Gothic/industrial/world music DJ Empress Alyda Stoica started DJing quite by accident seven years ago, back in the days of the Bedlam event at CoffeeNet, playing music on a CD player for background, and moved up to actual DJ work from there.
Empress Alyda Stoica
“Alyda” is drawn from the ancient Greek for “woman with wings,” and “Stoica” from “Stoicism.” She didn’t explain “Empress,” but presumably she wants to rule everything around her. Now, as a DJ and promoter of events such as ’80s & Beyond and Epoch, she operates with 1,000 albums from a wide array of influences, particularly her love of ambient experimental music like Muslim Gauze and Raison d’Etre. “The only things I don’t like are country and R&B,” Alyda said. “I even like 2 Live Crew! I mostly like all the ethereal, flowy Goth dance music. I don’t think electronic music is going to last. It’s not going to have the staying power of music with a poetic power, creative lyrics. I buy a Goth album, I feel like it’s going to last. People are going to want to listen to it for longer.” Currently, under the banner of Empress Alyda Productions, she promotes ’80s & Beyond every month at the Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., frequent Hafla/WorldConnect events at a variety of venues and a return of her Gothic-industrial event, Epoch, in summer at the Irvington Theatre. The next ’80s & Beyond will be Wednesday, March 31, from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. She also has a long-standing interest in Middle Eastern music and dance, which informs her most recent project, a series of world music and belly dance events called Hafla, from the Arabic for “celebration.” The next Hafla is tonight (Wednesday, March 10) at the Melody Inn, starting at 8 p.m., with a $3 cover. “I wanted belly dancers to be able to go out and not perform, but just have fun,” Alyda said. “Where they can dance to music they actually learned to practice to. We don’t have any clubs like that in Indy.” One of Alyda’s great loves is to interact with the music, whether it be her Sufi-style swirlings to the beat or uncontrollable need to karaoke along to tunes with her ever-present headset mike. “I like a lot of technology. I love to beat match and use effects like echoes and flange and pitch. I use all the effects available to me in a mixer,” Alyda said. “I want to be the music! I want every part of my body attached with a wire and to be able to move and create the music. That’s what I think the function of DJing is; it’s about allowing the music to flow through me and with each motion to enhance the sound.”