By Connie Shen & Dominique Silva
Hannah Bo Petri, aka Catsexual, enjoys making people sweat. She is a young, Los Angeles-based DJ, the founder/creator of the event company Gold Lion, and a third-year gender studies student at UCLA. Having already made a name for herself in the music industry, she has worked with Kreayshawn, Too Short, Felix Cartal, Sub Zero, and DJ Falcon, just to name a few. We were able to talk to Hannah before she kicks off her U.S. tour this summer. We discussed the industry, where she got her DJ name, and the contemporary women of pop music.
FEM: Your DJ name is Catsexual, why?
HBP: When I first started DJing, I had this friend that I was working with a lot, he used to live in Florida and then he moved here. I decided to buy him a cat for his birthday. It was this little kitten, and it was really cute, but it was breaking all his stuff, and we thought if we would mate him, he would calm down. So, Catsexual was born in that creepy cat-mating world that I had.
How do you feel being a female DJ in an industry that is predominantly male?
I feel the same way. I only know a few girls that do DJ regularly and want to do it as their future. I am one of the few girls I know, while other girls do it as fun. The style of music I play is a harder style that mostly guys play. A lot of the girls play a much lighter style, and I question if they feel as if they can’t compete or if they do it because they like it. Guys look down on me and a lot of times they feel like I am less than them. They feel they can take control of me, which is not the case. It can be very stressful.
What do you think about women being in the in- dustry and trying to be that “strong woman” but re- ally just buying in to all the same, very male gaze oriented, image as they perform? Because it isn’t only music, you are essentially performing.
I know that guys enjoy the whole sexuality thing that I have and I had that at an early age and I have that with Gold Lion. It is a very sexually oriented event company, which people enjoy. But I mean, people ask me to be more naked on stage and I won’t. I just have my own rules. But I don’t really care if it is a more feminist kind of rule, and I don’t really care if guys enjoy it or not. I don’t really care what people think, I have a sexual image and I am going to continue to have that sexual image, but I will never be naked, and I will never do certain things that guys want me to do. But at the same time, it is a very male dominated industry, so me being a girl, I set that aside for my- self so whether I’m sexual or not, I have that to my advantage.
So, staying along those lines, have you ever been denied jobs because you didn’t want to be that naked girl DJing?
I had one guy that said that to me outright, which was super insulting. But I know a lot of promoters don’t want to hire me because I am a girl. They feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and that I am just doing this for the sake of doing it. So, I kind of have to prove myself to a lot of people, but the people that do know me know that I’m really good at what I do, and know that I’m a lot better than a lot of the guys in the industry. It kind of just depends on the promoter, and I couldn’t care less if you don’t want to hire me because I’m a girl, that’s your loss, and I prefer to not work with you. But yeah, it is still very sexist.
One last question, what are your thoughts on mainstream women in music?
I know a lot of them do it because they need to make money and they need to support themselves and I respect that, but they don’t have minds of their own and it’s very stupid. What I want to empower in girls is to know that they have to be themselves and they shouldn’t follow the record companies in making them be a certain way.
Follow Catsexual this summer to sweat to some awesome music, maybe catch her on tour, or just see what she will be doing next
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