Born in Miami with a Cuban background, Cry Baby (aka Lauren Martinez) began her foray into dance music while crashing raves as a preteen and immersing herself in the legendary South Florida dance culture of the ’90s. Feeling stifled by her hometown’s lack of opportunities for female DJs/producers, Cry Baby later relocated to Brooklyn in 2010 in search of a more welcoming environment to develop and share her craft. In the eight years since, she has joined the ranks as a stalwart in the local electronic community and can be found at various clubs and warehouses across the city on a weekly basis. From starting her own party series, House On Mute, to touring across Europe and releasing productions on Nervous and Euphoria, Cry Baby has gone on to launch a new project—FM Elle, a female-driven label, collective and event series meant to highlight underrepresented women in the industry.
Ahead of her show at Elsewhere with Matador on November 24, Cry Baby opened up about her career and shared a new mix for fans to enjoy.
What was the inspiration for your moniker, Cry Baby?
Well the name always resonated with me because I tend to be somewhat emotional (I am a Cancer after all!) But I have to say that since I got sober about a year and a half ago, so much about me has changed. I don’t know if I really feel the same connection to the name anymore. I’d like to touch up more on this subject, but I think it’s best if you just wait and see (aka I’m still figuring that out myself haha)
You moved to Brooklyn from Miami in 2010. What has been the biggest change or lesson in your career since then? Favorite career highlight so far?
Man. It has been quite the journey since I moved here. New York has taught me a level of tolerance and love for other people and myself that I didn’t know I had or even needed. This city has broken me down and then put me back together more times than I can count. I think you need these kinds of experiences to fuel your creativity.
Most people find that they are most creative when they’re sad or depressed. For me, it’s always been the opposite. I do my best work when I’m feeling good and happy so if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s to take care of myself and only take on work that I’m genuinely excited to do. Same goes for who I keep around, foods I eat, etc…
Career highlight: I’m so lucky to say that I got here right before the feminist movement in techno began. I saw women rise and work together like never before. I got to collaborate and play with some badass women and made lifelong friends along the way.
What is one track that never gets old for you to play?
Any Miami freestyle tracks. Freestyle was my first introduction to music as a kid growing up in Miami. Anything from Stevie B, Judy Torres, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, etc. I always find a way to sneak one of these into my sets.
If you could collaborate with any artist (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Aphex Twin or Karin Dreijer Anderson. Aphex because well, he’s like God or something. and Karin because I’ve always not only been fascinated with her music but also her creativity. I’d love to pick her brain one day.
Tell us a little about the mix you’ve shared with us.
Lately I’ve been taking it back to my roots. Taking it back to what I was listening to on the dancefloors in Miami in the late ’90s. It was my first introduction to these sounds that made my a lifer! Breaks (some old some new), electro, booty music, drum & bass, and freestyle.