“I like seeing how far I can push a crowd.”

“I like seeing how far I can push a crowd.”

She wants people to dance non-stop, but Mia Moretti isn’t afraid to take a chance by crossing decades and genres to tell interesting stories. The DJ talks to Life House about music, travel, and living in the moment.

Mia Moretti has put together the perfect tracks for DJ sets at venues worldwide, including Terras at Life House Little Havana. But whether it's in Miami or New York, on the West Coast or abroad, Mia brings a unique approach and style to each of her sets (and her fantastic Spotify playlists). This is her story.

The Setting: We love your "What2Listen2When" playlists. Tell us about a place that inspired one of them.

To make them very specific, I focus on an exact moment rather than a place. I start with something intimate, like when you're getting to know someone while driving up Highway 1 on a whim. 

The leaves on the trees begin to look greener, the flowers on the trees start to smell more fragrant, and a six-hour drive along the Pacific Ocean (rather than a four-hour drive through the California Valley) is the only route that's even an option. 

This playlist captures the feeling you have before the impending flight back to reality, back to New York City, where the "getting to know each other" was gone and the "knowing each other too well" wasn't interesting, and winter was coming, and the leaves just weren't green anymore.

The Plot: How did you get started as a DJ?

I followed all the DJs I liked to the different venues where they played. I asked everyone I knew with turntables for lessons. I started collecting records from flea markets and record shops wherever I traveled. I broadened my scope of genres and music styles. I told stories in my head with the lyrics of songs until I understood enough of what I wanted to say to tell these stories out loud with records.

The Characters: Ideal travel companion, real life or fictional?

My band partner, Margot. We've traveled the world together, missed flights, changed itineraries, booked hotels in taxis from the airport (and rebooked them if we didn't like the atmosphere). We take chances, have adventures, make friends, and discover ourselves through the lens of the world.

The Conflict: Tell us about the most challenging set you put together and how it turned out.

I don't put sets together. They come together at the moment. It doesn't always work, but that's okay. I'd rather go out on a limb, take a risk, play something obscure, and fail than rely on tracks that I'm bored of playing just because I want everyone to dance non-stop. I like seeing how far I can push a crowd. Some appreciate the nudge, and others don't. I think it's part of a DJ's job to educate their audience, but that's just me.

The Theme: How does your taste in music influence your sets?

I like Soul music and any song that lyrically takes you somewhere. I'll jump genres and decades if I think there's a storyline that ties two pieces together.

Point of View: Best way to spend a day in Miami?

Head to the boardwalk for a fresh coconut and a morning beach walk. Stop by Tropical Beach Cafe for croquettes. Pick up a city bike for a cruise. Map out a few vintage shops. Go to Mandolin for lunch. Visit the vintage shops you mapped out (or take a nap). Take an ocean dip at sunset. Go to Los Fuegos by Francis Mallman for dinner, or just for an order of empanadas. Head to my set.

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