DJ Sara T.

Denver's Favorite DJ and owner of the new boutique, Chielle

I first heard of Sara T. as a friend started telling me about this amazing girl he knew in Denver who was not only a great DJ, but just a fabulous person overall. Over a year later this fabulous person was packing clubs, was being hailed as Denver's top DJ, and was on the verge of opening the trend-setting boutique, Chielle.

I've talked with her very briefly as she whirred past while she was getting ready for a show or off to talk to friends and admirers. We talked about doing an interview and decided finally on an I.M. interview, as it seemed most convenient for both of us. Now, I'm not entirely sold on the whole idea of doing interviews like this: I would much rather have been able to see her expressions and reactions than have my only reading on her be some damned blinking cursor. And too, behind every answer of hers that I cut off with another question, there seemed to reside novels of other thoughts and feelings and insights. She's a live one, kids; she's got tons to say. Here's just a sliver:

(Note: I left a majority of the weird grammar and typos that happen in IMing, you know, for posterity, and I indicated each new "SEND" with a "+".)

The lovely Sara T. at the Chielle's grand opening party. (She's the only girl there in the center...I somehow got the feeling she was a little camera shy...

Sara T.: zap!
Heather B.: yow!
This is my first ever IM interview...I am very excited
Sara T.: ooo la la
+ and yer with the fastest imer ever
+ hahaha
H.B.: watchout!
+ One more reason why you're like some kind of modern day wonder woman
Sara T.: hahahaha
+ wow
+ i need a costume
H.B.: Yeah, really.
Sara T.: with like 80 wpm on it
H.B.: Should I start with "what DON'T you do?"
Sara T.: this is going to be embaressing because naturally i would keep typing "hahahah"
+ but i'm holding back!
H.B.: Or maybe with the DJ business?
+ How/when did you start DJing?
Sara T.: i started djing in 97 in Boulder
+ I was involved with two radio stations at the same time
H.B.: 1190?
Sara T.: I started shadowing someone on their 1190 show or as it was known then kucb
H.B.: Which other station?
Sara T.: and a month or two later i pursued a internship that turned quickly to a job at a internet radio station called
+ ...which by the that time internet radio was laughed at
+ except by Wired magazxine3
H.B.: is that still around?
Sara T.: sadly no...that went under in 2000
+ but a offshoot of it exists
H.B.: what drew you to DJing in the first place?
Sara T.: sharing with others my taste in music
+ the company i first worked for was eclectic radio company
+ which really fell straight into the category of what i liked to spin
+ the music directors had worked through kgnu
+ and had gone on to continue and expand upon that format
H.B.: What did/does eclectic radio do?
Sara T.: you have djs who are able to blend world with jazz with ambient with indie rock with post punk
+ basically you have intense record geeks
+ it wasn't about throwing whatever together
+ and trying to be interesting
+ i had to learn how to make things work together in a natural progression
+ and developing that ability to make it work
+ i realize that skill is alive and well when i djed the denver post awards show
+ a friend came up afterwards and described them speaking to each other saying
+ "wasn't that just drum and bass and isn't this the shins now?"
+ this is not literally beat matching it's putting an equation together of sounds
+ and knowing and feeling what will work
H.B.: absolutely
Sara T.: such an equation doesn't necessarily apply when i do a dance party
+ but i am following a similiar instinctual progression of what works together
+ not necessarily trying to be "eclectic"
H.B.: I love going way back in a person's life and hearing about how they think they began doing what they, what drew them so even at a young age.
Sara T.: too
H.B.: It takes a special type of person to even be aware of how different musics work and communicate with each other
+ how do you think that developed in you...any idea?
Sara T.: it was an awareness in how i was raised in terms of my relationship to the world in general
+ a more visceral intuitive sense of interaction
+ where my memorys are very feeling sense and not fact/date/time
+ so when i hear a song
+ i have a time period of my life
+ and i've been aware of music interweaved into my life from an early age
+ my relationship to music
+ is seemingly very simple
+ i know what moves me
+ and i don't assume it will moves others
+ but i'm happy to know that it has
+ if someone enjoys what i do...that's a very moving moment
+ that connection in which music can bring two or masses together
+ it's a very powerful medium
+ that can evoke different emotions
H.B.: obviously you have moved a lot of people
Sara T.: you think
+ i guess their arses
+ and perhaps more!
