Many people don’t realize that DJing goes back as far as 1909 .How does it feel to know that you are one of today’s top DJ talents with a lot of history behind you?
It’s bizarre to think about how long DJs have really been around. I bet there are a lot of DJs that would tell you it began around the 50s, 60s, or 70s by their definition of what a DJ actually does. I’m actually honored to be able to be part of a profession that has evolved continuously through decades of change and has proven to be stable & solid in each different path that music follows. It reminds me that music will always be relevant regardless of how the industry changes and the need for DJs will always be there. It doesn’t matter how much technology grows, music will find a way to parallel the changes and grow with it keeping the demand for DJs in tact as well.
Although the world of DJing goes back 104 years women really were not known as DJ’s until Annie Nightingale showed up as the first female DJ in 1970, who ironically is still on the air; How do you think female DJ’s are fairing today compared to the last 40 years?
I wasn’t around in the 70s, being born in the 80s, & I don’t remember much of the 80s either. Nonetheless, I can only imagine what it was like from stories I have read or heard. Annie Nightingale has lived such a phenomenal life, it is unbelievable. I think that female DJ’s today are capable of accomplishing a successful career the same way the male DJ’s are. Where in the 70s & 80s certain actions by women weren’t approved of, in today’s day & age they may be both accepted & even appreciated. Yet, I think that goes to be said with a lot of once considered minorities, professions, choices, and beliefs. It is hard to consider 2014 to 1974. Due to evolution, education, understanding, and experience, we may live on the same ground, but we don’t necessarily have to have the same frame of mind. It is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt. Anyhow, as a female DJ, I feel confident & capable chasing to accomplish my dreams & goals, even if they are the exact same as one of my male counterparts, without question or limitation.
Is it much more acceptable for female DJ’s nowadays? Do your male counterparts give you the props you deserve for what you do?
I’ve heard a lot of my female DJ friends or acquaintances tell me stories of the lack of respect they have gotten from their male counterparts. However, I haven’t really had the same experiences. From day 1, most of the people around me have been extremely supportive & some have even told me stories about defending me to others. With that being said, I don’t think I let myself notice the negativity. I think that female DJs are more easily accepted nowadays. On top of that, most male DJs are becoming used to the idea & even collaborating with us to all rise to the top together instead of seeing it as any type of competition or threat. I’ve been fortunate to have a really great group of guys around me lifting me up & not putting me down in this crazy industry. Haha!
When you had started DJing as a teen who were the DJs you looked up to?
The first DJ battle that I remembered seeing as a kid was when I was 12. I saw DJ A-Trak win DMC. I was blown away. Plus, being a teenager & boy crazy… I thought he was really cute being only a few years older than me. Haha! The next couple years, I saw DJ Craze take the championship. To this day, both of them are still in my starting lineup of my favorite DJs with A-Trak being my favorite. I went back & learned about DJ Rectangle, QBert, Slyce, Grandmaster Roc Raida, Mix Master Mike, the list goes on. I was mesmerized & infatuated.
Have you DJ’d internationally ? IF so where and what was the event?
I’ve been at a few different clubs in a few different countries; however, I am really looking forward to bringing in the new year in Singapore. Apparently, it is going to be warm there, so it will be like a huge summertime party out here. The event is called Siloso Beach Party & the website is silosobeachparty.com.
When you get up on that stage and the crowd is ready with so much energy what does that do to you? Does the crowd sway your mood that night and what you will play?
As soon as I get ready to drop my first record of the night, my adrenalin is already starting to kick itself into overdrive. Words cannot express justly how I feel. I love it. I’m in love with it! Seeing smiling faces, hands in the air, people jumping around… What’s not to love? The crowd definitely controls my mood. I feel as though I feed off of their energy & what I decide to play will direct all of us for the rest of the night. Reading the crowd, to me, is the most important part of DJing. Being able to tell what direction they want me to go with the music to keep their energy at a 10 is determined by their actions & reactions alone with my ability to notice both of them as they come.
If you could DJ any event in the world what would it be?
I’m not even sure if this event has DJs, but if it did… It would be my dream event of choice. I would love to DJ at Carnival of Brazil. The energy & vibe alone make me crave experiencing it at least once. Aside from that, I would love to DJ an awards show like the Grammys or a huge fashion event like Fashion Week in NYC.
What are some of your favorite beats? Who do you personally listen to when not working? How do you find the unknown artists that fit into your DJ-ing style?
The music that I choose to listen to when I am “off work” varies so drastically. It all depends on what my environment is & how my last few days have been. Haha! If I have worked 3 nights straight in the night club, I may listen to some Sade, Whitney Houston, or Al Green that following morning while making my breakfast. If I am going into a few days back to back working, I may listen to Sirius BPM, Hip Hop Nation, or the Heat to get myself into the groove. If I’m on the train from LA to SD, I may just let iTunes radio pick what I am listening to & see if there are a few things that I haven’t heard yet. It really just depends. I love digging through blogs to find hidden talents & gems that I can put into my sets somehow. I will also have friends who send me their own tracks or tracks their friends put together & when I listen to them, I’m blown away. When you hear something that you just know is amazing, you will find a way to break that record.
What goes into prepping for an event? Do you test out all your beats before getting on stage? Is each record planned?
In order for me to prepare for an event, the most important details that I need to know are what the clients/clubs want from me specifically & the environment of the venue/event. I think it is most important to please the audience & be aware of any boundaries that may be predetermined for an event; ex: knowing if an event or venue demands no explicit terminology are included in the music or certain specific genres be included in my set.
Where can we catch DJ Adriana next?
After spending the last few weeks of 2013 in Asia, I will be starting 2014 in the states. I’ll be in the northeast region, Miami & the southwest of course. All my events are updated in my calendar on my website. oxAdriana.com
What does it mean to be voted #1 Vegas DJ last year? What has that done for your career?
Being recognized for the DJ awards in Vegas was a huge honor. It has really shown me that even when I don’t know people are watching, they are. Vegas is such a huge market for DJs, if not one of the biggest. I feel as though every DJ I know wants the opportunity to work there & being acknowledged as one of the best in any form was mind blowing. As far as what it has done for my career that I can tell, it has made my name known to some that may have overlooked it before. That alone is huge. I get compliments from music directors, managers, owners, or other DJs that I never thought I would before. Who would have thought? It truly is a dream come true.