When The New York Times cites someone as “one of the coolest people in Manhattan”, but then they’re also super down to earth, and championing diversity in our industry, we knew we had to share her story. Meet Daisy O’Dell, an award-winning music producer, director, and DJ, who has performed alongside Lou Reed, Prince, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, and Fleetwood Mac. Daisy brings an iconic pedigree to high-profile events like the Warner Brothers 2023 Oscar party or the Poker Face premiere, and international club gigs. In addition to scoring the Emmy® Award-winning PBS show Variety: Actors On Actors, she recently remixed an Elvis Presley and Backstreet Boys mashup for Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis Deluxe Soundtrack, had her first documentary short premiere at SXSW 2023, and music directed Elle’s Women In Hollywood for the 14th consecutive year. Daisy’s celebrated series of ‘Version’ edits featuring David Bowie and Björk are currently on rotation as some of KCRW’s “best new music” and is releasing “Boy” on March 24th with her new wave band Antiheroines.
When we asked what Daisy likes to do outside of work, her answer was simple… “Sleep”!
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I was a music theater kid who was deeply obsessed with music. Started collecting records pretty young and was seduced by the world of vinyl enthusiasts (a world that often intersects with the DJing) but it wasn’t until I started clubbing in my late teens that the desire to learn the artistry of mixing songs and making people dance was ignited.
What is a day in the life like?
One of the most exciting things about my career is how dynamic my days are. No two are alike. In addition to an exacting gig, music production, and travel schedule, I am a mother to two young children. I often define my existence as “dense” because of the seemingly endless barrage of activity.
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
I’m pretty excited to be putting my official Elvis x Backstreet Boys mashup into the world. Working with Baz Lurhman was a revelation. His creative brilliance is so singular to him, his concepts so original and unique. I have always been a fan of his work – to get to collaborate was thrilling.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Misogyny is rampant. I could write a novel about my personal interactions with people who held me to a different standard than my male colleagues.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Know your music, hone your skills, curb your ego, put yourself out there.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
This is how my website describes my decent into vinyl addiction: In my teens I developed a fascination with pop culture history which led to a deep knowledge of and appreciation for vintage clothing, accessories, art, and, of course, music and I began amassing my (self-described but objectively) world-class collection of rare vinyl.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I am fortunate enough to DJ several residencies at the moment like the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Superfrico (April 6th & 7th) at venues that are exclusively vinyl – a concept that seems to be on the rise internationally: Night Moves in NYC, Cafe De Nadie in Mexico City, Siwilai Sound Club in Bangkok, numerous Tokyo record bars. I read recently that vinyl outsold CDs for the first time since the 90s and was not at all surprised. I’ve been playing records professionally for 20 years and it really feels like it’s having a major renaissance.
Who has been influential to you and your growth as a professional in this industry?
I’m going to call out one of your board members – Celeste Peterson. She has been a friend, colleague, and mentor for many years. Her brilliance and professional acumen are inspiring but it’s the grace with which she conducts herself and the respect she demands that should be a model for all women working in male dominated fields.
Anything else you’d like to add:
Antiheroines “Boy” streaming across all platforms 3/24. My bandmate Kinsey Dulcet and I have decided there will be a fundraising campaign embedded into the promo to raise money for trans youth and the legal fight for queer safe spaces across communities where they are being targeted by the “drag queen” laws. I also have a new remix dropping – a collaboration with Tyler Blake from Classixx for an artist called Marc Baker.