L.A. is full of starlets, celebutantes, and wannabe Playboy bunnies. Wannabes that are only too happy to besmirch the name and good reputation of a real female DJ like Colette Marino, who actually knows what she's doing. And don't let her pretty looks fool you into thinking otherwise. She's currently residing in the City of Lost Angels, having grown up and trained in the American house-music capital of Chicago, where, if you don't have skills, you'll simply get laughed out of the booth. And she raises the bar by actually singing live over her DJ sets (and producing her own songs, for that matter). Because her DJ sets were already original performances in their own right, leaping into the realm of studio work was a much more natural transition for Colette than for many DJs who try (and often fail) to bridge the divide. She released her debut artist album Hypnotized in 2005, following it up last summer with Push. Both are timely reminders that house music is alive.

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Tamara Palmer