DJ Kim Sorise Gets 8UP on it

DJ Kim Sorise presents “Cinematic Sleaze,” a weekly listening and dancing party Thursdays at the new 8Up Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen in the Hilton Garden Inn. Also an ARTxFM radio host and half of the Derby City Soul Club DJs, Sorise has fused groovy sounds for a decade in Louisville, making her a logical choice to direct the music program at the new nightspot.

How did you get picked for the music director job? You’re well known and admired around Louisville, but I think your fans would have expected a shiny new hotel to go with something safer, right?
Well, they asked and I accepted. It was that simple… What I hope is folks who have followed my deejay career know that I am not afraid to take risks and try something new. I have done soul nights, rock and punk nights, cinematic, atmospheric and world beat gigs – so spinning “Cinematic Sleaze” at 8UP is just me playing music that I love. I am very happy that the management at 8UP believes in selecting folks who know their passion and let them follow it; I think that’s happening for all of the DJs there.

Kim SoriseHow did you select the other DJs in the rotation?
I contacted the best DJs that I believed could make the most out of the space: Matt Anthony, Dwight Johnson, JP Source and Alex Bell. For me, building an atmosphere depends on both the music played and the space itself – meaning the music and space work off one another. Making a room sound good is wonderful, but making it feel good? Well, that is a whole different set of skills. When I went in for my initial meeting at 8UP, one of the first questions asked of me was “What music did I think would make the space feel its best?” A little personification can go a long way.

I do not see 8UP as a dance club; it’s an upscale lounge, therefore, the music needs to accentuate that mood. I saw the space as being soulful and classy, but not buttoned-up. There is also tremendous texture and drama in the space that inspires what I play there. For Matt, Dwight, Jon Paul, and Alex, each creates an interpretation of what sounds best and further enhances the mood they want to build. We each have a different approach to what we play, but they all blend very nicely.

Do different styles or approaches work better on different nights? Or is there a less predictable pattern in a hotel?
Yes, I do appreciate a varied but still connected approach. I love that each of us have different but also allied followings; our nights sound creatively different and musically varied but there is a common thread that appeals to a wide range of patrons …

Deejaying on a weeknight, in comparison to a weekend, offers a different tone, and at times, a different clientele. During the week, Matt, Dwight (on third Thursdays) and I start earlier at 7:30 p.m. the crowds are generally a nice size, but more low key. It may be folks staying at the hotel, dining at the bar, business gatherings, etc. Weekends are currently busier – the bar is open later. JP Source, Alex Bell and Dwight (first Fridays) start at 9:30 p.m. and offer a livelier party, for lack of a better word. The music may be more upbeat, but reading the room and its patrons are of equal importance. Regardless, we are always prepared to bring a good time.

How has the experience been so far? And were the holidays crazier, or slower?
It has been excellent! We have all had a very warm reception from the guests and staff. Everyone is super friendly and eager to have a great time and make 8UP a fabulous space for Louisville. The holidays were very busy – the Night Visions DJs spun on New Year’s Eve and sold out the place! Not too bad for only being open a couple months! All of us are beyond excited for the opening of the outdoor patio; it is beautiful and the view…fantastic! We are already working to create some exciting events overlooking the city.

What will your 2015 sound like?
Amazing and always soulful. VT

To learn more, go to www.8uplouisville.com.