Shonna Gillis shares some of her favorite memories from past events, who she’s listening to, and how she fell in love with dance music!
Name: Shonna Gillis
Rave Name: Formerly Nite Lite
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Current City: San Diego, CA
Occupation: Client Development Coordinator/Aspiring DJ/Party Owl
Facebook: Shonna Gillis
What was your first electronic music event?
My first real bug event was EDC 2005 at the NOS Events Center. When it was just one day some carnival rides and lots of smiles and music. I had no idea the life I was getting myself into but I can say I’ve never looked at music the same way. Down the rabbit hole I went and still haven’t found my way out.
What/who influenced you to attend your first event?
My friend Nathan. We used to listen to EDM and go to parties and undergrounds but I had never been to a real “massive”. I mean, there’s nothing like that moment of walking onto the grounds of any rave, but your first one. I’ll always love him for that.
What is one moment from an event that was special and why?
Tough, tough question. I guess I would say meeting CODES which happened just recently in San Diego. I had been out all weekend so was pretty exhausted already so when Sunday rolled around, I wasn’t sure I could make it out. I had purchased two tickets to Lee Burridge and had planned to go to the day party where CODES was playing as well.
I had been battling the decision all day but ended up selling the tickets to Lee Burridge about 15 minutes before his set started and stayed to see CODES. My mind was blown by how magical his entire set was from start to finish. Life was changed. And then I got to hang out with him after the show and see him play a B2B at the after-party. Best Sunday of my life and all done on about two hours of sleep.
What is your favorite festival or event?
Dirtybird Campout. Hands. Down.
What is your favorite electronic song and why?
“Back to the Jungle” by Justin Martin because it just bangs and it has some dope remixes. It’s one of those tracks that no matter when it comes on I’m gonna go wild dancing.
Who are your favorite artists?
CODES, Justin Martin, Sonny Fodera, Billy Kenny, Claptone, OMNOM, Walker & Royce, Chris Lake, Steve Darko, VNSSA, DAJAE, Crescendoll, J. Worra, Kyle Watson, Hanna Wants, Anti Up, AC Slater, and of course Claude VonStroke
What are your favorite genres?
House, Tech House, Deep House, G House, Techno, Breaks, Funk, and Disco.
What do you feel your “Identity” is in the electronic music community?
I’m a party owl. I fly solo to a lot of events because I have trouble missing out on good music and if I don’t have anyone willing to go with me, you can still meet me on the dance floor.
I’m there to welcome people to the scene if they’re new or make new connections to those I have not met. I’ve always been the “rave aunt” in my groups so I tend to have whatever it is someone needs. I’ve been partying for a long time and as much as I love to have a good time, I also want to make sure people are comfortable and safe.
One of my favorite things I’ve ever done was give out ice-cold eucalyptus towels at Campout. Saw some pretty fantastic reactions to that. I like to be there to give back what you never knew you needed because this community has given me more than I could ever explain.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself for the readers?
I’m working on my DJ skills so hopefully, you’ll catch me on a local dance floor in San Diego soon. It’s been a long-time dream of mine and the night I met CODES was the push that I needed to take action and make it a reality…so hope to see you soon!
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