Since the inception of Hip-Hop, there have been a variety of women who have dominated the Wheels of Steel. Lady B, Dj Jazzy Joyce and Spinderella opened the doors for females from all point of the globe to partake in using turntables as musical instruments. Amongst those females is Georgia’s peach, DJ Princess Cut. Atlanta’s diamond in the rough opens up to our affiliate correspondent Lou Perrington about her grind and being a female in a male dominated profession.
Peace Queen, how are you?
I’m feeling blessed and great, thanks.
What attracted you to the art of DJ-ing?
As a youngster, I have always been into music. You know, from recording videos to recording episodes of radio shows like 88.5’s Sunday nights in Atlanta. It’s like I’ve been studying the arts as a whole. I’ve played the piano since I was very young, even dazzled in the dance culture. I even tried to sing at one time because my voice was decent and I liked to write. So this is to say that I’ve always had an attraction to music that I’ve learned how to express through turntables.
At what point did you really see yourself taking your craft to the next level?
When I moved into the constant club scene and started booking out of town more, its makes you step your game up. After you go through the highs and lows, good nights and nights when the power goes out or any mishap happens, you become more next level because experience takes you there.
Growing up as a Female DJ in Atlanta, were you ever shunned because you chose to DJ?
Not really, the support has pretty much been there.
The words Feminine and sex appeal go hand and hand in the industry of music. In some cases, the industry will focus more on a female’s sex appeal before their talents. Do, you agree with this statement, and what advice can you give to the younger talented females out there who are caught in the “Sex Sells” industry web?
I agree with it because this is a sex-driven industry. They make slutty behavior seem okay. But in reality, the more you give up sexually, you downplay yourself as a woman. It depends on your goals and what you want for yourself. But, if one plans on living the righteous life, they’ve got to practice righteous behavior. And that’s just what it is. I’ve never known a woman who doesn’t hold the power from the start, if you know what I mean! So to get to where you want to be you mustn’t give up that power, or don’t think you have to give up that power.
A lot of people forget that the DJ is the main reason why emcees are able to shine today. Do you think with the popularity of today’s emcee, the DJ can fall short of the mainstream dues the art form deserves?
No, I think the DJ will always get the proper respect in comparison to the emcee. I haven’t noticed the DJ falling short due to the emcee’s presence. But, the DJ falls short when the emcee himself loses respect for the DJ, and forgets the power of the DJ.
You are an alumnus of Georgia State University. Did you find it difficult to balance both your music career and school?
No, it wasn’t difficult because I started getting more serious with the music towards the end of my schooling. School wasn’t so hard for me; it was ok but not a breeze. It was also during my final year that I tuned into GA State’s studio workshops on Pro-Tools and Reason. Then I saw my focus shifting more towards the music and engineering, although my major was psychology.
Ok, take us back to the first second you found out you were going to be a featured celebrity DJ on the MTV hit series “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” How did you find out, and what were your reactions? (Paint the picture for us.)
Well, I got a phone call from DJ Tayrok, who had referred me for the position because he was DJing as well. He told me the deal that I’d be doing the after party for the teens, and I accepted with a smile. I was definitely honored because it was for MTV. So, of course I told a couple of people, made a couple of calls (smiling). But the party was definitely one to remember, we all had a real good time; the children were too crunk, screaming, sweating, popping, doing it all.
You toured with The Legendary Outlawz on the “2Pac Still Breathing International Tour.” How did that tour shape your career as a whole?
I had previous experience as a tour DJ, but the Outlawz tour gave me a lot more experience. I was able to create a fan base with The Outlawz overseas in addition to the one I have here in the States.
You have toured some parts of the world; Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are a few areas you had a chance to view. What was the experience like, and did that experience change your perception of the world?
Touring overseas gave me experience in playing for massive and different cultured crowds. It was definitely a high point in my life to experience the thrill of it all, all while entertaining. When you are from the States and you work in the States that’s cool. But, to get shown love somewhere that you view as foreign land, is even more fulfilling. It did change my perception in that I learned one on one about the everyday lives of these people and learned more about their culture.
In your opinion, how has Internet radio changed the face of DJing?
It’s basically just made it more digital, to where DJ’s can promote themselves online and more people have an opportunity of hearing your show. Internet radio also gives the DJ more freedom of music choice and discussion topics, commercials as well. It’s just about working a little harder to promote your station because it’s online.
