When Hillary Clinton has you on speed dial for parties and family events, like her daughter Chelsea’s wedding, you know you’ve made it.
Mia Moretti began her journey toward DJ stardom as a “box girl” at The Standard on The Sunset Strip. After a stint in New York City—and after traveling the globe as arguably the most famous female DJ on the planet—she found her way back home to the city where it all began.
Here, Mia shares how she found her rhythm in West Hollywood and what she loves most about the beat of the city.
How did you get started DJing?
Mia Moretti: My first job when I was in college was at The Standard Hotel. I got a job there as a box girl. There was a box behind the front desk and my job was to just to sit in that box, which is insane to think about, that they would pay someone just to sit there. It was amazing because I read books, I did my homework, I wrote my essays, and I got paid to do it. But sitting in that box, I noticed that outside of the box, there was someone who was coming in and out all night long, playing records. And that was the DJ in the lobby of The Standard Hotel. So I set my goals on that job, and I went to the managers and I asked them how I could become the DJ. And they gave me a chance, which I think is very West Hollywood. It’s so open arms. It really just invites you in, asks you what you want, and it will give it to you.
How would you describe the vibe of West Hollywood?
Mia Moretti: I think it’s a city that feels like a playground. It welcomes everybody. It’s as if you’re a child going to kindergarten for the first time, and there’s a slide, a swing, a sandbox and crafts. Then, there are also all these other kids and it’s so much fun. That’s what West Hollywood is for an adult. We get to play again. So many of the things we do in our life are hard, and it’s nice to be in a place that really is about bringing out the joy in people. That, to me, is West Hollywood.
How did West Hollywood become this new home for you?
MM: West Hollywood is a full circle moment for me. I went to UCLA but lived in West Hollywood. It was sort of my whole introduction to the world. Then I spread my wings and went to New York City and became a DJ. And now I’m here in West Hollywood doing everything that I dreamed I would do—or I didn’t even dream. I had no idea I would even be able to achieve what I’ve achieved today, to be able to say that I’m a DJ.
What is your favorite part about living in West Hollywood?
MM: I think the best part about West Hollywood is you don’t have to have a destination. You could just park on Santa Monica Boulevard and walk. There are so few places in L.A. that you get to walk and discover stuff. That’s the beauty of a city that is walkable like West Hollywood. If you’re just going point to point, I feel like you’re playing the hits. You’re missing so much of a city. You have to get out of the car and walk to discover something. And that’s the B-side, that’s the pulse of a city. And we have these beautiful neighborhoods in West Hollywood that you can discover.
Searching for the B-side and searching for that funky song that people don’t know, but they have to dance to because you just hear it. It moves you. I want to find that in life, in music, in people, in my city, in myself, everywhere.Mia Moretti
How do you think [searching for the B-side] maybe ties in to the spirit of the city?
MM: West Hollywood is the city that welcomes everybody, and it welcomes everybody for their uniqueness. I think because of that, it gives people the space to be who they are. It doesn’t force them to be something they’re not. It doesn’t force them to wear black every day and put a blazer on and go to work. Every city has a different standard, a different look and feel and “cool.” The “cool” of West Hollywood is whatever the eff you want it to be.
I feel like West Hollywood gave me life. And it’s so important to give that back to your city. I’m so happy to be here today. And I’m so happy to say I’m a DJ and that I learned everything I know from West Hollywood.Mia Moretti
What do you think of the nightlife scene here?
MM: To be honest, what’s so cool about the nightlife scene in West Hollywood is that it’s so different for everybody. There are so many different nooks and crannies that I have to leave it up to you to discover. But I will tell you that every door is open, everyone is smiling and you will find something new around every bend.
Lastly, talk a little bit about The Sunset Strip.
MM: It will forever be iconic. You cannot walk down The Sunset Strip at night without knowing that you’re somewhere special, knowing that it’s somewhere with so much history and the people that have been there. You feel those histories when you walk down The Strip, and that’s special. There are so few places in the world that you feel the ghosts of the discos that were here before us.