Today we’d like to introduce you to CrystalTheDJ.
Hi CrystalTheDJ, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started as a Costume Design major at a notorious party school – San Diego State University. I went to a lot of parties in college. I already had a deep appreciation for music growing up, but going to all those parties turned it up a few notches. During my time at SDSU, I befriended Saweetie and we’d talk about our goals and aspirations and it led me to really dive into hip hop culture, but mainly in New York. I was so enamored by NY culture and I stumbled across Vashtie Kola who is a DJ, Director, Designer, and more. She sparked the initial interest of me actually becoming a DJ and realization that it was possible for a black woman to do not only that but a myriad of creative things simultaneously.
Once I graduated, I was a full-fledged wardrobe stylist, working with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kelly Rowland, Big Sean, Jhene Aiko, and other amazing celebrities, but I couldn’t get rid of the urge to DJ. Prior to college life, I was a professional actor, athlete, dancer, and deep into fashion. I love to perform. So I had I moment where I realized DJ’ing could be that thing for me. I can perform, wear whatever fashions I want, play music to positively influence crowds in the same way that I was when I would go to concerts. One night at a party, post-grad, I ran into a DJ and we became friends and he’d let me practice on his equipment while he wasn’t using it. I’d literally drive from LA to Pomona every week and practice. Eventually, I bought an old controller off of another DJ friend of mine, used my huge iMac desktop and keyboard and mouse, and started taking gigs. It’s history from there.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It hasn’t been the smoothest road, but what’s a road without a few bumps? Being a woman in the music industry, I already have forces working against me. “Hey Mr. DJ”, “Come, Mr. DJ, song pon de replay” – you see where I’m going? It’s extremely male-dominated and has been from the start of it all. On top of that, having to navigate within the industry without being harassed is almost impossible. Sometimes you don’t know if people want to work with you because you’re talented or because they want something from you. Even standing on ten toes and demanding what you require (and respect) can get you labeled as difficult to work with, whereas if I was a man, it would be considered “boss energy”. Being a female DJ definitely has its challenges, but I still wouldn’t trade it. Just have to go harder.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I do a lot. Besides being a DJ, I am a Costume Designer by trade – I think my parents wouldn’t like it if their college dollars went to waste, lol. I love clothes! So I still get booked to do wardrobe for tv shows and films. My goal is to lean into more of a Creative Director role for artists and creatives.
I am a host on the new show, West Coast Confidential, alongside Gina Views. It is a Top 10 video countdown, similar to 106 & Park, but hosted and produced by two black women from LA, which has never been done before. I also host Live & Unplugged, an experience where you can enjoy your favorite artists with a live band. These are the first two shows I’ve ever hosted and it has been the greatest experience! The coolest thing happened when Sway invited Gina and I to interview on Sway in The Morning on Shade 45 and he certified West Coast Confidential as the new 106 & Park 2022! I also was able to DJ live on the air for the world to hear. Legendary moment!
I also work for the Los Angeles Clippers. I am on the Hoop Troop team – we are high-energy performers who contribute to the ultimate game-night experience for Clipper Nation. Our team can be seen throwing t-shirts on the court, chanting in the stands, and creating memorable experiences for the fans.
I love changing lives whether it’s DJ’ing a live set, making a Clipper fan’s day, or even making sure an actor feels and looks good for camera. That’s really what I do it for. Ready to take it to a larger scale.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
The most recent book I got my hands on is 50 Cent’s “Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter”. I love reading books, mostly fiction, but lately I’ve been into reading books from notable figures that I have either been influenced by or admire. College kind of spoiled it a bit, but I’m getting back into the groove of things. My world moves so fast! I enjoy actually pausing, sitting in my little reading corner, and really diving into whatever world is in my hands.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.crystalthedj.com
- Instagram: @crystalthedj
- Twitter: @crystalthedj
Chris Gonzo Lauren Enriquez Nani Vision Los Angeles Clippers