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Rising Stars: Meet Xishel Hyde

Today we’d like to introduce you to Xishel Hyde.

Hi Xishel, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born and raised in Belize to a father that DJ’d (still does to this day) & owned a record shop and a mother that fully supported my father’s business/career. I can legitimately say that I grew up around music. I never planned on getting into the business but when I was in the 12th grade there was a national teacher’s strike in the country and I was simply bored. I had a lot of free time on my hands and figured let me download Virtual DJ on my computer and “give this thing a go”. I got the hang of it pretty quickly and proudly told my dad that I had learned how to DJ by myself. He gave me a couple of pointers, gave me my first paying DJ gig right out of high school (as long as you’re out of high school you can go to the clubs in Belize, it’s wild to me now that I think about it), and I’ve been DJing ever since.

I moved to LA in 2008, basically starting fresh, but quickly got gigs from friends I knew in the Caribbean Underground/After Hours scene. That led me to meet some promoters that snuck me into Hollywood clubs here (I wasn’t 21 as yet) and I played on the “American scene” for a bit but I realized my heart and soul live for Caribbean music.

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 definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I’ve faced the typical criticism of “you’re a girl you can’t possibly play as good as XYZ”, or “they just hired her because she’s a girl” & my favorite “she probably slept with the promoter to get this gig”.

I’ve experienced my entire computer crashing in my early years and I swore I would give it and that it’s a sign I shouldn’t do this. Luckily my mom set me straight and taught me a critical life lesson at that moment.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I consider myself an Open Format DJ with a specialty in Caribbean music & “hoodrat/ratchet shit”.

I’m most proud of being able to stick with it & have a thriving career 15+ years in.

I believe being able to adapt to any gig I’m hired for sets me apart from others. For example, one of my most diverse weekends looked like: Friday Night – Pride event, Saturday day time – Amazon Fresh event (family-friendly), Saturday night: Caribbean event, Sunday night: Juneteenth event (“American scene”)

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory would have to be going on vacations with my parents to the Cayes (islands) in Belize.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Patrick Struys Darrell Prins

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