DJ Mami Chula: Talking Life, Love, and Holiday Fun
By Britney Hardweare
One question women find them constantly asking themselves is: can I have it all? But despite what what we all imagine, even fame and fortune can’t distance women from experiencing workplace sexism and work-life balance struggle. Just ask three of the top female DJs in the industry: DJ Rap, DJ Princess Cut, and DJ Mami Chula. DJ Rap gives meaning to the word triple threat. She is not only a world-renowned DJ, but she is also an emerging actress and the founder of a DJ music school, Music Tech Collective. Along with being Neiman Marcus Atlanta’s official DJ and working on the launch of her own festival-themed clothing line in Spring 2016, DJ Princess Cut shares the same passion for teaching at her all-vinyl DJ school, Scratch Out Loud. After her work at Hot 107.9 and 95.5 The Beat in Atlanta, DJ Mami Chula has moved on in her success as a DJ at Fit Radio. These women have worked tirelessly to climb the ladder of success, all in the name of following their dreams. Each of them sat down to talk with Hers about lessons from their journeys, their favorite holiday traditions, and what they’d like to hear around the Christmas tree this holiday season!
DJ Mami Chula
BH: Hi, DJ Mami Chula how are you doing?
MC: Fine, how are you?
BH: I’m good. Alright, so I’m just going to jump right in and start! How did you get your start on the DJ circuit?
MC: In college. I was supposed to be a FBI agent. *laughs*
MC: Yeah girl. I watched too much “Silence of the Lambs.” *laughs*
MC: Yeah I went into the Army Reserves. I was in ROTC. And I was like, mmm I’ll go do this college radio station just for fun! And then I [saw] those two Technic 1200s and started doing radio and I fell in love! There was nothing else for me. So that’s how I got my start.
BH: So you could’ve been like Quantico?!
MC: Yeah that’s what I wanted to do! *laughs*
BH: Wow! That’s crazy, that’s crazy! But, I mean, as long as you’re doing what you love, that’s great!
MC: You have to love this!
BH: So you started in college? So from then [and] on, what has been the biggest highlight of your career?
MC: I’ve had a lot of them! I mean, I’ve gotten to DJ for some really big artists. Like I DJ’d on tour with Snoop Dogg. I wasn’t his DJ—I was the opening act’s DJ, but we did Snoop Dogg tour. I’ve been on Ellen Degeneres. I’ve done a lot of things—a lot of great things. I don’t know what would be the highlight. Like DJ-ing in front of 10,000 people and having them do everything you say is such a high. Like every DJ should try and be a tour DJ at least once in their career.
BH: Wow! Well okay, Snoop Dogg—I don’t care if you were his tour DJ or not; you got to go on tour and that’s huge!
BH: Yeah! So what more do you want to accomplish in your career?
MC: Well I have this one last goal that I’m doing. I’m actually doing it now. And I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too much, but I’m just putting two passions together. So 2016, it’s something no DJ’s ever done—boy or girl.
BH: Oh okay. Well we’ll be looking out then! Give a little tease!
MC: Yeah, yeah. No totally. I will let you know! I will invite you to the first show; it’s going to be amazing!
BH: Okay well we’ll be looking out in 2016! Umm, k so since we’re doing this holiday theme for the magazine, we wanted get some fun and playful questions in about certain holiday things. Like what songs would you have on a set to get people dancing at holiday parties?
MC: You know what? It’s so funny ‘cause I hate holiday music! *laughs*
BH: You hate holiday music?! I have to write this down! She says she hates holiday music *laughs*
MC: The only one I kind of like is “Jingle Bells,” but like I—
BH: You said “Jingle Bells?” Not Donnie Hathaway, not “chestnuts roasting?”
MC: All of those get on my nerves! *laughs* I know it sounds so “Bah humbug.” No I like Mariah Carey’s—she’s the bomb dot com.
BH: *laughs* Yes, she’s blessed!
MC: Yeah I love her! And then I’m a DJ, so I’ll look out for the DJ remixes. So you might have like a B-more “Jingle Bell Rock” type mix. But yeah I love Mariah; Mariah’s my favorite holiday artist.
BH: Yeah, she’s got some good Christmas songs!
MC: She has classics!
MC: And, you know, I hear some new artists trying to come out and they try to do the same thing. I guess, call me a classic girl.
BH: I mean, I guess I would say that the only group who did a really good holiday [hit] like, you know, that had me in my feelings—well not my feelings but—is Destiny’s Child when they had that Christmas album!
MC: Mmmm I didn’t even think about that one!
BH: And then when NSync did the “merry Christmas, happy holidays”
MC: See, I don’t even like it enough to go and look for those songs.
BH: Wow *laughs* Well, you know, I’m a 90’s baby so—
MC: *laughs* I’ll have a second go through of Destiny’s Child…
READ DJ Mami Chula’s complete interview in HERS latest issue!