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Exclusive Mix & Interview

October 21st, 2018

Ariel Zetina

City: Chicago

Country: United States

Genre: Club Music

Label: Discwoman, Majía

Residency: Smartbar




Ariel Zetina. Welcome. Introduce yourself to our audience. Anything you would like them to know?

Hi! I'm a Chicago based DJ and I'm on the Discwoman roster (agency geared towards female DJs making dance music) as well as a resident DJ at Smartbar (iconic house music club in Chicago).


I produce and DJ music that has elements of House, Techno, Vogue, Bass, as well as various Latin and Caribbean genres of music.


2. Take us back to where it all began. What was the moment that sparked your interest in

electronic music?

Early interest in electronic music was mostly from those Pop-Trance CD compilations that were coming out in the 90s. That has always been my earliest memory of listening to music. In terms of creating Electronic music, I was in a performance group "WITCH HAZEL". Frustrated with sourcing music, I began to create my own.




"I produce and DJ music that has elements of House, Techno, Vogue, Bass, as well as


various Latin and Caribbean genres of music."




On your musical journey, as you grow and pick up more skills, what is the genre you are creating and what is it called and where did it come from?

I always like to say I'm making club music- two things are important to me: a comment upon the relationship of different genres to others, as well as an interest in making tracks that use the DJ process to influence production.


Can you tell us a bit about your production process? Favorite software, hardware and / or instruments?

I work extremely linearly, usually doing the arrangement at the same time I'm making the sounds. I mostly use Logic, but my final products are always a mixture of Ableton and Logic. I've been really into the ABL3 plugin on Logic to make acid lines recently! Hardware is not a focus at the moment (mostly due to lack of coin), but I do tend to use my voice, found sound, and field recordings a lot in my production ('Chino' that just released on Majia is a great example)


Tell us about your residencies in Chicago. What can you get from that city that you can’t get anywhere else in terms of the music scene?

I am a resident at four clubs: Smartbar (Diamond Formation), Rosebud (Berlin Nightclub), Ariel's Party (Hideout), and Rumors (East Room). I also run a radio show, The Rosebud Show, on WNUR 89.3FM Evanston/Chicago. These are all focused on club music DJs- so I have featured everything from Classic House to Jersey Club. In Chicago, even the most boring individual will dance to house music, so it is extremely important that that genre is reflected upon at my parties, to continue the Chicago tradition. It is also important to me that the artists I am employing are diverse in both identity and sound.

ariel zetina, smartbar


"It is also important to me that the artists I am employing are diverse in both identity and






Any special moments you would like to share that have shaped you into the artist you are today?

Last week I went to Garfield Park Conversatory, which has a ton of plants not growing in the US. I saw a 'sensitive plant' which immediately reminded me of sleeping grass that exists in Belize (where my mom's Family is from), where if you touch the leaves they curl up. Plant recognition as a catalyst for memory is a form of time traveling, and this can reflect in my music both formally and content wise (specifically in my upcoming EP on Majía)



Any upcoming projects you wish to talk about?

Upcoming EPs on Majía, Head Charge, and Manifest. I am currently working on playwriting commissions for Sideshow Theatre Company and The House Theatre of Chicago as well.


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in a club?

I once watched a guy buy a bottle of tequila for 300 dollars just so he could prove to the bartender that he could spend money like that.


Ariel, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration? Is there anything special you want the audience to know?

This is an 100% Ariel mix, starts off slow and lives both in the club and out of the club. Lots of stuff that was recently released and just about to be released, as well as some gems from the past.

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