The sexy art of spinning

DJ Cathy Muto listens to the beat of her heart and spins

By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor

WITH the likes of Avicii, Krewella and Zedd topping mainstream music charts worldwide, it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear these electro tracks being played, well, just about everywhere.

Pumping up the local clubbing experience with her own set of house music is Cathy Muto, who has been practicing the art of mixing for 10 years and has been doing it professionally since 2011. A former international flight attendant turned music junkie, Cathy is presently the resident DJ of Maya Mexican Restaurant and is a regular in parties and events around the Visayas.

FLIGHT OF THE DJ. Cathy Muto worked as a cabin crew member for a couple of years, saw the world and decided to settle back in Cebu to master the art of spinning and become a full-fledged DJ.
FLIGHT OF THE DJ. Cathy Muto worked as a cabin crew member for a couple of years, saw the world and decided to settle back in Cebu to master the art of spinning and become a full-fledged DJ.

Not surprisingly, Cathy recalled that being a DJ began as a hobby. Inspired by a friend who’s also in the field, Cathy started learning the basics. In between flight assignments during her two-year stint in overseas, she would practice using equipment lent to her.

DJ IN THE HOUSE. A regular in parties and events around the Visayas, Cathy Muto is also the resident DJ of Maya Mexican Restaurant, where she spins the deck on Friday and Saturday nights.
DJ IN THE HOUSE. A regular in parties and events around the Visayas, Cathy Muto is also the resident DJ of Maya Mexican Restaurant, where she spins the deck on Friday and Saturday nights.

“It looked easy, and I thought it was easy,” Cathy admitted, later realizing it’s actually the opposite, and like any skill, demands practice.

“You need to master the art of counting and timing, beat matching — you need to have the ears for it,” she said. “But if you have to the heart for it also, then it comes naturally. I think that’s what happened to me.”

Spinning style

Born and raised in Manila, Cathy moved to Cebu in her high school years and has been living here ever since. She was with Cebu Pacific and later Emirates as cabin crew member for a couple of years, and after seeing the world — her favorite being Europe — decided to settle back in her second home. Cathy is of Spanish and Japanese descent.

Cathy spins the deck in Maya on Friday and Saturday nights, and throughout the rest of the week can be spotted in private parties and outdoor events in Cebu and in neighboring cities. She describes her style as mildly influenced by alternative rock, having grown up with male cousins who are into the genre. Some of the musicians she looks up to are Chicane, Dinka, Nervo, Miss Nine, Nicky Romero, Hardwell, Paul Van Dyke, Carl Cox, Alesso, Kaskade and Deadmau5.

Although generally she classifies her tunes as house music, Cathy said she doesn’t play for herself. “I play for people. I don’t play for myself. In every performance, I would always gauge the crowd, their age, and observe what kind of music they enjoy,” she said. “Aside from the contemporary ones, I have remixes of classic songs as well.”

Daytime for Cathy is spent keeping herself updated with the latest in the EDM scene, such as participating in online message boards for new techniques and new material. “There’s a lot of music released every week and getting left behind is a big no-no for a DJ,” she said.

JUST KEEP SPINNING. What keeps Cathy going in the DJ biz is seeing the crowd dancing to the beat of her tracks.
JUST KEEP SPINNING. What keeps Cathy going in the DJ biz is seeing the crowd dancing to the beat of her tracks.

Making people happy

Even when she was pregnant with her son Caleb, who is now a year old, Cathy hardly let go of her post and only took a three-week break before resuming work again.

“With whatever free time I have now, I spend it playing guitar for my baby because I want to influence him with music, too,” she said.

With long nights spent working, often getting carried away with the caffeine, what keeps Cathy going in the DJ biz is seeing the crowd having fun and dancing to the beat of her tracks.

“I want to make people happy with my music,” she said. “It’s the weekend and this is their time to relax after a stressful week of working.”

Photography: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Hair & Make-up Artist: AJ Airraveche
Venue: Maya Mexican Restaurant


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