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01 July 2014

From Kingdom Rave to the Decks at Opera: The High Rise of High Kalliber

Friday, Opera nightclub and Liquified promotions is hosting a showcase of Atlanta's homegrown DJs.

Four artists --MK Ultra, Midnite Panda, Snellvillian, and High Kalliber-- will stand behind the same Opera decks that have hosted legendary DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Simon Patterson, and Cosmic Gate.

The past six months has seen a meteoric rise for one of those Georgia grown DJs playing Opera, Friday night. Kallan Arvidson, better known by her stage name High Kalliber, specializes in drum and bass (DnB). She's played some of Atlanta's hottest clubs and events; from Kingdom Rave and Six Flags Electric Adventure to being the special guest of DJ Helena at Tongue & Groove in Buckhead.

Georgia Unfiltered caught up with High Kalliber before her set at Opera, and took the opportunity to ask a few questions.

(Kallan Arvidson, better known as High Kalliber, performs at Kingdom Rave XI)
Your first gig was at Kingdom Rave XI. What was that experience like, putting your music out there in public for the first time?

Playing the second main stage at an event that averages over 1,000 people in attendance is not your typical first gig. I was VERY fortunate to have landed that. I made a mix and sent it to the booking agent from Kingdom. He liked it and said I could play. I had been wanting to DJ for a while, but was always too scared to actually take action and get up there. I was quite nervous, but I realized that I could not chicken out. Breaks like that do not come around very often! I practiced my mixing almost every day for a month, and then went up there and played my heart out! I was so nervous to be in front of people that my whole body was shaking during my set!

Friday night, you’re going to be standing in the same spot, at Opera, where legendary DJs such as Paul Oakenfold and Cosmic Gate once stood. What kind of set are you preparing to make sure people get their money’s worth?

I always strive to give fans a set that is something they have never heard before. Opera’s crowd is quite commercial, so I will be using lots of drum and bass remixes of popular electro house tracks, so that I can keep the crowd connected to the music, while still getting to play my beloved DnB.

Who are some of your personal favorite DJs?

Hardest question ever. At the moment I am loving Rene LaVice, Sub Focus, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Andy C, Dimension, and Audio.

What music festival or club would you love to play at?

If I could play Brixton Academy in London, I would die and go to heaven! So many amazing DnB shows have happened there, and the venue itself has such a rich history. Fabric night club in London would also be a huge accomplishment!

You use a lot of dnb in your sets. What made you get into that genre?

Ahh the most frequently asked question of all, “Why would a pretty, blonde Barbie have such a strong passion for a genre as grimey as Drum and Bass?”

Well, I first got into it when I went to London last summer. As soon as I heard my first double drop I was instantly hooked. Double dropping is when you play two dnb tracks of the same key and BPM simultaneously, so that they drop at the same time, making the drop 2 times as powerful! To me there is nothing better than throwing down the nastiest double drops I can come up with and watching the crowd go crazy!

Define success for you as a DJ.

Simple. Success is getting other people to share your passion; seeing people smiling and dancing on the dance floor to your set. The more people I can make smile, and dance, the more successful I feel. I’m not in it for the money. Monetary success really holds no value in my eyes.

Tickets are still available for Liquified and Opera presents Illuminate Homegrown, featuring High Kalliber, Midnite Panda, MK Ultra, and Snellvillain.