The Best Beats for the Best Workout with Gigi Lee
After moving to Shanghai from the UK 2 years ago, Dalian-born Gigi Lee decided to quit her job as a producer for VFX company and pursue her real passion as a DJ. She wanted to come back to China and develop the music scene here. Her love of house music overrode her desire to live the Shanghai corporate lifestyle and, knowing the powers of a city like SH, she knew that if you believe in yourself, you could really do whatever you wanted here. Under the previous name DJ TYGI, she has been able to fully devote herself in the music industry which has now led her to officially registering her company, Guilty Pleasure, which provides a full service of event planning, production, entertainment and event management. You can see her performing at clubs, festivals in major cities in China as well as Asia spreading her sick beats and amazing talents at producing the best house music Shanghai has seen yet. As one of That's it 'IT Girls', Gigi has become the uprising face of DJ´s, leading the music industry in Shanghai. I've had the great opportunity to sit down with Gigi on a rainy afternoon on Yong Kang Lu, the go-to street for trendy dive-bars, in search of finding the best groovy music for those interested in an active summer full of exercise for the body and mind.
DJ TYGI was your previous DJ name, why change it now to Gigi Lee?
Well, Gigi Lee is my real name. When I first started to DJ a few years ago, I decided to use an artist name because I wanted to have a “doubled-life” or “second identity”, however, I eventually decided to fully devote myself into music industry and now I am just who I am, a DJ.
Do you exercise a lot?
I love it. I go to the gym like 4 times a week to 5 times a week.
What’s your favorite workout?
I love running, dancing and I love spinning and boxing… anything!
What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when you’re working out?
Well, I really enjoy listening to electronic music, like house music.
Do you have a workout playlist?
I do, actually.
In what ways?
For electronic music, especially for house music and tech-house music, with the BPM around 125, your body gets motivated. When you listen to electronic music with this BPM or with normal music or no music, your body and mind work in a different way. You really become motivated, scientifically.
Very cool! So if I wanted access to this playlist where could I find it?
I actually created some podcasts that are 1 hour, I carefully selected around 10 sounds and mix them together. You know the groove and how it goes. It really, likes, brings a mood for fitness.
Could you name some artists that you used for the podcasts?
Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler, Little Louis Vega, Kenny Dope, Derrick May, Detroit Swindle, Marco Carola, Burnski, and many more amazing producers.
Do you have a fitness hero or guru you follow or look up to?
The thing is, I actually have a little sister who is a professional athlete for the national team of China for field hockey. So I really look up to her for fitness as this has been her career since she was 8 years old.
For a basic workout that you have, you’ll have a 1 hr playlist to listen to. In the beginning, as you’re warming up, what type of music do you play? Does the music and tempo differ as you start your warm-up, then get to the workout, and then cool down or does it stay relatively the same?
Usually when I go to the gym, of course I’ll have my relaxation and stretch for like 15 minutes and for that, I usually don’t listen to music because you need to move a lot as you’re stretching and it’s not convenient to have headphones. After my body is warmed up, I’ll head to the treadmill or machines directly and I’ll put my headphones on. The music starts off upbeat. However, the mix itself, you know, it has its ups and downs and its groove. It changes from the music to the vocals and gives you breaks
Similar to intervals while you’re exercising? Upbeat at some parts, and slower at others?
Yes, because it’s a cardio exercise, it’s important that you keep your heartbeat moving. It’s actually interesting cause whenever I run on the tread machine, I always like listen to music and dance with my hands too.
Enjoying the music and enjoying the workout, that’s the best way to do it! So what about your cool down? Is it the same with your warmups where you don’t listen to music or do you have a different type of music you like listening to?
Yeah for cool down I also have cool down music. I listen to more good-vibe disco-funk, the tempo is a bit slower, at around 100 BPM. It gives me the feeling of accomplishment like, “Gigi, you did it!”.
So it’s calm music but not like yoga-calm music. Do you do yoga? If you do, what kind of music do you listen to when you do yoga?
I usually listen to this kind of lucid dreaming music with binaural beats that changes your brainwave for yoga, as well as meditation and sleep.
The yoga music is definitely different than the house music playlist. I’m a big fan of working out and have recently adopted the idea that a happy body brings a happy mind.
Yeah, the chemical you’re getting, I think, is the same kind of chemical you get from an orgasm.
Yeah, endorphins! It feels great! Would you say music enhances that when you exercise? Releasing more endorphins?
Definitely! Sometimes it gets me really really excited. Music is so powerful!
Almost better than an orgasm?
Oh yeah! Depending on how you utilize it!
If you could end a sentence with “And… That’s it!” What would it be?
Fat to fit? Gym it up! And… That’s it!