I met Lady DJ GI aka Ivana Grubišić on Hvar island in 2011 and we partied together a few times. She took me to that famous night when Prince Harry was at Veneranda club in Hvar. We partied so hard that we completely failed to notice either him or that spectacular fall of His grace – the plunge into the shallow ornamental pool that left him soaking wet from head to toe. This took place right in front of us but I am hopeless at recognizing celebrities when I meet them in real life, but I already told you that when I was bragging about my one night stand with James Franco. However, what I find exciting is discovering new, raising stars and I always notice them.
Lady GI, is one of them and I think this lady will go places. Firstly, she is one of the very few female house music DJs currently active in Croatia. Secondly, she is talented, smart and looks hot. Hot hot.
But even glamorous and striking as she is, Lady GI comes across very normal and grounded. Maybe, because she is from Split, home to some of the most beautiful women you can imagine, but also down to earth Dalmatian people. These people are not easily star- struck. They treat everyone the same and don’t really care if you are a celebrity or not .Yes, a place like this still exists and I hope this aspect of their mentality will never ever change. Hence, Beyonce and Jay Z braved stepping from their yacht to the actual ground of the island Hvar, the same summer of 2011. They realized that there still existed a place where they wouldn’t be harassed if they walked out on the streets. But ironically enough, this innocent and well- meaning act is also to blame for a new trend of attracting ‘the wrong’ kind of crowds of partygoers, the boozy youth that started to arrive in masses, secretly desperately seeking Beyonce, and the prince , Harry. But that’s another story.
As for Lady GI, the thing is that at the time when I met her, I was totally unaware that she was just about to dive into the waters of house music as a DJ! Two years on, and she has been making waves all across Croatia and now being noticed abroad too. She has just released a house tune ‘Bounce’, which she wrote, produced and in which she features as singer. An Italian record label already showed an interest so she is in discussions doing a remix with another DJ.
I caught up with her recently and she told me a bit more about what she’s been up to as DJ and producer since we met last.
V: How did you get into DJing?
Lady GI: I’ve been involved with music all my life. I started dancing when I was 4 and I danced modern and street jazz until a few years ago. I won many dance competitions, became a dance tutor and ended up working in videos and concerts as a dancer and choreographer, collaborating with many famous Croatian singers and DJs. My whole life I’ve been performing. Six years ago I became a nursery teacher and, as this was a full-time job, I was not able to dance professionally anymore so I started to teach dance to children. However, as I was missing the performing side, I decided to become a DJ. I‘ve been listening to house music since I was 14 and I‘ve always been a raver and partygoer so I play house music. I still work in my day job as a nursery teacher and I dj at night. Often, I get asked about how I manage to combine these two things. But parents of the kids I teach love it, they are supportive and they even come to my gigs with the kids, for example when I play in lounge bars. At the nursery, I sometime teach kids to dance to house music. I even remixed a nursery rhyme into a house song for kids!
V: Where do you play?
Lady GI: I play all along the Croatian coast like Split, Zadar, Vodice, Omiš, Makarska, Rijeka, Dubrovnik etc. and of course, on the islands : Hvar, Rab, Vis, Brač, Korčula. In the winter, it’s Zagreb also Bosnia, Austria. In the summer these are beach bars, lounge bars, small or large clubs, beach parties and festivals. In the winter I DJ at ski parties too.
V: What is the scene like at the moment in Croatia?
Lady GI: It’s good, especially in the summer. Lots of great DJs from abroad visit Croatia and a good number of people, both Croatian and the tourists listen to house music over here. There are plenty of clubs, lounge bars and festivals. With its great festivals and open air venues, Croatia, especially its coastline is becoming a top destination for dance music lovers. It becomes quieter, especially in Split over the winter, but on the whole, the scene is good, I am satisfied.
V: Are there any other female DJs in Croatia we should know about?
Lady GI: I don’t know if there are other female DJs in Croatia, at least I am not aware of any who is out there with an exposure or media presence…maybe there are some but I never met them, ha ha, ha
V: Why do you think there is the lack of female DJs here?
Lady GI: It must be some fear or lack of confidence and the fact that generally, DJing is considered as a man’s job. I actually think that women can DJ very well as they also have a good sense of rhythm, musical hearing and emotional responsiveness. Abroad, there are lot’s of successful female DJs but currently, the situation in Croatia is different.
V: And what about the guys, male DJs , are they supportive ?
Lady GI: Well, I think the male DJs in Croatia don’t have anything against me, or at least not one of them said anything negative about me ha, ha, ha.
V: And how are you received as a female house music DJ? You look like a Supermodel. Does this help you in any way?
Lady GI: Thanks for the compliment! Well I think that the look is not that important in the world of house music. Maybe on the first sight it seems important but you need to be a quality DJ, so that people actually listen to your music, follow you, dance on your parties and not just look at you. To invite you to play again at the same place. If you are a rubbish DJ but you look good, I don’t think they would invite you to play again and again. The music and is the most important thing, at least that’s what I think!
V: You are a dancer. Do you use this skill while performing?
Lady GI: Definitely! While I am DJing, I am dancing all the way through! I don’t stop! It’s just happens naturally and I don’t even think about it. Dancing is in my blood!
V: You just had your tune ‘Bounce’ released this summer. What are your plans for the future?
Lady GI: I would like to record a few more songs and a whole album. I have lot’s of lyrics already written as I have been writing for long time. Also, I am planning to record a duet with a famous Croatian singer. And continue with DJing but also play outside Croatia, abroad. This winter I am playing in France, Italy, Macedonia...and maybe even London! So, see you there.