Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Black Swan: The Queen Of Louisiana Dubstep

Roxanne Hare aka Black Swan is possibly one of the sweetest and most unassuming people I know. One of the most amazing things about her is when she steps behind the turntables, there is a constant fear of neck breakage. She has always had the knack for finding and playing some of the most incredible music, and carving out her own personal style. She's moved on from Drum & Bass to championing Dubstep here in Louisiana. I caught up with her via Facebook so I could interview her. Here is the transcript:

T5: First let me lead off by saying that you're AWESOME and I'm incredibly excited about what you're doing for Dubstep here in the south. Why dubstep?

BS: No, you're awesome. I love bass, basically. Ridiculous bass. Dubstep was sort of an accident for me. Of course, I had been spinning DnB for quite a while. A few years ago, I started jamming to mixes by some guys in Texas. At first I felt like I was cheating on drum and bass. But more and more, the sound grew on me. Then, many drum and bass producers I knew started making dubstep, and the rest is history. I really love that the sound of dubstep has changed and opened up. There is such huge variety out there - there truly is a style of dubstep for everyone.

T5: Yeah, Dubstep is really being recognized here in Louisiana. You are a big part of that. Tell me about Louisiana Dubstep.

BS: Louisiana Dubstep is an organization where like-minded people can share their love for the genre. It's something I started with the purpose of connecting with others and letting people know what's going on, because there wasn't a centralized place to get info. For show dates, mixes, news and more, people can visit We've got some exciting things in the works, including a logo, merchandise and (more) shows. The birth of a scene is an exciting thing to witness!

T5: The birth of a scene IS exciting. You must be really proud. What musicians/djs do you look up to??

BS: Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Bjork fan. What they might not know is how big of an impact she's had on my musical life. I was always into EDM, but being a fan of hers exposed me to a variety of producers who were doing her remixes in the early to mid-1990s. The thing I found so amazing about that process was that the remixes weren't just watered-down pop tunes for clubs. They were actually more like rearrangements, sometimes with the vocals redone, with the wildest combinations of beats and instrumentation. It is partially through those remixes that I discovered artists such as Plaid, Black Dog, Mark Bell of LFO, etc. Although I was already hooked on drum and bass, her work with Goldie, Dillinja and Photek certainly excited me and shaped what I ended up doing with music. I've wondered if Bjork listens to dubstep - I'd love to ask her that question! As for DJs, I'd say I've been influenced more by locals than anyone else, and it's a long list of people whom I consider to be great friends. I pretty much look up to any local DJ who pushes the scene in a positive direction.

T5: I knew you were gonna say Bjork!!! I LOL'd at that response. So what's on the horizon?? What would you like to see happen to the scene in saaay one year from now?

BS: For some reason this is a hard question for me. I think that's because I don't really think of dubstep in terms of "the scene" but more in terms of the music. I hope that doesn't sound cliche, but it's true. My goal has always been to share my excitement and get other people as excited about dubstep as I am. It's a great feeling when someone who is normally a house head or a breaks fan, etc., tell me "I don't normally listen to this, but I love it!" What I would like to see is more people loving the music and totally going nuts at shows. I've witnessed this many times, and it's a total high! I'd also like to see some more dubstep headliners play shows here. I've got tons of people in mind. Louisiana is ready!

T5: Tons of people in mind?? Like??

BS: If I tell you, I'd have to kill you. ;=) Let's just say I'm working on a great headliner for Nola right now, and I'm using Swamp Wamp (a dubstep event held every other month at Sadie's in Lafayette, 2nd Saturdays) as a way to bring in regional talent. I plan and organize shows as much as time and logistics allow - which basically means I'll be able to do a handful of good shows a year.

T5: I can't wait for the news!! I really think Louisiana is opening itself up to new and different things. I'm glad you're spearheading Dubstep here. Where/when are you playing next? And where can we buy/download some mixes??

BS: I usually keep a running list of gigs on my myspace page (
dnb). My next gig is for Smurl's "Enduragroove" at Sadie's in Lafayette on July 4. After that, "Keep it Moving" at the Dragon's Den in Nola on July 18, Bass Massacre in Nola on Aug. 1, "Afterlife" in Dallas on Aug. 15, "Dubstep vs. Drum n Bass" (my bd party) on Sept. 5 at the Dragon's Den, "Earthdance" in Austin the weekend of Sept. 26, a Kinetic/Louisiana Dubstep show Oct. 3 in Nola, "Swamp Wamp" Oct. 10, and another show in Nola on Nov. 28. Kind of a crazy schedule ... As for mixes, there are several posted on the Louisiana Dubstep myspace page from me and some other DJs in Louisiana. You can also hear dubstep on my radio show, "Swanstep Radio," on every Sunday night from 9-10 p.m. Central.

T5: Gravy baby!!! So any last words, shout outs???

BS: I'm so glad you asked that, because I've been trying to find the right place to pay respects to a good friend, Jamie Warmack, who passed last summer. Jamie was the main person I was working with to start this "movement" in Louisiana. Aside from being a helluva cool guy and good friend of many years, he was one of the few people I knew with whom I could share conversations about the music, artists, production, etc., and bounce ideas off of. I owe a lot to him because he was willing to take a chance on something new and make it happen. He is a big inspiration behind Louisiana Dubstep. And, of course, there are so many other awesome folks whom I am blessed to consider family! Some of those include Below C Level, Louisiana DnB, Rules of Culture, Kinetic Productions, Sinthenasia, Microterrorizum, Brandi Raves, my family and more ... . Thanks so much for the opportunity, and much respect!

Y'all can catch up with Black Swan and all the Louisiana Dubstep updates at">Louisiana Dubstep Myspace Also check out !!! It's exciting to see someone with enough vision and forethought to introduce an entirely new form of music to a place as culturally diverse as Louisiana. Stay up and look out for the big headliners, I'm sure they will knock your head from your shoulders.

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