Cindy Berman-Hayden, better known as “Cindy B“, is a beautiful, exciting, and rising house DJ/producer coming from Lake Tahoe. Her first exposure to house music came during the late 1990s as a young woman who became very fascinated with the house genre through the exciting parties she attended in the mesmerizing Reno/Tahoe area. Since then, Cindy B became a passionate lover of the house genre, appreciating the finer detail of each rhythm, synth, and beat in the tracks. For the past couple years, Cindy B fulfilled her decades-long dream of becoming a full-time DJ/producer after transitioning careers from her profession as a massage therapist.
Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Lake Tahoe’s very own Cindy B as she discussed how she got into house music, the styles of house music she mixes, the events she performed at and attended that are amongst her favorites, and also her most recent set performing at the renowned Northern Nights Festival. Also, check out Tahoe Weekly’s short scoop on the life-loving Cindy B; check out her SoundCloud profile as well. Additionally, check out Cindy B’s Linktree profile as well where everyone can see her upcoming events, social media platforms, and of course, this interview article.
Ken Ngo: Hello Cindy B. Last month, you performed at the Northern Nights Festival. How was it like performing at Northern Nights?
Cindy B: DJing at the Northern Nights Music Festival was amazing. I was invited by the Caldera Crew out of Mammoth Lakes, CA to DJ on the Octopus Garden River Stage. My set time was Saturday at 1pm. It was a honor to be included with so many talented artists that weekend. The Octopus Garden River Stage really brought the most incredible vibes all weekend long.
What were some of your favorite memories at Northern Nights? Also, how was being at Northern Nights compared to festivals and events such as All Day I Dream, SnowGlobe, and Tahoe Live?
Attending All Day I Dream was a absolute treat! It was the first year of the festival and the organizers and crew did an excellent job! They just announced they will return next year so that is great news! I will certainly attend this event next year and hopefully DJ there as well. I absolutely LOVED Northern Nights festival as well! It did have a different vibe.
The range of music is something that set this festival apart from others that I have attended. There were also many up and coming artists to discover. There was everything from bass to house music, including an awesome live stage. They featured side stages, beautiful art, and renegade pop ups. The beautiful, clean Eel River was a delight to swim/float in.
I am loving the smaller more intimate festivals these days. Some of my favorite memories of Northern Nights music festival were, dancing to Wreckno and J. Worra while they played on the River Stage and Elderbrook on the main stage. I loved that folks actually made the trek to the Octopus Garden River Stage for my set. It was pretty far out there so it was impressive that peeps made the effort! The production level was incredible and everyone was exceptionally friendly! I absolutely can’t wait for next year!
Another fond memory was when I floated down the river and started talking with a lovely girl named Megan who recognized me from my winter residency DJ gig at Homewood Mountain Resort. She shared a fun photo with me that we took together on the mountain last winter.
Onto the music. What do you say, in your own words, is Cindy B’s own unique style of music?
I am what is called a “house-head”. House music is what truly fills my soul. Your body just automatically moves to it. In fact, I just love to include different types of house music in my sets. I also enjoy playing deep house, bass house, tech house, funky house, organic house and break-beats. I have the most fun when I play the bouncy, booty-shaking, dirty beats.
How did you start loving electronic music, especially the genre of house?
I was introduced to house music on Memorial Day weekend 1998 at at monthly party called Keep Tahoe Deep. Gunnar Bergman and his wife Cheryl started this monthly party at the Incline Brewery. They would bring in the most incredible guest DJs from San Jose and San Francisco like Rick Preston and Harry Who. It was an absolute honor to have Gunnar ask me to play for this 50th bday and Keep Tahoe Deep reunion party this last Memorial Day weekend at the Crystal Bay Club in North Lake Tahoe.
In 1999, a dear friend (A house music DJ of 20+ years at the time) took me around all the different sound camps at Burning Man. He explained to me what the difference was in the different types of music….he tuned my ear just right! Thanks Richie Rich!
In regards to producing the music, what made you decide to become the DJ/producer known as Cindy B?
I have not produced any tracks just yet, however I am excited to hop on that train soon. It does seem a bit intimidating although so did DJing at first! I have been interested in what all goes into the DJ part of things for around 10 years or so. I figured I’d finally give it a shot and see if it was something that would stick. It is a TON of work. It takes time to find those fresh new tracks. You then have to purchase them, analyze them, learn them and then figure out what goes with what all while reading the crowd and being able to switch it up.
