XLR8R Magazine

At least in the past it was true that women had to work a lot harder to break into DJing. It would be untrue to say that even today’s groovers (male and female) when in a club may find themselves, at least at first, listening a little closer to the skills of a female DJ. DJDazy confers on this point, “I get a lot of young boys out there that sit around the tables and wait for me to mess up. We’re judged a lot harder. But not as much as before because there are a lot more girls coming out. I try to get to know as many of them as possible because in the scene we’re all sisters, and we should all support each other.” This is an attitude we all could benefit from, regardless of gender. It was long before the days of her current home base of Portland that DJDazy was first inspired, first moved to tears by house music. Dazy is, in a sense, without being overly cliché, a true fearless maverick. It’s one thing being the first kid on the block with turntables, but think about being the first one in your city with turntables. Thus starts the journey of Dazy in the world of house music.

Originally hailing from the city with the Great Salt Lake, Dazy now finds herself a solid figure in the world of the Northwest house music scene. Why here? Why now? Why Portland? And hey Dazy, now do you get that respect that you deserve? I got together with Dazy one morning this summer over the phone to chat things up a bit and answer a few of those questions about that sweet girl with the seemingly endless pool of energy.

“The first time that I heard house music was in San Diego at a club called Romper Room in 1992. I heard Mark E. Quark, and fell in love with his DJing and the music. Once I heard it, I couldn’t stop listening to it, I wanted to do it myself so I went and bought decks by mail order. I just decided to do it and did it.” From that point on, Dazy has maintained that sort of ethos throughout her approach to the scene. Dazy picks up on something that she likes and doesn’t stop until things turn out her way. This girl has drive and determination — a solid combination when trying to break into a realm previously male dominated.

Back in ’92 in Salt Lake City, Dazy was the only person with tables. Initially, it was only she and Mechanized Records’ Chris Sick spinning records. In those days, they weren’t quite beat mixing yet. Originally the focus was on the programming, which isn’t a bad place to start. Then things began to pick up. They began flying in out-of-town DJs. Among those, West Coast names like Thomas, Mark E Quark, and Jeno would go on to highly influence Miss Dazy.

Soon the technique was there and the local scene was growing, but after a couple of years Dazy felt that something was missing. “I felt like nobody gave me the respect that I needed, and nobody took me seriously in Salt Lake City.” Looking at a faceless future and feeling the rising degrees of negativity, Dazy took the plunge. “I sold everything that I owned; got on a plane with my records, my turntables, and my cat; and moved to Portland not knowing a single soul. It took a lot of guts, but I’m glad that I did it. It was a very struggling time.”

Now that she’d arrived in the “cleanest city in the Northwest,” what was next? Dazy decided to jump in headfirst. To say that she was gung ho about her new place may be an understatement. If you know anything about Dazy, you know that she gives it her all. Remember, she knows no one. After all, Portland isn’t all that much larger than S.L.C. “People were like, well who is she? Why’s she so aggressive about it? The way that I felt about it was that either they’re going to take me seriously or they’re not.” With an attitude like that, one can only guess how Dazy was ultimately received. “People have been really, really positive, and I haven’t had any negative feedback since I’ve lived here. I’ve also gotten a lot of gigs.” Strike one up for determination.

With that in mind, what is Dazy all about today, and where does she see herself going? She continues to play whenever the opportunity presents itself, which is usually out-of-town as, once again, the ability for smaller towns to sustain their DJs is easier said than done. Dazy is one friendly gal and loves people. Traveling as a DJ provides her, like so many others, the opportunity to not only exercise her craft, but to also meet and exchange ideas with as many people as possible. She also has ideas of producing and has a trip planned later in the year to hook up with Third Floor Productions’ and San Francisco native Buck London for a little workout in the studio. Although she has bright plans for her future in house music, Dazy also sees things very realistically. “I’m not rushing anything because my time will come when it comes. I’m not going to push it like I use to.” Nice Stride.

When asked if she thought that there were any differences between why girls get into DJing as opposed to boys, the fore running Northwest female DJ Dazy had these ideas on the subject, “all the girl DJs that I know, and I know quite a few, do it because they love it. I find sometimes, definitely not always, that there are male DJs out there who get into it more for the status thing.” So then, are women more likely to be passionate about it? Dazy ponders on this one a bit. “More often when girls DJ, and I’m not saying that it’s not like this for guys necessarily, a lot more feelings come out into what they’re playing. This is something that I’ve noticed. Then again, this is just an opinion.”

In the end we have Dazy, a woman with a desire to move the dance floor with as much feeling as possible. Why? Because she loves it, and it really doesn’t extend much further than that. The first time that this journalist met Dazy she was, surprise, full of energy. She just wanted to meet people and spread a little good cheer. The interesting part was that although she is indeed atop notch self promoter, one gets the idea that she seems rather at peace with the question of whether one thought that she was cool enough or not. So why all the self-promotion? So she can get behind the decks and spread some more of that motivating positive energy.

One final note while we’re on the subject of promotion. When asked to comment on the current state of the scene in the Northwest and how much it might be improved, Dazy has this very environmental and cutting observation. “These big, big glossy fliers have to got to go! People rely on fliers too much to go to parties. It’s taking up a lot of the budget, and it’s taking up a lot of the trees…we all need to be focusing more on the music.” ‘Nough said. Thank you, Dazy.