Made From Scratch
By Dawn Alexander
“I never really thought, ‘Oh I can do this’..Until I started going around to clubs in LA I thought ‘I can totally do this.. I want to be on that stage”-KRZA
Dancing is the best. You get your friends, sip some drinks and get a cardio workout all in one, At least that’s what I try to do when I’m hitting the dance floor. Not successfully always as I end up spilling my drink on myself and smelling of my favorite tequila and soda combo. I won’t care much,however, because if I’m moving enough to spill my drink then I must be loving what I am hearing. When I’m on DJ KRZA’s dance floor this is definitely the case.
In Los Angeles it can be a bit of a task finding just the right venue playing just the right music to fit your vibe on just the right night. There are so many DJs out there. Seems almost everyone is a DJ or aspires to be one with a turntable in their living room or maybe just an song mixer app set up to speakers. We all live the idea of getting the party started with that great tune or. S but who are the people that devote their time to it? Why did they choose this life?
I got some first hand insight into the making of a DJ just by knowing my friend Carissa, known by DJ KRZA or just KRZA (pronounced Krizah). Her commitment to creating a fun night of new and old music blends will make you want to find her at her next party.
I used to work with KRZA, she was always a bright spirit in the gloomy bar where we served and bartended. She was one of those energetic, positive types trying to break into the creative arts world that usually crushes people through the years in LA. She did not. Her aspirations to pursue acting and music never ceased. She would eventually find herself attending LA Scratch Academy.
She had an interest in broadcasting since college which led her to an internship in news broadcasting. Her drive to create music became stronger as she was later introduced to EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Her and a friend put together a radio show called The Midnight Snack Show airing on campus. She got the the bug in her to share music and moved on to land a job at 971 Amp radio’s promotion team. This job sent her off to various events and it was at these events that she would see DJs performing and wonder if she too could enter this world.
All it took was hearing that such a school existed, a school that taught you how to DJ and she signed up immediately. “It was the best decision I ever made”, She said regarding signing up for Scratch Academy Los Angeles. She signed up for a one week DJ 101 boot camp in 2013. “I signed up and never looked back”
KRZA wasn’t just trying to look cool at clubs she wanted to master her craft. She found sincere interest in the process by attending the school and this showed in her inquiries to a DJ DanniR one night at a bar in Venice, CA. He enjoyed taking on the new and eager new DJ. He answered all of her nerdy tech questions and a friendship was was formed. After hearing her set on soundcloud he offered her a gig opening for him. Though a not yet “certified DJ” with the Academy, (shhh don’t tell Scratch) she accepted the challenge. The event was at Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach and she only had one week to prepare. Despite her nerves she just said yes. “That first set was the only time I ever planned out from beginning to end” She continues, “I felt a surge of confidence, I can do this”
EDM, moombahton (which I just learned is a fusion of house and reggaeton) and electronic reggaeton are passions of KRZA’s. She prefers underground venues to explore her creative outlet with these genres. She also uses her radio show to do this. The show is called The Grocerie List which recently moved from Wild One Radio via Tune In to a 24/7 DJ station featuring any and all kinds of music. The concept is having a shopping list of songs. She has categories such as “The Freezer List” which is the chill jams and the “Liquor section” features what she describes as the “Turn Up”
When spinning live at an event she believes in the unspoken DJ rule “one for me one for you” She is sure to play what she knows the crowd wants to hear but also she takes advantage and pride in introducing something new to people too. “Im very much about having good energy…You just have to smile, everything is a lesson”
“I can’t not dance when I DJ unless then I am not feeling and that’s a definite sign I should change it up….and that’s when you gotta get creative or read the crowd”
“It’s reading the crowd, they’re taking it in but also adding in a bit of who they are” KRZA on what makes a good DJ.
She believes that she is creating the groove and the vibe so when she plays a “hot” song, which doesn’t only mean the most current popular song but also means “hot” pertaining to what that particular crowd at the moment is into. It could be top 40 hit or an oldie.
Krza explains, “Like if you play “Next Episode” and you don’t get to Nate Dog, people will get disappointed” She hears you people and don’t worry! She’s going to make sure you like it and feel it too.
It’s so refreshing to know DJs that have a passion for spreading music to the masses of all kinds. It’s great to see that not all DJs are just trying to stand on an elevated platform and push buttons. DJ KRZA will make you happy and keep you dancing. Get to know her at one of her resident venues and listen to her soundcloud and radio show by clicking the links below.
Meet you on the dance floor.
Click Links Below: