She’s been holding it down for female DJ’s in the Sydney urban community for many years, melting wax with her whip fast beatmixes and juggles, taking it to the head alongside the best dj’s in the industry. Don’t get it twisted – behind that sweet and humble demeanour lies a fierce dj / turntablist that has so many tricks up her sleeve on the wheels of steel it will make a grown man cry!
DJ D is synonymous for her style, passion and knowledge of music, crowd rocking and vinyl spinning and has seen her garner a legion of fans throughout the years, following her like the pied piper of Hip Hop. Her sets are filled with the hottest music, perfect fusions of past hits, current bangers and eternal classics mixed with precision as only DJ D can. Staying true to her art, she prides herself on her vinyl scratch technique and continues to wow the crowds rocking clubs all around the country in her 4 inch designer heels, ne’er breaking a sweat!
Devoted to her craft and our urban music community, DJ D has added radio presenter to her already impressive resume and spearheads the much talked about and listened to weekly radio show Mixxbosses on community radio station 2RDJ 88.1FM. Working tirelessly to create the MixxBosses brand to include DJ crews, mix-tape production and recording label, DJ D has her eyes firmly focused on being more than just a good looking female that knows how to rock a crowd. She is solidifying herself in a game that is still at times emasculating and breaking the façade about the DJ booth being just for the boys. From one female dj to another I got nothing but love and respect for what she continues to achieve for her fellow females spin doctors and in the words of another trailblazing female in Hip Hop by the name of Eve and her latest club-banger, all I can say is that my girl DJ D “ oh she bad bad, oh she’s bad!
What made you want to become a DJ and how long ago did your journey start? Where was your first gig?
My interest in DJing kicked off with a fascination of vinyl from a very young age, playing with my father’s 78’s & 45’s when I was just a toddler. I soon began my own collection around the age of 5yrs with records such as the Muppet show & sesame street J these are still in my collection with sticker labels that have the years scrawled on them in my kiddy handwriting ‘1983’ etc.
You know how these days’ kids can’t help themselves at the candy bar stand at the checkout counter? In my days growing up, it was a vinyl stand at the checkout of Coles and Kmart, with many fond memories of mum buying me a 7” record if I had been a good girl J. My sister also had a record stall at markets around Sydney, so I was kinda surrounded by vinyl.
My first gig took place 5 yrs later as I played a 21st party at the age of 10, I’ll never forget the feeling of getting people on the dance floor and watching them have a great time; it’s this same feeling that still drives me today.
What is your preferred music style to spin to? Hip Hop / Soul Funk? What is it about the urban music genre that attracted you to DJ and keeps you grounded?
Definitely hip hop, as much as I luv listening to soul and funk, hip hop is where my heart truly lies. For me this was a natural progression from my love of turntablism, coming up through the 90’s and early 2000’s, the two were a perfect marriage. Having grown up in Marrickville during the 90’s, when it was known for being one of the rougher parts of the inner west, music by artists such as NWA, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Warren G really appealed to me. To me this music was raw, real, they had a message and said it how it was. On a lighter tip, artists such as De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince also really opened my eyes to the art of sampling and scratching.
What keeps me grounded is knowing the roots, not only of these genres, of turntablism too, respecting DJing as an art form, along with recognising my purpose of keeping this art form alive, making great music, showing people a good time, and giving something back to industry by passing on this knowledge and skill.
DJ D & Naughty By Nature
You have been a DJ in the Sydney for years, and one of only a handful of female DJ’s actively spinning in clubs and building that fan base. How have you managed to stay so consistent over the years?
I believe my longevity as a female dj/turntablist is due to a number of factors. First up, staying true to the game. Next up, even all these years later, preparing for every gig, no matter how big or small, constantly challenging myself to provide patrons with a different experience each and every time; this also keeps things fresh and exciting for me too! J
I place great importance on the skill and technical ability involved, and enjoy maintaining originality with my own exclusive remixes. It’s been many years of practise, preparation, self-promotion and self-management; and I’m glad to say, I’ve loved every minute.
Can you describe the feeling you get as a female DJ when you are rocking the club and people come up to the DJ booth and realise there was a woman behind the decks? Do you get the surprised looks or do you think female DJ’s becoming more on a norm in the music industry now?
