NiteTalk: “Fearless” Roxy Cottontail Fights “Like a Guy”

Downtown party promoter Roxy Cottontail said she wants to make memories for people through her music but, as one of the few female emcees in the business, finds she's fighting a constant uphill battle. She’s worked with Grammy-nominated producer Diplo, and her Monday-night residency at Sway draws a devoted following of skater boys and rising emcees.

How did you get into the nightlife scene? I went to Pratt, and my first roommate was a crazy raver and I was like, ‘Nightlife is weird.’ Then my second roommate was [(Le) Poisson Rouge music director and founder of the defunct Motherf----- party] Justine D … and she’s a boss. I like got to see the positive side of nightlife, and I was like, ‘Wow, you can really have a career in this.’ I want to wake up late and play records for people.

What are your most memorable moments at Sway? Spank Rock performed once, kicked a candle on me. I was covered in wax in like a really nice dress. Ninjasonik was … we can’t even have them play there again. It was so crazy. It was their crowd really, it wasn’t them. They get people hype.

How do you survive the industry as a woman? I’m in a man’s world, the music [industry] and nightlife too. I feel like a guy a lot of the time. [I’m] having some creative control [issues] in a night that I’m doing right now. I feel like I’m fighting with them a lot. I just want to make memories for people. I feel like … if it was a guy they would probably take it more seriously. I think you have to you definitely have the mindset to be aggressive and like fearless.

How did you get your name? It started out as an avatar name for a message board that I used to talk a lot of smack on. I used to get in so much internet beef, it was kind of dorky. Roxy Cotton was my name on there and then this guy sent me Peter Cottontail, the poem story. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I need to add a tail on the end of my name.”

The Roxy nickname that I had was from the movie “Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael.” Winona Ryder is in it. That movie came out when I was in high school and my bandmates and I were just coming up with our stage names. It’s just evolved into Roxy Cottontail which is crazy because I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I’m a real deal brand!”

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