Allie Teilz is the type of person you could talk to forever. I know, because that was the approximate duration of our Skype conversation — an interview that ended up feeling way more BFF than Q&A. Smart, cool and delightfully precocious (“I’ve always felt like an old lady inside of a teenager”), Teilz is quickly becoming a DJ fixture in the lavish Hollywood party scene.
At 16, Teilz cut her teeth in New York City, DJing from an iPod at DIY venues 285 Kent and Daddy’s. Now, spinning is a full-time job for the 20-year-old Arizona-native, who splits her time between two artist residencies (She’s DJ’d with the likes of Thom Yorke and Elijah Wood). Listen to her exclusive BULLETT mix and catch up with Allie, where she waxes giddy about everything from R. Kelly to being a loner in high school.
On keeping her sets fresh:
Going record store shopping helps a lot. I’ve learned that being oblivious to what’s cool helps the most. If someone thinks something’s cool then you’re already late to it. You have to form your own opinion without any knowledge of what the rest of the world likes because it’s more meaningful. I’m not really concerned with trends, and I totally understand the people who are, but for me it’s better long term to not know what’s cool and to live in my own world. It’s more rewarding in the end.
On growing up and out of Arizona:
Arizona is small enough that the counter-culture is accessible. There’s still something there to latch onto and it’s easier to climb the ladder in a smaller place. I started working at a record store and was super [motivated] — I was like, ‘I’ll do anything! I’ll mop the floors!’ I just wanted to be involved in some kind of community.
On growing up in the fast lane:
When I was younger I used to work production for arena shows in Vegas and Palm Springs, and I did artist relations for pop stars. On Thursdays after school I would go from school to the airport, fly to Vegas, work the shows from 6am Friday until Sunday at 2am, before school. I had a complete double life and lied about my age, obviously, but I was really getting involved in the music world and starting to meet people. It wasn’t a good world for me being as young as I was. I felt an extreme disconnect with the world because everyday there would be a huge arena show and so many people involved who would build this thing up and then I’d watch them build it down and it would be like it never existed.
On the high school years:
I didn’t have many friends. When I was at school I had headphones in and was always in the computer lab listening to music or writing — I was never there. The school hated me. They wanted to kick me out. I ended up graduating, which was shocking.
On her completely unabashed, totally earnest, all-consuming love for R.Kelly:
I love R. Kelly. He’s so beyond everything. I’ve always thought R. Kelly was my spirit animal. One of life dreams would be to work for him. I would love to be R. Kelly’s bitch. I have a lot of ideas for him. As a skinny white girl, he wants nothing to do with me. A lot of the problems with being a girl in the industry is being sexualized, but I’d be a Liz Lemon in R. Kelly’s world.
On Internet ephemerality and vinyl survival:
There’s something about the process of finding music that gets cheapened by the Internet and as much as I love the Internet, everything’s super immediate. You ‘Like’ something, you download an MP3 with a click of a button, it sits on your computer, you listen to it a few times, it might just disappear or get lost within thousands of other files that aren’t really tangible. With records you hold it and absorb everything — the energy from it, the font, the credits, the artwork, the music and you never forget it.
On revitalizing the music industry:
My ideal goal would be to get people back into the community of music and reshape the music industry. The reason I don’t work in it right now is because I don’t like the direction it’s going, and when I get back into it I want to have a solution for change. I want people to care about music again, and I want there to be a search again, I want to restore a lot of the past in the music industry — but make it so people are open to it in the time that we live in.