Bringing a Different Flavor to the DJ Scene, Meet DJ Miss Milan

BY ASIA RIDDICK

On her way to the top, DJ Miss Milan is a clear representation of what hard work, dedication, and consistency look like. Only having been in the game for not even five years, she’s already accomplished a great deal. From DJing alongside DJ Young Guru to being on MTV’s Uncommon Sense, with Charlamagne Tha God and much more she is undoubtedly a total boss lady dedicated to perfecting her craft. 

Image Source,  Cristine Armosilla

Image Source, Cristine Armosilla

Providing the “vibes” as she likes to call it DJ Miss Milan makes sure her sets get and keep her crowd going. With a flavor that is unmatched and a grind that is relentless, this New York native sat down and dropped some gems about her journey thus far in an interview she did with us. Check it out below.

What gave you that initial push to pursue DJing as a career? 
My love for music is one thing… I just love music and the feeling that music gives. Whether you’re sad or happy, music can put you in any kind of mood and I love the factor that being a DJ, you kind of control that aspect of peoples vibes. So, that’s one thing that really stuck out to me like, I can really be a DJ because I love music and how music makes me feel, I can make other people feel good too which is the mission at the end of the day. 

Who are some of your influences?
Of course Beyoncé, Queen B, she’s top of the list... she literally embodies everything I feel is a powerful, boss, woman. She has an empire that is undeniable, her work ethic alone speaks for itself so I tend to mimic that in a sense. As far as DJ wise I would say Cocoa Chanelle, DJ Kid Capri, and DJ Mister Cee because his crates… he’s like the King DJ, he knows how to control the vibe and do his thing. 

How do you go about preparing for a set?
Preparing for a set for me, it has gotten a little bit easier because I know my music and I know exactly the type of vibe I always want to give but, exactly making a crate as we call it in DJing is something I really wouldn’t do because I base everything I do off the vibes of other people. So, I’ll go into a place I have to DJ and I’ll be there early just to see what the other DJ is playing, the kind of vibe that they’re building and I play off of that. It’s really no preparing, it’s just making sure I have the music and it’s being organized so I can jump right in and take over from the next DJ.  

What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets?
Once again I would honestly have to say it’s just the vibe of the party. You can tell when people are ready to hear “Bodak Yellow” or when it’s time to play an old school record somebody probably hasn’t heard in a while. It really just depends on me and depends on the vibe of the party.

What makes for a strong transition from one track to the next in your opinion? How do you go about establishing your own flow because sometimes it can be challenging - making sure the flow is fluid?
And it’s still challenging til’ this day because everything is a learning experience for me, I’m not even five years in the game. What makes for a good transition is knowing your music, knowing that one song is going to sound good with the other song. Also, the vibe that you’re giving with the last song does it match the vibe of the next song? Is it going to bring the vibe up or is it going to bring the vibe down? That also matters. Also, one thing I do a lot is talk on the mic, I’m very vocal. I love to talk in records just to give people that anticipation. 

Yeah, I read that you use to be really nervous to speak on the mic.
Yes, I was very, very nervous because I didn’t like how I sounded. I think that’s everybody when you hear yourself talking you’re like “Ewww, I sound like that?”. I had to get comfortable, I wasn’t comfortable yet but, practice makes perfect and you have to kind of push yourself in that uncomfortable zone to be good at something.

Tell us about your most memorable DJing experience.
I have two because they are both with two legends. One was when I was DJing Combat Jack’s one-year anniversary live show that he had and I had the pleasure of DJing next to DJ Young Guru who is Jay-Z’s DJ. He was such a open, humble person, was even teaching me stuff. It was just so amazing that he was so open to do that, so that was a real dope experience DJing with him. The other would have to be with Adina Howard, I got to DJ for her and its crazy because I grew up listening to “Freak Like Me”. It was really crazy to see a song I grew up listening to and even DJing I always go to that song and then to have the opportunity of being in her presence on the R&B Tour I was on was really, really dope.   

Out of all the tracks, you have in your DJ archive, which one never fails?
I would have to say, “Poison”, that song never misses, no matter what because it’s such a legendary song that everyone knows, from our generation to behind us. 

Is it important for you to build a relationship and connect with the music you’re playing?
For me, it’s tricky because I stand by music depending on how I feel. My word has to be legit, I just can’t co-sign something because everyone else likes it, I have to honestly like it. I really have to listen to the record and really feel it like, this is a dope record I could potentially play this. 

When you’re DJing what is it you want to communicate through the music you play?
I want you to literally have a great time when you come and see me, DJ. The stress from work, family, things that’s going on that’s under your control or out of your control I just want people to really have a good time. That’s why I call myself the Vibe Provider because I want to give people that great energy I give off and give them a great time. 

The audience to DJ relationship is extremely important. How do you balance giving the crowd what they want but also, exposing them to new music while maintaining the vibe?
Well, one thing I do is introduce the song because you want people to get familiar with the artist and the song you’re about to play. I would usually do that. I want people to know “okay, she’s about to play something new, let me check it out”. Being a DJ it’s my job to break the talent that is out there so, I try to do my part. 

Sum up what the “Milan Experience” is for us. 
The Milan Experience in a few words, really fu**ing awesome! I can’t really describe it as being anything less than amazing vibes. That’s all I give off and that’s all people who have met me so far have said. It’s a safe haven, a non-judgemental zone where you can be yourself around me, listen to some good music and turn up.

As a woman in a very male saturated industry, what have you learned?
One thing I learned in this very, very, very male-dominated industry is as a woman, don’t take no sh*t! Come with your business first so these men can take you seriously. Really be about your business and take whatever you’re doing seriously because if you’re not taking it seriously, nobody else will take it seriously.  

In the last two years, you’ve accomplished a lot from making your debut on Uncommon Sense alongside Charlemagne Tha God as well as providing the mood for events at Vibe, Essence, Puma and the list goes on. What advice would you give to other woman starting out on the DJing scene?
Whatever lane it may be, have faith in yourself and have confidence in yourself, that’s key because even doing this DJing thing I use to always second guess myself like am I even good? Then, you look back and you’re like obviously girl you’re here so, you have to have that self-confidence. Really, really fu*k with yourself, don’t seek trying to get everyone else on your bandwagon, ride your own bandwagon. Be your own biggest friend, your own biggest critic and everyone is going to see that and they’ll want to be around you because you speak so highly of yourself and your brand and what you’re doing. That’s definitely key in this industry and knowing what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for. 

With the year quickly coming to a close what can we expect from you in 2018?
Definitely, 2018 I would love to DJ Rumi and Sir’s birthday party. That would be so dope because I’m a big kid, they would really like me... but, definitely growing my own platform, my own brand. I’m working with artist Connie Diiamond, pushing her and her music and looking to work with more artists as well, new, upcoming talent because as a DJ I consider myself an A&R too. It’s only right that I use my platform to push the other artists that are coming out as well. So stay tuned.