A great DJ to me, keeps a pulse on the the dance floor (reads the crowd) and changes up the set based on if the crowd is vibing or not. I LOVE being a catalyst for Connection and Emotion! Watching people out on the dance floor or other areas of a venue connect with each other and or just dancing it out is what makes this journey into DJing so fulfilling for me!
On your SoundCloud, you have amazing tracks that you mixed. For anyone who has not heard much of Cindy B, which tracks of yours do you recommend as great starters?
It all depends what time of day the set is being played and what the energy and vibe is for the event. To me the Flow of the event is almost one of the most important components. It is extremely important to not play too energetically before the DJ after you. Therefore it’s pretty tough to answer that question.
A “starter” song for a sunrise set could be entirely different than a headlining starting track! That’s part of the magic/art of DJing… selecting the right songs for the right moments! As far as sets that I have recorded I would suggest any of the Homewood Mountain Resort sets. Those are super fun mid-day sets from my DJ Residency at Homewood Ski Resort.
What was your most favorite moment performing live as Cindy B?
Oh my goodness, there are so many favorite moments that it is so hard to pick just one. Ok, I got one…it was my very first paid gig. I was hired by a restaurant on Lake Tahoe (West Shore Cafe and Inn) to come and play ON the water from my Boat! I had done the proper promotions clearly as when we pulled up by boat in front of the pier, I was greeted by about seven different boats full of friends.
There were friends on their floaties, paddle boards, and kayaks as well. Even the beach was lined with people. Everyone was cheering so dang loud upon my arrival. I will NEVER forget that moment. It was my official DJ Debut and I had so much support from my friends and community as I was trying out something new and scary. It was Amazing!
When and where are you going to perform next?
This Summer has been so full with gigs. I have been keeping busy with DJing different campouts, festivals and private gigs. I have a few more private gigs then I am off to Burning Man. This will be my 24th return Burning Man. You know…That Thing in the Desert….I am looking forward to DJing in the dust, both at sound camps and on top of roaming art cars. DirtyBird Campout is scheduled for Oct 7-9th and I am booked to play on the Double Down Stage.
After that, I am booked to DJ on the infamous Groove Cruise!! Yup…an actual cruise ship full of DJs and party goers. It usually departs from Miami but this Oct 19th-24th it departs from Los Angeles and goes to Cabo San Lucas and back. There are non-stop parties all over the ship as well as on shore in Cabo. Right after Groove Cruise, I am booked to play in the Los Angeles Area for a incredible warehouse party for Cheese House Rekords.
Summer is about to end in a month. What do you see will happen for you in not only the fourth quarter of 2022 but also in the next few years in regards to your blossoming career?
I absolutely LOVE Summer in Lake Tahoe. It is tough to beat playing at gorgeous lakefront venues. October will be busy for me. San Francisco in October is known as ROCKtober. The weather there that time of year is beautiful and everyone is doing all these amazing events. The Groove Cruise booking will be Off the Charts and then of course there is Halloween which is always a blast. I will likely head back to Mexico and play there again in the Fall while we wait for ski season to hit here in Tahoe.
As for the next few years, that one is bit hard to tell. I am hoping to spend the majority of the Winter DJing somewhere warmer in the coming years. Although having a resident DJ gig at Homewood Mountain Resort and playing après-ski parties all over last season was a blast, I see more private and corporate gigs coming in as that is really what pays the bills and keeps the hubby happy!
You are based in Lake Tahoe. Which nightclubs and/or entertainment venues in Tahoe do you recommend the readers to check out? Especially those that play electronic music genres.
There are live bands as well as DJ’s at the CBC (Crystal Bay Club and Casino) which is located in Crystal Bay, North Lake Tahoe. Different groups in town will throw their own semi-private parties here and there. There is a small house music “scene” here, I am looking forward to being a part of it growing in the coming years. In Reno, you can get your dance on at at the Deadringer, Bluebird, Cargo, Loving Cup, Alpine Club, and the Matador Lounge. Champagne and Bacon also promote and produce awesome shows, mostly in Reno.
Bass Camp Festival has also been making waves in South Lake Tahoe and Reno. Both of them have been bringing some pretty big name artists and have been producing some top notch events. I am looking forward to Nora En Pure playing for Bass Camp Festival for the Believe in Reno 2 show on September 17th. I’ll be submitting a set for consideration of supporting act. Fingers crossed for that one as she is an incredible artist!
Burning Man is coming up…do you have any gigs out there? What are you looking forward to the most?
This will be my 24th year and I couldn’t be more excited! I have about 11 DJ set times at sound camps and on art cars. To be DJing out at Burning Man is really bringing it all home and full circle for me!