Mayra E. on Hip-Hop's Bias Against Female DJs and Giving Crowds What They Want to Hear
|Mayra Sias and her husband Les Sias (a.k.a. LES735)|
Are there any drawbacks to having a famous DJ as a husband?
Just people thinking I'm up to his standards 'cause I am his wife and because he taught me how to DJ. I'm definitely not as good as him and don't have his 15 years of experience. However, I have a good crowd and fans that are awesome and I'm always capable of making then dance.
Which is harder: jugging the responsibilities of a wife and mother or juggling beats on a turntable?
Definitely a wife and mother. Juggling beats on a turntable can be determined how good you are going to be that night by your mood as a wife and mother. Everything [comes] into play. My emotions need to be right or my music will be off.
How's your scratching?
I'm good. I've been able to get by with what I know as far as performing. I know basics and when I have time I try to learn more. Currently I'm teaching myself the boomerang. Pretty hard one, but I'm getting there.
How do you get a crowd going?
I sort of try to read them. I check for ladies looking like they want to dance. I make sure to put something on for them 'cause they are more willing to get on the dance floor [and] then drag the men out. Sometimes, if there's just guys hanging out drinking, I put some old school gangster stuff that they all know the lyrics to so they can dance in their seats.
What's your favorite track of the moment?
Dilated Peoples' "Good as Gone" is my top one right now. I like the beat and the lyrics gives a bit of a story and Babu's cuts are crazy on that track! Nice head bobber.
Was it hard to launch a hip-hop night in unfamiliar territory at a new place like the Diamond Lounge?
It was pretty difficult. With the help of friends we've been able to have pretty successful nights, especially when we have emcees. We finally hit that six-month mark so I think people are starting to notice us more. Thankfully.
Was it difficult getting people to come to the hood?
When we first started we promoted a lot more than now, and everywhere we could think of. It was more difficult, I think, because of where it's located. Kind of out of the way for people on the west side and such.
What's the craziest shit you've seen at a gig?
There's a few crazy things I've seen: A girl getting down and her wig falling off. [A] little chick named Donna doing the splits at her age. Guys trying to gangsta dance and pants falling down. Classic!
What bygone club do you miss the most?
The Brickhouse. They use to have some great shows there
What was your favorite gig of all time?
Blunt Club Ladies Night in 2012, I believe. I was given a lot of compliments that night [and] I think that's when people started taking more notice to me.
What's the three most important things any DJ should know?
Learn how to set up your equipment, learn how to read your crowd, and have fun!
The Vent featuring DJ Mayra E. and LES735 takes place every Friday at the Diamond Lounge. Doors open at 10 p.m. and there's a $5 cover.
Find any DJ gig in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.
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