Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Pride DJ Cozmic Cat

Scratches & beats

BIG BANG. Toronto's Cozmic Cat mashes tracks together in an irresistible, danceable mix.

DJ Cozmic Cat is all smiles when she talks of spinning. But she’s all claws when she’s scratching unstoppable beats on the decks. Cozmic doesn’t just play songs, she wickedly spins records into a frenzy, mashing together tracks and passing out the mic so that friends can freestyle along.

Cozmic’s career was sparked back in high school by some New York records a friend’s brother picked up. “I was blown away by these mixes and I wondered how they did that,” she says. “I was hooked. It wasn’t long before I went down to Radio Shack for my first little crappy DJ mixer and started practising.”

Nine years later, after some time in Philadelphia fine-tuning her talents playing gigs with the likes of DJ Jazzy Jeff, De La Soul, Deep Dish and Bahamadia, she’s back on this side of the border. “I’ve worked from the ground up, and been in the industry for awhile. I would say just about anyone can mix records together with a little practice. But reading crowds, anticipating situations, being professional and knowing how to promote yourself are skills that come with time and experience.”

Cozmic Cat is not only a skilled spinner; she has taken her club experience and started producing. In 2003 she started her own label From Philly With Love Records (with Lorne and Jon Gill) and the label is currently working on its third release. “I wanted to make tracks because I got frustrated with the quality of music out there in the record stores. I was inspired by so many artists, and it seemed like a natural progression to go from DJ to producer.”

I can’t remember the last time I was made giddy on a dancefloor simply by the way one-track transitions into the next, but Cozmic’s seamlessly mixed beats demand that you dance. How about her own dancefloor antics?

“When I’m in the mood, I’m a dancing machine. Hump Day Bump’s Sandy is my absolute favourite local queer DJ to groove to. When she plays her northern soul version of ‘Tainted Love,’ it’s bananas every time.”

Cozmic’s sound has been described as a bouncy, smooth, eclectic mix that is definitely rooted in house, jazz and funk — perfect for some Pride partying. Cosmic is busy doing a monthly travelling party with former Juicy promoter Kiki. She’s also doing some Wednesday nights at the Gladstone’s Hump Day Bump and Pride’s Blockorama with Nikki Red.

“I am stoked and will be dropping some classic house bombs all over that!”

The hotspot for Cozmic fans will likely be the Saturday night Savour party at the Palais Royale with Denise Benson and DJ Spinner. It promises to be a night of hot, sweaty bump and grind.

What tracks will be huge this summer? “Anything by Lady Sovereign — she’s ridiculous. And probably that funk-housey remix of the Gnarls Barkley song ‘Crazy.'”

So expect to hear those tracks mixed into her lineup. But don’t expect her to be following a playlist. “Playlists are for sissies,” she jokes. “It’s all about feeling the crowd.”

Cozmic’s Pride game plan? “Go in, have fun, drop some funky vinyls and flirt with all the honeys. It’s Pride, after all!”