H.B.: you are very well-known and respected
Sara T.: i'm not necessarily aware of this
+ but i'm willing to let it in!
H.B.: um...well, what are your feeling about the best Denver DJ award?
Sara T.: like is that proof?
+ or what is my feeling?
H.B.: it could or could not be proof, but yeah
Sara T.: yea that's proof that clearly someone is paying attention
+ i was floored
+ that's still sinking in
+ i tend to move on from things very quickly
+ and forget!
+ my manager has to remind me
H.B.: remind you of what?
Sara T.: like uh sara remember that award that's still sitting at the front door?
H.B.: ha ha!
Sara T.: that i got those awards
+ i kind of forget
+ it's not disrespect
+ i just like to keep my ego in check
H.B.: that's awesome
Sara T.: balancing that line of receiving the good things
+ but not building up an identity based on that
+ that doesn't mean i'm not confident in what i do
+ or that i don't believe in what i do
+ i'm very strong about those things
H.B.: since you had mentioned intuitive actions, I'm wondering about your work with intuitive healing
Sara T.: yes
H.B.: a couple of people have mentioned that you do it
Sara T.: yes
+ what should i share?
H.B.: What exactly is it? What exactly do you do that is considered intuitive healing?
Sara T.: it's evolved since i was a kid
+ i wouldn't necessarily call it intuitive healing
+ it's a reading of sorts
+ since it's usually by referall i don't necessarily have a written up answer
+ i've been doing readings since i was about 10
+ it started as...i showed my mom a drawing when i was ten and said it represented some things a friend of ours was going through
+ the drawings were what i did for years on and off for friends and family developing them
+ i was able to see blockages in their growth
+ and things they were avoiding
+ all right on
+ at this point
+ i don't need paper
+ and it's more of a discussion
+ usually people call with a situation in mind...perhaps people they're interacting with or bosses, husbands etc
+and i'm able to...with a limited amount of talking aka i'm psychic so i can tell them what's up
H.B.: and you just do it for friends?
Sara T.: + no
+ i've worked with senators to rutgers professors to 15 year olds to filmakers
+ it's not a future reading
+ it's insight
+ i've done everything from tune into a board of directors
+ helping the person who was interested know how to interact with them in a more aligned way
+aka this person really likes you and supports you but would prefer you didn't chat with him so much
H.B.: sort of like, this is what's happening with you right now and this is how you can fix it....?
Sara T.: +'s options
+ possibilities
+ not answers
+ basically i'm a reflection of them
+ seeing what they're feeling
+ from an outer source
+ and saying it back in a different way
+ so they can hear it better
H.B.: that's a great gift
Sara T.: thank you
+ i had help devloping it
H.B.: how so?
Sara T.: from my mother and my friend Michael who's a spiritual teacher
+ and friend
+ she has a ph.d and background in rehab and such
+ but began to experience psychic abilities in the classroom
+ decided to take some time off and met michael
+ who we are still close friends with
+ and so support from both of them led to that natural exploration
+ he was the one who said i needed to keep working with that drawing ability
+ and that it was sacred
+ which was a pretty nice thing to hear at ten!
+ but it took time
H.B.: yeah!
Sara T.: and plus i wasn't that interested when i was younger
+ hahaha i was hard headed
+ it wasn't until this last two years i was like
+ wait...why am i not doing this more?
+ it comes easily and i have no stress from it
+ which is one of the ways that has helped me become self employed
H.B.: I understand that you do freelance work in illustration.
+ Do you do other graphic design, or just illustration?
Sara T.: yes i've gotten a few jobs through a foundation out of palo alto ca
+ well it's word of mouth
+ but i do graphic design as well
+ i can do what they need
+ i love designing things
+ with them i had a few different projects
H.B.: How much does DJing supplement your income?
