QuinnetteWhere did you grow up?
I grew up in two main cities, Atlanta GA, and Lexington KY. I am a native of Louisville, Kentucky, but moved to eastpoint ATL until I was 8 years old. From then on until college I’ve lived mostly in Lexington. I always love to mention those Atlanta years because I truly feel they had influence in my passion/ taste for music.
At what age did you start DJing?
I officially began Djing here recently at the age of 20! That’s when I got my first Technic 1200. I’ve been collecting music ever since I could remember, and I would think to myself “man if there was only some way I could make cd’s and playlists for the rest of my life that would be great” but didn’t have much exposure to “DJing” at that time. So I’ve always loved music, but it took a while to register that Djing was an option.
What or who inspired you to become a DJ?
The words in music are most important to me given that they can alter our subconscious, and make a great impact to our minds/ life. So I love music with meaning messages in them. And often select songs for this reason. This is what inspired me initially, but what really inspired me as far as a real-life experience were 4 DJ’s who would bring this party called “The Pull-Up” to Lexington. (DJ Warren Peace, DJ Always, DJ Outhere & DJ kymbo Slyce). I’ve never been a party person, but they were the first Dj’s I can remember consistently seeing in person. Actually I met DJ Always at an event and once before, then I learned about the Pull-Up. I decided to go and eventually created a relationship where he would allow me to watch him on stage. Meanwhile I was the friend in my group who didn’t like parties, but was blessed enough to have a car. For some reason people love to show up to parties late, but I would make us go early just so I could see them set up etc.. haha.
Do you remember the first time you ever got on the turntables and rocked a party?
Yes, the first time I rocked a party was for a spring dance at my college! I had just bought the last piece to my starter set-up which was a Denon Ds1 interface ( It took about 6 months to save for each piece of equipment.. my turntable, & my lil mixer.. It was a struggle). So once I got this together I went up to a friend on the committee and was basically like “If ya’ll let me play this party I’ll do it for free”.. and at that point I didn’t have my own speakers, but I knew where I could get everything. I set up everything subs and all… & when I tell you I was nervous!!! I mean it. But it went so well! People loved it, I had the time of my life. So I was like, yep this is what I’m doing. They ended up paying me haha, I was just so happy it went well, not to mention it boosted my confidence.
If you could go back in time as A DJ what era would you re-visit?
The 70’s, The Bronx. DJ Kool Herc. The Father of Hip-Hop. I would love to revisit that time when this was all brand new and people were spinning records.. I truly love New York’s presence and culture in hip hop and respect it as the birthplace so much. I think it’s important to study & remember the roots. People seemed to have so much more integrity back in the day. There must have been record stores on every corner!
Who were some of your favorite DJ's coming up?
Coming up as mentioned before I was so into album collecting, that I didn’t think about music from a djing perspective.. if that makes sense. It was always in my face/ ears, but it took a while to catch on. For instance I really loved Gangstarr’s “Moment of Truth”, which of course half consists of DJ Premier. Who also scratched on a track by one of my All-time favorite artist Kanye West’s “Everything I am”. So just that cut alone I was intrigued by. Same with DJ Jazzy Joyce and Digable Planet’s “9th wonder”, and the great Statik Selektah with “Like Water” from Pro Era. I thought of music from a production standpoint minus the DJ.. out of ignorance, if that makes sense. Now that I know what I know, I would definitely say those mentioned are some of my favorites. Today the Dj’s I study closely are DJ Jazzy Jeff who I feel is an all-around guru of mixing. I love watching his sets. He is highly skilled and I would not shy away from saying he’s the greatest! Natasha Diggs has become a personal favorite of mine; simply because she is the QUEEN of crate digging which initially is what I was obsessed with before I actually got my turntables. Digging for records. But she is also highly skilled and travels the world which is a dream of mine. Lastly I have to give it up to my mentor DJ Always from Louisville,KY. I have been blessed to witness a great DJ so closely in person such as himself. He’s the smoothest.
