From House Parties to Global Fame: DJ KICKIT's Musical Expedition

a photo of DJ KICKIT in a black blazer and top with a simple white background

Get ready to hit the beats with DJ KICKIT, a dynamic Latina artist who's absolutely killing it in the music scene. This isn't just a story about turning music into a career - it's about a determined individual who embraced her roots, defied the odds, and crafted an extraordinary career from house parties to global platforms.

DJ KICKIT isn't just spinning tracks; she's breaking barriers in the industry. And let's just say her journey is as rhythmic and exciting as her DJ sets are.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.

LM: Karla, we're excited to get to know your story. Tell us about yourself and your journey in the music industry.

image of a woman using a DJ turntable

Photo by Kiyoshi on Unsplash

K: I was born in Mexico, but my family and I moved to Texas when I was just two years old. As immigrants, we faced many challenges, and music became my escape at a young age. By the time I was six, I was spending hours alone in my room, studying music. I'd analyze the drumming patterns in hip-hop songs, fall in love with the vocals of artists like Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, and Dru Hill, and practice imitating Janet Jackson's dance moves from her music videos. I played various instruments throughout my youth, including the violin and drums, and even dabbled in rapping during high school.

In 2012, I started DJing at home and eventually invested in my own equipment. I began playing at my friends' house parties for free and quickly realized that I not only had the talent and skill but also a deep passion for playing with music and creating an enjoyable atmosphere for people. Since then, I've worked my way up by performing at various events, including house parties, weddings, quinceañeras, and even becoming the first female DJ to perform live on one of San Antonio's community radio shows.

In 2019, I moved to Austin, and my career skyrocketed! I've DJ'd all over the Austin area and have even been featured on Pitbull's Globalization on SiriusXM. My mixes were also featured in a hip-hop art exhibit called "A Cypher in Queens" in New York City, and I recently performed at one of the largest festivals in Austin, Austin City Limits.

More recently, the City of Austin gave me my own Proclamation and declared May 17th as “DJ KICKIT” day. I love what I do, and I feel grateful to be able to share my passion with the world.

LM: What inspired you to embark on your music journey?

K: A lot of my inspiration comes from the feeling that music brings. We connect with our favorite songs because they remind us of a place in time in our lives of joy, pain, struggle, or success. One of my favorite things to hear is “OMG! I forgot about this song! This reminds me of my grandmother who would sing around the house” or “Wow! I this takes me back to high school when I had my first crush!” I have even been told that my mixes have taken people out of depression, for just a moment, because of the joy the music brings. That feeling never gets old and is what drives me to continue on this journey.

LM: If you could offer advice to aspiring DJ's or music creators, what would it be?

K: BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU! Find your village, find what inspires you, and create! Music and content are universal, and your niche will find you. It takes time but keep going, keep growing, and never stop learning.

LM: As a queer Latina DJ, what unique challenges do you face?

image of a crowd at a music festival with a DJ in the background

Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash

K: Well, I’m a woman, I’m a Latina, and I’m queer. And I can look at that as a walking “demon” or as a powerhouse. I choose the latter. I have been told no countless times, been looked over, and ridiculed because of who I am as a DJ, a woman, a queer woman, and a Latina. And I’ve learned that people will always project their insecurities on you: “This has never been done, this will never work. Why do you listen to ‘black’ music? You’re Mexican! You’re a woman; what do you know about being a DJ? You shouldn’t be DJing weddings because weddings are between 1 man and 1 woman.”

As hurtful as these things were, they fueled me. Because there was no one out there that looked like me, much less DJ like me. Working in a male-dominated industry has been challenging, but I have found the Austin DJ community to be very welcoming. I remind myself that regardless of what I look like, I’m a talented musician who deserves to be in these spaces.

LM: Where can we follow you and stay updated on your exciting music adventures?

Instagram: @djkickit17
Youtube: Scratch Theory of Tejas

a Latina woman skillfully juggling the demands of family and work life.

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