'It felt like Mad Max in there': DJ and musician Cindy Li shows us a different side to Toronto's nightlife

Cindy Li, who records under the name Ciel, shares her gateway to alternative nightlife in Toronto.
Toronto-based DJ and producer Cindy Li (a.k.a. Ciel). (Cecilia Corsano-Leopizzi)

When Cindy Li first started going to nightclubs, she didn't really connect with the scene — all she saw was bottle service, VIP booths and all-male DJ lineups.

Li is a Toronto-based musician who records under the name Ciel, as well as a DJ and the owner of a record label. She decided to start booking the artists she wanted to hear, mostly women and non-binary folks, and she hosted them in alternative spaces all around Toronto, including church halls, basements and warehouses.

Now, Li is known as a crusader for radical nightlife and as an international ambassador for Toronto's electronic music scene. In this q gateway, she shows us a different side to Toronto's nightlife.

You can catch Li DJing in Toronto at Promise Cherry Beach on Monday, Aug. 5. She also has some upcoming U.S. dates in Columbus, Ohio and New York City. Her new record, a remix of Fede Lng, is out on Friday, Aug. 26.

To hear the full segment with Cindy Li, click 'Listen' near the top of this page.

— Produced by Frank Palmer

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