The first time I played Zebo and Edie’s “Everybody Get Up” monthly party at East Room, I was completely floored. It was a busy Saturday night at the Logan Square club, and I was expecting a more mainstream crowd that was in turn expecting a more commercial style of House music. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. From the moment I walked in, the entire dancefloor was slammed with everybody jamming to the couple’s underground grooves.
Here’s an exclusive mix from Edie & Zebo to get things started:
How long have you been doing your party at East Room and tell us the story of how it started?
Edie: Next month marks our three year anniversary, actually! We’re old friends with the owner, Zack Eastman. He hit up Z to do a night so Zebo suggested that we try out this House/Disco format that we’ve been wanting to do. Our party anniversary also marks our nine year wedding anniversary, as well!
When I first played for your party I was so impressed by the energy of the crowd and how it was so mixed! How would you describe your party’s demographic? It seems to be immune to the slowing down you can see at other clubs everywhere.
Edie: This is something we truly cherish and it’s AWESOME that we’ve been able to accomplish this as it was intentional. Z & I sooo longed for the vibe we grew up with in the late 90’s rave scene. One where you got to experience people of every color, class, even age come together and dance their cares away. I believe that a crucial part of being able to establish this at Everybody Get Up is our crew of friends that have been together since those rave days and their support. We’ve been blessed with the perfect mix of talented, legendary DJ friends & dancers that create this intoxicating vibe outsiders just want to be a part of!
How long have each of you been DJing for and how do you differ from and complement each other when tag teaming?
Edie: Z has been DJing since 1998 & myself, officially since 2012. Z is a crazy accomplished open format DJ and is a full-time professional so with him you’ll get a little more variety & hot mixing. He’s also got mad turntable skills which he flexes. Myself, I think you’d call me more of a purist. This is actually why I didn’t start DJing sooner or pursue it full time. I’m a House nation devotee through and though. I can’t tell you how excited I am that House is making a comeback! I legit went though a depression in the 00’s when it seemed to die for a bit and a bunch of hipster, ADD garbage reined supreme. People are always trying to get me to DJ because “you’re a hot girl & got all these connects. You can make a ton of loot, etc,” but, if I couldn’t play my House then I could care less. So, my sets are House of old & new, plus Disco & Funk, its roots and much longer mixes.
As far as us playing together, I always say it’s like a tug of war, he wants to go in one direction and myself the other lol.
Zebo: This fall marks my 20 years of DJing milestone and I’m extremely proud of that. I feel blessed to be able to be part of one of the greatest DJ and music scenes in the world. Chicago is an amazing city for music! Edie is correct about us DJing together. We have so much in common with our tastes, but differ slightly in specific areas. I think she may have more fun DJing without me sometimes as I can accidentally fall into “teacher mode” and I try to give her pointers and suggestions when she may not be asking for them. I’ve learned to take a step back and let her do what she is doing and observe, not teach.
Zebo do you still teach DJing at Columbia College? What are some key pointers you like to teach your students?
Zebo: Yes I am still at Columbia College and I teach 3 classes, The Club DJ part 1 & 2 and a class called “The Club DJ Producer.” In my Club DJ classes some of the key pointers would be : Practice, practice, practice! Instilling in them the idea of not playing out in front of people at a club until they are ready and confident in their skill. I also believe in teaching students to mix with their ears and to develop their ear by practice through vinyl mixing or CDJ use without relying on the wave forms on the display. I equate it to driving a car in the sense if you learn on a manual / stick shift vehicle you can easily transfer over to an automatic vehicle with little trouble. The flip of that usually doesn’t work as those who learn on an automatic cannot just jump into a stick shift vehicle and go. The art of beat matching can tie into that philosophy as well. The students are taught to use the pitch adjust instead of sync so they have the skill and ability to mix off of a previous DJ no matter what format they use, (e.g. CDJ, Vinyl, Serato, Traktor…) Once the basics are honed students can move onto digital DJ set ups like Serato / Traktor and use of a controller if they so choose. Last big key point would be to have students identify and support nights / venues that they would like to play at. Many new DJs do not know how to get gigs and hope that a great mix and EPK can help get them booked, but as we know being a good DJ is not guaranteed to get you gigs on its own.
What are some future projects you have coming up that we can look forward to?
Edie: I actually plan on applying myself and taking this DJ thang seriously this year. Hah! So there’s that. I also have some edits that I plan on launching and lending vocals to other projects. Together we have a music TV show that we’re putting a pilot for! Also, a non-profit project in which we’ll be teaching autistic teens how to DJ and use this skill as a way to enhance socialization.
Zebo: Along with what Edie said I have my “Light Em Up” project that I work with PHNM and we are going to release our new app and performance style this summer. I am also in the works developing new DJ classes at Columbia with specialized areas such as the art and business of the DJ, and genre focused classes such as “The History of House Music”. On top of that I plan on getting back to releasing DJ mixes regularly with new themes and styles.
“Everybody Get Up” is every 2nd Saturday at East Room (2354 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL) with residents Zebo, Edie, All the Way Kay and guests.
1. Hazzaro – Saturday
2. Kevin McKay The Oooh Song
3. Federico Scavo – Funky Nassau
4. Luca Debonaire – Dance! (Club Mix)
5. House Republic – Nuggetz (Richard Grey Remix)
6. Stefano Noferini – Disco Revenge
7. Dj Mes & Sonny Fodera – Wanna Do
8. Charles J – Do You Want
9. Terry Lex – Something Special
10. Peter Brown – Funkosphere
11. Sammy Porter – A Bit Patchy
12. Dario D’Attis – Sunshine People
13. Gary Caos – Street Player (Remix)
14. DJ Mes – Feel Like Getting Down
15. Chocolate Dice – I’m an Addict (4 Ur Love)