Sadie Woods is not your ordinary DJ. Among other things, Woods is an award-winning post-disciplinary artist whose work focuses primarily on social movements and collaborative efforts within the community. Her sonic preferences center around the diasporic culture of the Americas and the global south.
She is also a resident DJ at Lumpen Radio 105.5 FM (CHI), Vocalo 91.5 FM (CHI) and Wave Farm 90.7 FM (NY).
Woods recently sat down to share more of her journey in the exclusive below.
Venue currently spinning: Z Bar, Peninsula Hotel, Chicago
Style/genre: House, Afro-Latin and Caribbean house, dance music
FB & Twitter — sadiewoods
IG — woodsadie
How did you come up with your DJ name?
The name Sadie was given to me by my family. It’s short for Mercedes.
When did you start DJing?
I started DJing at 21. I grew up in a musical household and learned to sing before I learned how to talk. My parents had instruments, music gear and a vinyl collection. I also learned electronic music production on varying programs at our home studio and in school. [I] had a lot of musician friends and DJs in music. DJing was a natural progression for me and where I was able to merge my musical interests.
How do you define your style?
I love music, its cultural history and creating an experience by interweaving different genres from different time periods, so I listen to everything. I see DJing as a form of storytelling, taking the listener on a journey through time and space. I’m most known for playing house, Afro-Latin and Caribbean house, and dance music, but when I can I love to play freeform.
Who were your first musical influences?
As a kid, I loved a lot of funk, soul and Latin music. The Gap Band, Celia Cruz, Earth Wind & Fire, Rick James, Chaka Khan, Hector Lavoe, Mongo Santamaria, Prince, Teena Marie, Stevie Wonder — the classics. As I grew older, I got into other genres like disco, house, electro, techno, rock, hip-hop, jazz, trip-hop, drum & bass. Some favorites in these genres include Donna Summer, Kraftwerk, Tupac, Jimi Hendrix, Portishead, Roni Size, Soul II Soul and Crystal Waters. My taste matured from these earlier influences.
How do you create the perfect music experience?
The best experiences are when you are able to take a crowd on a journey. Each set has its own arch when you play to the crowd.
Learn more about Sadie’s favorite things and listen to a fresh mix she created exclusively for the DJ Master Series on the following page.