Interview: Athena Hernandez

I still remember when I first started seeing Athena Hernandez around at shows and then I started hearing her dj. I thought, “YES! A female dj that just kicks ass.” She’ll be playing this Friday at Trees opening for Distance of Chestplate Recs. Here’s how she started off.

Athena Hernandez : Dub Assembly
Athena Hernandez : Dub Assembly in Deep Ellum

First gig I ever played was in Dallas, August 2009, Integrated UPROAR @the Cavern where I tagged with the almighty PHOOKA It was a mega Texas line up featuring Mundo (Dub Assembly), MAD CLASSY from Austin and BMC From Houston. Very heavy hitting players that shaped the dubstep and DNB scence here in Texas so it was more then an honor to be a part of.

I call my self a Bass DJ. I do not limit myself to a certain genre because I love all music . I have been in the EDM scene since I was 15 and started off listening to progressive trance, so I can’t really choose a certain genre to pin myself too since I’ve listened to it all. Mind that if I had to pick a genre to best describe me as a person it would be DRUM N BASS hands down. I live walk & breathe the intensity that drum & bass brings to a dance floor . MY slogan is: drum & bass is my heart, hip hop is my soul, and dubstep is my booty.

So glad you could take the time to tell me more about what you’ve been up to.

Well 2012 I have put my main focus on producing music and less on giging out. I felt that was the only was going to advance in the music industry and have longevity in it. So 2012 is all about learning as much as possible about making music and finding my own sound .

Athena Hernandez Costa Rica gig
Athena Hernandez dropping bass in Costa Rica

I’ve noticed that this past year you’ve been djing internationally. What is the first thing you notice about your international gigs vs the ones you’ve played in the states? What countries have you played in so far?

2011 I had the pleasure of invading Central America and playing in Guatemala (Antigua, Guatemala City) , Costa Rica (San Jose) and Honduras (Utila). I noticed a huge difference in the type of music they liked to listen to. This was during the time DUBSTEP was blowing up and DNB was not as popular in the states.

So traveling to Central America I had an arsenal of a variety of music from Electro to Jungle I was ready for any crowd. First gig in Guatemala I played with MAX GRAHAM a TRANCE god and he gave me the best advice about playing in different countries BE YOURSELF and play what you feel inside. And I did I played all different types of genres and they loved it except the dubstep. I found it odd that the biggest thing America at the time was not something accepted quite yet here, but they LOVED the drum n Bass . Honestly they couldn’t get enough of it and it was a bit refreshing since Dubstep at the time was dominating the scene back in texas. Also through my mini tour I learned to appreciate the availability of tools and resources I had to to be a dj . All the DJ equipment and music was triple the price over there and they mke an average of $8-10 a day. SO the DJs I meet where truly passionate because they had to make tough financial decisions in order to sustain their dream.

Athena in Guatemala with trance god: Max Gramwell
Athena in Guatemala with trance god: Max Graham

Of the music that your currently playing, what are the tracks that never fail you?

Wow this is a hard question since I really try not to repeat to many songs since there are so many genres I experiment with but if I had to choose

DNB- Tap Ho by TC

DUBSTEP- Make my whole world by – Trolley Snatcha
or What she said by Switch

Moombahton- Somebody to love by Rusko (skream REmix)

Bass Music Athena Hernandez
Bass Music Athena Hernandez

This Friday you’ve playing at Trees, opening for Distance of Chestplate Recs, he’s pretty bad ass & you’ve playing with some incredibly talented producers – have you ever been all starstruck before?

YES ! ANDY C at SXSW this year I think I forgot my name for about 5 minutes after meeting and taking a picture with him . I felt like a ten year old little girl meeting Justin Bieber. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole night and kept on checking my phone to make sure the picture was still there – ha ha .

Athena meeting drum & bass legend, Andy C, future baby daddy, at SXSW
Athena meeting drum & bass legend, Andy C, future baby daddy, at SXSW

Now that you’re a Houstonite what do you miss about Dallas? And of course, what kicks ass about Houston?

You know I miss the tight knit DNB community that Dallas has as well as all my amazing friends. They all just ate, slept and lived music 24/7 which helped keep me inspired and driven to live my dream. I have yet to meet a group of amazing people like that in Houston but I’m sure in time I will. Houston is where I am originally from so it kick’s ass that it produced someone as awesome as me. No but for real I love Houston’s diverse culture and how authentic they are here. You can always find authentic food from indian to Persian just about any where in this city . Growing up in this city taught me to be opened minded to other peoples cultures and to embrace and accept the differences between us.

Athena with Britnibritnibritni Shepard of Two:Tone
Athena with Britnibritnibritni Shepard of Two:Tone

One of my favorite things to do at Trees is drink and bass out to music, when you party what is the Athena drink of choice?

Drink of choice would be a Goose, soda and lime

Athena's inner diva striking a pose while djing at Nocturnal 2010
Athena's inner diva striking a pose while djing at Nocturnal 2010

Thanks & shout outs!
Shout out to Chris ( Phooka) for always being supportive and being my endless teacher of La Musica . Eli AKA Mass Destruction for showing me drum n Bass and being my other mentor. Jason Mundo For always encouraging me and teaching me about dubstep . Battle Tech, Two Tone, Dustin Knight and DUB ASSEMBLY for believing in me and giving me a chance to play a their weekly’s and shows .

Haters? No such thing for Athena Hernandez!
Haters? No such thing for Athena Hernandez!




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