Updated: Sep 14, 2019
Traveling around the world, enjoying the beach or club, playing music, maybe having a drink or two… sounds like something you could get used to right? It kinda all sounds like a dream… and sometimes you get to live your dreams, as that is true for two female DJs I spoke with, DJ Bova and DJ BG.
Now DJing isn’t all about the fun, it’s work too! In fact, their whole job is to make sure everyone else is having fun, which isn’t always an easy task. There are so many different groups of people that can be gathered all in one room. How do you please everyone? How do you even get started as a DJ? Well, here’s two talented DJs that have the answers.
Straight out of Chicago's south side, DJ BG wasted no time jumping on the DJ scene fresh out of the late Jam Master Jay's very own Scratch Academy. Sexy, Stylish and Chic, BG has become one of the hottest most sought after female DJs on the Chicago scene. Combining her energetic personality and love for music, BG can move any crowd from Hip Hop to EDM, Top 40, and more!
"Djing is not just playing music to me, it's about creating a memorable vibe!" - DJ BG
A vibe you definitely don't want to miss. Always ready to turn up a crowd, BG hopes she can soon provide you with that memorable experience!
Our Q&A with DJ BG
Q: What inspired your interest in music and how did you get started in the music industry?
A: I have always been interested in music and actually went to school for communications which is like radio and television. Music has been a big part of my life, growing up listening to my dads oldies.
When I was in college I wanted to DJ but I didn’t have the money for the equipment, but later on in life I wanted to do something that had to do with music but also be my own boss. I got my start in Chicago and from the first day of class I was hooked. The Scratch DJ Academy founded by Jam Master Jay and I found out about it from instagram.
Q: From there, you got some training, how did you book shows?
A: From there I took my first class and I really liked it so I wanted to take this serious but we only met Tuesdays and Thursdays for my beginners course, and we started fresh from Vinyl, there were no computers. I wanted to excel so I started meeting with him and he would teach me the basics and they also had practice sessions, so I would pull up to the practice sessions and our class was at night for two hours, so if they had an open session on Wednesday I was there on Wednesday, if they had one on Saturday I was there on Saturday.
Q: How would you describe your relationship with other female DJs? Is it competitive or supportive?
A: I don’t know about other areas but in Chicago it’s all love. There is this one DJ in Chicago her name DJ Franchise, Franchise will throw me on if she can’t make it and it will be vice versa, we all stick together. However, the negative to being a female DJ is a lot of the guys or the people who book the parties, they only want to use female DJs when it’s a cute party or a day party, but we can still rock the same way the guys rock out, but female DJ to female DJ I have never had a problem.
Q: What are the pressures you feel as a female DJ? Sex sells.
A: Yes, I do think there is pressure, but as females we need to recognize the power that we have. As far as having a talent and still dressing sexy and showing up for the event, because you have an instagram model and then pay them more than the DJ even though the same expectations apply, to look sexy but then also spin the records. As females we do have an advantage but we need to take advantage of that advantage. There is always a way to keep it sexy and classy.
BOVA had a vision…. Well more like a vision board and right in the middle in BIG letters it said BE ILLUSTRIOUS! . When she was looking for a name she was looking for something that didn’t hold her back or put her in a category, as a black female DJ. As an added bonus, she was able to pay homage to her German heritage, as Bova means illustrious and strong in German. She wanted to be recognized by her pure talent. BOVA is a skilled international DJ and Singer/Song-Writer in an unending lifetime love affair with beats and rhythms. As she is one of the fastest growing female DJs coming out of the West coast whose versatility spans across all genres. Of course she prides herself on effortlessly pleasing the crowd, sonically, regardless of the demographic. From spinning and hosting for thousands of people on convention center stages to some of the hottest nightclubs and day parties, she knows how to keep the party going.
Q: What inspired your interest in music? How did you get your start as a DJ?
A: I am the family musician, I am the youngest of six, my father was a music producer and songwriter for Motown, and no one got the music gene but me so I came up playing the piano, I sing, I write, I have been playing with artist in the studio, I'm was vocal coach for a couple of years. Music is my whole life. DJing seemed like a good place for me as music comes so naturally to me. I love all types of music and really genuinely love people. I love connecting with people and seeing them happy and smiling and I love being that person that can make or break that in a room, stadium, or area
Q: Did you find it difficult as a female to break into this industry? Do you find there is a need for more women DJs?
A: I heard about more push back than I actually received. How I got my first gig is I just went and I studied. So instead of the traditionally “Hey can you just book me, I swear I'm good,” I would go and meet the people putting on the events and I would sit near the speaker all night long, and I would Shazam sounds, and I would watch techniques, and I would talk to DJs and I cultivated these relationships being a student of the craft vs. trying to break in and say “I'm here’ and I think that created a strong foundational bonds that allow me to always get work.
Q: What are the pressures you feel as a female DJ? Sex sells
A: I think that those stigmas aren’t as prevalent anymore. I think that women are naturally being sexy, and then sex sells. You can be a doctor and start an instagram page where you’re a sexy doctor and people would love that and then you’re getting more business because you’re sexy. I think the natural inclination to love and want to see a woman's body is natural to all humans because we’re incredible and beautiful and amazing. So I think that the desire for women to be sexy or for us to come into our natural feminity is natural.
Q: Walk us through your process of curating the perfect set, how do you decide the vibe?
A: I am a people watcher, I like to have the flexibility and freedom and understanding of my catalog to go wherever I'm looking at. Some of my favorite sets have been ones that I planned. I knew where I was going, I knew what the energy was going to be like and I knew what energy I wanted to create, then I would plan out an entire set and those would always turn out the best. When in the practice where you get to plan a set you really get to become an artist.
Q: What is it about music that makes you happy?
A: Music is for moods, ummm music that has great musicality, meaning you can really hear the musicianship, that whoever made the music really knew what they were doing, they really understand music the way their cords were progressing, the way that their voices or their raps were being put together that they were very skilled and thoughtful about it. That makes me happy.. That makes me FIRED! Because that’s why I do what I do.
Well after talking to DJ BG and BOVA I might want to take up DJing… well maybe not as a career more like a trial run. I enjoyed talking to these ladies as they have given us a small insight into their world. It’s interesting to see how different their perspectives are, even though they are part of the same industry, they have two completely different experiences. I love some of the advice they both gave which can be applied to anything, not just DJing. BOVA talked about being a student of her craft and learning and networking at other shows or when DJ BG said she took a class and then took extra time to meet with the teacher and would come to all open practices. All of hat shows is dedication, which is important when trying to master a skill.
I asked each of the ladies to share their TOP 5 songs to play this summer, enjoy!
DJ BG’s TOP 5 for #summer19
1. No Guidance- Drake feat. Chris Brown
2. Easy -DaniLeigh feat Chris Brown
3. Money in the Grave - Drake feat. Rick Ross
4. Surf- Sean Combs feat The City Girls
5. Realer - Megan the Stallion
DJ BOVA’s TOP 5 for #summer19
1. Welcome to the Party - Pop Smoke
2. Act Up- The City Girls
3. Truth Hurts - Lizzo
4. Suge - Da Baby
5. Go Loco- YG