In the ‘Mix’: DJ Poizon Ivy Talks Skylar Diggins, Beyoncé & More!
These days, DJ’s are becoming artists in there own right. DJ Khaled has not only produced some of the biggest records of the last few years, but he offers ‘major keys’ on his incredibly popular Snap Chat. DJ Esco who spins behind one of the biggest names in music (Future, in case you didn’t know) has become a major component to his sound. On the flip side, several artists have been spotted getting things pretty ‘lit’ at parties and events. Solange Knowles DJ’s pretty regularly and I hear she has a good vibe. The Roots’ Questlove and Erykah Badu have even given crowds a mix or two.
And then, there’s DJ Poizon Ivy, the first female mixshow DJ at Milwaukee’s V100.7 radio station, where her mixes are featured every Wednesday and Saturday. Her mixes can also be heard cross continentally on 103.5 Homeboyz Radio on Wednesdays in Nairobi, Kenya. Are you getting the picture yet? If not, I’m basically outlining all of the reasons why DJ Poizon Ivy has ‘the juice’ and I’m not finished. She recently won a mixshow contest where her mixes are now featured on iHeart Radio and she has opened for Nas, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Project Pat to name a few. She’s been recognized by WAMI as the 2013 Club DJ of the Year in Milwaukee, WI and has mixed for the charitable organizations of Snoop Dogg, and corporate clients Atlantic Records, Redbull and the Milwaukee Brewers to name a few.
Most recently, DJ Poizon Ivy joined Skylar Diggins as the official camp DJ for her “Shoot 4 the Sky” basketball camp tour and noted plus sized brand Ashley Stewart for the “Love Your Curves Tour”! With all of this, Heed caught up with the ‘music mixologist’ to talk everything from Beyoncé, to the lack of diversity at the Oscars! Check it out.
On her start in the industry:
I started deejaying when I was in college in Milwaukee, WI. I picked it up because of my love for music and I just wanted to learn a new outlet and it has completely spiraled out of control! Which is a great thing! I started out doing college radio at one of the most successful radio shows. That led to notoriety around the city, which led to me being hired by record labels to do promo work for them because I had the ear of the streets. At the same time I started an internship at the local radio station V100.7 in Milwaukee. Shortly thereafter they were looking for a new mixer and I submitted a demo mix and I joined their staff in March of 2014 as their first every female mixer DJ. That led to performances in larger shows around the city. I’ve done Summerfest, and performed at shows with Nas, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J to name a few. I’ve just been hustling and trying to move forward in building a name for myself.
On working with Skylar Diggins:
At the time I was based in the Midwest and I received word that her [basketball] camp would be in the area, so I reached out to her camp coordinator and the rest was history! I came to the Camp and she loved what I did so she invited me back for the second season!
On sexism amongst DJs:
…I think there are a lot of preconceived notions. It does create difficulty but only if you allow it to, but I don’t let that define my task.
On working with an artist and producing:
The DJ/Artist relationship in music history has been pivotal. You look at some of our greats who have been able to tour with DJ’s. Going back to the beginning of hip-hop history. It was a DJ and an MC. You couldn’t be an MC if you didn’t have a DJ! You couldn’t have one without the other you know and I think that’s great. And I love live shows. I plan on venturing into production and various other things!
On dream collaborations:
On my bucket list of things to do is tour with Beyoncé before she hangs up music! Put it in the air because that’s one of my top 5 things on my list! She’s a great performer and she has an amazing live show! There’s a female MC by the name of Rapsody! I’d love to work with her. There are so many talented artists that I’m a fan of, but at the top of my head those two stand out at the moment. Also, I was born and raised in Kenya and I’m a huge fan of African music and the budding Afrobeat and African music industry and I’m hoping that I can contribute to the development of that culture.
Thoughts on the Oscars and the lack of diversity:
…If you look from a musical perspective, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” was the number one record on the Pop and Hip-Hop charts and not to get a nomination for soundtrack of the year is a little flabbergasting. However, I think being more vocal about our lack of representation is important. I think sometimes we know and we think that it’s an understood fact, but we have to actively change it by being vocal. It’s a little sad.
On one of the most memorable moments:
It’s just great to be an inspiration to young girls. The ability to travel and touch all of these people is great!
Stay Connected with DJ Poizon Ivy
Twitter – @poizonivythedj
Instagram – @poizonivythedj
Soundcloud – poizonivythedj
All Photos © 2016 Tayo Ola for Heed Media, Inc.