There is a 16-year-old in New York City who is taking the club circuit by storm, and her name is Callie Reiff. The NYC native has had musical performance in her blood since the first grade, taking the stage with the esteemed New York City Ballet company for years before eventually heeding the call of electronic music production. Since then, Callie has seen big support from folks like Annie Nightingale and Marcus Nasty on Radio 1 and Rinse for her bass-heavy originals and remixes while sharpening her DJ edge in New York’s most forward-leaning nightclubs including Webster Hall, Output, Slake, and, as of this Friday, Terminal 5.
With a TON of unreleased music in the bank and a pair of monster shows this weekend in the city (Terminal 5 on Friday with Big Gigantic & Hermitude and Webster Hall on Saturday with Wolfgang Gartner), we asked Callie to take over this week’s NEST HQ MiniMix and answer a handful of questions about her entrance into the world of dance music, drawing inspiration from her “girl power squad”, and what the future holds for this promising young talent. Listen in and read on below.
Thanks for taking some time with us Callie! So you’ve made a pretty big splash in New York City since last year, already playing most of the city’s megaclubs at the age of 16. Did music stick with you at a very early age? When did dance music become your main focus?
Thank you so much for having me! Music has always been in my life since I was a ballerina with the New York City Ballet performing on the Lincoln Center stage when I was 7-years-old. When I was 10, I moved to the drums, and I taught myself how to play by watching YouTube videos. A couple of years later, I was talking to a music producer, and he recommended that I try out DJ-ing, so I looked up the “best DJ schools in NYC,” and found Dubspot. My first lesson there was with JP Solis, and I immediately told him I wanted to be professional. The first mix I did was on vinyl records, and from then on I fell in love with DJ-ing.
Your debut release on Audiophile showed off some major UK bass influence. Would you say “Like Dis” represents your personal style of production and the vibe you’ll be focusing on this year? Or do you envision a broader spectrum of sound?
I love experimenting with new sounds because this is just the beginning of my career. A lot of my tracks that are coming out soon range from bass house, to trap, and just about everything in between.
Who would you say has had the most profound effect on your style as a producer and DJ? Is there anyone who you often look to for inspiration musically?
In terms of being a DJ, Skrillex is definitely a big inspiration to me because he’s not afraid to take risks when he’s DJ-ing. He knows how to work a crowd like a true rock star. Musically, I draw a lot of inspiration from the girl power squad – Mija, J. Phlip, Flava D, REZZ, Louisahhh, Alison Wonderland, and Anna Lunoe. These artists are inspirations to me just by what they are doing for women in music. One last musical influence is Josh Pan because he’s so creative and knows how to make masterpieces.
As your career begins to blossom, what words of encouragement or advice would you give to musicians your age who are looking to follow in a similar path as you?
A lot of people think DJ-ing and the electronic music scene is male-dominated. A signature quote that I always use is, “anything boys can do, I can do better.” I’m so happy that females are finally getting the recognition they deserve in the EDM scene. My advice would be to push for what you believe in, hard work ALWAYS pays off, and write your own story.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I couldn’t have imagined that I would be playing Terminal 5 this Friday at just 16-years-old, so where I see myself in 10 years is difficult to envision. I want to be headlining festivals and have my own fashion line, and maybe even my own label. Also, I would love to have a lot of original music done with my sister, Cassidy Reiff, who is a singer/songwriter (she’s sitting on a gold mine of material… They call her the queen of hooks!). I’m very excited for what’s to come.
Finally, please tell us a bit about this mix you’ve put together for us! Any standout tracks in here that we should know about?
I had so much fun making this mix. It’s a mini version of what you can expect if you come see me live. No genre is off limits! The standout tracks would be the 8 tracks of mine that are unreleased!! ;)
01. Callie Reiff – Sonic Distortion Intro (Exclusive)
02. ID x ID – ID (Exclusive)
03. Ookay – Rhythm
04. Aylen x Audiobot – ID
05. Swage – Real Game
06. DJ Snake – Propaganda (Habstrakt Remix)
07. Tag Team – Whoomp (There it is) (Alwaze Bootleg)
08. Ghost Channels – Fire Drill
09. Fish – Hold On
10. Stoke Sound & Muramasa – RVRE
11. MUST DIE! – Neo Tokyo
12. Callie Reiff x Dapp – ID (Exclusive)
13. Callie Reiff x Kyle Hughes – ID (Exclusive)
14. 2 Chainz vs Rickyxsan x Dirty Audio – Where U Been Gettin’ That Scoop
15. Sirenz – Escapade
16. Nero – Crush On You (Callie Reiff Bootleg) (Exclusive)
17. Duck Sauce – NRG (Stanton Warriors Re-Sauce)
18. Callie Reiff x C&T – ID (Exclusive)
19. Callie Reiff – ID (Exclusive)
20. Skrillex & MUST DIE! – VIP’s
21. Holy Goof – Girls
22. Callie Reiff x Wurmhole – ID (Exclusive)
23. Callie Reiff – ID (Exclusive)
24. FF – Crave you (Le croquant & Antis Remix)