Sparkle Princess power

November 12th, 2014
STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014The author with DJ Jem at the Grey Goose Day Club in July, where she won over tons of clubbers with her beautiful daytime music.


The author with DJ Jem at the Grey Goose Day Club in July, where she won over tons of clubbers with her beautiful daytime music.

There really could be such a thing as a Sparkle Princess. I mean, I just made that up – but whenever I am around Sophia Kennedy, aka DJ Jem, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. She literally sparkles.


Presented by DJ Jem

» Where: Kissaten Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd.

» When: 9 p.m. Thursdays

» Cost: No cover; free validated parking

» Info: (808) 593-7090,

» Note: Weekly specials include $2 French fries, $3 draft beers and $4 sparkling wine

It comes from within – someone who is comfortable with every aspect of themselves and thus everything around them. They have learned how to see the positive in everything because they have a core that is solid and poised. They know success comes from building up, not down.

I’ve met a few people like this in my lifetime, but they are extremely rare. When I do have the pleasure of being around them, I savor every moment.

The best part about Jem is that her sparkly demeanor is easily shared through her radio show, “The Treasure Chest.” Music is art that stays with us; there are so many songs I can listen to and be immediately transported to her world of shimmering happiness and well-being. Luckily, we can all hear Jem weekly on KTUH-FM from 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

It’s her radio show where you can truly understand Jem's gift for curating some of the most beautiful and epic music that exists. You can also do this by following her on Soundcloud, although I have to say she doesn’t post tracks anywhere close to the frequency I need. I need her to post constantly!

KALAE PUNUADJ Jem playing an eclectic mix of tropical, dreamy disco, chillwave and sparkly-electro every Thursday at Kissaten's Waterfront Plaza location


DJ Jem plays an eclectic mix of tropical, dreamy disco, chillwave and sparkly-electro every Thursday at Kissaten Waterfront Plaza.

Last week marked the beginning of Jem’s new weekly, Champagne & Fries, at Kissaten Waterfront Plaza. The name describes a pairing that's just as natural as Jem and music. According to oenophile app Drync, French fries are even more delectable when paired with Champagne or sparkling wine:

“Sparkling wine is naturally high in acidity, that lip-smacking tartness that makes you salivate and crave another sip. This acidity cuts through the natural heft and richness that is inherent in a good batch of french fries. French fries would also not be nearly as much fun without a healthy dose of salt. This can kill many a wine, but not one which is blessed with a high level of acidity. In some ways this salt can make sparklers even more sippable. Additionally, the bubbles can similarly scrub the palate clean, and get you ready for another bite.”

With her marketing degree, Jem should be a natural at promoting parties. Pairing Champagne and fries with her music and magnetic character could be what Honolulu's nightlife needs. She has described her sound as “tropical-futuristic-dreamy-disco-house-galactic-pop-sparkly-electro,” which is exactly what it is. She played violin and piano growing up and participated in youth symphony and band camp programs, which probably explains why I am personally so taken with her. We have very similar backgrounds and definitely appreciate some of the same sounds.

“I didn’t keep up as much with my instruments in college but definitely felt a little uneasy not being able to channel my musicality in some way,” she said. (We could totally be the same person displaced in to two different bodies!) “Although I don’t practice my instruments anymore, they have played a huge role in my DJing due to the musical training I received and the ear I developed.”

She's also ecstatic over the opportunity to host the new weekly.

“It’s the perfect place to get the weekend started and hang out with your friends over drinks with great music filling the air,” she said. “Nothing gives me more joy than creating a great vibe for great people, so I’m really stoked to be able to do so on a weekly basis.”


Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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