Sara T.: hardly!
H.B.: that's so sad!
Sara T.: if i throw parties it helps
+ that's where i make money
+ but still
+ i realized that was a misconception
+ a few people came up and thought i was rolling in it
+ hahaha it's so silly
H.B.: I see so many people who do what they are passionate about who make so little money doing it
Sara T.: well if i sold my soul i'd be fine
+ but i like creative control
+ so i do what i do when i can
+ i don't rely on others to deliver
+ if i chose to throw parties more often i could make more most likely
+ but while i like sharing with others
+ i do this for me as well
+ so if i don't want to...i don't
+ not everyone is driven that way
+ and i've heard plenty of local djs get burned out
H.B.: Well, lets talk about some of your other projects that more than likely don't make you money
Sara T.: ok!
+ what are those
H.B.: You are in 2 bands
Sara T.: yes
H.B.: How long have you been involved with them?
Sara T.: the little heads for four years
+ and the hot house for 5 months
H.B.: I am not as familiar with The LIttle Heads
+ do you play drums for them as well?
Sara T.: that's my band
+ no the little heads is all me
H.B.: ah!
Sara T.: and rotating cast of local musicians
+ everyone from elaine from the hot iqs has played with me, rob from the symptoms currently plays drums
+ marie from ghost buffalo used to play guitar
+ moses montalvo who used to be in may riots used to play with me
+ it's an evolution
H.B.: with you as the constant
Sara T.: correct
H.B.: tell me about writing songs
Sara T.: for which band?
H.B.: Little Heads
Sara T.: right now i'm writing with classical guitar
+ i had some songs on guitar
+ and songs i wrote when i was on drums
+ and i'm wanting to soon go back and record stuff from during that time period
+ but in terms of now
+ writing goes in phases
+ spurts of sorts, things or emotions i want to get out
+ they tend to be very relationship heavy
+ or observation
+ emotions that i don't always get to say the someone i want to
+ and i make time to get it out that way
+ it's a catharsis of sorts
H.B.: feel free to dodge this one, but with all that you do, how do you fit romance and relationships in
Sara T.: well honestly it's been an interesting evolution
+ some of my breakups or changing points have happened at my danceotrons
+ because it's how a man reacts when i'm fully into my art
+ and their reactions have been curious and foreboding
+ i am not distant when i work and i don't turn into something i'm not
+ but some have acted out in the strangest of ways including falling asleep in the club to getting into a fight with me right before or peacocking around like a scenester
+ none of which i respect
+ and have time for
+ i make time for love
+ and real relationships
+ because there is always time for that
+ that's not a distraction
+ it's a comfort
H.B.: would you say that being in the public eye and being creative and respected challenges the security most people seem to want in a relationship?
Sara T.: hmmm
+ i'mnot sure what that means
H.B.: do you think these guys were reacting so negatively during your shows...
+ because you being up on stage and all of a sudden, sort of belonging to the public, made them feel less 'safe' in the relationship?
Sara T.: ah....well
+ i have never thought of it that way
+ i usually see it as they are not comfortable with themselves
+ and i cannot be with someone who is uncomfortable
+ i have viewed past relationships as phases
+ the time when they could be there for me
+ and sometimes we grow out of each other
+ that's a very black and white one
+ when you see someone acting that way
+ but it's just a matter of time til i decide to see it!
+ i had never really thought about them not wanting to share
+ but i definately need someone who understands my obligations
+ and the things i choose to do and why
+ or at least care to know why
+ that's a very unique circumstance
+ in the past sacrifices have been made
+ and i no longer do that because i won't sacrifice my life for anyone
+ it was something i had to learn
H.B.: Do you forsee a kind of balance where you can have "it all"?
+ Your work, music, love...
Sara T.: i honestly do right now
H.B.: yay!
