Today we’d like to introduce you to Tillie Lams.
Tillie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started DJing at my favorite bar in Los Angeles, Blipsy Barcade. I frequented the watering hole for years before I ever played records there, although I’ve been collecting records since high school. DJing was oddly something I never really thought of doing. It started out as a monthly night with three of my close girlfriends and myself playing records for free margaritas. We eventually got booked at other bars, started guest DJing individually, and I eventually got multiple residencies at various bars and venues in the city.
Has it been a smooth road?
It isn’t always a smooth road, there are often obstacles, but that’s part of the fun. People don’t realize that DJing vinyl can be very difficult. You don’t have a computer screen to cue things for you, you are carrying very heavy crates of expensive vinyl, it’s very physical and requires a lot of attention. There are also challenging aspects of the job in regards to people’s musical taste. It’s pretty nerve-racking showing up to a new venue and having no idea what you’re in for. With vinyl, you can only play what you physically bring, so you need to know how to handle the room if people aren’t enjoying what you’re playing or requesting things that are way off of what you bring.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a freelance vinyl-only DJ who specializes in punk rock, powerpop, garage, glam, and just about everything in-between. With technology these days, anyone with a cell phone and Spotify can call themselves a DJ, but there is so much about vinyl that adds character. From liking the record enough to buy it, to pulling it from your collection, carrying it in a heavy crate, and finally finding the groove with the needle. Vinyl brings an old school sound and feeling that could soon be so easily forgotten.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Honestly, I see the industry staying the same. There are a lot of people who collect vinyl, and a lot of people who DJ, but not too many people who do both.
- Instagram: @ReconnezCherie
Elena Jasic Photography, Grayson Photography