Stanton Featured Artist

Cleo Coleman
  • Artist Info

Cleopatra Coleman

When Australian-born, L.A.-based actress Cleopatra Coleman began filming her role as DJ Penelope in the fourth installment of the successful dance film franchise, Step Up: Revolution, she didn't know that the experience would lead her to start booking her own gigs shortly after the shoot wrapped up. After growing up immersed in electronic music, and impressed with the ease-of-use of the Stanton SCS.4DJ equipment she was using on set, Coleman quickly began getting serious about DJing.

Coleman’s childhood was spent in a hippy town famous for its DJ culture, she was raised around the speaker bins and swirling projections of the 1990's psychedelic rave scene. Her dad worked at rave parties at an old slaughterhouse called The Epicenter, near their home on the north coast of Australia, where she was introduced to techno and trance music, by international DJs such as Tsyoshi Suzuki, Ollie Wisdom, as well as local DJs known for their selection of psytrance (psychedelic trance) and techno music.

Her musician father also introduced her to the music of Miles Davis, Nina Simone, early electronica like Klaus Schultz, Kraftwerk, Edith Piaf, Sly and The Family Stone, David Bowie and a lot of reggae. In addition, Coleman was influenced by classical music, thanks to her ballet lessons. To say music was part of her childhood would be an understatement.

"I was always dancing," says Coleman. "A lot of my parents’ friends were DJs. They would have thousands of people coming to my dad's raves and there I was in the middle of it all, dancing, running around and just enjoying the music! As I got older my friends and I started to DJ a bit in Australia, nothing serious, but enough to get me started."

With her background, it's no wonder Step Up: Revolution Producer John Chu and Director Scott Speer signed her on to play Penelope, a feisty DJ who supplies the music for all of the characters' flash mobs in the movie. Her character would be using Stanton's SCS.4DJ in the movie, so not only was it important for the actress to have the talent, but it was helpful to have some familiarity with DJing as well.

"The producers and director wanted someone with the right look but also someone who could DJ," recalls Coleman. "They needed somebody that was self-sufficient, so that they were able to shoot and cut during a DJing scene and it would still make sense and look natural."

Cleo Coleman and SCS.4DJTo help get her further acquainted with the equipment, Stanton's DJ B-Side worked with Coleman on set in Miami, showing her the ins and outs of the SCS.4DJ. Coleman vowed to B-Side that once filming was over and she returned to Los Angeles, she would start DJing. That's exactly what she did.

"I had never taken DJing seriously because acting was always number one for me," says Coleman, "but after spending so much time working with the SCS.4DJ on set, I convinced myself that I should focus more time and energy on it. I love DJing because it's such a great creative outlet for me. It's such a great way to enjoy music. I’ve gained a new appreciation for it."

Coleman likes how simple it is to use her SCS.4DJ, especially since after her initial lessons with B-Side; she only had two weeks to prepare at home before for her first gig in Hollywood.

"The SCS.4DJ is really awesome-- it's so self-conditioned," says Coleman. "It allows you to be so creative! It’s simple to navigate, yet can be complicated enough if you want it to be. Plus, I love how lightweight and portable it is. When I played my first gig in Hollywood, I was able to walk with it from my house to the club."

Coleman is always quick to recommend the SCS.4DJ to anyone looking to start out. "My friends absolutely love it," she says. "Whenever anyone comes over, they go straight for it. They're always asking to play with it. I love it but they always seem to pay more attention to the SCS.4DJ than me!"

And while Coleman is gearing up for a few new movie roles, she plans on keeping up with her DJ gigs, spinning house, electro and moombahton music regularly at various California hot spots such as Colony in Hollywood and Broadway Bar in LA's eclectic Downtown theatre district, as well as private events for the entertainment industry.

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