Interviewed by Glo(w)/Written by Glo(w)
There’s much talk about glass ceilings and boundaries that directly affect women these days. In a world where testosterone seemingly reigns and a woman clothed in assertion is rarely deemed appealing , it seems as if women are constantly battling an oppression their gender have predetermined for them.
You’d think no one had a momma.
Traits that are linked to femininity are categorized as undesirable while women who defy limitations are placed in old boxes labeled with barely legible handwriting and stuffed in the attics of the small minded. The physical visage of women are constantly scrutinized. Whether we are referencing the court of law or the minds of men, it has been subtly noted that women’s bodies belong to everyone but the woman herself.
And then, there’s DJ Nico.
DJ Nico’s image screams “cool”. Multi-colored locks framing her face holler “freedom”. Music that she has curated and mixed for the masses cries out “joy”. The mixes she produces reminds women that there is no greater love than the love for self and the acknowledgement of all that we are. With mixes available on both Soundcloud and MixCloud.com, DJ Nico offers the world the kind of happiness only found in movement. Check out DJ Nico’s thoughts and mixes below.
What inspired you to start DJing?
A long time ago I saw a marquee advertising DJ classes. So I was just like, “Why not?” The classes were with two established DJ’s, Tossin’ Ted & VooDoo. So I took the classes & decided I wanted to DJ, which I didn’t actively start doing until a couple years later with the help of DJ Twinny Twinn. He kind of took me under his wing & introduced me to a lot of good people, & the rest is history. I had my first gig in 2011 & from then on I’ve been doing my thing.
What have your experiences been like as a woman in a male dominated field?
They’ve been interesting, but mostly positive. Of course you get the occasional person not taking you seriously or the person saying, “Let’s collab”, when in reality they have a hidden agenda. But for the most part people are supportive. People like Rob Boo & Finsta, who put together shows in STL, helped me to get a lot of my first jobs and are still getting me jobs. They really want to see me be successful and gaining their respect helped me to gain the respect of a lot of other people, regardless of my gender. Also, the support from other women is amazing, whether they’re just a fan, an artist, or a fellow female DJ (Kimmy Nu, Agile, etc.). It’s nice to see that they’re rooting for me and want to support what I’m doing. It’s dope.
Do you think it’s important for other artists to congregate and work together?
Absolutely. We all want to be successful. Supporting one another is key. Everyone wants to be better than the next person, but think of the heights we could reach if we worked together, bouncing ideas & positive energies off one another. Great art can’t fail.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Do no harm, but take no shit.” I’m a yogi, too, so I’ve learned a lot about being at peace and not being harmful to myself or others. It’s a never-ending journey and I’m trying to learn how to be my best self at all times, but in doing that, people will try to take advantage of you. Can’t let that happen.
What have you learned about yourself through the creative process?
I’ve learned that I underestimate myself a lot. There are times where I might make a mistake & get anxious about it thinking people won’t think I’m serious about my craft, but then someone will come up & compliment me on how good of a job I did. I’m trying to learn not to let my anxiety inhibit me from recognizing my good qualities.
What is the most important lesson or factor you want people to get from your art?
I just want to make people smile & dance, like, that’s literally it. I want to make people feel warm and fuzzy inside and have a good time. I want to lift spirits.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Occasionally, someone I don’t know will come up to me and say, “I loved that mix you did!” or “I’m obsessed with you!” and that always makes me feel really good. I’m always super flattered and it’s just a reminder for me that I’m doing something right.
You’re a fashionable, energetic, and just cool woman. What is YOUR definition of "cool"?
My definition of cool is just being yourself. When I think of cool, I think of people who are true to themselves & their interests. I think of personable people with open minds who make their own decisions. Possessions don’t define coolness for me. I think it’s all about your energy & attitude. You can have all the latest & greatest shit, you can know everybody, but if you’re not a good person, in my opinion, it means nothing.
Name something you don’t love, and why.
When people try to hit on me when I’m working and people not wanting to pay what I deserve to be paid for my services. These are both signs that I’m not being taken seriously, especially when it comes to being paid. People don’t realize that if you don’t have a decent DJ at the very least, people are not going to have a good time & they will remember that they didn’t have a good time. There’s a lot that goes into DJing. Staying current can be difficult at times and equipment is expensive. It is important to pay your DJ and give them credit because we work hard, too, and we get a lot of jobs from hearsay. Oh, and requests. Requests are annoying. You’ll get 15 requests all for different songs, songs you’ve never heard of and can’t remember, then people will come up to you and keep asking you when you’re going to play it. It’s distracting, it throws everything off. Let me do my job.
What is your dream project?
I would like to just do a big ass concert or music festival or something, making TONS of people dance. Also, I’m the official DJ for a group called The Domino Effect and it’d be dope to just be in front of a huge crowd going in with them. I love working with them. They’re like family and I would love for us to be able to reach a bigger platform together.
How do you think the creating process would be different if money wasn’t a factor?
I don’t think it would be much different. Some of the best stuff I do is free, like my mixes. I try to make sure I provide quality content either way. Again, my mission is happiness.
When can we expect a project to be released?
I release a mix every month or so, so you can expect something by the end of this month or early next month. More hot fire coming soon, haha.
Follow DJ Nico on Soundcloud and Mixcloud to stay up to date with the latest mixes (links below).
Catch DJ Nico in person for amazing energy and music bound to make you move.