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There's a Girl on The Turntables

16 year old Special Events DJ

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MY STORY


How It All Began

I have to say, when I was a little girl, I did not picture myself going the DJ route. At first I wanted to be a Dolphin Trainer, which was not what most little girls around me wanted to be. Rather than putting me in Dolphin Training school, my mom put me in dance, which I hated because the tights were itchy and I didn't like dancing in the sparkly outfits. Once I was freed from that, I went into karate, because I was really into the Power Rangers at the time. I was in that until I got my black belt, then I grew tired and quit. After that, I went into basketball. I love the sport, but I was very aggressive and often had to sit out due to excessive fouling. I did basketball for about two years, then I went into dance again at my best friend's dance school, thinking I had still had the moves (I really didn't). I quit once I finished, and I was left without a hobby for a little while. It was hard watching other kids have something they were really good at all their life. They didn't hop from hobby to another. They stuck to one, and got better and better at it over the years.  I still hadn't found my thing. 

In September of my sixth grade year, around the annual Salt Bowl game (A huge high school football game between rival cities Bryant and Benton.) my dad's job was hosting a booth at the big tailgate party before the game. Thousands of people came to the tailgate party, so my dad wanted to make a good impression on the crowd. He was a natural MC, so he yapped on the mic to attract attention and be involved with the crowd. I was there, reluctantly helping out because I'd much rather run around with my friends, getting free stuff from all the businesses. Another unique thing about our booth besides the MCing was the music. My dad was too busy hopping around the area, so he eventually assigned the music job to me. Because I was tired of hearing the random old school music my dad was playing, I switched to all the hits my peers and I listened to. As I did this, I realized a lot of kids from my school were starting to come around and request songs from me, because they knew I knew what they liked. Once my dad noticed, he started referring to me as "DJ Raquel" and made me in charge of the music for the rest of the tailgate party. The following day, my dad told me that I should seriously consider becoming a DJ not just because of the Salt Bowl situation, but because I had always had a natural love for music. And he was definIteLy right. All my life, every moment I could ever remember, had music in it. I had grown up with music playing all the time. I had been hearing music, and loving it since I was born (Literally. As soon as I was born, my dad played "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder in the hospital room, and that was the first song I ever heard outside the womb.). Of course I was willing to try my dad's idea because it involved the very thing that gave me emotion and freedom, which was music.

The only thing was, I didn't really know what a DJ did. I listened to music, but I never knew about the people who played it. That's when my dad began to show me videos of DJs on their turntables, scratching and creating new ways to hear songs people heard over and over again. I was immediately fascinated and couldn't wait to become a part of the DJ community.  My dad and I went out and got a turntable, and he sat with me and taught me the first and probably one of the most important skills of DJing: mixing. I caught on pretty quick, and I started trying to explore new types of music besides radio pop. I added new artists on my Pandora playlists, exploring the world of hip-hop, R&B, alternative rock, and others. Eventually, I stumbled upon this song that had a sick beginning to it with a crazy looking album cover with the artist name Skrillex on it. I had no idea who this person was at the time, but as soon as the song got to the drop, I fell in love with the world of EDM (Electric Dance Music). I began looking at DJs who played this genre, and that's when I discovered I could actually do this as a job and create my own music, which I didn't know DJs could do at the time. I was so excited to begin this adventure, and work until I was just as aggressive as the guys (DJing is an extremely male dominated field). 

Basically, all I'm saying is that, it's okay if it takes you a little while to find your thing. Once you find it, the world will be at the palm of your hand. Also, if you're a girl reading this, just because it's a male dominated field, does't mean you don't have the power to break down the door and prove you're just as good. Some people are surprised when they find out I'm the DJ and not my dad. They tell me that they've never heard of a female DJ. But I just smile and say "Well, now you know."

Looking back, I have DJed hundred gigs whether it was a dance, a birthday party, a wedding, Race for the Cure or Relay for Life, sports events, private parties, church events, concerts, and even a dog ball (I'm not joking), and I am proud of every single gig I have ever done, no matter how big or small. I want to do so much more and grow my business. I feel like the sky is the limit (and then some). Some things I want to accomplish is to give you guys a little more insight and understanding of the world of DJing, whether it's my world or someone else's. I want to you to experience the best DJ Raquel you possibly can by making it easier for you to book me and get in touch with me if you have questions. I also want to expand my business by creating other ways to represent it and incorporating other skills I have acquired to enhance it (a magazine, merchandise).

I am just so thankful for all the people who took a chance on me and helped me out by encouraging me and giving me advice. I really do appreciate it all, and I will never take a moment to make you have fun and forget any outside realities for granted. Stay tuned, because more is coming!

- Much love, DJ RAQUEL

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