Interview with Beverly Bond

Interview with Beverly Bond

You went from being a model to being a DJ. How did that happen?

Well, actually I was in an acting school at the same time as I was modeling. It was a 2 year intensive program. The whole thing is being in touch with the truth. When I graduated I ended up spinning and I felt it ended up helping me get in touch with the truth of myself. Music has always been my truth. I was a record collector at the same time as I was modeling so I was always in touch with music. My friends were saying “Come out to LA. We all have a little movement here.” They had poetry parties at this house. So I decided I’d go out to LA and be a DJ for the after parties there. I was practicing to do that at my house and it was kind of nice. I asked some promoters that I knew if I could go and DJ for them. From the first night that I started spinning I got jobs. It caught me. My mother says that music has always been my calling.

You don’t focus on Hip Hop music exclusively, yet are perceived as more of a Hip Hop DJ. Is Hip Hop music your choice or is there some other reason for it?

I think most DJs get into it because we really love music. I mean I love Hip Hop, right now it’s a little too commercial thou. I’m from the era of Biggie and Nas. My favorite rappers [back then] are still my favorite rappers. Like Biggie and Nas and Jay-Z and

Rakim and KRS-1, Dead Prez… you know? I can just go on. I think that the radio commercialization dumbed down Hip Hop right now. I love music so I like everything. When I was in Joe’s Pub it was all about just digging in the crates. I think most DJs are like that. I do many things.

Within Hip Hop you tend to work with the more conscious acts, like M1, The Roots, Erykah Badu, etc. What attracts you to the less commercial aspect of music?

I like some commercial music. I don’t necessarily focus on that. I spun for Erykah, I was also a DJ for Amerie. Erykah asked me to [spin for her] and it was an incredible experience. I think she’s an incredible artist. Right now the joint that I’m feeling is Fabulous. Make me better. I love that song. I’m not a narrow-minded DJ, so I just wait till you come out with the shit I like and don’t just cut you off.

There is a definite lack of female DJs on the scene and they tend to get less work and respect than the male ones. Why do you feel that is?

I don’t know what that is. My personal experience is that I have much respect. I think when you come into the game you just got to be super prepared. You are coming into a male-dominated game, so you gotta know your shit. If you come in knowing everything you gonna get much respect. I get respect. The only time I don’t is when people don’t know who I am or what I do, but by the end of the night they’re respecting me.

What was your process of entering the world of DJing? Was there a specific night that made it happen?

My first night of DJing changed my plans of going to LA. They had a party at Spy bar and noone came, so they let me spin. The manager heard me and was like “Why the f— is playing? Who’s the DJ?” You couldn’t see the DJ. Also, earlier in the night Jay-Z and a bunch of industry people came there and heard me. That night just kind of got me in the game.

You received a lot of attention based on your beauty. Are you bringing music to glamour or glamour to music?

I have no comment on that. I think I play really well.

Are you entirely in music now or are there other ventures as well?

Absolutely. I have a charity called Black Girls Rock. It’s a program for young women of color to help them see other images besides the negative ones in Hip Hop right now. Unfortunately we were called Hos and all kinds of b—-es and I felt it was necessary for somebody within the music industry to say something. I also have a TV show, All Tables Turn. It’s kind of like Entourage meets Girlfriends meets Sex in the City. I’m producing also.

Do you have suggestions for other female DJs on the scene?

You have to know your shit! Last week I did a party and I met this girl DJ and she said “I love when you play at my parties ‘cause you play a lot of shit I’ve not heard.” What do you mean you never heard? You shouldn’t be a DJ then. The crowd knows it then how the hell do you not know it? So to me being prepared is all. You come into this game you gotta understand there are men who will try to shut you down. I never paid attention to it because I know I know my shit. I know my Hip Hop, I know my funk, I know my soul, I can dig in the crates. I can have a conversation with you about any kind of music and we would be fine. The people who try to label me as some model DJ are pleasantly surprised with what I know.