Seven years after her first club gig and following tours with Ja Rule, Tyga, Sean Kingston and Ciara, Australia’s ‘Queen of the Decks’, DJ AK, recently took some time out to chat with Sydney Unleashed.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
Well when I started DJing, social media wasn’t that big yet so I had to pretty much do all the work on foot making physical mix CDs and going club to club meeting promoters giving them my CD in hopes they would hear it and like it! It wasn’t easy as female DJs were a rarity at the time and promoters used to look at me like I must be kidding. It was very hard to be taken seriously but once I got my foot in the door with the first gig, it was just all about proving myself.
Best part of what you do?
I’ve been DJing for eight years now and there will still be some days were I’ll be in some random city mid set everyone going nuts and I think to myself, how am I so lucky to be getting paid to do this? Just getting to play music for people and get to call it a job is definitely the best part, and of course being lucky enough to see new places and new cities that I would have never seen or been to if it wasn’t for DJing.
And the worst part?
Late nights that are followed by early mornings. YUK!
Any interesting experiences you can share?
Celebrities are interesting creatures, there’s people like Lloyd who is just the most humble beautiful person and I consider him a friend for life. Then there’s some celebrities who you would have rather never met and you hear their requests and the way they treat people and it really makes you appreciate the good people you meet.
Favourite album of all time and why?
Oh that’s a really hard question to ask a DJ. I have different favourite albums in different genres and moods but if I had to pick one, it would definitely be a Tupac one. Me Against The World or Makaveli. And the reason, just cos he was so real and eye-opening on those albums and prophetic even to this day, so relevant. See, I still didn’t pick one, haha.
Best live performance that you’ve ever seen?
That’s another tough one, it would be a toss up between Mariah Carey & Beyonce, they’re so different. Mariah Carey’s voice obviously just had me in awe and I’ve always loved her so it was like a dream come true. Then Beyonce blew me away with how she managed to dance for the whole concert and yet every note in every song was still flawless and so powerful. And they’re both even more stunning in real life.
Favourite venues to hang out in?
Two of my fav clubs to DJ & just generally party in when I’m not playing in are two of my Friday night residencies: Trill @ Marrakesh & Ciroq at CQ. Not just cos I play at them but they truly are so much fun but completely different.
Take us through a typical day in the life of DJ AK.
Have a nice sleep in, never get up before 11, roll out of bed after a good half an hour of checking emails/social media, and talk myself into going to the gym spend a good hour to hour and a half at the gym, get home, have a very late breakfast, shower, and spend some more time on social media whilst downloading and listening to new music, may chuck on some trashy reality TV in between. On the weekends, I also love an afternoon disco nap before getting up and getting ready to hit the clubs!
What advice would you give to someone looking at getting involved in the music industry?
Be ready to be rejected, and knocked back again and again, be determined, practice, be good at what you do, don’t listen to people who hate on you most of the time – its just cos you’re doing better than them and they want what you have but don’t want to do what you do to get it! Don’t ever stop making contacts or talking to people or replying to people no matter how big you get cos you don’t know when that person will come in handy!
Any news or final comments?
Thanks for having me! Just super excited about what the rest of the year has to hold, its only May and I’ve already been so lucky to open up for Ty Dolla & YG, tour NZ with Ciara, Official DJ for the Asian Cup, and am now working on heading to the States later on this year for a while for some exciting projects so its all exciting and just working on doing as much as I can here before heading over there!
© Danny CanakSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.