Sara T.: hahah yay
+ it takes work though
+ and a willingness
+ i wasn't always willing
+ i don't want to be hesistant towards life
+ that's a very indie undertone
+ the bitterness and unwillingness to step out there
+ then again i suppose that crosses boundaries outside of indie
+ which i know is a very broad phase
+ i firmly believe in the underground
+ but not things that are so underground you can't find the directions to it
+ or even see the sign!
+ honestly it's been interesting to watch who wants to talk to me now
+ who full on ignored me
+ or just didn't think to remember me
+ five years ago
+ or less even
+ or who like to talk after they know i can get them a show
+ i try not to put too much energy into those thoughts though
+ bitter is passe as well
+ it's all going out of style
+ hahaha cause i want it to, at least in my life
H.B.: the fact that you are respected in all of these hipster circles, yet maintain such a positive and energetic outlook..
+ is what intrigqued me in the first place
Sara T.: really?
+ how so?
H.B.: it's obvious to me that you are absolutely your own person
Sara T.: thank you!
H.B.: and don't follow the rules of cool
Sara T.: hahaha thanks wow
+ i'm not quite clear on the impression i leave on people
+ but it got to a point where i had to stop worrying about it
H.B.: Ok, so which came first
+ spinning music or making music?
Sara T.: making
H.B.: guitar or drums
Sara T.: guitar
+ singing came before all of those
H.B.: how?
Sara T.: before guitar
+ i'm a singer at heart
+ i mean when it comes down to it i'm a singer
+ i learned the other things to get the music in my head out
+ but if you gave me the chance i'd put down all of those things just to sing
H.B.: how did you start singing? in the shower, in choir..?
Sara T.: ummm shower yea
+ all the time
+ i have these recordings of me somewhere
+ practicing beegees songs
+ hahaha
H.B.: funny!
Sara T.: but i only took one year of choir
+ and a very primal voice course for a few weeks back in boulder
+ group stuff getting yer emotions out
H.B.: So, rumor has it that you are also starting a little boutique?
Sara T.: yep, i'm typing you from it
+ i was putting shoes in the backstock before i logged on
H.B.: Is it open now?
Sara T.: nope
+ next week or so
+ launch party the 29th at the hi dive
+ that's the official date
H.B.: cool
+ And it's called...Chielle?
Colorful baubles fill Chielle.
Sara T.: yes
H.B.: What can you tell me about the store, its inception, etc?
Sara T.: in concept it's was in my friend and i's head for about two years
+ we had thought about a line of screenprinted shirts
+ to an online store
+ i had concepts developing about what type of place it would oriented, music etc
+ three of us are buyers...which is unique because basically we're all buying for each
+ we each have a different offshoot or style which is well represented
+ when it comes to the final decision and overall look of the store it's me
H.B.: how did it evolve into a 'bricks & mortar" idea?
Sara T.: well our friend wendy moved here and is the investor
+ we knew we wanted to but finding a location we wanted was difficult
+ the block we wanted it on had no openings...aka broadway
+ i came into sugar one day and alice the former owner began to talk about how someone was interested in buying, offhand, and that she was pretty excited but didn't know if they were serious
+ she had no idea i had these ideas but i let her know my friend wendy was just looking earlier in the week on the broadway block
+ so then it was solid
+ it was all theory until last month and then all of a sudden it was real
+ very swift
H.B.: so, where is it located?
Sara T.: 26 Broadway in Denver
+ a block past the Mayan on the left
H.B.: nice
Sara T.: right next to the liquor store
H.B.: Nice!!
Sara T.: hahahah
+ champagne all the time
+ 24/7
+ here at chielle
H.B.: veeery nice
Sara T.: i'm 100% joking
H.B.: I can't wait to see it
Sara T.: yes it'll knock yer socks off
+ it's stuff to get excited about
+ and i don't blow hot hair
H.B.: Ok, so you have, what 5 MILLION projects
Sara T.: hahahahaha
+ i do, it feels like it sometimes
H.B.: do you have an ultimate goal?
Sara T.: no i don't
H.B.: or where do you see all of this leading you?
