Ms. Mixmaster: DJ Princess Cut Has A Resume That Shows She Can Compete With The Guys
Most people think of men behind the turntables. But female DJs are not only on the come up, they are here to stay.
One is DJ Princess Cut (who also goes by Sweetbox Jones). She is racking up one impressive gig after another: she is Neiman Marcus Atlanta’s official DJ; has toured with Cee-Lo, Goodie Mob and R&B singer The Dream; performed at High Museum of Art’s closing party for the “Picasso to Warhol” exhibit, as well as on Jack Daniel’s Art, Beats & Lyrics tour; she has spun for Kandi Burruss’s online hit talk show “Kandi Koated Nights”; and her latest tour was with the Queen of TV, Oprah Winfrey herself.
Not limiting herself, DJ Princess Cut launched her own media property, Sweetbox TV on YouTube, where she interviews celebrities and other DJs.
If that weren’t enough, she is a DJ on Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 radio station and is the sole female member of the Hoodrich DJ coalition, where she is a featured mix show DJ/personality on Sirius XM’s Hoodrich Radio on Hip-Hop Nation. We learned a little more about her very active career.
MadameNoire: How did you get into DJing?
DJ Princess Cut: I’ve always been a music lover and it seemed like in school I was into music a little bit more than my friends. And now friends say, “I remember when you said you were going to be a DJ.” I don’t remember saying that, but I know it was in college that I first got started. It began one summer at a random bar. I just went up to the DJ booth and asked if I could try it. It was still when vinyl was being used and I just started but I didn’t know what I was doing. I asked if I could come back the next week, then I went back week after week. Six weeks later, I bought my Technics SL-1200 turntables.
MN: What was it about DJing that excited you so much?
PC: The fulfillment I got out of just playing a record and then I got to exercise crowd control. And when the crowd loves the music and is moving to it — it’s awesome.
MN: How did you first start getting jobs and making money at DJing?
PC: My first tour gig was with 2Pac’s The Outlawz. Actually they asked a friend about me so I guess they had been paying attention to me and I guess they thought it would be neat to have a female DJ. It was the ‘2Pac Still Breathing’ tribute tour. We went overseas to places like Bahrain, Australia, and it was amazing. I had only been DJing a couple of years and here I was going to all these amazing places.
Then I went on the road with Goodie Mob. Since I am from Atlanta, this tour meant a lot to me. I knew a couple of the guys already but this was the first time I met Cee-Lo and he really liked my DJing. After that I went on the road with The Dream.
MN: How did you get on Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend Tour?
PC: Actually the music coordinator Harpo reached out to my manager and they were interested in having a female tour on their tour. Beats by Dre is a partner with the tour and I also got a call from them [after they’d] gotten referrals about me. I guess you could say the streets were talking — and God.
What I enjoy the most about the tour is the caliber of people I am working with and I don’t think it gets much better than DJing for the queen. And also I am proud to be part of an empowerment tour; it feels like people have a life change overnight.
MN: There seem to be more female DJs, but men still get most of the jobs. Is it difficult to work in a male-dominated field?
PC: It takes to lot to turn that around and it will take more female DJs to turn it around than there currently are. But now there are more of us who are trying to fulfill our DJ dreams. However, because the whole music industry is male-dominated, it’s almost like the female rapper–there just aren’t too many of us to make a dent.
The club promoters will hire males quicker than they would a female because they think they can do the job, but once people kinda look over my shoulder and see that I know what I am doing then it’s not a problem.
MN: Is the pay the same for male and female DJs?
PC: There will always be some people who will try to short change the ladies, but the pay scale is not different when compared to male DJs and I have often compared the rates–I have been doing that since I started.
MN: Do you encourage other female DJs by mentoring?
PC: A lot of young female DJs reach out to me. I have a team of female DJs I work with that I help. I have had sessions with them and when I can’t do certain jobs I pass the work on to them.
MN: What’s next?
PC: I really think at this point my future is unlimited, but I plan on DJing overseas more and to continue my radio shows. I also have a line of clothing I am working on. I would call it “glam hippy.” I love fashion but I also love attending festivals and I love festival gear. I hope to debut it within the next six months.
I studied psychology. I’ve always been into observing and paying attention to what people think. So another thing I have also been working on is mixing music and psychology [into] music therapy for kids and adults.