My response to this question has definitely changed over the years.
Back in my early days of spinning in the clubs, when everything was vinyl, the female factor was met with a lot of opposition, strange looks from patrons, and even comments such as ‘check out that chick, what the heck is she going to do up there?’ My response came through the decks with some tight scratching & beat juggling; this would usually result in jaws dropping, shocked expressions and moments later, high fives, along with comments such as ‘I’ve never seen a chick cut like that before’.
These days it is a different experience, I get a lot of ‘you’re not really doing that’, and when they take a moment to come up and investigate ‘are you really doing that? You couldn’t possibly be doing that with vinyl it’s too perfect,’ to which I’ll use my old tricks and do a quick scratch/beat juggle, ‘OMG she’s really doing it!’.
DJ D & DJ Shortee Blitz
The artist / song / DJ that inspired you to DJ and why?
I still remember wearing thin my cassette of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s ‘Live at Union Square’, where I first heard Jazzy perform his transformer scratch. Most of those that have seen me cut know this is one of my favourite scratches to throw into club sets J It was also my introduction to the union between a DJ and an MC, to rocking a crowd and building a vibe.
Your poison? Serato, CD’s or straight vinyl DJ? Your thoughts on the technology of djing today?
Straight vinyl, hands down. Nothing will ever be able to replicate it exactly – from the instant reaction, to the solid feel. I’m a visual person, and often terrible with names, so I also really miss those picture covers that would save me in the club each and every time – when I couldn’t remember the title of a track or artist name, I’d always remember the bpm or the way the cover looked, that is was ‘the one with the red label’ etc.
Your radio show Mixxbosses on 2RDJ-88.1FM has proven very popular with listeners and newcomers alike. What do you think makes your show different from the other music shows on air and what do you think the appeal to your show would be in attracting your listeners?
Simply put, we don’t just play music. There is a lot of ‘edumacation’ going on through each and every episode including our flash back segment where we feature well know tracks and the originals that they sampled, the current urban charts around the globe, the week’s headlines in urban music news, and guest DJs and Artists worldwide that almost always have a story to tell. I’m sure the double pass giveaways to weekly club events also help J and those that tune in know that we love to play real rnb and hip hop tunes, and old skool. We also have Mixxbosses Radio Germany, and will be working on shows in other countries in the near future.
As a DJ what do you think your sole mission is in this journey of hip hop?
To keep it real, and to quote DJ Mark Devlin from the UK: “to show the world that ladies can most definitely do it too.”
What are your thoughts on our Australian hip hop / urban community in an international sense? Where would you say we stand on a global scale & why?
Things have definitely changed over the years, the quality of Australian hip hop has improved and it is nice to see that artists now have a better platform showcase their work. On the worldwide tip, I believe the www has played a major role in changing the game, improving communications and giving artists an opportunity to showcase their work to an international market/audience. Unfortunately I think this has also resulted in the mentality that ‘everyone’s a rapper/singer/dj/turntablist’, however it’s only a matter of time before people will recognise those that have actual skill.
What are your current projects you are working on right now? Current club residencies? Any mix tape albums in the works?
So many projects.. Mixxbosses Worldwide is at the forefront, an international network of DJs around the globe, current countries include Australia, USA, Germany, New Zealand, UK, with Philippines, Malaysia and Middle East on the way. Mixxbosses.com launching soon. Working on a number of mixtapes with Mixxbosses Australia that will be released through my record label Wall to Wall Records. Through the label I’ve also been working on a number of original tracks with artists around the globe featuring myself on the cut, on vocals and production. You can check out the last video clip release at DJDtv.com. Club residencies and guest spots every weekend either locally, nationally or internationally; you can check out past and upcoming events at DJDworldwide.com
DJ D & Jon B
What would you say your mission statement or motto in life would be?
Along with Nike’s ‘Just Do it’ and ‘make the most of it as life is too short’ would be the phrase I coined in the early 2000’s: “Scratch as if no one is watching”
For more information on DJ D, her gigs, radio etc visit: www.djdworldwide.com
Always Hip Hop