Originally from a small town within earshot of house music mecca Chicago, and now domiciled in LA, the artist, producer and deejay J. Worra (AKA Jamie Sitter) has enjoyed a string of recent successes from launching her label ARROW Recordings, to “Modern Medicine” with guest artist Dances With White Girls and “On The Run,” which features Kaleena Zanders. Earlier in 2019, Worra was voted Breakthrough Producer in North America in a DJ MAG poll.
Her career launched in 2012 at Chicago’s electronic dance music fest “Spring Awakening.” As she recalls, “I saw a lot of male artists and thought ‘Man, I think I can do this. And I can do it better than they can.’ The next day I bought some DJ equipment, downloaded Ableton and never looked back.”
As a woman in a field virtually ruled by men, Worra faced a number of challenges, many of which were due solely and, indeed, unfairly, to her gender. To counter this, Worra unceasingly produced good work and, as a result, became impossible to ignore. “All artists have challenges as they move through their careers,” she observes. “I’ve looked at it as trying to gain respect. If you produce great music and do strong shows, people can’t deny that you’re changing the course of the industry. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there.”
Earlier this year, Worra landed a deal with Thrive Records. “Back in March, Thrive heard my track ‘On The Run,’ which they’ve since released. They found it in someone’s Instagram story, reached out and asked what my plan for it was. At the time, I was just going to release it on my label ARROW Recordings. They suggested that they could do it more justice and get greater depth with [their] people that could support it. They have ample ability to get me exposure and they’re backed by a reputable label.”
Worra established Arrow Recordings in 2018 to claim both her independence and her future. “I’d hit the point where I wanted to release my own music more frequently,” she explains. “When you send it to labels, they’ll sometimes sit on it for awhile. That was frustrating so I decided to launch ARROW. I’ve released a few tracks that I believe in that labels haven’t picked up yet.”
For now, Arrow only releases Worra’s material. However, plans are afoot to take on other artists in the next 18 months.
Worra writes all of her own beats and begins each with an eight-bar loop. “The nice thing about that approach is that you know everything will layer together well when you start to spread it out,” she says of her work style. “That’s my go-to every single time.”
On the occasions when she’s stymied by a track, she diverts her attention momentarily. “I’ll give myself 15 minutes and do three ideas. That breaks the cycle and one of those ideas is going to be cool and I’ll want to run with it.”
Worra works with Mau5trap Records, launched in 2007 by Deadmau5 in partnership with Ultra Music and Virgin Records. She plans to work with producers such as New-York-based Codes and UK garage and grime girl Flava D. Worra hopes to release her first album in 2020.