When she walks up to the DJ booth she immediately draws everyone’s attention with her beauty and her petite stature…but she’s more than a pretty face. In a male-dominated industry, she’s showing the fellas (and the ladies) that she brings the vibes to any crowd … this month’s Fete Finder Feature is DJ NUNU!
DJ Nunu is one of Brooklyn’s most versatile DJs… traveling from state to state and now different countries to spread her talent. Her passion has always been music and she has the determination and drive that will continue to make her successful. At 5’0, she rocks the crowd, a true entertainer. She lets her music do the talking for her and you should listen.
One of the few female DJs that has never had a bad set! Tell folks a little bit about yourself and how you got into DJing?
I was born in the USA with a Caribbean background. I was always into music. Music is my passion. I had a few friends that knew how to DJ and I immediately became interested to learn more. I did my research on female DJ’s and discovered there weren’t many out there, so I decided to become a DJ to make a difference in the industry.
Once you decided to pursue becoming a DJ did you decide to go into soca or other genres?
I always loved Soca, when I first started djing I primarily played dancehall & reggae music, and then eventually I learned how to play Soca music as well. I like all genres of music, but the vibe/happy feeling that I get from hearing Soca music is unexplainable.
How did you come up with the stage name “DJ Nunu”?
When I was in high school the movie ATL came out and the primary female character was named Nunu and she liked to rock everything new. It was my favorite movie at the time and I was into fashion I liked coming to school with new outfits/shoes all the time. So that nickname fit then and stuck with me later on.
Seeing how there were so few female DJs in the Caribbean scene when you started, what would you say was the hardest part about breaking into the scene?
Because it’s a male-dominated industry, quite a few men don’t believe a woman can go on stage and do what they do. Especially because of my size, when they see me they wonder “what is this little girl about to come up here and do”, and they look at me crazy. After certain males see females play you can see there facial expression change from when they first walked on stage. I still experience that to this day.
What was your first gig and what you’d consider your first big break?
My first gig was at a club called Night Flight in Brooklyn. I started playing there regularly which opened up other opportunities for me to play around Brooklyn. My first big break was playing at Hookie 2013 in DC. After that, I started to travel to other states to perform and then eventually countries.
Your mixes (check them out on Soundcloud) are some of the best out there…how do you decide what songs you choose to feature?
When creating my mixes I like to take my time, I don’t like to rush my mixes at all. I want to make sure everything fits the idea/theme that I thought of. Of course, I feature songs that are primarily known but I also study and listen to different songs that aren’t being played as much as they should be and add those songs into my mixes too. You know, those songs that are good but may be overshadowed when they could be bigger. It typically takes me a good week to get everything together before I’m able to start recording.
Do you plan ahead what you’re going to play at a fete?
No, I read the crowd to determine what I’m going to play. If I know the type of event I’m playing for I may have an idea in my head already that I would like to do but once I get to the event I would read the crowd and see what’s going on. It’s not good to plan or have one set of songs in mind. It’s happened to me plenty of times where the same thing I was thinking of another DJ got to it first. That’s fine, but it’s always best to think outside the box.
What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry? And what challenges might they expect to face?
DJing isn’t as easy as it looks. It may look like you’re just pressing buttons but there’s actual science to it. You have to really invest and practice with your craft. It’s more than just knowing the songs, you have to know how to mix and to blend the right genres to play at the right time. It’s a lot of homework…it’s like school. I’ve spent hours and days just downloading music, lining the songs up how I want to play them from genre to genre…it’s not easy. It’s definitely time-consuming.
I’d also advise them to not give up! You will encounter many obstacles in the industry but never let them break you or get the best of you. Focus on your craft, be humble and you will succeed.
What is your dream event or venue where you would love to play?
I would love to play in Ibiza, or Dubai. I would love to play for Tribe (mas band) on the road during Trinidad Carnival.
What carnivals have you played in?
I’ve performed during Jamaica Carnival, Batabano (Grand Cayman), Cropover (Barbados) and others.
When you’re not performing, as a feter who would make your ideal DJ lineup?
Pantrin Vibes (Riggo Suave and Fireman) and Back 2 Basics and Tony X.
Tell us one thing about yourself that your followers would be surprised to know?
I’m actually very shy sometimes LOL. Before certain gigs, I pray. I find a corner or my own space and pray before I touch the stage. I get nervous at times, but once I’m in my zone and the music hits me I turn into a different person on stage!
Follow DJ Nunu’s journey on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on her upcoming events and check out her mixes on Soundcloud.