“BOYS CLUB” MEMBER DJ BRENDA BLACK: GUEST INTERVIEW
When you’re talking about New York City DJ’s, Brenda Black is a name that seems to be on everyone’s lips. She took some time to speak to Contributing Writer Michael Cook on breaking away from the “boys club”, how she got her start in the business and being a three-time “HX Best DJ” winner!
What brought you to the world of DJ’ing?
I got into the DJ world kind of by accident and kind of by fate. I grew up surrounded by DJ/Club culture. I was too young to participate, but I was always hearing about the goings on at legendary clubs like Paradise Garage and Danceteria, hearing mixtapes by all the great DJ’s that spun there.
As a young adult I began working at a radio station writing and producing radio drama’s, hosting radio talk shows, and occasionally spinning records on the shows. Via my radio experience and the club culture I’d grown up with, I began to become more and more drawn to DJing. My friend Candis Cayne knew this and one night the DJ didn’t show up for her night/show so she had the club call me to ask me to fill in. From then on the bookings kept coming. I really felt I had found my calling and decided to dedicate myself to DJing.
As it turned out, a DJ I was friends with, Danny Krivit, is a legend in the business, he’s so humble and sweet, I’d never known that, he was just my friend. When I decided to become a DJ, he helped me out a lot. It was like the stars aligned for me in the form of turntables (LOL)!
It seems you can’t take a spin on a dance floor in NYC without DJ Brenda Black being behind the turntables. How do the crowds in NYC compare to other areas that you’ve spun?
I love crowds everywhere. If they’re in the club it’s because they want to have fun and hear good music. Music and dance are universal languages and I believe, part of our DNA.
DJ’ing is notoriously a “boys club”. How have you kept ahead of the pack in an industry that’s so male-driven?
I get asked that a lot, other people seem more aware of my gender than I am. I mean I know I’m female and I know a female DJ is a novelty of sorts and I’m honored to be the first female to have residencies in a lot of established clubs, but I don’t really think about it that much. I do the work and turn it out. I think clubs and party promoters see that and that’s why they book me.
You won HX’s “Best DJ” award three years in a row. How does it feel to receive such accolades from not only your fans, but your peers?
It feels fabulous and a honor I’m constantly striving to remain deserving of.
What celebrity are you dying to work with?
I’d love to work with Candis Cayne again, we haven’t worked together in a while. I Just did an event with Lady Bunny and I’d love to work more with her. And it would be a blast to do a party with the Jersey Shore Cast, I think they’re adorable. That’s right I like them and I’m not ashamed!
What remixers are you loving right now?
On the commercial tip, Dave Aude has been turning it out, I also just got into 7th Heaven, they’re putting out sweet commercial mixes. For a more underground flavor I’m digging Diplo, adore Kraak & Smaak and dig Afrojack
What’s next for Brenda Black?
I’m working on an Internet Dance Music Show, heading into the studio to do some remixes for some up & coming bands and I’m going to keep on beating up the beat!
Brenda will be spinning Saturday (Sept. 11) at Paradise.
For more info on Brenda Black log onto djbrendablack.com
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