DJ Rap spins at Samana Lounge in Vail Friday night |

DJ Rap spins at Samana Lounge in Vail Friday night

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
DJ Rap from Los Angeles will showcase her talent on the turntables Friday night at Samana Lounge in Vail. She's best known for her single "Good To Be Alive" which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie "Go."

Apparently it’s not cool for DJs to find mainstream success in England. Charissa Saverio, aka, DJ Rap, found this out the hard way. After scratching out a living as a drum and bass DJ (a style of DJing that uses quick breakbeats and heavy basslines) in her home country for more than a decade she released “Learning Curve” in 1999, which sold well and was well-received by critics in magazines like Rolling Stone. A single from the album ” “Good To Be Alive” ” was featured in the soundtrack to the movie “Go,” which made her even more well known to American audiences. But overseas, things weren’t going so good for her. With all the mainstream attention she was suddenly getting, Rap said her fellow DJs became upset with her, making the situation so uncomfortable she left her home and moved to the states.

“On one point the drum and bass circuit totally turned against me and were like ‘You sold out, blah, blah, blah,’ and I was having this amazing success on the other hand,” Rap said. “It was a bittersweet experience, let’s put it that way. I’m kind of over it now.”

Since coming to America, Rap has returned to her roots of house music mostly because the audience for that type of music is much larger, she said.

DJ Rap will perform Friday night at Samana Lounge in Vail with resident DJ and entertainment director Peter Blick. Blick heard about Rap 12 years ago or so but didn’t see her play tech-house until a music festival in San Francisco around three years ago.

“She was the best music I heard out there all day and I’ve kind of just been paying attention to what she’s been doing since,” Blick said.

Rap called being in the upper echelon of the DJ totem pole “bloody hard work” ” work that is never done, in her opinion.

“There’s always someone doing better than you so I always keep that in mind. But in these times, I feel very fortunate,” Rap said.

She just finished recording a new album, “Synthesis,” which is set for release next year when she will begin a tour in support of it.

“You just have to have something great out these days whereas that wasn’t the case before,” Rap said of the old days where most DJs could find work no matter what.

Now it’s all about putting out a product and touring behind it.

“I think that’s the main difference between being a name DJ and a no-name DJ. If you don’t have a product out, nobody wants to book you.”

And if the DJing thing ever fizzles (which it likely won’t), she still owns two record labels: Propa Talent and Impropa Talent, which features other DJ artists from the drum and bass and house styles of music. She also models and sings. She’s been so busy lately that she only discovered the video game “Guitar Hero” last week. And even though she loves to ski, she hasn’t been able to do so in two years. She hopes that will change while she’s in Vail.

“There isn’t much time for all the fun stuff like that when you’re making a record because it’s pretty much 12 hours, 15 hours a day in the studio,” Rap said.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: DJ Rap

When: Friday at 10 p.m.

Where: Samana Lounge in Vail

Cost: $10 at the door, $5 for locals

More information: Call 970-476-3433 or visit

Support Local Journalism