What attracted you to learning how to DJ?
My oh my, where do I start?
I have been wanting to tap into a new hobby and noticed an abundance of female DJs in the Atlanta and Chicago area within the past couple of years. I am
originally from the southside of Chicago, and I have family in Atlanta, GA. I visit Atlanta quite often and my cousin was starting her entrepreneur journey with her wine business. Big shoutout to her (Nicole Anderson); she gave me the motivation to start something new and soon become a businesswoman.
In the ATL November of 2019, we went out to a lounge and I noticed DJs switching off and the cool thing about it, they were all female. I kept my eyes on them as they were spinning and became mesmerized by their talents. I realized right then, that deejaying is going to become my new hobby. I decided to go up to the DJ booth and asked her a few questions. I remember asking one of them how they got started. She expressed that she had been entertaining for quite some time; however, she admitted that her recognition did not take place until recently. Deep down in my thoughts, I concluded that I wanted to take on this new challenge as a DJ and work hard to show that being a woman in this industry is possible. She also stated that one of the main purposes of deejaying is to convey one’s love for music and to enjoy life to the fullest. I totally agree with this concept.
As I believe, people go to venues in order to connect socially with others. The purpose of the disc jockey is to facilitate this connection. -DJ Nita Beat
February of 2020, I then decided to tap further into the DJ lifestyle. I grew up with plenty of family members with DJ experience. Chicago has a strong bloodline for music, whether it is getting together, family cookouts, reunions, birthday parties, etc. I leaned on one of my cousins to ask him for guidance and with him showing me the ropes, it expanded my understanding of the task at hand. The most challenging part in the beginning consisted of my training with him through the phone since I live in Iowa and he is in Illinois. However, it worked out for the better. He sent me tutorials and plenty of YouTube videos on how to get started.
The next difficult part was understanding the concept of it all, but I told myself everything in the beginning will be rough, so I continued to push through. I found a local DJ in Dubuque to show me hands on training, (the Mixologist DJ), and he let me play around on his controller. Doing that helped tremendously and I appreciate the Mixologist DJ. Unfortunately, the year took its turn for the worst when the pandemic occurred the next month. I had made plans to invest in the necessary equipment unfortunately, funds were not available due to businesses being shut down.
However, I persisted by obtaining more knowledge of how to become a disc jockey by watching others stream online. Some of my favorite known DJs come from the Chicago area and the West Coast. Even though bars and clubs were shut down, DJs utilized social media as an outlet to connect to their desired audience.
June came around, and I was able to return to work. I remember feeling ecstatic about purchasing my DJ mixer and with the help of Richard Curiel from ABC Muzik, he supplied equipment that I need to get started. I truly thank him for that. I then started using my social media to let friends and family know that I have started a new hobby as a disc jockey. My official start as DJ Nita Beat was in October of 2020, and I have been loving it ever since.
In the beginning, deejaying can be a challenge because one must anticipate what one’s crowd desires before they realize what they are desiring. When the DJ knows what the crowd wants in advance, the DJ appears to be on his or her game. As for me, I love the feeling of the adrenaline rush. There is a lot of pressure when it comes to deejaying at different venues, events, weddings, and in some cases, you may not know what to expect.
The ultimate goal for me is to have fun with the crowd and make the night seem as though it will last forever. I think this thing I call a hobby might just become my new passion. -DJ Nita Beat
To see DJ Nita Beat's next Midwest-based set live at Smokestack, a one-of-a-kind old factory and rooftop bar, find details here and on Instagram @ranitaalonda.
Words by DJ Nita Beat (Ranita Anderson)
Photos by Lu Gerdemann @lusupplyco