Fresh from Miami’s Winter Beach Party, DJ and Brazilian beauty Ana Paula is putting finishing touches on a new album, her first under the Star 69 Records label. The project emerged out of an invitation from dance music legend Peter Rauhofer.
Paula is gaining popularity quickly. Her busy schedule regularly takes her around the world. As Xtra catches up with her by phone, she’s rushing from airport to gig, with style and a smile. She’s on her way from her home in Rio to Sao Paulo for a set at Flexx Nightclub, before heading back to Rio for another set the next day.
“I want to see happy people,” she says. “That is how I know I have done a good job. I love to play with the crowd…. When I play, I want to bring love, music, good energy and happiness to the dancefloor.”
Paula started spinning on Rio’s Jovem Pan Radio, where she quickly attracted attention. That gig led to numerous invitations to spin in some of the largest clubs in a city known for its parties. Not just a DJ, Ana gained a reputation as a producer, too.
“Good DJs and good producers need to believe in themselves,” she says. “They both need inspiration and need to have a connection with the people.”
Coming in under the gay party radar, she was resident DJ at X-Demente (Rio) from 2003 to 2007, a gig Paula refers to as a “watershed event in Brazilian gay circuit party history.” From that came an invitation to spin with DJ Offer Nissim in Israel, which created a splash for her on the gay party scene. She’s a smouldering lesbian who’s been embraced by the gay circuit crowd with the same passion gay partiers reserve for gorgeous, muscle-bound DJs.
“I like my music to bring the sexiness out of the people moving to the beats, but that has nothing to do with my sexuality,” she says. “Gay house parties are different from straight house parties because gays are happier on the dancefloor. They are more connected to the music and the rhythm – they let me tell my story.”