GET TO KNOW OUR LATEST HOUSE-LOVING FIXATION
Story by Grace Carroll
Photo by Michael Taylor
As one half of Toronto’s electro-rap duo, 84.85, Jay Jolliffe gets the best of us furiously scribbling our numbers onto scraps of paper and blowing them over to him with sweet air kisses. Upon discovering his alter ego, house music DJ and producer, Lucy ‘Lo, we’ve spiraled into a crush-induced, clothes-ripping, knicker-throwing rage that’s almost dangerous. We caught up with Jay to find out more about him and get our flirt on, jealous much?
What lead you to music?
I always played sports as a kid, I never really played instruments and my parents didn’t have a crazy music collection. But around ‘92-93, I heard Snoop Doggy Dogg’s cover of ‘Ladi Dadi’ (off the Doggystyle LP) that my best friend’s brother had and I was hooked. There was nothing else in my mind except dirty rap lyrics after that day.
When did you start DJing?
I started DJing in high school. I was obsessed with the idea of playing people the music I loved. I wasn’t interested in cutting or scratching, all I wanted to do was school people to some shit they didn’t know yet.
My first project was a DJ group called Legit Soundcrew with Evan Norton (Yo EV, of Torro Torro). We went to high school together and DJ’d school dances and threw a few parties here and there.
When I moved to Ottawa for school and started producing, I formed 84.85 with Colin Maciver and haven’t looked back since. Now I also produce house as Lucy ‘Lo.
Who were your favourite artists to listen to while growing up?
The West Coast in the early mid-90s was really the end all and be all to me. Snoop, Dr. Dre, Warren G, Nate Dogg, The Dove Shack, Too Short etc. but as I entered high school, I discovered Jay-Z and I was a Jiggy-era New York rap head through-and-through.
What made you fall in love with house music?
The groove! By chance I went to a party two winters ago, that Justin Martin was DJing, I didn’t really know what house was before then. At that point, to me, house was a dirty word. I was so inspired by the music Justin was playing, I was hypnotized by the groove and the rhythm. That night, when I got home, I stayed up all night and made my first house track. I have been hooked ever since.
What can party goers expect when they catch a Lucy ‘Lo set?
Expect to groove and grind, not fist-pump. Expect to find a sexy partner to dance with, not to dance in one place and stare at me like a zombie. I don’t jump up and down or stage dive. I will not give you something to look at. I just want to make you dance and set the stage for you to have a great night.
And when we see you on stage as one half of 84.85?
84.85 is a show. Come to watch, dance and sweat. We work very hard to make our live show an experience you won’t forget!
Where are we most likely to find you DJing?
I’m part of a monthly party at The Red Light called ‘Lick a Shot’. I play at both bars and clubs, mostly in the west end of Toronto, from The Drake Hotel and Wrongbar, to The Crawford and Andy Poolhall.
Favourite tracks of the moment?
Social Disco Club and Red D – Jack
Motorcity Drum Ensemble – Basement L.O.V.E.
Dom Kennedy – GRIND’N
Todd Terje – Ragysh
Kendrick Lamar – Hiiipowered
Lucy ‘Lo – Go Head
How did you master the art of DJing?
I certainly haven’t mastered DJing. But I’ve learned how to balance giving people what they know they want to hear, and what I want them to hear.
What are your thoughts on the new generation of iPod DJs?
I think it’s fine; people take this whole scene too seriously sometimes. If the party is fun and the music is good, then fuck it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a valuable contribution to the art of DJing, but clearly there’s a market for fun, carefree music and a DIY party aesthetic.
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
Just enjoy it. Practice, work hard and have fun. Make edits, bring your own personality to your sets, but don’t take it so seriously that you can’t have fun at parties anymore.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
I’m finishing an EP right now as Lucy ‘Lo – slower, bouncier house – and I’ll be releasing a free, fun party single for fans this month!
If we were to go on a date, where would you take me?
Now that the weather is so beautiful, I’d say: bikes, St. Lawrence Market, picnic and a drive-in movie.
Who is your number one crush of the moment?
My favourite bartender. She’s got these eyes that somehow make the whiskey taste even better.