The role of the Dj is one that was once highly regarded, then took a back seat to the Emcee, but it now living in its proper glory. It’s more than just playing radio hits or music to turn up to – as a Dj you need to have an ear for music. What beats blend well together, what lyrics can tell a never ending story, what mood does the crowd want to be possess and what are you playing to hold their attention?
Dylan Ali, better known as Dylan the Gypsy, is one girl who understands all the elements in being a consistent curator of sounds. At only 22, the DMV native has made a name for herself in the NYC nightlife. I caught her spinning at Louie & Chan and heard the most eclectic mix of Missy Elliot gems and “twerk sumn” trap. You’re immediately in a trance – singing along to throwbacks and consistent movement. Watching Dylan in action, you can tell this was more of a natural gift than a worked at hobby. “I’ve curated music/sounds since elementary school,” she says when asked how she got into djing. “And once I realized I could pursue it as a career I knew it was the path for me.”
Moving to Brooklyn, NY to continue to delve into her profession, Dylan decided to hone her craft by doing her research and asking other Djs for advice. Then, she simply just did it. The amount of vulnerability that goes into a creative career means wearing all your talents and aspirations on your sleeve. Knowing the apprehension that some might feel when thinking about delving into a creative career, Dylan share some advice for up-and-coming Djs or those who don’t know where to start – “Don’t let people intrude in your creative space, don’t take requests if you don’t want to, don’t get discouraged by rejection, work with the crowd and not for the crowd, and have fun!” In other words, the best place to start is exactly where you’re at! Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want to do – you have to let loose and be yourself. Dylan is an embodiment of all of this.
If you haven’t heard her mixes yet, check them out here – she started a curated playlists based on zodiac signs (get ready to hear Skepta alongside Michael Jackson and Ludacris). And if you ever want to hear her spin live, follow her Instagram and Twitter @dylanthegypsy to stay updated!