It’s going to be a huge community, it’ll just take a long time because LA’s huge. That’s what I like about it. I meet DJs through DJs, I meet these people through these people. That’s how people get booked up too. What’s great about it is you meet good people, you decide who you want to be with, for the Teamwork. There’s a bad side and good side to it, but it’s all going to be a whole big community at the end of the day