While the music industry has historically been a very male dominated space, the DJ community still faces many of those barriers for women entering the game. With over a decade of experience, Florida based DJ MK is a seasoned veteran and a powerhouse who is breaking the ceiling for women in the industry as a multi-faceted entrepreneur. Talent and work ethic have helped earn the DJ recognition from major labels and media companies across the country like Capitol Records, 300 Entertainment, Roc Nation, Revolt TV, and more.
DJ MK explains that she learned the music industry while interning at radio stations and label offices in Miami, Florida during her early years. From there, she’s secured huge appearances spinning at stadium events for iHeartRadio, the NFL and major Orlando nightclubs. But her talents don’t stop there, as she’s also a regular host on 104.5 The Beat, Orlando’s top Hip Hop and R&B radio station.
The rising DJ enjoys spotlighting upcoming artists and has ambitions of continuing to release her own music, after signing a distribution deal with Roc Nation’s independent distributor EQ Distribution. We spoke to the DJ about her career so far, what it took to get this far, and where she’s ready to go next. Read our full conversation below.
Thank you so much for speaking with us. How have you been doing during the pandemic, and how are you staying inspired creatively during isolation?
DJ MK: THANK YOU! Doing pretty well, maintaining optimistic day by day. I have stayed inspired creatively by continuing to collab’ with various producers, DJs and various creatives the virtual way.
How long have you been DJing, and how did you get your start in the industry?
DJ MK: I had been DJing for over a decade and I got my start interning at radios stations and label offices in Miami, Florida.
Did you always know that you wanted to DJ and pursue music as a career?
DJ MK: Yes, I always knew from a young age I had big dreams of pursuing a career in the music world, no doubt about it!
The path for DJs and producers isn’t always clear, and there’s not always a formula for success. How did you know which steps to take next throughout your career?
DJ MK: Everyone’s story and connection is unique! In the beginning I had no clue what steps to take, but I started by positioning myself in rooms where I could learn. Everything else I’ve learned through lessons.
DJing is very male dominated – what has your experience been like as a woman in the industry?
DJ MK: Being a woman DJ I always have had to make sure I’m being taken seriously. I have had experiences where I had to demand respect from promoters, venues and other male DJs.
Throughout your career have you seen the appreciation for DJs change, and if so how?
DJ MK: Definitely, with the power of online and music streaming services. At times, I’ve seen the appreciation for the DJ change because in some ways artists feel it’s not as necessary as it was before to create relationships with DJs to have their music heard.
Spinning is a lot more technical than some may realize. How often do you practice, and what kind of commitment did you invest to progress your skillset?
DJ MK: I practice almost daily because every week I record radio mix shows, those mixes require me to be very technical with song transitions, drops and sound effects.
Have you found mentorship in the industry, and is there anyone who has offered guidance so far?
DJ MK: Yes, I have been very fortunate to have had great mentors who have genuinely had my back. DJ D-Strong, Program Director from iHeartRadio, has been a go-to mentor to me who has guided me each step of the way.
What kind of adversity have you faced, personally or professionally, and how did you overcome it?
DJ MK: I have always been the underdog in many professional scenarios and I have overcome those adversities by simply just working harder. The personal adversities I have faced have been dealing with tragedy of losing close friends and friends. It’s been challenging to heal back to a place of peace to be creative in my career.
How do you maintain your creative momentum and consistent growth – what things keep you inspired?
DJ MK: I keep creative by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, consuming creative knowledge, and I stay inspired by seeing other accomplished DJs elevate.
Looking back on what you’ve accomplished, what’s been the most memorable experience for you so far?
DJ MK: One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had was DJing for the Orlando Magic Game for International Women’s day and having my mom there at the game to watch. She unexpectedly passed away a couple months later, so I feel proud she was able to experience that career highlight with me.
For people being introduced to you for the first time, what’s something that you want people to know about you?
DJ MK: I want people to know I have big DJ dreams of creating my DJ brand into a business that is multi-dimensional, from DJing events, concerts, radio personality to releasing music.
Follow DJ MK on Instagram for updates, future releases, live events and radio appearances.