September 2, 2014

Audrey Napoleon & Her Robots

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By Justin Hampton

In several ways, Audrey Napoleon could be seen as a model DJ.

For starters, she’s already warmed up for Deadmau5 and scored a headlining slot on this summer’s national IDentity Festival, just three years after picking up the trade while a waitress at Hollywood’s Geisha House. And then there’s her ebony-black hair and porcelain-white skin, which makes her highly presentable for gigs such as her current monthly residency at Las Vegas’s Marquee Dayclub. And she’s even added corporate spokesperson to her résumé now that Heineken has featured Napoleon and her 303-bending track “#mysunrise” in a slick online campaign.

With the release of her “Ornamental Egos” EP [SQE Music], Napoleon hopes to further penetrate EDM’s big moment with her club-friendly “Underground Pop.”

“I’ve taken all of my techno roots and used that as my underground—I really love all the top lines of pop music,” she says. “So I just pulled what I love from pop music and techno and pushed it together.”

Napoleon’s current forte is programming behind the decks, which include mixers from the Pioneer DJM series. With her, she brings a Native Instruments Audio 8 interface, a USB hub, some V-Moda headphones—one pair has her name emblazoned on the side—and two Native Instrument Traktor X1 controllers, which she calls “Robot One and Two.”

“I really love to add hi-hats to different tracks because I feel like it gives it more movement,” Napoleon explains of her Traktor setup. “And once I find an 8-bar and I loop hats that I like, I’ll just keep it moving throughout the next few tracks. Then I’ll switch over to a different loop or sample that I’ll pull from and, before I go to my sets, I [have a] folder of the tracks that I want to play with the samples that I want to play. And while I’m playing, that’s when I incorporate the loops.”

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