A native of Poland and a citizen of the world, with her music-bursting heart planted in New York City, Patricia Masino is one of the growing sensations on the national and international spinning scene, and probably the most talked-about NYC DJ. Though her ascent to the largest nightclubs was fast, even at the very beginning of her career, she was not an amateur. A graduate of the NYU Music Technologies program, Patricia does not forget the roots of her passion, which bloom out of the classical background.
After a grand nightlife tour in Europe, she’s back in the big apple, ready to serve her continually evolving rhythms to the hungry crowd. You can catch that elusive artist at two parties she simply “cannot skip”-Playpen at Alibi NYC and Detox at Grace Hotel NYC. Meanwhile, find out what’s cooking as Clubplanet managed to push through the swarms of fans and talk to the NYC queen of turntables in person.
Clubplanet: In 2002 you mentioned DJs like Junior Vasquez and David Morales as your main influences. Is that still the case?
Patricia Masino: I definitely have expanded my influences. I think I am really eclectic now. I am listening to Radio Slave, Dubfire, and Mathias Kaden. There are so many good producers that I can list, but Junior and David will always be where I started though.
Clubplanet: You are Polish, but your music is really heavy on the tribal rhythms? What do you think pushed you that way?
Patricia Masino: Yes I was born in Poland and raised in New York. The tribal influences came from artists like Junior Vasquez but my sound has evolved since then. Today you can hear me play more techy sounds, everything from house to techno, fun minimal and dub.
Clubplanet: You play the piano. Talk about a switch in genres…
Patricia Masino: Yes I started at 7-years-old and I have been playing ever since. Piano was my first instrument, and knowing how to play gave me the foundation for production.
Clubplanet: You started at a college radio, correct? What are the basic steps you think every start-up DJ has to take in order to become successful?
Patricia Masino: I think the most important thing is to master your craft. I mean, you can have the best record collection but sloppy mixing and bad programming always kills the mood, and vice versa. Be true to your sound and people will recognize you for it.
Clubplanet: Do you think that the degree in music technologies helped in polishing your skills?
Patricia Masino: Yes, of course, this leads back to mastering your craft. I think a true understanding of a base in classical music and traditional instruments has made me capable of producing more organic-sounding music, even though it is electronic.
Clubplanet: You use both, laptop and turntables. Which one is closer to the real thing in your opinion?
Patricia Masino: Turntables are the closest and I only use the laptop to store my library of music and to run Serato which is the program I currently use. However, I still mix the records in the vinyl mode so it comes very close to the real thing which is vinyl.
Clubplanet: Ever since you hit the turntables around NYC, you became an almost instant sensation. What is the secret of your speedy career?
Patricia Masino: A lot of really great promoters that were willing to put a girl on the decks and champion me. It is no secret this is a male dominated genre so I have to give credit to all the clubs and promoters that said I could handle myself up against the guys.
Clubplanet: Do you think the audience reacts differently to a male DJ than they do to a female one? Or is there any difference in the approach of the DJ to the audience?
Patricia Masino: Yes, definitely, I think that in general girls are social creatures. Guys might make you feel standoffish but from all the women I know in the business when we spin people are welcome to approach us and have a great time.
Clubplanet: Do you think a beautiful woman behind the turntables is a very important factor in attracting a large crowd?
Patricia Masino: I think talent comes first and foremost but it doesn't hurt to be attractive. That is like asking would you go to see an Angelina Jolie film if she wasn’t hot? This is a societal thing and somewhat a music business mandate to be attractive in order to be more popular.
Clubplanet: How do you see the status of house music on the market nowadays? Do you notice any particular trends? Anything new? Something that was not there three, four years ago?
Patricia Masino: I think house is having a big comeback in 2009. Everything in rotating-last year was all about minimal techno, before that Progressive, as a DJ you should be well rounded and respect all the genres and subgenres even if you prefer one in particular. I think that we are going to see a lot of Rock-tronic music this year with MCing making a big hit in the US. Kid Cudi and the Crookers’ popularity right now is a big sign of that.
Clubplanet: Did the approach of the people that come to listen to a DJ in a club change at all in your opinion, ever since your career kicked off?
Patricia Masino: The approach has evolved a bit; I’ve noticed that DJs get a lot more respect these days as people are recognizing that our profession is an art. We are the creators, and the crowds trust us to deliver, so yes, it has changed for the better.
Clubplanet: You performed around Europe a lot, especially southern Europe. Are there any differences in the style of clubbing practiced by Americans and Mediterraneans?
Patricia Masino: I must say there is a huge difference, any traveling DJ will tell you. Europe has a very well developed electronic music scene. US is a little bit behind. People live for the nightlife in Europe and party much harder then what I have seen around the US. Mediterraneans in particular are very receptive to new underground sounds when US crowds are a bit tougher to entertain.
Clubplanet: What other places in the world have you spanned at recently?
Patricia Masino: Recently I did a 12-date tour in Poland which was amazing, as well as Greece, Canada, Guatemala, Panama and nationwide-New York, Boston, Tampa, Miami, and Cleveland.
Clubplanet: You DJ-ed at many private celebrity parties. What do you prefer: a club packed with fans or a private bash of a tabloid celebrity?
Patricia Masino: Yes, I have done many private celeb parties, however, I prefer a club full of clubbers by far.
Clubplanet: What are some of your favorite venues to perform at?
Patricia Masino: I like big rooms and here, in NYC, my favorite is Mansion or M2 which does the Ministry Of Sound monthly party. In Europe, my favorite is Club Destiny in Crete, Greece-absolutely amazing sound system and crowd.
Clubplanet: What's your favorite song out of those being played in clubs now?
Patricia Masino: Anything by Mathias Kaden, Radio Slave or Ruede Hagelstein. I don’t have one favorite but almost everything these guys put out moves the floor.
Clubplanet: What are some of your signature traits of character?
Patricia Masino: Kindness.
Clubplanet: Something most people don't know about you?
Patricia Masino: Most people don’t know that I am a trained musician. I have a music technology degree from NYU as well as years of piano lessons. I take my profession very seriously and I continue learning, expanding and aim to be the best DJ/Producer for my fans.
Clubplanet: That is impressive. Good luck with achieving your goal and thank you for the chat.