Two Mid-South women are inspiring other women to break barriers in the male-dominated industry.
DJ Crystal Mercedes & DJ Alpha Whiskey have always had a passion for music.
“My passion was the music, and making people dance,” DJ Crystal Mercedes said. “Seeing people light up on the dance floor was something that was inside of me.”
“I used to collect so much music growing up,” DJ Alpha Whiskey said. “When I went off to college, I was like, ‘Oh I’m going to be a DJ.’”
Unlike Mid-South native DJ Mercedes, DJ Alpha Whiskey is from the East Coast, but learned quickly there’s a certain sound in the M.
“I got all this music from New York, Jay Z,” DJ Alpha Whiskey said. “I get here and I’m like, ‘I wanna be a DJ, but I gotta play three 6 Mafia, I gotta play Tela, 8 Ball and MJG, all these artists.’”
From passion to profession to scratching, blending and producing, the DJs can now add “inspiring” to their list.
“Whatever level you are in your stage of DJing, if you are just in the inspire stage or just want to meet other women DJing, the SheDJs is for you,” DJ Crystal Mercedes said.
In 2019, the pair started the “SheDJs” initiative where they host a “workshop-type” event every Wednesday at different venues across Memphis.
Their goal is to make the industry more welcoming to local female DJs by sharing tools to perfect their craft.
“It’s a lot of women out there that like music and want to DJ,” DJ Alpha Whiskey said. “So a lot of females, we have it where we are just a little shy.”
“The impact is really just that push to say, ‘Hey, you can do this,’” DJ Crystal Mercedes said. ” It’s going to be hard with everything, but everything is hard. But you have a community of women that are going to support you, push you, lean on you and share resources and get you paid.”
The next SheDJs event is next Wednesday at the Memphis listening lab from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.