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My Gay Toronto - Ray's Anatomy

Alyson Calagna brings her beats back to Toronto

by Rolyn chambers

Alyson Calagna is at one with the music she remixes and plays just as much as she is at home with whom she plays for. Having long staked out her section of the circuit party kingdom, a scene largely dominated by male DJs and largely attended by male revellers, she has become a known name with a recognizable sound. This sound,  heavily influenced by what she calls "Omtronica, is a mixing of sexual, sensual and spiritual rhythms with tones of empowerment and ecstasy." It is this sound that she will be bringing, once again, to Toronto Pride.

My Gay Toronto: You're playing the annual Green Space Tree House party at Toronto Pride. Musically, how is an outdoor daytime party different for you than an indoor night time event?

Alyson Calagna: Yes, I love playing outside. It's always lovely having mother nature as your backdrop. It's different based on the time slot. I am playing early, so the sun will be out and will be shining. That changes the vibe of the set. I think atmosphere plays a significant role in any set. I like to feed off of the room and in this case, I will be feeding off of the sun. 

A true circuit DJ who travels the world spinning at some of the top parties, Calagna criss-crosses the United States and has played in Brazil, Mexico, Montreal and of course Toronto. She has also headlined some of the worlds largest venues including Pacha, Space, Crobar, as well as Toronto's now closed Government nightclub.

MGT:What have been some of the oddest or most interesting things you've seen from the DJ booth?

AC: Ummmmm, I don't think I can say that in a public forum. I have played Black Party, you know. 

Calagna's forthcoming album, Omtronica: Music for the Seeker will unleash her new, Eastern-influenced sound. She calls it "part yoga retreat  and part South Beach heat that reinvents the dance experience as a soulful labyrinth winding toward awakening, revelation and power."

MGT: When playing a long set, what one snack do you have to have in the booth with you?

AC: Protein Bars. Always. I love the Tenacious Tess bar's. They are a Colorado company, and they are super delicious. Occasionally I'll bring a protein shake and shaker if the set is really long. 

Critics who have heard her live sets or have listened to her on major dance labels like Nervous, Stereo Productions, Intenso and Star69, have praised her for discovering an unmistakable sound of her own. A sound that has even made its appearance on NBC's Trauma and MTV's Cribs.

MGT: What are the hottest tracks right now and what do you predict will be the hot summer songs/remixes?

AC: That's hard to predict because there are so many different vibes, genres, and scenes. I just finished remixing a song called "Sway" by the Canadian Jazz artist Bria Skonberg. It has a beautiful sexy, summer vibe filled with horns and percussion. I'm excited to play this all summer. Usually, Summer brings forth a lot of the funky, groovy and disco influence house and tech-house. I love this time of year.

By her constant rebooking at several events over the last decade it's obvious that Toronto loves Allyson Calagna, no matter what time of year it is.

Hear Alyson for yourself at: www.remixyourworld.com ; www.facebook.com/djalysoncalagna

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