DJ and fashion enthusiast Brooke Billions has always had a passion for music. Known as the “mix girl” in school, she has definitely lived up to her nickname. Brooke stopped by our office to chat about her path in the music industry, who she would love to tour with and her full time job outside of making music. Hear a sneak peak in the playlists below of what she will be spinning at our Vol. 15 Launch Party on March 23!
Samantha Ripperger: How long have you been a DJ/making music?
Brooke Billions: My DJing journey started around two years ago after spending most of my life discovering and getting to know the art of DJing. As a kid I was also intrigued by the construction of how a song is made. My parents introduced me to music very early. I grew up listening to old school Gospel which introduced me to the sounds that feed the soul. I would spend hours upon hours going through their old CD’s. Tonex, Mary Mary, The Clark Sisters, Donald Lawrence, CeCe Winans started my journey into music. When I was around 14 I started making mixes for my friends and handed them out at school. I eventually became the mix girl around school. I would spend hours upon hours downloading and exploring music. Also around this time I discovered the program Virtual DJ. This program allowed me to understand the concepts of DJing such as blending, beat matching and mixing songs which are components of DJing. When it comes to DJing, I am all about the final sound. They give one who has an ear for music the ability to ease into the trade without the pressure of learning turntables.
SR: Why did you decide to pursue music?
BB: Pursuing music was always something I wanted to do however, I did not know where to begin. Over the years I attempted to learn instruments such as the guitar, clarinet, piano with the intention of playing in a band but nothing really stuck. At 23 I decided to take a leap of faith after my friends encouraged me to pursue the art of DJing. After researching the technology I decided to purchase my first controller and naturally adapted. My ultimate goal is to get into music production/mixing and engineering. In addition to loving the art behind making a mix, I also enjoy curating experiences that make people feel good in their environment. When I first started out I fell in love with how my curations would make people dance and have a good time. It’s a good feeling knowing you are responsible for curating that bliss for people.
SR: Tell me about the playlist you curated?
BB: When making mixes I love to mix different sounds to create one unique sound. The playlist I curated shows the different styles of music I love to blend. I enjoy mixing different genres and styles to showcase the variety and versatility there is when blending music. For example, when DJing a party with a mixed crowd I may start of blending Pop music into Hip Hop or alternative into R&B. Doing this caters to everyone in the crowd without it sounding the same. A good blend is key to pleasing everyone in the crowd and keeping people dancing. Variety opens the doors for versatility which keeps everyone satisfied.
SR: What can you tell us about your launch party performance?
BB: Without giving away the experience, my set for the launch party will get people moving to different sounds they have never heard while keeping true to the crowd. I plan to introduce new music as well as mix in the familiar sounds. The overall goal is to remind everyone to have a good time and leave saying “The DJ was playing my jams!”
SR: If you could tour with any artist/band who would it be?
BB: N.E.R.D! They are my favorite band of all time. I remember my first time hearing their first album ‘In Search Of’ at 10 years old. I fell in love with how Pharrell and Chad curated timeless beats while Shay was the hypeman behind it all. Overall, Pharrell and the Neptunes are my biggest inspirations for music and why I fell in love with production. The sounds they produce are so unique.
SR: What do you do in your free time?
BB: When I am not DJing I work full time for Elements Financial helping individuals achieve financial freedom. Although it is work, I enjoy helping others achieve their financial goals. I also enjoy reading, traveling, creating content and chilling with my family and friends. As an introvert at heart, I spend a lot of time recharging at home, exploring my creative side. I love learning so I spend a lot of time researching random things and reading. I am finishing my degree in communications and plan to graduate next spring. Following graduation I plan to look into grad school for mixing/engineering.