Formidable Females: Julia Crescitelli

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     When you think of electronic music, what do you immediately think of? If you’re anythinglike me, you might picture an onslaught of flashing lights, DJs jamming with big sunglasses on, probably a lot of drugs and probably a lot of people doing them. Julia Crescitelli, a member ofthe Tisch Class of 2017 and writer for magazines The Electronic Current and Elektro, says thatthere’s a whole lot more to the electronic music scene than the drugs and the Instagram-ready, Coachella-looking concert-goers. It’s more than going out and it’s more than going crazy— it’s adeeply beloved and constantly evolving entity fueled my passionate fans and intelligent artists.     After our initial meeting place in the Tisch lounge was changed due to an extremely longline of Film students waiting to get free pizza, Julia and I settled in the Pless Hall lounge, facingWashington Square Park, to discuss the ups and downs of being a 19-year-old female EDM journalist.

Where are you from? What are you majoring at in Tisch?I’m from Staten Island, which is obviously very close to here. I don’t even go home, because I wanna pretend like I’m away at school, which my parents are cool about, but I was home last weekend [for fall break].

HL: I saw the picture of your new puppy, by the way.Oh my god, she’s f*cking adorable, now I WANNA go home, because she’s so cute!  Anyway, I’m majoring in Film & TV, which I knew I wanted to do forever, pretty much, and that’s kind of why I ended up here, because I want to go anywhere but New York, but when I got into Tisch it was kind of, like, I had to come, cause I can’t turn it down…so yeah, that’s how I ended  up being thirty minutes from home!

Tell us about your job at the Electronic Current.At The Electronic Current I am the assistant editor, but I also write for it and right now the main editor is abroad, so essentially I’m running the magazine by myself out of New York. At Elektro, which is Elektro Magazine and Elektro Daily, which is the online subsidiary of Elektro Magazine, I write and take pictures. We do music reviews, show reviews, and editorials allabout electronic music and all the subgenres held within it.

When did you go to your first EDM show?My first EDM show was Electric Zoo three years ago, I was sixteen, I think, and that was the first one that I could actually go to because other people wanted to go with me. I had wanted to go for probably, like, almost two years before that, but nobody knew about it yet really andnobody would go with me, and that’s not the type of thing when you’re fourteen and fifteen that you want to go to alone.

What inspired you to become so devoted to the scene since then and what elementsof the scene have you seen change since the time you became involved?The time I came in was right before the explosion of this type of music. Everybody was there to try something new and something interesting, and we kind of all saw that it was about toget really big, and that it had all this potential to be cool. So all of us were in it together…it’s such a friendly environment. You come to a show with three or four people, and by the end ofthe show you’re friends with, like, fifty people and everybody there is there for the right reasons and is there to make friends and they’re there to just enjoy themselves and listen to music andhave a good time. That’s how it was, like, three years ago. Now, that’s still how it is, but depending on what genre you’re in. It’s the funniest thing becauseeveryone goes through the same path of electronic music. Everybody starts with like, someprogressive house, some dubstep, maybe some big room— so it’s basically like, mainstagefestival stuff— it’s the easiest to get into because it’s the most familiar. That’s one of the reasonswhy I don’t go to shows like that anymore. One, because I just don’t like that type of music anymore, but it’s just filled with people who are JUST coming into the scene, and now peoplewho are just coming into the scene are coming into it for the wrong reasons. They’re coming intoit for the drugs, which is not what it’s about at all, and that’s kind of the biggest problem with thescene right now, that people, like, who don’t like the music, but are like “oh, yo, we can just go tothis thing and take drugs” because that’s not what it’s about. It’s like, I wouldn’t go to a show of agenre I know nothing about and hated and tell myself that I’ll be fine if I just take drugs. Why would I subject myself to that? That’s terrible. And those genres get the wrong attention, because the most people are going to those shows, because it’s the biggest influx of newpeople, so I just stay away from that.  The more you get into the different subgenres of electronic music, the friendlier people are— it’s like, you love this, I love this, we’ve paid our dues, we’ve all gone to those shitty shows, nowwe’re at where the good stuff is. I can go to a show and I can recognize people. Even thoughthey’re not my friends, it’s like, oh hey, I saw you last week. Whenever I go to a show of acertain genre, I know I’ll see my friends that are into that genre.

What is it like being a young female journalist in the electronic music scene?The weird thing is that there are very few females in the business. The only females that arereally into it are on the business end of it all, like, a few PR people, a few managers— NO tour managers, at least that I know. The only bad part of this is that wherever I’m somewhere whereyou need special access, whether it’s the press tent or the photo pit, I’m constantly asked if I’m supposed to be there. That’s the only part that sucks, I guess, because I am a young girl wholooks like she would be at the festival regardless, but I’ve been physically dragged out of photopits before by security guards. This has nothing to do with the artist, but I think I was at anExcision show, and I was in the photo pit— this has happened probably three times to me— specifically this one time, I was pretty much front row on the other side of the gate the wholetime, and I had been in the photo pit earlier that night, for the openers, and there was no way I wasn’t supposed to be there, there were other photographers in the pit. The first two minutes Iwas in there, a security guard that hadn’t admitted me saw me there, and I was reaching downinto my bag to grab a different lens he comes up from behind me, rips me out, all my stuff into the photo pit and starts threatening to throw me out while physically dragging me out of the photo pit.

Why do you think there aren’t more women involved in this industry? I think it’s because you have to be somewhat of a computer nerd to be a producer. I mean, I vaguely know how to use the programs, but it takes years to learn how to do it well, and that’s why so many new artists come into the scene, not realizing it’s as much work as it actually is, and then kind of bail out. It’s the same reason why there aren’t many women in computer engineering industries— I don’t really know, men just seem to be the ones that are interestedand are willing to put in the time with the computers— it’s not that way always, but mostpeople’s tour managers are their friends from home that they kind of brought along for the ride, so it always ends up being a bunch of guys. There are more women on the business side of it.And there are a few up and coming artists that are women, but not really.

What’s something that you wish people outside of the EDM scene could understandabout the nature and culture of the scene?One is that we all only go to do drugs. If someone’s there and they have to do drugs every single time they probably don’t like the music and probably shouldn’t be there. The second is that all electronic music is what you hear on the radio and the typical songs that you hear— thatis literally 10% of electronic music, it’s normally big room or a little trance, electro-house, andnow a little trap is coming to the surface. If you think about the definition of electronic music, hip-hop is electronic music. Even pop is electronic music, some rock is even electronic music.  That’s what one of the websites I work at focuses on, we don’t write about the songs youalready know about. That’s pointless, why would you care about it? Electronic music is thousands of subgenres…that’s kind of, like, my mission, to change the way people look atelectronic music and what they think about it.

If you could give a piece of advice to those who are interested into electronic musicbut who may be intimidated by the scope and intensity of the scene, what would it be?Don’t let people that are music snobs discourage you from liking what you like. Some people Imeet love music that I hate, and a few years ago I would have told them that they’re wrong andthat they have terrible taste, but now I realize that there are people that hate what I like too, soit’s not like there’s any right or wrong answer, you know? If you like what you like, good for you, I like what I like too. I’m glad you enjoy it, and don’t waste your time on things that you don’t enjoy!

     Is there a lovely lady in your life here at NYU or NYC that’s doing something remarkable the world should hear about? PLEASE let us know! Email Hannah Leach at [email protected] and tip her off.