Queenstown-bred DJ C’est La V – aka Venetia Tiarks – is thankful to a local nightspot for giving her a start.
The now-established 28-year-old, who returns to Queenstown to play at Bunker during Easter weekend, remembers getting her shot from boyfriend Jason Clark who owned Debajo.
“Jase didn’t really have someone that settled on Thursday nights and I said I really want to get into this and he said ‘Right, you’ve got one chance and if you mess it up I’m never letting you go near the decks again’.
“I thought I need to be doing something different to all the other boys so I found quite a few songs that involve a lot of swing. It was a 1930s influence into house music so I found a little niche and kept running with it.”
Clark kept her on and she eventually started doing Friday and Saturday nights too plus Bunker gigs before shifting to Wellington when Clark sold Debajo two years ago.
Her Queenstown CV scored her a resident gig at Wellington nightspot Betty’s Bar and Function House.
Now, Tiarks – whose main gig is acting – has recently relocated to Auckland where she’s just finished filming a five-part series destined to screen on TV One in June.
Tiarks says she can’t say too much about it but confirms she was the lead actress.
“It’s the biggest thing I’ve done in my career … a lot of the reason I moved to Auckland is because of that.”
Tiarks, originally from England, spent three-and-a-half years at acting school in Los Angeles before travelling and falling in love with Queenstown.
“DJing was something I did in Queenstown but I didn’t do the acting. Now I’ve moved I do the acting but DJing means I get to be creative in the time I’m not doing the acting so it’s really nice I can get to do that.”
As for the upcoming local Easter gig, she’ll be bringing her funky jakin’ house beats to the Wakatipu.
“It derives from an original formation of house music from Chicago. It’s driven by vocal and is just really music that makes you want to dance. It’s happy music – that’s the best way I can describe it. That’s really important to me.
“I find vocals have come out of house music. It sometimes gets a little lost. I like the original way house sounded and want to keep that going.
“I think the fact a song can take people back to a memory or time in their life – and you see the joy that putting on a song at a certain time can give one person – is really cool, it’s a good feeling,” Tiarks says.
Catch C’est La V at Bunker with DJ JT this Saturday from 8pm