by Whitney Ullman
Eva Shaw, a.k.a. Bambi is one of North America's hottest female DJ / Producers right now within the popular Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene. This former model, of Canadian and Dutch decent, is an extremely talented producer and is on par with all of the top ranked male EDM DJ's. She is taking clubs around the country by storm with her amazing non-commercial beats paired with other popular sounds, making her one of the most recognized female EDM DJ's of all time.
NJ.com had a chance to chat with Bambi before headlining again at Revel's HQ nightclub.
NJ.com: You've been to HQ at The Revel on multiple occasions, what do you like most about the property?
Bambi: It's beautifully built and looks like Vegas, but on the East coast. I haven't had a lot of time to explore, but this summer I'll be in AC a little bit more during the day, so I can't wait to check out the boardwalk...Before playing at HQ, I hadn't been to New Jersey, it's really pretty. Once I saw the beach, I thought wow, this is really nice.
Your real name is Eva Shaw, how did you come up with the alter ego Bambi?
Bambi: Initially when I came to NY, I wasn't DJ'ing, I was just modeling. This was before DJ's really blew up, maybe 2.5 years ago. I was like, ok, I'll try DJ'ing and did a lot for free, but needed a different name to separate from modeling. A lot of people called me Bambi because they thought I looked like Bambi, so I made it my name and it kind of just stuck...A lot of DJ's names can be ridiculous, but you figure out what you like and then just make it cool. I like one word names, I think it's cool.
Were you always an EDM fan, or was it a niche you decide to pursue?
Bambi: I've always loved electro with a dutch sound, so for me the fact that it's popular right now is perfect timing. I grew up liking everything from classical to hip-hop to rock, and I was always singing and writing songs on my keyboard when I was like 8, so I knew I was always into music in general, but I didn't know about electronic music until I was around 17. That's when I got a taste for it, heard really cool stuff that wasn't really popular yet, and then started DJ'ing...It was just good timing because DJ's were blowing up and I was already on the scene and got to play music that I loved because it was really popular, so it's all about timing.
As a model, when was the turning point for you to switch careers?
Bambi: It was a year ago. I was modeling a lot and it was getting stressful because I was getting a lot of DJ bookings that were on par with my rate for modeling. I was like, modeling is great, but my passion is for music. And I knew that I needed to start producing to get to the next level. Plus, once I looked at the numbers, I realized that I could make a living off of this and needed to take a step back from modeling. It's not just for the money, but also I didn't want to be known as a Model/DJ. When I stopped going on castings, it really gave me time to focus on learning production, which takes a long time...I bought my own equipment and have a mini studio set up in NY as well as my laptop..I feel that my DJ business has grown because I have more time.
There's a rumor that you are working on an album, can you confirm?
Bambi: I used to sing a lot and perform in Canada, so I started thinking maybe I'll get back into it with my own track. But, an album is still going to be awhile. My DJ'ing got big really fast and although I'm still building my fan base, it doesn't usually work like that. Most of the time a DJ will make a track first and then start playing everywhere, but I kind of did it backwards. So now, I just finished my first song and sent it to a friend's record label, so hopefully it works out, if not I'll shop around a little bit. Definitely in the next few months I'll have my own track.
What will the track be about?
Bambi: It's more about my mixes and bootlegs, more like a mix that I've made as opposed to a full original production. I think that's how a lot of DJ's start out. They do bootlegs and keep working on the original stuff. I always said that I won't release my own original track until it's done and I'm happy to play it. So, I usually send it to a bunch of people to see what they think and if they like it, then I release it.
Being a female and a model, in a predominately male industry, do you always feel like you have to prove yourself?
Bambi: I have to be a little more careful because I am the first female DJ / Producer to be in the mainstream. There are other girl DJ's, but they are more like songwriters. I want my first song to be impactful and be on par with all the guys and I just want to have the proper respect. My style is more in tune with all the guy DJ's, so I think it's cool. Also, I think that Model/DJ's have kind of a bad reputation and a lot of times they are booked more because they look good, not necessarily for what they are playing; it's usually more commercial. I'm not saying that's bad because there is definitely a market for it and I think it's great to have a pretty girl playing, but it's not me. I want to separate myself from that. Just because I modeled I don't want people to think that's my style.
Do you prefer playing in festivals or high-end venues such as the casino?
Bambi: I haven't booked any fashion or socialite type parties yet because that's not my style. It seems like an obvious fit for me to play at a place with fashion, but really my style is pretty intense and very Dutch, which is my background, so I feel more comfortable playing at festivals and those types of events. I do get offers for Fashion Week and Fashion Night Out, they pay great and there would be celebrities, but I knew if I started doing that, that's where I would get pigeon holed so I made a conscious decision to play at festivals. Plus, the main reason I like festivals is because the people that are there are 100% about the music, and they are really proactive and aggressive in promoting and having fun...I also have a lot of bottle service clients, and I definitely want to keep building that, but It's important to me to have that mix.
What's it like playing with David Guetta, Avicii, & Tiesto?
Bambi: Davide Guetta owns a party called "F*** me I'm famous" in Las Vegas, where he will have me play. He hires DJ's to play there even when he's not there. He really supports new DJ's.. I've played with Avicii so many times, more than any other DJ...i've played with all three of them numerous times. They have really great fans who have ended up supporting me after seeing me play with them. It has been a great way to get my name out there to a lot of people really quickly. I was definitely really nervous the first couple of times with each of them, but now it's not a big deal. All three of them are incredibly great guys as well, so that helped a lot!.
What would turn you off from playing at a venue?
Bambi: For me the real deal breaker isn't about how much you're paying me, it's if the sound is bad, then I won't go back there. You can play a great set, but if the speakers are bad, it doesn't sound good. Clubs can be cheap sometimes, even if the main system is great, they won't buy good monitors for the booths...they really need to invest in an entire sound system. Plus some clubs just have a weird layout and you can't explain why, but you get a weird vibe.
It also has to do with hospitality. Like, Angel Management is unbelievable. I'm also playing with them in Vegas, and they are so on-point with anything. I don't have to ask, it's just done. They will do everything for you. All the clubs look great, sound great and are organized. They have the marketing and promotions stuff ready, so when you find companies that really know what they are dong, you want to support them.
Are you dating?
Bambi: [giggles] Recently single, yes. It's hard DJ'ing and traveling so much.
Whitney is an on-air multimedia personality, and works behind the scenes helping businesses gain extra exposure, through her WIN Promotions video production services.