How do you deal with people that get it twisted when it comes to business..? in other words promoters and others that assume just because you're a female they can mix business with pleasure.
Thankfully I haven’t dealt with that. In other ways I have had people who try to diminish my worth and offer less than what is due. Or take for granted all of the labor that comes along with playing music (driving long hours, set-up) but mostly everything has been smooth. It’s all love. I love what I am doing and I’ve learned so much within this past year how to better manage myself/ not shy away from knowing my worth! Music is my main focus and it’s something I want to continue to learn & I’m serious about. All that other nonsense is for the birds!
How would you describe your taste in music? and what type of music do you spin?
My taste is definitely that of an “old-soul” and mainly consists of SOUL & Hip – Hop. But it is not limited to those two genres! I like anything from Billy Joel to Tracy Chapman. Anything with a meaningful message. The genre that I’d say I am least familiar with is house music.. I love spinning hip-hop the most, because the art of sampling creates space for every genre to be included. It is the most diverse. I like to play my records out and mix thematically if it is a focused mix, but this is all under development.
Every DJ has at least one... so whats one record that people would be shocked to find in your collection?
It’d have to be a tie between “Computer World” by Kraftwerk or “The Nubians of Plutonia” by Sun Ra.
Do you remember the first record you ever bought?
I do !! The first record I ever bought was Thriller by Michael Jackson! Which was in 2009 the year he passed, and that is what got me into buying records. Getting an original copy of that album was so special. Ironically the first cd I remember having was Michael’s “History” double disc when I was 4 or 5. Michael will always be my upmost favorite.
When you're not DJing for others..
I listen to a ton of soul records, and find myself trying to catch up while going backwards. Meaning listening to hip-hop from the 70’s-90’s that I’ve never heard of and so on. That is where my heart is. A lot of Stevie, Michael, Whitney, ATCQ,Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq, Joe Coker ,T.I. , Janet Jackson, Eric Clapton, Sade,Prince, J dilla, Outkast, Badu, Curtis Mayfield, Tupac…. I could go on and on, my taste sort of gets repetitive among my favorites so I diversify it (outside of digging) with the likes of Tidal with newer music haha. Or I put the itunes on shuffle because I have hundreds of thousands of songs. I get so nervous talking about my own taste because the worst thing I could imagine myself doing is remaining stagnant in my taste or just soul music, but when it comes to my zone that is immediately where I go.
Who are some of your favorite artists out right now?
I am really a big fan of Drake.. Since his Room For Improvement days. Chloe x Halle are great. I love the Roots.. Their music is timeless , Rapsody, Jay Rock, Big K.R.I.T, a newer artist by the name of Raquel Rodriguez, Lunar R*A*E, Nemo Achida, Pinky Liberachi, Zlynn Harris, Leah Lahkiah.
Are you or do you plan on gettin' into production as far as producing/ remixing, making beats, etc.?
I have tried my hand in producing and would definitely love to continue. I used to work at a record store where they would have an open mic every month. Around that time I saved up for a Maschine Mikro just to make beats for the emcee’s to rap on.. but once that ended I began slowing up. I do plan on getting back into sampling and creating beats on my own!
Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for all the young
I don’t feel I’m at a place to have anyone “follow in my footsteps”. I’m still learning myself! But that’s just it. Learning never ceases whatever level you find yourself to be on. All of those cliché phrases you hear about being yourself are really true. To this day I get cackled at for buying records, tapes & even cd’s, but I have a reason and passion for it. Even if people don’t understand continue to do what you love and work hard to pursue your dream. Everyone has different paths. If you’re intimidated by the price of dj gear, take it step by step and save up! In the mean-time practice with what you’ve got. Always treat everyone with kindness & respect … even if people aren’t kind back. Lastly, I’d encourage all to seek God & put Him first in everything you do.
Exposure is everything. If you have some lil cousins or a kid you know, don’t be afraid to teach them what you know/ encourage them to be the best they can be!
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