Live from Salt + Sass in Berlin, the DJ, vocalist and music tech worker takes us through her multifaceted career.
Ask Susan Langan what she does, and you can either opt for a short or long answer. The briefest possible one would be that Qzen, her longtime alias, is a DJ—it's what she loves most and feels like she's best at. If you read over her CV, though, you'd see that's only part of the story. By day she works in artist relations for Native Instruments in Berlin, and before that she was a curator for electronic music in the early days of the iTunes music store in Cupertino. She's also provided vocals on productions from artists like Dave Aju, Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts and, most notably, John Tejada; she features prominently on 2000s Tejada classics like "Sucre" and "Sweat (On The Walls)." She also scored a hit in 2008 with 40 Thieves in the form of "Don't Turn It Off." Going back even further, Langan was a central player in San Francisco's drum & bass scene as part of Eklektic.
Langan was invited to speak at a recent edition of Salt + Sass, a quarterly meet-up that, as organizer Kat Young put its, "aims to connect, celebrate and bring visibility to women working in the music industry in Berlin." In conversation with Christine Kakaire, she spoke at length about her multifaceted career, as well as her experience more generally as a woman working as an artist and industry insider.