You may not know her name, but if you don’t at least know her face you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last few years. Samantha Ronson, an L.A.-based singer-songwriter and disc jockey usually spotted on TMZ or tabloid blogs giving camera guys the finger or screaming at the top of her lungs, “Leave me alone,” has stepped into the spotlight once again – but this time it’s on her own terms.
Coming from a family of creative types, the London native is the younger sister of music producer Mark Ronson, twin sister to fashion designer Charlotte Ronson and stepdaughter to guitarist Mick Jones of Foreigner. Samantha couldn’t help but join the ranks in what seemed like a natural progression towards her career choice.
Having had minimal success with such singles “Pull My Hair Out,” “Fool” and the hit “Built This Way,” which was featured in the movie Mean Girls starring Lindsay Lohan (how ironic), this notoriously shy skater meets rocker girl has a new album, Chasing The Reds, on the horizon and is ready to get back to being recognized for what she really does – music (although, she will still knock you out if need be).
Rather than bombard her with awkward questions about her on-again, off-again relationship with Lohan, we thought we would give this badass chick the opportunity to say what she wants to say, how she wants to say it. We gave her the questions and she gave us the answers. Unedited and unfiltered, here’s Samantha Ronson’s tale in her own words.
On Music and Being a DJ
YRB: How did you begin as a DJ?
Samantha: I happened to be at this lounge in New York one night and the DJ didn’t show up. I got some records outta my car and just started doing my thing.
YRB: Does coming from such a musical family have any disadvantages?
Samantha: No, not at all. It’s awesome. It’s an “if you can’t beat them join them” kinda thing.
YRB: Has there ever been any sibling rivalry between you and Mark?
Samantha: No, we’re all supportive of each other. It’s no fun to succeed alone.
YRB: How would you compare your DJ style to Mark’s?
Samantha: His take is different than mine. I’m more of a pop fan than he is.
YRB: Is it difficult for a woman to break into the DJ game?
Samantha: I don’t think it’s a girl or guy thing. The only difference to me is a guy can pee in a bottle when he’s working and a girl can’t.
YRB: Have you ever played a set and the crowd wasn’t into it?
Samantha: I’ve never played a full set that the crowd wasn’t into. I usually feel out the crowd and take it from there.
YRB: What would you say is that no-fail song that never lets you down at a party?
Samantha: The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
YRB: What advice would you give an aspiring DJ?
Samantha: The same advice my brother gave me: “It’s better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
YRB: What can we expect from your new project Chasing The Reds?
Samantha: It’s a rock record. I’ve worked on it for the past year and a half. I did a song with Slash, there’s some heartbreak stuff, and it’s just a cool record. I really like it.
YRB: Who/What do you look to for inspiration?
Samantha: It’s everywhere. Songs, movies, books, people you meet. Keep your eyes open and there’s inspiration everywhere.
YRB: When you aren’t working, what music do you listen to?
Samantha: I listen to my brother’s stuff, and I just keep my iPod on shuffle. Anything that I’m not spinning in clubs at that time.
YRB: If you could work with one artist from the past and the present, who would they be?
Samantha: Shit, there’s too many. I would be too afraid to work with someone I look up to. I just worked with Slash, so I would say him, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones. There really are too many.
On Hennessy Black Collaboration
YRB: You were recently appointed a DJ ambassador for Hennessy Black’s “Done Different” program. How did this affiliation come about?
Samantha: My manager. I’ve never been into promoting any particular product because it seems so transparent, but I tried the drink and really liked it. They are a cool group of people. DJ Nice has done it, as well as DJ Vice, and I think it’s a fun thing.
YRB: As an ambassador, what does your role entail?
Samantha: I basically DJ their parties and drink the product. [Lol] I don’t have to drink it, but I like it.
YRB: What do you feel you will bring to the Hennessy Black lifestyle?
Samantha: Hopefully, people will know that I wouldn’t promote something I didn’t believe in. It’s a new product, and what better way to promote it?
On Her Personal Life
YRB: You are a very private person, and with your recent relationship you were suddenly thrust into the spotlight in a much different way. How were you able to deal with the constant attention that was paid to you for whom you were dating?
Samantha: It was so uncomfortable and weird. I enjoy staying under the radar and just doing my thing. It sucks that people were interested in me because of nothing I have done.
YRB: Do you feel being in a public relationship with another celebrity adds more pressure to making the relationship successful?
Samantha: No, if people run their lives based on other peoples’ pressures you will be screwed. I pay attention to the person I’m in the relationship with.
YRB: What is the biggest misconception about you?
Samantha: There’s so many. The biggest one is that I’m a drug addict. I don’t do drugs, so that pisses me off.
YRB: What would you most want people to know about you?
Samantha: I don’t really care what people think about me. As long as the people who really matter see who I am, that’s all that counts.
YRB: What words best describe you?
Samantha: Loyal, selfish, honest, sensitive, direct.
YRB: What words describe the mood you’re in at this moment?
Samantha: Tired, hungry, hungover.
YRB: In this same issue we have the girls of MTV’s <Jersey Shore>. Would you ever consider doing a reality show?
Samantha: HELL NO!
YRB: What are your favorite swear words?
YRB: What’s the perfect night out for you?
Samantha: Hanging at a dive bar, listening to a jukebox and shooting pool with my friends.
YRB: If we interviewed you exactly one year from today, where would you like to see yourself?
Samantha: Doing the exact same thing I am doing now. Deejaying and making music is it for me.
YRB: Are you doing what you feel you were destined to do?
Samantha: I wouldn’t say destined. I would say I’m doing what I want to do. I love making music and deejaying. I’m happy to go to work every day.
YRB: Do you have any regrets?
Samantha: No. Everything I have done in my life has brought me to where I am. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t go through other things.
YRB: To date, what is your most prized possession?
Samantha: Shit!! I would say the guitar Slash gave me.
YRB: When it’s all said and done, what would you want Samantha Ronson’s mark here on Earth to be?
Samantha: I would like to be the kind of person that led by example. I would want to be the person kids can look to as the person who inspires them to be who they want to be and not apologize [for it]. And having a shit load of records.