Chetaiya is the DJ name and childhood nickname of Sveta Valieva who is from war-tattered South Ossetia and a Washington, D.C. transplant. Chetaiya goes Behind the Beat for an exclusive interview on the day of her big performance in Chicago as part of Only The Beat's livestream launch party at Annex Nightclub in Chicago; where she will play alongside some of Only The Beat's favorite DJ's, including Dogma
, Sammy Douglas and our very own IMJUSTINBRAUN
. Chetaiya is a dancer, pianist, DJ extraordinaire that has a talent for incorporating Deep and Tech House, as well as minimal and techno into her mixes. When not playing a set for her friends, Chetaiya is a frequent guest of the Eighteenth Street Lounge
in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Chetaiya - Winter Deep Session Eighteenth Street Lounge
Only The Beat: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved in DJing?
I started to play at the parties at my house in DC about a little over a year ago. They served as my testing ground and I was pleasantly surprised when people positively responded to what I was playing. Soon after I started being asked to play at other parties (outside of the comfort of my home). I have loved underground dance music for a while and once I figured out that DJing is not rocket science, I took the necessary steps.
Before that fateful outset I was ore focused on school and finding the right career. Once that was more or less settled I finally had the freedom to explore my other interests.
OTB: Describe your style and genre of music.
My preferred style encompasses deep house, tech house, techno and minimal. I certainly look for intricacy in texture, while a good bass and melody also pique my interest. Based on my observation, a person’s taste seems to stem from the type of music they were exposed to early on. For me it was classical, so complexity is key.
Where is your favorite venue to preform?
Can’t say I have one, but feel extremely comfortable at the Eighteenth Street Lounge in DC because that’s where I have spent the most time playing (outside of my house). However, ultimately it’s the crowd that makes the mood of the venue. If they like your music selection and visibly enjoy it - that is the ultimate reward for any given event.
I know you have a big show in Chicago coming up. Can you tell us a little about this show?
: I’m stoked to be part of Only The Beat's live streaming launch and it’s also my very first time playing in Chicago, so feel extremely humbled. I met Justin and Daniel from OTB quite serendipitously and am glad that the encounter blossomed into a working relationship.
What artists influence your style and who do you follow in the music industry?
There are just too many names and it really depends on the mood. Some of the favorites include Anja Schneider, Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, Chaos in the CBD, Laurence Guy, Satori, Chilly Gonzales, DJ Koze, Portable and there are new ones cropping up all the time.
What is a personal milestone in your DJ career so far?
Actually it was taking the first steps to start doing it. From that point on it just took off and things grew organically. I’ve developed my taste enough over the years to be certain of my preferences, so sharing it was a natural progression.
This may sound corny, but the first time I saw Donald Glaude at a rave in the early 2000s, my interest in DJing was sparked and always remained in the back of my head. So it certainly was a long time coming.
OTB: Name your top three dance music tracks of all time.
The list would have to be a blend of timeless ones and current favorites.
Phil Weeks - Live at Palladium
PAWSA - Shapeshifter
Tantsui - No Mercy
I've spoken with other DJs and producers about the integration of live instruments during DJ sets in addition to other trends in dance music. Where do you think the industry is moving and what do you think the next big thing will be?
It feels that there is definitely a move towards incorporating as many live elements into sets as possible and it really depends on the person’s abilities and taste. My hope is that this trend will continue growing to allow each artist to further personalize their sets. With the popularity of electronic music growing, it’s hard to say what the next big thing will be, but it would certainly depend on the further development of technology available to DJs and producers, which would place more options at their fingertips.
Outside of Djing, what are your other interests or hobbies?
My very first passion was dance and I remain loyal to it to the extent possible. Otherwise, I paint and play piano as much as time allows. This reflects my belief in leading a multi-faceted existence and look forward to adding other activities as soon as there is more time.
I believe in leading a multi-faceted existence and look forward to adding other activities as soon as there is more time. There is a long list pending.
What can we expect from you this year? Any big shows, mixes or collaborations coming up?
In the process of helping set up a festival in DC at some point in the fall. It will involve collaborating with local art organizations, which is very exciting.
Follow Chetaiya on Social Media
Facebook | Soundcloud
For those of you not in Chicago, catch the livestream on the homepage of onlythebeat.com. For those of us privileged enough to be in the Windy City, doors open at 10PM at Chicago's Annex Nightclub located at 1958 W North Ave. No Dress code. $5 at the door before midnight, $10 after.