New York, New York (PressExposure) March 05, 2012 -- Powerful passion and commitment to a dream, mixed with creativity and a skilled ear is what skyrocketed remixer/DJ Denise "Twisted Dee" Martello Gurney to a level of acceptance and expertise in a field rarely entered by a woman.
Not only is Twisted Dee accepted in the male dominated remixing music world, her sexy, primeval and progressive creations make her a contender as one of the hottest remixers in the country. She's also in demand in various other countries, where she travels several times a year.
Twisted Dee has remixed songs for more than 100 artists, including the recent Billboard No. 1 charting Gloria Estefan's song, "Hotel Nacional;" Lisa Hunt's No. 5 Billboard hit, "The Joint Is Jumpin;' " Paulina Rubio's "Heat of the Night;" RuPaul's "Cover Girl;" and her most recent work on Del Oro Music artist Lakotah's "Falling," which this week slid up to No. 43 on the Billboard Dance charts.
"I've been blessed to work with a lot of great artists doing what I really love," Twisted Dee said.
One of her favorite projects amid her plethora of successful remixes was a project with the electronic rock band Disco Biscuits' song, "On Time."
"It was a special accomplishment. Here they have this electro-rock die-hard following and I went online and was reading about them and how their fans were so upset and dissing them because they were doing these dance remixes, and then when it was done it got all these great reviews and that was a real treat," she said.
Although she lives a quiet life apart from her nightclub DJ work - which includes a great deal of travel - Twisted Dee can't imagine being in any other field of work.
"Music is my world. I live, breathe and [expletive] music," she said.
She credits her life partner, Mary Savo with the ability to "live breathe and [expletive] music."
The couple has been together about 14 years.
"Early on Mary told me she's had a career, but never really had a dream, so she told me to quit my day job and pursue my dream," Twisted Dee said. "She said, 'I never had a dream. You have this passion, this dream. Let's see where it takes you.'
I'd never have come this far if it weren't for her. There's no way I'd be anywhere I am today," she said.
Where she is today is en route to China for a 12-day, two-city tour in China, with Savo in tow. Twisted Dee said she was really looking forward to the trip because of the length of the trip - most of her gigs are whirlwind two- or- three-day trips - and because it's not often she travels with companion.
"I love travel and being able to say I've been all these places, but really it's not all as glamorous as you'd imagine," she said. "Most of the time, about 99 percent of the time, I'm all alone and that's not so fun because even if you make friends in those countries it's not the same as having someone to travel with and sightsee with who speaks your language."
This will be Twisted Dee's sixth trip to China in the past few years, and second-trip within the past 12 months. She also travels to Brazil at least few times a year and Mexico at least once each year.
Twisted Dee splits most of her time in the states between her home near Orlando and working at a nightclub on New York's Fire Island. She also enjoys travel across the United States and has been featured in recent years in major dance events at most U.S. states, including Winter Party Miami, NYC Pride, Masterbeat parties in Los Angeles, San Francisco Pride, and at various events in Colorado.
Though she's dreamed of traveling to Europe and seeing the sights of Spain and Italy, she's yet to reach those borders. "The closest I came was Helsinki [Finland]," she said, with a laugh, adding though the cruise party she played there was wonderful, great fun, and the people were wonderful, the town left a lot to be desired.
"It was kind of a vampire town. Cold, rainy and dreary. It seemed more like you'd imagine Transylvania to be," she joked. "The people were wonderful, but Helsinki is the last place you'd want to be."
Growing up as a child in Long Island, N.Y., Denise Martello got her first glimpse of what she wanted in life. Her parents, Mario and Roseanne Martello, owned Long Island, N.Y.'s first disco, "The Sting." "That was in the time of Donna Summer and disco was the big thing. It was wonderful," she said.
Denise rode her bicycle to the club every day after school, to work in the coat room or help set up for the bartender, cleaning glassware and slicing lemons. As soon as she completed her duties, she'd rush to the DJ booth, where she gleaned every ounce of technical and musical learning available.
"I knew even then that's what I loved and wanted to do," she said.
At the age of 17, she got her first DJ job, with the permission of her father, as she was too young to even be in a club without parental permission.
At 25, she got her first gig at a gay club, which, she said, was her calling. She came out in the lesbian community one-year later.
Since then, Twisted Dee has became a household name in the DJ world and also a reporter to Billboard magazine. Reporting to Billboard is how she decided to start remixing songs.
"I thought 'I can do this myself,' " she said, adding she never took classes in music production or remixing. "I'm completely self-taught and it's all a learning process. But, I love it and I wouldn't want to do anything else. My work gets better as I learn more and more."
Most of what she does as a remixer is done in a room in her home, sequestered with the song and a ton of equipment. "I like to give myself time alone to listen and re-listen to the song, over and over," she said. "When I have to get the project done quickly, I give myself 40 or 50 hours working on it," she said.
Hopefully, she likes the song. That's how it worked with Lakotah's "Falling."
"Sometimes, the way somebody sings, it just clicks and that's exactly what happened here [with "Falling"]. I think the wispiness of the vocals, in this very sexy, yet innocent way, it just caught me," she said.
This is far from Twisted Dee's first time to fall in love with the song she's working on, inspiring her to create a chart-breaking hit. A few months ago, she created a remix of Gloria Estefan's song, "Hotel Nacional," which jumped to No. 1 on the Billboard Dance chart.
"I've had a lot of songs that charted in the top five or 10, but that was my first No. 1 hit. It was pretty exciting, in fact, it felt amazing," Twisted Dee said.
Twisted Dee has been a DJ for about 30 years and started remixing 18 years ago. Despite this, her peers have recently recognized her as a top "up and coming remixer," she said.
"I find that funny, since I've been doing this longer than any of my peers," she joked.
Although she's known by many as the "DJ's DJ" and has won the title of "Best DJ on Fire Island," Twisted Dee is still dreaming of her first Grammy award for best remix. "I'd love to be nominated for a Grammy. I don't really have to win, just the nomination would be wonderful," she said.
She'd also like to someday work with Lady Gaga or J Lo, she said.
"There's a lot I'd still love to do," she said, "but I'm very grateful for all I've been able to do."
For more information on Twisted Dee, visit http://www.twisteddee.com.