As you all know, I’m very pro-woman and even more pro-take over the male spaces. I love and admire women who step in male dominated industries and work their magic. That’s just what DJ Hourglass out of Atlanta, Ga did! Hourglass is a DJ apart of the Werc Crew and she is stepping into spaces and claiming them as hers. I had the pleasure to chat with her a bit, here’s how our conversation went
AB: Now, I know you’re a DJ but how did you get into DJ’ing?
Hourglass: I actually started as a writer. When I got out of college, I was not really into going the traditional route and I was like ‘let me just start up my own site’ and started covering music because I was always kind of alone as a person like if you wanted to know what’s new, just ask me. I was really excited. It was in 2011 and a lot of artists were beginning to bubble like Kendrick and J. Cole and Jhene Aiko. A lot of people were doing a lot of creative things. Blogs were really popular then so I started my own site and I was like I just wanna find a way to compile all of the music that I’m covering on a weekly basis. So, I brought this super cheap controller and I started teaching myself how to make music and how to DJ. So from there I began being the music editor for a site called “The Well Versed” and I contributed to “Rap Genius” on occasions. I’ll do like album reviews. Once I had my first gig for a friend at the end of 2011, I did it live am I was like ‘oh this is fun, I can do this!” (Laughs). I started building up from there, teaching myself, upgrading my equipment, and DJ’ing at different places in Atlanta. DJ’ing kind of took over and writing took the backseat.
AB: Okay so I have to talk about your name! I actually love your stage name, so where did you get the idea to call yourself ‘DJ Hourglass’?
Hourglass: (laughs) Thank you! I remember after I started taking DJ’ing serious, I had a whole bunch of horrible names that were inside jokes! They were so bad! But I was sitting with my sister and I was like I want a name that represents my philosophy on life and something that was feminine but not like overly sexual. So hourglass to me is how I look at time. Just going to school, going to work, looking at the 5pm on your 9 to 5 like “I’m free, I can live”. I can focus on what I want to do for these few hours or the weekend is here now I can get out and try to work on some things. I definitely just wanted to make “Hourglass” my name as a reminder that time isn’t absolute and we don’t know how much time we have. I want to spend the time I have doing things that are fulfilling to me. It’s my constant reminder. And of course hourglass is a play on what my momma gave me, ya know.
AB: (laughs) I love it! So I noticed there are a lot more female DJs coming out and it’s becoming very popular. DJs like CoCo and Breezy, SimiHaze, Kitty Cash. What do you think of this new wave of female DJs taking over? Do you think that it’s something the culture needs?
Hourglass: Absolutely! I think that’s what every industry needs. It’s definitely excited because women are starting to get a lot more attention and I’m all for it! As many women dominating, I’m all for it! I’m always and still big on people doing what they do because they love it and have a passion for it and being committed to it. I love it! Especially meeting a lot of those people and seeing the love that they have. I had a gig with Coco and Breezy last October and they were super sweet and supportive and they were like posting me on their snap and I was like “what?! Y’all are posting me?!” I got to work with Kitty Cash a few years ago so it’s super great to see women in the industry lifting each other up. I’m definitely very cautious of how I’m portrayed and promoted because it can be an exoticism that comes with it and it makes me a little uncomfortable. I’ve had instances where people would say “yeah, I just really want a female DJ” and people don’t even know me or heard of me before. Or events created by a man who wants to push an all female event because it seems cool right now. I’ll be more excited when it normal for women to be in these spaces. I’m really excited that more women are getting into DJing.
AB: I definitely agree! Other than the male fascination, what are some other struggles you face as a black female DJ?
Hourglass: Certain things just kind of exist in every sector of the industry. I’ve definitely dealt with being taken seriously and having to prove myself. Like having to wave off the “oh, you don’t know what you’re doing over there”. Also, crossing certain barriers [for people of color] and being accepted outside of their own community. Also, making sure that my identity as a black person and queer person doesn’t box me in and also that I contribute to that community.
AB: That’s powerful! So last question, who would you say was your favorite person to DJ for or your favorite event to DJ at?
Hourglass: My all time favorite opening would be Nao. That was in Vegas about a year ago. She’s an amazing performer. She’s very sweet. We just talked and in my head I’m like “I love you! *laughs*. It was a sold out concert. It was amazing that I was even apart of it and being able to win the crowd over by being myself was the best experience I’ve had on stage!
Similar to many female DJ’s Hourglass is ensuring that she doesn’t let anyone steer her off her journey and continues to stand up for women and queer people all over. Keep up with DJ Hourglass on Instagram to see what she has coming up next and attend one of her shows!