Arts & Entertainment
2 min

This DJ digs daylight

Delux of L-Word fame seeks balance

GET DOWN. DJ Delux plays Mercury Lounge Mar 18. Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Howell

All right L-Word fans, remember the head-shaving scene? The party when Shane opens Wax? That stunning, punky woman getting her head shaved was Lisa Howell aka, DJ Delux.

 “It was pretty awesome,” Howell says. She’s walking down a Vancouver street on her cell-phone, conducting the interview on her way to a yoga class. Its 8:30am.

Yes, this DJ is a bit of an enigma. She’s a yoga fiend, caffeine, meat and dairy free, and quite possibly the only working DJ conducting interviews before 9am.

But this, she says, is the only way to survive doing what she does.

“It’s about balance. I have to stay physically and emotionally healthy. I have to see daylight! If I’d continued deejaying the way I did a few years back, the way a lot of people do, I would be looking so old by now!”

Toned and beautiful, the dark-haired Howell is the picture of androgyny. Suffice to say; old-looking she is not.

Although Howell has spent a fair amount of time on the set of the L-Word, including this season, she is reluctant to be defined by her presence on the hit lesbian TV show. Instead she redirects the focus of the conversation, saying simply:
“I’m a DJ. That’s my passion.”

Known as one of Canada’s top queer DJ’s and a co-founder of the lesbian establishment Lick Nightclub, the 25-year-old Howell is setting herself up to be a name not across the continent but globally as well.

It was Howell’s music that took her from small town Nelson, BC seduced by visions of turntables and strobe lights, to Vancouver. It all began with a love affair — Howell and the rave scene in Nelson — where her dream took root in the sound she was immersed in. It was an impulsive decision, moving to Vancouver, alone at age 16.

“Yes, it was a total leap of faith. I met a bunch of lezzies and my first girlfriend. And I got involved in the underground hiphop community. It started with scratching, beat juggling, then nightclub work. I totally had to do my time.”

While Delux is still enamoured with her turntables, she’s not ruling out future on-screen engagements, especially if she gets to do what she does best.

“Absolutely, if the opportunity came around again I’d do it. I’m not passionate about acting but I enjoyed it. Now if I could just deejay on shows that would be totally awesome. For me really, the joy is in the way my music makes people feel. It’s about inspiring people to just be themselves.”