Ask Jennifer Hetherington about David Guetta’s music and she’ll have one word: shallow. Don’t get her wrong, though. The personal injury lawyer at Devry Smith Frank LLP is a part-time DJ who loves underground electronic music. She just can’t stand mainstream DJs like Guetta who churn out dance music with cheesy vocals and unoriginal beats that “big music companies feed to the masses.” Her set lists are full of tracks with deep, groovy, unpredictable sounds.
“I used to DJ my elementary-school dances,” says Hetherington, now 41. “I liked the control.” Fast-forward to 2002. She’d finished articling and travelled to Berlin, where she heard good electronic music. “I didn’t know what it was, but I loved it.”
Thus began her transformation into DJ Jenner. To build her sets, she bought tracks online from underground-style artists and stored them on a silver USB key attached to her necklace. She could plug in to any turntable, and performed at Toronto clubs like Parlour and TOika (now called Populus).
These days, she mostly DJs for friends and at the firm’s annual retreat. But this summer, she played at Burning Man, a week-long festival in the Nevada desert that saw close to 70,000 people camp out while enduring sandstorms — and, in Hetherington’s case, demanding clients. “One morning, the sun was rising, the music still blasting, and I was checking my work email.”
This story is from our Winter 2016 issue.
Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth