"Sexiest Violin Player In the World" Heads Into DJ Booth at Miami Beach's Mynt Lounge
Type Mz Poppinz into Google and the top result will be a YouTube clip entitled "sexiest violin player in the world!"
And though that may be true, it shortchanges the Pittsburgh native (born Melissa Palichat), who's bringing her unique combination of talents to Mynt Lounge tonight.
"I imagine myself in a DJ booth in the middle of an orchestra pit," Poppinz says over a few mojitos. "Have music scored for the instruments and conduct the orchestra from the DJ booth."
Poppinz first picked up a violin at age three, and she never put it down. Gymnastics took up a lot of her time until the age of 14, when she decided to concentrate on the violin, eventually ending up at Miami's New World School of the Arts in 2005.
"Some say Miami can be a bit distracting," Poppinz says of her adopted city. "But to me, it is more like a sanctuary with the water and sunshine. I get in my zone, in my room, and it feels like nothing can hurt me."
Poppinz' career really took a different direction when she decided to "modernize the violin" with the help of producer Jimmy Douglass, a four-time Grammy winner who's worked with an incredible array of musicians, from The Rolling Stones to Jay-Z.
"I felt my interest changing even before I met Jimmy," said Poppinz. "I grew up dancing and I felt it was time combine my passions, introduce the violin to the public. We want the [dance] music to compliment the violin. We don't want the violin to take away from the [dance] music."
Her musical influences include classical violin players Itzhak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin and British crossover violinist Vanessa-Mae. The Chemical Brothers are her biggest influences when it comes to electronic dance music.
Together with Douglass, Poppinz is working on two separate, still untitled albums. One will be a dance album, with the violin "optional," according to Poppinz. The other will be a classical album showcasing the vioilin, or as Poppinz described it "the acoustic version."
Poppinz, who just returned from Chicago where she performed at the Paris Club, puts a lot time, energy and thought into her live shows. The musician in her never wants to see people walking away from the dancefloor. All her actions behind the booth, whether on the turntables or with the violin, reflect her dedication to the live show.
She isn't just the "sexiest violin player in the world!"
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