Steelo Magazine cover DJ D - feature in In The Mix 2005

Article Title: DJ D: Ready for world domination
Written by: Bryce Jarvis
Country of Publication: Australia
Year: 2005

Look out for WorldWide domination, DJ D is on the rise and this woman can drop the bombs with the best of them, if you get the chance to catch her set live do so as you will be truely blown away. ITMixer’s Bryce Jarvis caught up for a quick chat in between DJ D’s already stacked workload.

So D your first gig was at the age of ten, what was your driving force at such a young age?, I mean you were ten for god’s sake.

Good point!, Well I guess it all started with a present I received for my fifth birthday from my big brother, a rainbow record called ‘Party Songs’ which I still use till this day!. I got this record in 1983 (I know this thanx to the hand scrawled just legible date I wrote on it when I was five yrs old) and that’s what started my vinyl collection/addiction, Sesame Street’, ‘The Muppet Show’, and ‘The Never Ending Story’ were soon to follow. My sister also had a decent record collection, and used to sell vinyl at markets, I remember staying up late helping her clean and play with vinyl. It was my sister’s 21st birthday party that was my first true DJ experience, however I remember staging a number of ‘Shows’ for friends and family prior to that. That, making mixtapes while my sister went clubbing, and destroying some favorite records by trying to scratch on my brother’s belt drive turntable, was all part of my growing experience. What drove me? My love of music.

You recently placed 8th at the Technics DMC Championships here in melbourne, you must be very proud of that effort especially because it was your first DMC’s and you were the only female? Yes I was the only female this year (where the ladies at??). I was ecstatic with placing 8th as I went into the competition blind , I had no real idea what the judges were looking for, nor how the DMC’s worked behind the scenes. This had been a dream of mine for over seven years, so I was just as happy to be able to compete!. Leading up to the event, my training consisted of watching past DMC videos, practice, practice, practice, and refining the routine at every moment possible. I went in with the tactic of showing a small selection of what I could do during the 3 minute eliminations, but now know I should have shown a little bit more. I’ll be back next year, no doubt.

Do you have any mixtape’s or new material coming out soon?

At this point I don’t have any official releases coming up. The last releases were made late last year where I made the official mixtapes for the KCI & JoJo Jodeci Tour, Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It Tour, and the DJ D & DJ Solz Oman tour mixtape.

You have established a online internet program called 1200 degrees, which in 2003 debuted on community television station (Channel 31). Can you fill us in on this beauty?

1200 degrees was a program that focused on rnb & hip hop music, providing a gateway for local artists to get their material heard. At the time I had a residency at Lotel in Darlinghurst, where artists including Disco Montego (rip), Roxane (from Australian Idol), Jeremy, & many more would perform each week, live jam style. Programs consisted off an hour of live local music, an hour of me spinning, and an hour for a guest dj.

Approx a year later I was approached to help out on a Channel 31 program called AMC TV, through which I brought 1200 back as a segment. This ran for approx a year until the channel was shut down. During that time some special guests included DJ Craze, DJ Shortee Blitz, DJ Samrai, Mike Champion, ShanOne, and many more; plus featured material from my gigs. I am currently working on getting back on air.

Let us in on this DJ D Worldwide Crew, who is actually in the crew?

It was an amalgamation of DJs & Artists worldwide, who would contribute material to 1200. We had reps from London, Scotland, USA, and most states of Australia.

Outside of Turntablism you have many side-projects going on can you tell us all about them?

As many DJs may tell you, spinning is not my only job. Outside of the nightlife, I work full-time as a TAFE teacher in the area of web and graphic design, and have been teaching for almost seven years now. At the age of 16, whilst studying a design diploma, I started a business in web and print design, which is still active today. I have just completed a degree in education, and have also been tutoring in this area since day one. For the last few years I have managed to combine knowledge from both areas by training up and coming, and established DJs, as well as holding seminars in turntablism around Australia.

During the early naughties I also got into producing for myself and other artists, at the same time performing vocally at a number of spots around Australia. Although I really enjoyed singing and producing, time was tight so something had to give. I decided to pursue a DJ career for now, in an aim to hopefully get back into production and singing in years to come.

Whats your favourite gig to date?

I would have to say that the most memorable would be my trip to the Middle East to play a new years eve party in 2005 at Albustan Palace. After almost a year and a half of promoters trying to convince me to visit Oman, I finally went taking DJ Solz along with me to play a 4deck set, and to alleviate my fears of travelling alone.

After travelling for well over a day, expectations were dampened when everything that could have went wrong did from hostesses claiming we didn’t have boarding tickets, to airlines miss-quoting luggage limits forcing us to pay large excess fees, being held up at Oman airport for over 5 hours because we were apparently only allowed to bring a maximum of 6 records into the country, being pulled aside by an Omani security officer to try and work something out when negotiations begin with the words “Aii loov Ostaralian vomen”….

