House music innovator DJ Colette was born Colette Marino in Chicago in 1975 -- at the age of nine, she began studying classical vocal performance, later studying painting and music at the Windy City institution Lane Tech.
In 1993 she began collaborating with Chicago house mainstay Lego, adding vocals to some of his mixes and occasionally to his live sets; while a student at DePaul University, Marino next attempted singing over karaoke tracks, improvising lyrics and melodies and recording the end result. Her dorm room experiments caught the attention of local producers including Mazi
, and DJ Sneak
and Roy Davis Jr.
, both of whom sampled her work on their own records beginning with Shroom Network's 1996 effort Moments of Epiphany. From DJ Sneak
, Marino also bought her first turntables, and the following year she formed the SuperJane crew with fellow distaffs DJ Dayhota and DJ Heather; she ultimately began singing over her own live mixing, and in 2000 issued her first DJ Colette disc, In the Sun. In the fall of 2000 she relocated to Los Angeles, signing to the Nettwerk label and issuing the mix CD Our Day the following summer. Along with Paul Van Dyk and Felix da Housecat, Colette was chosen to be the face and sound of Motorolla's 2003 worldwide advertising campaign. She returned to the CD bins in 2005 with Hypnotized on the OM label. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi