Profile: Windsor’s globetrotting DJ Heidi is Coming Home (for a night anyway…)

Posted: August 30, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Band/Artist, Live Performances, Previews, Profiles

She may be known internationally as the in-demand electronic DJ who answers simply to Heidi, but this globe-trotting vinyl spinning superstar is Windsor’s very own Heidi Vanden Amstel.

Heidi is still remembered by many in the local music scene as one of the Loop’s best bartenders from “back in the day” but today she is known for just about anything but.

Always a music fan, a year long sabbatical to England back in 1997 exposed her to a whole new electronic underground, expanding the love created by so many of her friends back home in Windsor. A permanent relocation in 2000 only cemented her new musical passion and started a ride that is still going on to this day.

In 2003, she was part of the team that opened the critically acclaimed vinyl music shop Phonica Records in London, England and soon she would not only be selling vinyl to some of the world’s greatest DJs but would be spinning alongside them. A meeting with German duo M.A.N.D.Y. (Patrick Bodmer and Phillip Jung) lead to some gigs in Berlin and since then, she hasn’t looked back.

A residency at perhaps the world’s most well known DJ hotspot, Ibiza, not to mention countless regular gigs in Berlin (The Panorama Bar and The Watergate Club), Frankfurt (The Monza Club) and London (Fabric), as well as countless more shows across the United States, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and even here in Windsor at The Boom Boom Room. If there’s a club that needs a groove in this world, Heidi’s probably been there or is booked to do so. A member of the German-based electronic stable Get Physical, she released her first single, “Vejer” with partner Riton, in 2006, as well as the DJ Mix CD, Monza Club Ibiza Vol. 1, also on the Get Physical label. She re-teamed with Riton for another single in 2009 for Get Physical’s Five Year Anniversary compilation, a track entitled “To The Gum”.

Spinning in Miami

Another feather in her cap and indeed one we can all be proud of – in 2009 she joined the hosting team for BBC Radio 1’s electronic DJ show, In New DJs We Trust, heard each Friday in the UK and on-line around the world. The show has a rotating cast of hosts, with Heidi doing the fourth Friday of each month. The entire show is overseen by legendary DJ Pete Tong. In October of 2010, she helped launch the trans-European Jackathon parties, that linked simultaneous dance parties occurring in London, Manchester, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, that have proven to be a hit with the European club goers, some of the world’s most fickle electronic fans. She also recently moved back to the UK after a stint living in Berlin. Coinciding with the success of the Jackathon parties, she’ll recently released a compilation mix CD entitled Heidi presents the Jackathon, that also featured new or unreleased tracks from such heavyweights as Soul Clap, Juan MacLean, Deetron, Derrick Carter, Jamie Jones and more.

On Tuesday September 6, Heidi returns home as part of the Coming Home Music Festival, a massive homecoming dance party in downtown Windsor set up by the University of Windsor and St. Clair College, joining a line-up headlined by internationally revered Windsor electronic icon Richie Hawtin  (aka Plastikman) and Grammy-award winning DJ Benny Benassi, as well as opening sets by Italy’s Rivaz and Toronto’s Manzone & Strong. It all takes place down by the river at the new Riverfront Plaza Amphitheatre, running from 4pm until 11pm. The event is free for students from the University of Windsor or St. Clair College with a valid Student Card, or just $5 for the general public.

This once again shows the diversity of Windsor’s reach into the world of music – we’re not just limited to indie rock or heavy metal or folk music. Music is a universal language with many shapes and sizes (or chords and beeps) and Windsor is making an impact everywhere.

Coming Home Festival featuring Benny Benassi, Richie Hawtin, Heidi, Rivaz and Manzone & Strong, Riverfront Plaza Amphitheatre, Tuesday September 6, 4pm to 11pm, All-Ages, FREE to Students of the University of Windsor and St. Clair College, $5 to non-students.

  1. Enjoyed reading this!!!!! What a story.

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