Do you feel the Internet has played a negative part in Hip-Hop as a whole?
The first thing that comes to my head when asked that question is the decrease in record sales for artist. Because downloads are so strong. So it depends on where you’re coming from.. Because on the other hand, the Internet is a widely-highly used promotional tool for artist. Now, its just those certain lame YouTube [videos] we can do without. And then there are some videos that we can love. So yes and no.
Lets Switch gears and talk about your company, Sweetbox Music, Inc. What is the main mission of your company?
The mission of Sweetbox Music, Inc, is to increase music awareness particularly focusing on the youth, and on people overall. To provide clients with unique, classic and modern, quality music product, and services.
Finish this sentence for me “The music industry would be better off without
stagnation from artists and label executives.
Why do you feel that way?
I feel that way because some people lose their creativity along their path. Some are scared of change. Others are followers and don’t know how to create. Great music can be expressed, many different ways, in many different sounds and forms. But because a lot of people are stuck with the norm, there is no natural flow; people copy without being originators, and in comes stagnation.
What’s a regular day in the eyes of DJ Princess Cut?
A regular day for me pretty much starts off soon after waking up I go online to follow up on business for a few hours. I eventually get off the computer and exercise. After I finish my workout, I get freshened and usually make some phone calls. Then I either do some running around in the streets or get in my lab and go through music or work on a project. Sometime in between there I’d probably have a meeting with a business associate or future client…. and then have a gig later on. I’m pretty much up all night, and then I rise again…. What do you do on your days off?
On a good day off when I’m really off, I like out of town trips, maybe a jet ski or even roller-skating. I also like to just chill out with friends and read or eat good!
After meeting you, I can truly say you are a very down to earth person. In this industry, fame can really change a person. How do you stay levelheaded?
It’s in me to stay true, to myself and to my people. I was just fortunately brought up learning how to do that well. There’s no need for a watermelon head, your fame can come down at any moment. Giving back and never forgetting where you came from shows the true character of a person.
How do you see yourself giving back, and never forgetting where you came from? Do you see yourself building a structure for the youth to grow, Volunteering, or mentoring other artists?
It’s always good to give back to where you came from. You have to show other people a way and that someone cares. I’m always proud to mentor, especially young girls. I also wouldn’t mind placing more entertaining and community-structured programs in the area of where I’m from.
Disappointment is common in the music industry. How do you deal with the disappointments that come along with the industry?
Disappointments may spark certain types of feelings, but all disappointments are lessons and lead me to be stronger. I practice embracing the disappointment, meaning taking it for what it is and keeping it moving. Keeping my eyes open for the next time.What I can focus on, is trying not to disappoint myself, I can’t control another’s actions.
What motivates you to continue to DJ?
There are still places I have not spun and there’s still a lot of music that has to be heard. I have a long way to go and although I can’t see the future, I can see the future. It’s a bright one I imagine!
What’s more stimulating to you, the chase of becoming the best in your craft, or the popularity that can be achieved through hard work?
Even though the popularity is ok at times, definitely the chase of becoming the best in my craft. You know, quitters never win, and that’s for real. I’m already deep into my career, and this is only one small but significant part of it. But I always strive for the best with whatever I do; whether it’s cooking, shooting pool, anything. Popularity’s all right too though, it’s just not a contest for me, i do it for my soul. I don’t have to be the loudest one in the room. 🙂
If you had the power to work with someone in or around the industry who would it be?
I’d work with DJ Shortee. She’s a female DJ who I’ve been admiring and watching for some time. Her track record is crazy and she’s worked really hard to get to where she is. It’d be a very good opportunity. Even though she’s all over the world, I think she’s from Georgia.
What’s next for DJ Princess Cut?
Princess Cut is releasing her next southern/independent influenced mixtape series. I also just released ‘The Lover’s Rock’ Mixtape and ‘The Real Dirty South’ Mix-Classic with Khujo Goodie. So, look out for those. I also have summer camp music programs coming up for the kids. And don’t forget to stay tuned online for ‘Sweetbox TV’!
How can a future fan stay in contact with you?
Future fans please choose what’s best for ya: myspace.com/princesscutatl, facebook: dj princess cut, twitter:djprincesscut or business inquiries only to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything you want to share with the reader that hasn’t been talked about?
Yes, Google, dj princess cut – Atlanta – Sweetbox Jones. Look me up for more info and history!