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[Exclusive] DJ Kidd Fresh Talks Music, Inspiration, and Being A Woman in the Booth
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Interviews | by Shy Magazine |

Even with the growing number of female DJs on the DMV club scene, it’s still fairly uncommon to find one with a large enough following to be considered a major player.

Fortunately, DJ Kidd Fresh is all about breaking the mould. In just two years, the Lady Bison of Howard University graduate has managed to spin at places like Ozio, Bar 7, and Amsterdam Lounge, gained an ongoing residency at the Pure Lounge for happy hour every Friday night, and even made her radio debut this past October.

We recently sat down with DJ Kidd Fresh, real name Cheyenne, to find out why so many partygoers have gravitated to her sound and personality. There’s quite a bit to unpack.

Q: Okay, so, first Question. Where did the name come from?

A: The “Fresh” actually came from a coach of mine before being picked up by my teammates. I was the only freshman on the team, and another teammate was named Cheyenne as well, so he just started calling me that to differentiate us and it stuck. I eventually threw the “Kidd” in front since I was pretty sure a DJ Fresh was out there already.

Q: How did you get started on the scene?

A: Just by watching another DJ work, lol. He asked if I wanted to learn and I said yes, so he told me what software and equipment I would need and I began shadowing him. In college played around with Virtual DJ, but it wasn’t serious then since I was a full-time athlete.

Q: Who or what gave you that initial push?

A: My teammates. They’d picked up on my interest in music since my freshman year and it was always “Aye Fresh, what’s this new song?” or “Fresh, can you put music on my iPhone?” Once they saw me dabbling, the encouragement poured in.

Q: Did the DJing, Production, or Promoting come first?

A: DJing came first. I only recently started promoting my own LGBT-inclusive party, but the brand I’ve created won’t be exclusive to that as time goes on. Production is soon to come.

Q: What was the first record you bought?

A: I really can’t remember, but it was probably something from Lil Bow Wow or Chris Brown lol!

Q: How big is your current collection? What do you think of CDJ’s?

A: I don’t have a large physical collection since pretty much everything today is done on a laptop. I would like to build a vinyl collection and spin them on my turntables, and I wish more venues had turntables. I’ll take TWO CDJs over a controller any day.

Q: What’s it like, being a female deejay?

A: I think it’s rewarding. Sometimes you get looked at in a different light, get overlooked for certain opportunities and have to work a little harder, but I don’t mind working hard. I make sure I’m doing my best at all times, and if anyone has something negative to say about me or women DJs in general, that’s on them, not me. I don’t feel like I have something to prove, because I know what I’m capable of.

I’m also one of few LGBT DJs here, and people have their opinions, but they’re just that: opinions. No matter what, I’ve vowed to always put forth my best work and try to be as authentic as possible.

Q: The «deejay world» does seem to be more male dominated. Do you think it’s harder for women to become famous deejays?

A: In my experience, it does seem male-dominated. I think it is. Still, the more I network more, the more I realize how much of us (women DJs) are out here. I could say it’s harder for women DJs to become famous, but then I’d be putting limitations on myself. A lot of things in entertainment are male dominated, so sometimes it’s harder for women to be in the spotlight, but as long as there are women like myself, who don’t stop pushing for what they want, and make sure they and others have a platform where they can reach the top, it will work out.

Q: How does the scene look in your eyes at the moment?

A: The scene is the scene lol. Eventually, you start to notice a lot of the same people. Everyone is somehow connected in my opinion. I’ve been here for a while, but not as long as some others.

Q: Who’s throwing the best parties at the moment?

A: I can’t say who throws the best parties at the moment, because there are so many I haven’t had the chance to attend or even work lol. But out of the ones I do get the chance to see, my favorite is Litty In the City. I always see a lot of familiar faces, people I went to elementary and high school with, so I think this party makes me feel kind of “at home”. The energy is always amazing.

Q: What’s the best event you’ve played at/put on?

A: Litty In the City for sure, but another favorite is the Amsterdam Lounge. It also gives me that at-home feeling.

Q: How do you usually prepare for a set? 

A: I try to think of what kind of crowd will it be to make sure I have the kind of music that, combined with my skill, will please them for the duration of the event.

Q: Out of all the tunes you have, which one never fails?

A: One record that never fails me is Poppin by Chris Brown.

What style of music do you mostly play?

A: I play Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Afrobeat, Reggae and Top 40 music.

Q: How important is building a real relationship with the music you’re playing for your own approach? There’s so much music out there, is it even possible to build meaningful long-term relationships with a particular track or album? 

A: Building a relationship with the music you play is important to your authenticity and style as a DJ. If you personally love a track, you will figure out multiple ways to fit it into your set creatively.

Q: What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets? Is there a criterion other than pure subjectivity, for selecting what to play at a gig?

A: I choose records based on things like whether one song may have a connection to another based on word play, similar sample beats, blend well, or builds on the energy of the party. Some records just have an everlasting effect on people no matter where, when, or how its played. 

Q: What’s your favorite tune of all time?

A: My favorite song of all time is Party Life by Jay-Z.

Q: When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?

A: I like to spend time with my family when I’m not working. I also explore different food spots, venues, and museums in the city, especially because the city is experiencing this new growth.

Q: Funniest thing that ever happened at an event?

A: Seeing people’s reactions once they notice I’m a woman DJ. Some men are like “oh shit” to women who are thoroughly excited to see me in the booth lol.

Q: How do you feel about MCs?

A: I appreciate MCs with substance, not ones that just yell and make sound effects. 

Q: What do you do outside the dance music scene?

A: I do a lot of birthday parties, weddings, and just anything that comes my way. I never turn down an event that’s gonna pay my price once I’m available to do it.

Q: What advice would you give to up and coming DJs/Promoters?

A: Perfect your craft. Find your style and what works best for you. 

Q: Do you play pre-planned sets?

A: My sets are never pre planned. What happens when you pre plan a set and get reaction? I do have set playlists, but never play just from that one playlist.

Q: If you could stage a party anywhere, where would you choose?

A: If I could have my supporters travel and come, and out-of-country venue would be dope.

Q: How do you see the scene 5 years from now?

A: I think a lot of things will be different, but yet the same. I hope to see more women dominating!’

Q: If you had a time machine, what year would you go back to and why?

A: I would go back to see what my life would be like if I hadn’t played basketball in college or become a DJ. 

Q: Any shout-outs you would like to make?

A: Shout-out to anyone who genuinely supports me and has helped me along the way.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: DJ Kidd Fresh has a lot planned, and many more things to figure out and accomplish. I’ve had a lot of growth and learning experiences since I started, so I’m excited for what’s to come and hope those around me will be excited as well.

DJ KIDD FRESH IG: @djkiddfresh_