I was lucky last year to get invited to the OFFICIAL Grammy Lounge Gifting Suite at the Staples Center. I was a bit curious who I would see in terms of brands and celebrities as well as types of brands that I would be covering. It ran from everything from hair care to sunglasses to candy to special tents that had special photographs embossed on the tent material.
Along the way through the suite, I ran into Gibson– one of the suite sponsors– and was learning about new guitars but what really caught my eye was the new kinds of DJ equipments and computerized turn-tables that allowed a novice to really dive into dj-ing and learn quickly enough to be able to dj a dance at school or parties. At that time, I met DJ Spark who was djing the event and she was very friendly and accessible as I learned that she had been dj-ing a while. We talked a while about not only the equipment but a bit about her. I was intrigued. Got her card with the thought I would interview her and promptly lost it.
Despite that, it seems destiny intevened and I ran into DJ Spark at an Emmy suite. This time we exchanged cards and I eventually connected with her on Twitter and we finally — nearly one year later — connected for an interview about her career and the DJ world!
Starting at about 10, L.A’s most revered female turntablist, DJ Spark (D. Williams), embodies, exemplifies and redefines every definition of the term. The offspring of one of the city’s first female disc jockeys, Silky D of 1580 KDAY, it’s not a surprise to those surrounding her when this 5 foot 5 inch phenom began spinning before hitting her teens, making her the world’s youngest female dj.
Considering the company she kept, Los Angeles legends such as DJ Quik, Egyptian Lover, DJ General Lee (Uncle Jams Army) and Battlecat, her curiosity for the craft was soon fed by invaluable tutelage. A prolific knowledge of music married with newly acquired table technique soon landed Spark her first recurring gig at Billy G’s, a local teen club. And although not many people understood the magnitude of her accomplishment, it soon proved to be the commencement of an era of fearless fighting female djs and emcees.
It was during her junior high days, that her skill and expertise captured the attention of Chris Stokes; manager of then super group Immature. Determined not to go long without making this incredible young artist apart of the T.U.G family, Stokes quickly shared his proposal and Spark hit the road as the official dj for the group. Through her relationship with Stokes she also gained the interest of Maybach Music recording artist, Omarion who she currently tours with. Her talent has spread her across genres of music and afforded her the opportunity to work with artists such as Lalah Hathaway, T-Pain, Teddy Riley, GUY, Blackstreet, Sean Paul, Paulina Rubio, Ms. Triniti, Mc Lyte, YoYo, Sy Smith and plenty others.
Albeit her work with performing artists will always remain fundamental in her career, Williams has made an awesome transition from stage to screen and community. She co-starred in the VH1 reality TV series “Going for Broke” alongside Eddie Griffin and appeared on MTV’s “Run’s House.” An official StantonDJ Artist and Core DJ, she is currently the sole “turntable” instructor for Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk Jr’s Bebop 2 Hiphop program and has been for the last 9 years. This innovative music course created by Hancock and Monk focuses on educating inner city high school students about the bridge between jazz and hip hop; ending with a finale production jointly constructed by Spark and her students.
Williams has not only greatly exceeded the expectations of her peers, colleagues, fans and critics, she has set and consistently raises a bar that leaves no room for mediocrity. Her love for her craft and immeasurable talent have enabled her to unite and engage music lovers across the globe. Determined to never be extinguished, this Spark has ignited the industry with fire, force and finesse…
Thankyou to the AMAZING and very generous DJ Spark for her time and her insight. We had a good time. I will be there on Saturday with a video person– so Spark if you are reading this, then you will see me!! It will be fun to meet DJ Young One!
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