J. WORRA has come a long way from her small town Midwestern roots. While her blue-collar peers were busy playing sports, Jamie Sitter spent her adolescence teaching herself instruments like guitar and piano. It wasn’t until moving to Chicago after college that the rising star first discovered and fell in love with electronic music. “A big turning point for me was Spring Awakening music festival,” J. Worra tells DJ Mag. “I was looking around thinking to myself, ‘Why are there no women playing? I could do this, and do it better than some of the men.’”
J. Worra took that vision and transformed it into reality. These days, the tech-house maverick is touring the country as a festival mainstay, having performed on the stages of Coachella, Holy Ship!, Lightning In A Bottle, Dirtybird Campout, HARD Summer, Splash House, Beyond Wonderland, Moonrise and Elements to name a few. “I have a tendency to be pretty ADD when I DJ, but that’s kind of the fun part, because even I don’t know what to expect when I walk into a set,” she says. “It keeps it exciting for me, too.”Her propulsive DJ sets dive deep into her diverse musical library, and her Chicago roots shine through in her groovy, tech-house productions that oscillate between heavy bass and bouncy house.
“When it comes to original productions, I sit down and make something almost every day, and 99% of it doesn’t see the light of day, which is fine,” J. Worra says. “I think a lot of upcoming producers get caught up feeling that if they make something, they have to finish it. But it’s less important to finish 100 tracks a year, and more important to finish five really good ones, where you learn a lot and put in a lot of hours.” J. Worra’s sound has continued to evolve throughout her career. Since moving from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2015, she’s released on a smattering of labels including Sweat It Out!, Perfect Driver and In/Rotation, as well as recording official remixes of Deadmau5 and Kaskade for their mau5trap and Arkade imprints, respectively.
Last year the blossoming beat-smith forged her own path with the launch of her label Arrow Recordings. Armed with total autonomy and creative freedom, J. Worra is developing a platform for sharing her forward-thinking output with the world. “I started my label because I wanted to release more music, and do it on my own terms,” J. Worra says. “Maybe down the road I’ll start releasing other artists, but for now it’s an avenue for me to put out exactly what I want to put out.”
On top of founding her imprint, last year also marked the creation of her own merchandise line in partnership with Strata. The Repeat After Me range, named after one of her favorite singles from 2017, offers a selection of high-quality, fashion-forward pieces, including denim jackets and vests that feel more like a street wear collection than a typical artist’s basic tees. J. Worra continues to solidify herself as a household name in the tech-house world, with a forthcoming remix of Felix Cartal and Lights’ hit track ‘Love Me’, as well as a collaboration alongside fellow Los Angeles artists Kaleena Zanders and Venessa Michaels on the way. Between her ongoing studio work and her ceaseless tour regimen, J. Worra is primed to have her biggest year yet.
“2019 has started off really strong and I have every intent of finishing strong, and putting out a lot of music for everybody,” she says. “I’m excited for people to get to know me more this year too.”