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

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