Antwerp-born Moroccan DJ Sahira Chadouli (you may know her as DJ Lady S) reveals her deepest inspirations, life motto, her love affair with Paris and her new photo series 'Heritage', a visual representation of cross-culture diversity which has married tradition and modern
Tell us a little about your background.
I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Antwerp in Belgium. Both my parents are born in Tangier, Morocco. I am a proud Moroccan woman currently living in New York for the past three years.
What inspires you?
Many things inspire me in life. A few include fellow hard-working women that push to reach their goals, women who empower women and people who make the best out of a negative situation.
My grandparents are also a big source of inspiration for me. They both migrated from Morocco to Belgium in the ‘60s. They moved to a country where they didn't know anything about the culture and didn't speak the language just to provide a better future for their children and they made all of that happen by perseverance.
I get inspired by different music genres as well, especially when I am on tour. I am lucky to be able to tour the whole world as a DJ and learn about different cultures.
Favourite city and why?
Oh this is a hard one! If I really have to choose I'd choose Paris. It was a coup de foudre, love at first sight. I made an instant connection with the city.
So many amazing memories were created in Paris and I think that's why it became a city so dear to my heart.
Paris was one of the first big European cities I was popular at as a DJ at the start of my career. I have DJ'ed multiple Fashion Week parties, and my favourite one was at the Off White after party alongside Virgil Abloh. I bought my first pair of Louboutins in Paris. My best friend lives in Paris and I just love wandering through the streets, eating pain au chocolat and enjoying the beautiful architecture.
There's also always something to do in the city. Whether it's an exposition or a concert (pre-Covid times) or I can also just stare at the Eiffel Tower all day and night.
What do you do in your spare time?
I work out a lot. I love staying active and going on long walks, especially here in New York. I love thinking about my next move, writing down new ideas.
Another one of my favourites is browsing through new music and discovering new artists as well as emerging fashion designers.
Thai food and any food from Asia really. I am a soup and salad kind of girl and I love how their kitchen offers a wide variety of different salads and soups. One that is not just plain lettuce but packed with flavours instead.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and why?
I would go back to the summer of 2018. That was one of the best summers of my life for multiple reasons, but particularly because I got to DJ on an airplane. I was chosen by Tomorrowland, the biggest festival in the world, to DJ at their party flight from Ibiza to Brussels.
We had a party in the sky, with light foam sticks and everything. At one point the pilot asked me to bring it down a little because we were causing turbulence. It was so cool to give those people that unique experience and also myself as a DJ. There aren't too many DJs that can say that.
Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to the women in my life. I am surrounded by boss ladies, super strong women who inspire me on a daily basis. We are all go-getters and even if we fall seven times, we stand up eight times! It gives me an incredible feeling of empowerment. I am so thankful for them.
What is your life motto?
Celebrate life! I think this pandemic has showed us that even the smallest things that we take for granted can be taken away in a heartbeat. 2020 has been a big lesson to celebrate the small things. I love to celebrate the little wins in my journey.
Speaking of, biggest achievement?
Making music and playing music for a living. I think being able to live off something that started as a hobby, and is now my main source of income is incredible. Really doing something that you love day in and day out. I love performing for a crowd and connecting with any nationality no matter in which country I am, through music.
Any business tips?
You've got to start somewhere! So just start and keep going. Consistency and perseverance are key in any business. We all have multiple goals, but as I said before, don't forget to celebrate the little wins on your way. A mistake is only a mistake if you don't learn from it. Make mistakes and use it as knowledge to do better. You are your biggest cheerleader!
I am releasing my new song on 17 December. It's a smooth Afrobeat song and it's about a guy that has his eyes on a girl and is planning on making her his. The song is called All Mine and it features Kriticos, an artist with roots from Zambia and Tanzania. I hope you will love it!
Click here for more.