Artist Profile: Barbi Castelvi AKA DJ Barbi

DJ Barbi Toronto By: Tanya Bailey

October 26, 2009
A dynamic DJ on the one’s and two’s. Here’s a story of a lady who is adding her savvy to our streets and beyond, with her love of ol’ school and a collision of other sounds. Ladies and gents, here is Barbi Castelvi, aka DJ Barbi.

Tell me a bit about yourself?
I run a digital music label called Intellegenix with my husband, Teezdale. We have worldwide distribution in over 180 stores and rising.  I am also involved in a music project called Syntonics with Teezdale.

What does music mean to you?
Music has been a big part of my life since I was a very small child. It was the first thing I cared about besides eating and sleeping. My favourite band was the Jackson 5 and I remember the day my father told me I was going to meet them. I remember being very excited at five years old about it. My father and mother were both famous thespians in the Philippines and my father’s Latin dance group opened to the Jackson 5, soo my father took me to the dress rehearsal at the Coliseum they were playing at and I met all the Jacksons. Michael let me sit on his lap and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to marry him!

As one of the few well known lady DJ’s in the city, whats going on with Toronto’s music scene?

The Toronto music scene is thriving right now. As a label owner, I have signed numerous Toronto producers who are selling well abroad and charting on the Juno charts, etc. We are constantly reviewing demos that many kids are sending us. There is potential, that’s for sure.

What kind of music do you spin?

I like to spin real electro-funk, house, Miami bass, booty and ghettotech, mostly. I also love 90’s hip hop, 80’s underground R&B/funk and dirty south music. I also enjoy spinning dubstep, U.K. funky, tropical house music, kuduro and baile funk.

Who are some of your favourite Canadian music artists right now?

I really like Azari & III and all the spin-off side projects they are involved in. In fact, one of their projects, Rainbros, is being released on Intellegenix. I also like these two particular producers on my label. One is Mindtransit, who makes old school hardcore rave music. He is currently in the top five U.K. hardcore charts on Juno, so I’m very proud of him. I also like this new kid who calls himself Gooffee, who makes very interesting glitch/tech music. Other Canadian artists I respect are Egyptrixx and Bombaman (who has releases on Intellegenix).

Is there a difference between the Underground scene and Top 40 scene?  Why?
There is a huge difference. One has way more depth than the other.  I’m sure you don’t need for me to elaborate. People who like underground music are really into music and pushing boundaries. People who are into top 40 only know that because they are lazy and only listen to what the radio and TV dictates to them. They don’t dig for what’s new and cutting edge because they are either busy or don’t care that much for music. There, I said it, but this does not pertain to top 40 hip hop which to me still is devoting itself to cutting edge sounds. I’m talking about bland artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, etc. When will they ever learn!

Have you played out in other cities in the country and how is it different from the downtown core?

I have played in NYC, L.A. and all over the U.K. in the past and it’s not much different from what we have here in Toronto. Every big city has little pockets of scenes. People listen to the same music everywhere you go, although I’ve always looked at the U.K. as being more advanced when it comes to music. Most of our sales for our Intellegenix artists are in the U.K.

What are your Top five hottest tracks right now?

My top 5 tracks are all old and from the 80’s…

1. “I Can’t Help It” by Michael Jackson
2. “Whip It” by Dazz Band
3. “You Are My All In All” by Joyce Simms
4. “Just Be Good To Me” by S.O.S. Band
5. “No Parking On The Dancefloor” by Midnight Star

Whats next for DJ Barbi?

DJ Barbi is a musician first and a DJ second. I’m more interested in furthering my labela nd making music in my recording studio. Deejaying is something I do to make a living and fuel my other ambitions. I do enjoy it and I feel lucky to have developed good skills to achieve things like placing third in the Red Bull Toronto DJ competition, thus being the only girl asked to compete in the National DJ competition representing Toronto. It is a man’s world out there as far as the DJ world. I had to work hard to get there. I’m not just a pretty face.

For more information on DJ Barbi and Intellegenix, check out

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