Interview: D. Tiffany
Things don’t get any more plush than the music from DJ/producer, D. Tiffany. Her Blue Dreams EP took underground electronic music by storm in 2017 and was one of our favorite releases for the year.
By Brennan Ko-Madden
D. Tiffany (real name Sophie Sweetland) stands outside the lobby of her hotel on a fresh summer night in San Francisco. She’s just flown in from her home in Vancouver to play a show for her first time in the city. When I meet her she is sporting a slightly oversized windbreaker with matching black attire. At first glance she looks like your average twenty-something taking in the night air. Her hair is brown, unarranged, and seems to say, “fuck you, I’m a nice person”, in the best way. She gives a casual friendly greeting to me and speaks in a confident straightforward manner that is both refreshing and familiar. As we walked from the hotel to the venue it felt more and more like I was talking to a longtime friend rather than a peer who has already accomplished more in music than most at her age.
With previous releases on labels such as 1080p, Genero, and Heart to Heart, D. Tiffany has been turning heads to hear her take on underground dance music for several years now. Her recent Blue Dreams EP was released earlier in 2017, on Vancouver’s Pacific Rhythm imprint, to wide acclaim and has since garnered over 75,000 plays on SoundCloud alone. The record received a solid 4 out of 5 rating from Resident Advisor and to cap it off, the album’s standout tune “How RU Plush feat. Regularfantasy” was named to Resident Advisor’s list of 2017’s Best Tracks.
Like her discography, D. Tiffany’s persona gives off a quirky and casually curious vibe, while also maintaining the composure that she is someone to be taken seriously. At a restaurant a few blocks from the venue we eat a pre-rave meal and talk about the music scene in Vancouver and the dynamics of organizing dance parties. Like San Francisco, Vancouver has seen its cost of living skyrocket in the past few years making it hard for young artists and promoters to keep a foothold. According to the Vancouver Sun and Padmapper, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is $2,020 a month, which in an absurd way sounds affordable compared to the $3,253 price tag found in San Francisco. Along with the wave of rising rents in Vancouver came the crack down on DIY parties and subsequently dance music culture. With few options, Sophie resorted to throwing parties at her own house/studio just to play gigs and keep a space open for people to gather.
Despite the challenges, Vancouver has emerged as a hotbed for talented producers and DJs within the house music scene and chief among the talented pool of people stands the lovable and unpredictable D. Tiffany. With a stint in Australia under her belt and an upcoming tour of Europe in the works this artist is set to bring a bit of the West Coast to the world, whether they are ready or not.
To learn more about this up and coming talent check out our interview covering the state of affairs in Vancouver, her many alias/projects, approach to making music, and even hints about upcoming releases! You can also check out the recap of our event with D. Tiffany here.
Where are you from and where are you currently living?
I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised in South Surrey/ White Rock suburbs. Currently I live in Vancouver’s Chinatown, which is also where my studio is, but at the moment I’m living in Melbourne, Australia for a few months.
Plush Managements, Ambien Baby, DJ Zozi, Sweet Pup…what’s the story behind these names/alter egos?
Plush Managements is a collaboration between me and Liv aka Regularfantasy. Ambien Baby was an ambient project I started not long after my D. Tiffany project. I made a few ambient tracks and then when I moved back to Vancouver after a stint in the wilderness for 2 years Daniel R aka Nap joined on. He’s someone I’ve been making music with for 8 or 9 years and now its turned into definitely not an ambient project. LOL.
DJ Zozi was an alias I wanted to use for that specific record (Mellow Vibes, 1080p), which is more hardcore/ jungle influenced music. Sweet Pup is a collaboration between me and my roommate, Jaik Puppyteeth. We also started a venue in our house that was called Sweet Pup, a combo of my last name Sweetland and his artist name Puppyteeth. We ran events out of our place for about 2 years and then we both became too busy to continue and also the cops got pissed off. I have very fond memories of the venue though and am still currently living and working out of the same space. It has now turned into artist studios for painting, sewing, music, etc.
How do you make tracks? What’s your process/approach like?
It changes everyday! I use my MPC1000 a lot but sometimes I can’t be bothered to use hardware and I just use Ableton. Its good to use both I think but neither is crucial. If you have ever seen me live I only use my MPC1000 and one or 2 small synths, its a lot of sampling of the hardware in my studio that I will never bring to a show. Recording tracks for release, I definitely use Ableton a lot for editing the live jams
If your Sweet Pups studio burned down and you could only save one piece of gear, what would it be?
Definitely my prophet 6, because I could sell it and buy most of my other gear again
Can you tell us a little bit more about Sweet Pup Radio?
Sweet Pup Radio was born exactly 1 year ago, actually. It started on N10 as radio out of Montreal and has now moved to a closer location, NFR, a new radio station out of Vancouver. It’s mostly mixes by myself, but I often will bring some friends on to add a little spice ‘n flavor. There’s no set time for airing at the moment, but check for the uploads at https://soundcloud.com/user-369454011. I will be uploading select mixes with friends while I’m staying in Melbourne.
You have a remix out on French Press Lounge’s most recent release (Caffeine – Birth of Ya). How did you guys meet?
Dylan (Caffeine) brought me, Bobby Draino and Khotin down to LA from Vancouver I think 3 years ago now?! Wow time flies! We had a great time hanging out and he’s got great vibes! We chat from time to time and he asked me if I was interested in doing a remix, I’m always down to listen to a track to remix, sometimes its not the right fit, but I really liked the track he sent a lot so I said I would love to!
You released a song on Soundcloud about 4 months ago called “flutes track”. Is that a teaser for a new release?
It is possible that anything on there could be released, but yes you will hear that one on an upcoming record with some overseas pals.