Sara T.: i don't
+ i have goals like
+ "beach home in miami"
+ "flat in london"
+ hahahah
H.B.: ah ha!
+ or even bigger, what do you want most out of life? what drives you to do all of these things?
Sara T.: i want to pursue all conduits leading to my unique expression here not holding back from what i believe in and supporting others in their endeavours
+ i have a very strong belief in what lives us...or to some atheist just me
+ ....aka god
+ my goals are lofty
+ and i don't make longterm plans
+ i say "i would like to do this"
+ and lately it's been happening
+ i don't doubt that things will's the timing of it all
+ i have strong desires with my music...i would like to keep devloping my band and do a full lenght
+ but that's still very if i don't do that for another year i'm not gonna hit myself for it
+ i try to view things as an ebb and flow
H.B.: what about your DJing?
Sara T.: my djing?
H.B.: what do you envision happening with that?
Sara T.: i have zero goals with djing other than throwing another party in november and buying more records
+ i've been invited to dj elsewhere the coasts
+'s only if i'm there
+ and it's like...i can't afford just to go there to dj
H.B.: yeah, you seem to be in LA a lot
Sara T.: i was this summer definately
+ i had thoughts of maybe moving for a bit
+ like a month or two
H.B.: do you think you'll ever leave Denver?
+ leave denver?
+ not for anything other than trips elsewhere
+ denver is my homebase
+ i love it here, it's very down to earth and not all hyped up on caffiene and drugs
+ figuratively
H.B.: right
+ not many people say they want to stay in Denver
Sara T.: i like to take things one step at a time and build my roots
+ yea well i've lived in 9 diff states
+ and moved quite a few times within those
+ settling down has done a lot for me...this is the longest i've been anywhere
+ travel makes me happy keeps the ideas flowing and brings clarity but i love it here
+ i've done the east
H.B.: where did you grow up?
Sara T.: what age?
H.B.: er...
Sara T.: ....yea
+ honestly
H.B.: elementary..middle school
Sara T.: that's four to 13 or so?
+ florida, new mexico, michigan, new jersey, massachussets (sp?)
+ north carolina
H.B.: but...why so many moves?
Sara T.: alot of those communities we went to were college towns
+ with health food places and new age type communities
+ places that were more forward thinking
+ we'd try places out
+ and then move on...come back later
+ my mom would do talks there
+ now she still travels...or morelike is winding down from traveling
+ she's starting to write a book
H.B.: what is her focus?
Sara T.: on the book?
+ one woman's journey to inner enlightenment
+ she does talks about that
+ but also in general tools for growth
+ she has public meditations
+ and is a guide of sorts
+ spiritual guide
+ she's my mom!
+ hahaha so once again i don't really have a packaged description....
H.B.: that's so amazing!
Sara T.: she is
+ she has touched many people
+ there's a documenatry being done about her
+ they're coming to interview me early november
+ i love her yo
H.B.: was it just you and your mom? and her talks etc, sustained you both?
Sara T.: yes...she did readings in person
+ that's what sustained us
+ michael was around as well...definately a figure and friend in my life
+ i consider him family
H.B.: how long have you been in this area?
Sara T.: 1996
H.B.: so...winding things up with my quintessential apogee quesiton:
Sara T.: yes
H.B.: what's a piece of advice you would give to a kid who wants to do some of the things that you do?
Sara T.: that there are no rules, but be very opened minded to what people don't necessarily have to believe them but trust your instincts and try what feels right out for yourself.
+ and don't be a copycat
+ emulation is not flattering it's fake, be yourself
+ even if it's hard at first
+ i have a lot to say!
+ hahahahaah
+ where's the youth i've got things to say
H.B.: we've got to get you in front of a group!!
Sara T.: hahah gimme them!
+ we're gonna start a revolution
H.B.: what will it be called?
Sara T.: hmmm
+ ants in our pants
+ i don't know!!!!!!!!!!!
H.B.: ha ha!
Sara T.: that's the hardest question ever

Go check out Sara T.'s website:

November 2004