DJ Crystal Ellis and I met about four years ago as I was first starting to book gigs as a DJ. I opened for her a lot, and she was always gracious and helpful. She always said, “Us girl DJ’s gotta stick together,” and I’ll never forget the fun I had rocking clubs with her. Her blending is seamless and always on point. She is someone I respect and think will go far in this business. Oh, and she is also Playboy Mexico’s Miss April 2009.
Altice: How long have you been deejaying?
Ellis: I learned how to spin about eight years ago. I started with vinyl, and it was right at the time Serato was coming out so I moved on to that later. I have been working full-time as a DJ for the past five years.
Altice: What made you venture into deejaying?
Ellis: I’ve been a music enthusiast ever since I can remember, and once I started working I felt a normal nine-to-five just wasn’t for me. I started go-go dancing at 20, and when I was 21 I dated a DJ. Since I had the equipment available to me all the time I learned at home, and for a while it was just a hobby. I was way too shy to tell anyone! But after practicing for a few years, I finally felt confident and skilled enough to make the switch from go-go to DJ.
Altice: Do you feel female DJs aren't given enough respect?
Ellis: We are judged on our looks and people assume ’cause one is attractive that that is why she got the gig. Okay, maybe sometimes that is the case [laughs]...But this "rule" is ridiculous. There are tons of male DJs who absolutely suck and should not be given gigs as well.
Very often I walk into a club and I can tell that the opener, resident DJ or sound guy think I'm a joke. They are cold or straight-up rude to me, but by the end of the night their attitude completely changes. I definitely have to earn respect over and over again to new people. Which is fine, it’s actually fun...I like a challenge. [laughs]
Altice: What are some of your all-time favorite gigs?
Ellis: Spinning at the Playboy Mansion my first year of working was such an honor. I know plenty of people who would love to have that opportunity, so to get the chance so quickly was amazing to me.
Las Vegas is a major place to work also. Whether it’s pool parties or nightclubs, everyone is there to party and get crazy. I can appreciate that!
But my favorite gig of all time was in Acapulco. I was featured on a rotating billboard outside -- that was so exciting to see as we pulled up. It fit about 5000 people, and it was on the coast overlooking an amazing view of the ocean. But above anything else, the energy in the club was amazing! We partied until the sun came up. No drama at all, just pure positivity and fun!
Altice: You recently became a mother. How hard is it to manage both nightlife deejaying and your family?
Ellis: It was a difficult adjustment at first. Since so many aspects of my life changed, I thought people might look at me differently. But once I got over feeling judged and realized I still rock just as much as I did before, it was fine. I actually work even harder now! I have so much more purpose and passion in my life.
I feel incredibly lucky; not very many working mothers get to spend all day with their children. I can’t imagine being gone all week at a full-time job. I never miss anything, she is usually sleeping while I’m working! Some mornings after working all night are tough, but she really is worth it.
Altice: How did you get started?
Ellis: My first few gigs were with MO DJ, who taught me to spin. He did a lot of private events or local clubs and bars, and when he could he would let me spin for a few minutes. It was such a rush at first! [laughs] My first paid gig was at a retail clothing store, and that helped me ease up and get more comfortable. Then my first real club gig was at Aubergine in San Diego. It was a MySpace party hosted by Danity Kane, lots of my friends and even some family came out, so the pressure was on. But I am always prepared and was so ready to rock. I handled it well, and haven’t stopped rockin’ ever since. [laughs]
Altice: Where are the sexiest girls? Which cities?
Ellis: Definitely in Miami. Like all the hottest people from all over the world were just left there to breed more beautiful people. [laughs] But also the women in the Dominican Republic were smokin’ hot, with their big ol’ booties! Very natural beauty there. And of course in Vegas, mostly because everyone brings their A game in Sin City!
Altice: What do you have coming up? Where can your fans check you out?
Ellis: This week I'll be spinning in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In October I'll be going to Atlanta and Miami, as well as spinning locally in L.A. I'm also working out the details for a tour in China.
You can keep up with me on all the social networks to see where I'll be spinning next, too.
Altice: Anything else you'd like to add?
Ellis: I’m just very grateful to be living such a dream. Plenty of nights I have so much fun and am amazed that I get paid to do this. I don’t take any of it for granted, because we all never know what could be the next chapter in life. So I thank every single person and venue who has booked me, and every friend and fan who has supported me.
She is both beauty and brains…my favorite combination! Please visit one of the links below to find her in a city near you soon.