It can be very unconventional to some to hear of a videographer/journalist who seconds as a DJ by night. No? How about the fact that she’s a woman? That’s right, she’s a female Disc Jockey or more commonly known as a “DJ”. According to a 2014 Forbes article titled “The Rise of Female Djs”, women are beginning to blossom in an industry highly saturated and associated with men.
26-year-old Maryland native Kiarra Hart, known by her DJ name “Kay-B”, is definitely a part of that number of women who are blossoming in the industry today. Hart believes that the music industry shouldn’t be gender bias and today the whole idea of it has expired.
“To be honest I am all about breaking barriers, I am not a believer that this industry belongs to a certain gender or that hobby is only to be practiced by [a] type of person. I feel we are in a day and age where all of that is expired. Lady DJs’ have existed in this industry since forever, however they will not receive the same recognition as a guy.”
According to Ryan Mac, an editor at Forbes, the industry is male dominated, but he did share views as Hart in the fact that women are not recognized as much as the men.
“It’s still a male dominated industry and I’m not sure if that’s because the music attracts more men, or women don’t get a fair chance playing or producing,” – Ryan Mac
Hart, who has been a DJ that plays all genres for over 5 years said that because she is a woman, she feels that she finds herself having to prove that she has skills enough to be take seriously.
“ I am not sure where it derived from but most of the time I find myself really having to PROVE myself before I’m actually taken seriously. This may occur when I approach a venue owner about spinning at his place or simply when I am at a social and tell another guy that I am a dj.”
Having to put in extra work is no problem for Hart, who recalled the effort she put in to her first gig.
“It took a while to get to my first gig because I wanted to feel ready, so I saved my money freshman year of college and bought my first set of turntables. My friends back at home drove me way out to Baltimore and I bought a used set of Stanton turntables from a guy that barely used them. I practiced all freshman year in my dorm, plugged the mixer to a radio and practiced using actual records.”
Hart practiced her skill while also finding time to study videography while in school. She even took on an internship in her hometown at a local radio station. She said she watched the 5 p.m. DJ very closely and studied him until it was her time to finally show her skills.
“Every day there was the “Drive at 5” with DJ Reddz and every day he would let me watch and study him in the booth. He was so smooth with it, I told him that I was a DJ as well (although I knew I wasn’t official yet)…” Hart laughed.
“He didn’t mind though. Anyway, after that summer, a friend of mine said he wanted to have an old school party at his house and asked if I could DJ, I was a little nervous but I say yes of course and took the leap. It was very small, close knit, but I kept everyone on their feet all night and screaming ‘yes’ as I transitioned from song to song. That is when you get that feeling of assurance and you’re like ‘yes’ I’m doing my thing” she continued.
Hart said her work speaks for itself and that it should always be about the skill and the music. Hart even has ideas of incorporating videography and DJing, which both require a form of producing.
“I am currently running my own production/entertainment company called “PlayFair Productions” where I have combined art, photography, videography, music and DJ into one. (Play Fair Productions)”.
Since her recent move to Brooklyn, New York, Hart has been a part of various events as a DJ. She represented Verizon and opened for singer Melanie Fiona this past summer. However, Hart shows no signs of slowing down. She plans on eventually using her skills to make a difference.
“In the next 5 years I see myself traveling the world impacting and changing lives with my art, music and videography. I do not only want to focus on the fun entertaining aspect of the business but also address issues and raise awareness with documentaries and photo projects.”