A few thousand US dollars later (thankfully the promotors not ours), we were in the country, did a four hour sound check, and had an hour or so to get ready for the gig. Although we were exhausted by this point, the gig turned out to be unbelievable. We ‘lived it up’ playing in a ballroom with the world’s largest crystal chandeliers, drank moet from crystal glasses, played rnb hip hop to a room full of shieks and royalty (there was apparently some prince and princesses there), and the crowd went wild, I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. I was told that I ‘opened a few eyes’ and helped change some people’s perspective on women by being the first female to ever play in that country, pushing the boundaries by wearing a skirt and backless top. The first class flight back, (with our own chef!) made up for everything else that had gone wrong.

Who are the biggest influences in your life and musical career?

Biggest influences would have been either prior to or earlier in my career – peeps like Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, Shortee Blitz, Roc Raida, Craze, Mixmaster Mike and of course QBert. For the last few yrs however, my focus has been on self-training and experimentation, rather than being influenced by how others do. All this in an aim to be as original as possible, and develop my own creativity as best I could. On the same tip, its still very important to stay a part of the scene, and be aware of current trends and developments.

Now D, I have formed a crew down here known as (Mexican Mayhem) consisting of Me, My wife and our 5yr old daughter. Is there any chane of alliance with the DJ D worldwide crew?

Of course there is!

Okay that was a silly question. Can you tell us five tracks that never leave your record bag?

The following five tracks are one’s that just can’t seem to leave my crates, regardless of where I’m playing. They’re not necessarily my favorite tracks nor reflective of what I play at every gig, but they tend to travel with me each for their own special reason. As I play an old school room for one of my weekly residencies, a bunch of these track do go back; to quote Blackstreet: “way back.. back into time..” (Blackstreet, 1996).

-Mama said knock you out – LL Cool J (1990)
-I want you back – Michael Jackson with the Jackson 5 (1969)
-Could you be loved – Bob Marley (1979)
-Ain’t no fun – Snoop Dogg, Nate Dog, Warren G, Kurupt (1993)
-Party Songs

In your opionin, do you think there needs to be a greater recognition of the very talented female Djs and turntablists this country has to offer?

I’ve had a few people say this to me, and yes the scene has been male dominated over the years, but I guess I’ve been lucky with exposure and recognition. It didn’t come easy though. I remember the early days which were a struggle, being ignored because people assumed you were some DJ’s girlfriend, or worse still being snickered at because you were a girl ‘what the heck is she gonna do’ even to the point of getting unwelcome looks walking across dancefloors with record crates. Years of perseverance, hard work, and skill development, fuelled by such occurrences, got me to where I am today with recognition and exposure on a worldwide scale. I currently have four A3 slip folders full of articles and press clippings from around the country, and the world. There are even more online.

Where do you feel your turntablism is at the moment, skill level wise, track selection those sought’s of things?

I have heard many people say ‘you’re either a crowd motivator, or a turntablist’; I beg to differ. Both of these elements are really important to me as I have always aimed to develop both domains. Being a teacher in a number of fields, including Djing/Turntablism, I can be fairly tough on my students, but even more so on myself. In my opinion, I am only at the beginning of my journey, even though I have been playing with this stuff for years. There is a long way for me to go before I get to where I wanna be.

What gig’s do you have coming up, where can we get our weekly fix of D? Every Saturday night @ Suede, vBar
Consecutive Fridays @ Seductive Fridays, Space Sydney
Consecutive Fridays @ SkyGarden, Sydney
rnb Quest, Gold Coast
Playground Fridays, Melbourne
Special guest appearances @ various clubs in Canberra
PLUS a whole lot more both nationally & internationally. More info online at DJD.net.au






Selected articles of DJ D in the Media {click to view}
DJ D feature in Howl and Echoes 2016DJ D feature in Steelo Mag 2015Soul Central Magazine 2015
DJ D feature in Ms Hennessey Speaks blog 2013DJ D feature in soul central magazine 2013DJ D feature in the TSLOA 2013
DJ D feature in Urban Hitz 2005DJ D feature in inthemix 2005DJ D feature in Blues & Soul Magazine 2005
DJ D feature in 3d world 2005DJ D feature in MTV Screen 2005DJ D feature in club flavas, 3D world  2005
DJ D feature in Inpress 2005DJ D featured in The Week 2004DJ D feature in 3D world 2003
DJ D feature in muma 2003DJ D feature in Groove On 2002DJ D feature in BMA 2002
DJ D feature in Hot Ashes 2001