“Will you marry me?”, “So what are we?”, and “Who on the aux?” are the most common questions that millennials face today. Yeah love is cool an’ all but what does the ‘recently added’ section on your Apple Music look like? The brave souls who plug into the aux have the ability to either make or break the pre-game festivities, road trip and/or kickback. By day, the 24-year-old Khadijah Thomas is the unanimous playlist maker for her closest friends. By night, she’s DJ KDOT.
The Warm Up…
The Buffalo, New York native emerged from a family of DJs; her father, uncle, brother and cousin all know how to move a crowd.
“When I was younger every year at the Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity picnic my dad would make my older brother DJ and he didn’t want to do it one year so I was like ‘Dad, I can do it’. I did it and I liked it. After I told my dad I wanted to do this for real he was like ‘Yeah…I can’t teach you how to DJ’”, she said. “I learned that he meant it’s more so a feeling than anything else. You got to have that connection with your craft and the crowd. You can give people advice on that all day but some people just have it and some people don’t.”
DJ KDOT, who is the first girl grandchild on her dad’s side, also sang, danced and played the trumpet up until the sixth grade.
DJ KDOT graduated from North Carolina A&T State University (Management Information Systems) in December, 2016, and moved to the Queen City in February, 2017.
“I was like you graduated and you got all of your accomplishments out the way, now it’s time to focus on your dreams. From that point I set out to make that an actual thing. I started to focus around March, 2017 and I finally got my LLC later that year in November. So it’s almost been two years and ever since then I’ve just been grinding,” said DJ KDOT.
The Devastating Diva (Alpha Mu, Spring 16’ initiate) returned to her Alma mater as the closing DJ on the yard for #GHOE. If you know, you know.
So you’re a DJ-DJ?
It’s no secret that when you’re booking DJs for events there probably aren’t many women at the top of your scouting report. DJ KDOT is flipping the switch. She takes great pride in the fact that her name is swiftly making its way around Charlotte and the Tar Heel State.
“The female DJ title isn’t necessarily a new thing but with the evolution of social media it has taken a different identity,” she said. “Of course if you talk about OG female DJs people will think of DJ Spinderella, etc., but now the title is sometimes used with a negative connotation for many reasons. So for me, it feels really good to be respected by the other major DJs in NC, especially with me not being from here.”
Some entrepreneurs talk the talk but seldom walk the walk. DJ KDOT is a one woman DJing machine with no signs of slowing down.
“I would say at least four hours a day I’m doing something related to DJing. At this point I have to disperse my time wisely just because I do everything myself – my invoicing, responding to emails, managing my social media, making my mixes, and then actually getting ready for events.”
DJ KDOT is DJing more frequently now and she treats every event as a new day to get better. With the odds stacked against her, there’s no time to waste. Being a lady DJ is accompanied by obstacles that the average party-goer may never get to see or even think about before they show up to the function.
“Struggle is not even the word,” she said. “9 times out of 10 I setup and breakdown by myself. Sometimes I have to wear chill clothes to go set up and then change in the bathroom to actually look the way I want to look – just different things that get in the way that people don’t think about. The day I don’t have to carry my own equipment I’ll be so happy. That can be really taxing on my body too.”
DJ KDOT’s full time employer, Apple, Inc., has allowed her to enjoy the fruits of her own labor.
“They’re really flexible with my schedule because they’re supportive of my passion. Scheduling requires a lot of discipline on my end to make sure I’m placing things on my calendar and actually requesting off from work so I don’t have an issue between the two.”
DJ KDOT’s business has grown so much in a short period of time that her days off are far from a break.
“The two days that you’re allocated off for a full-time employee are usually days that I’m DJing somewhere else and it’s like not really having a day off. If I’m not careful a month will have gone by and I’ll look up and I haven’t made any time for me,” said DJ KDOT.
If you could only listen to one album everyday for the rest of forever what would it be? Take Care, Drake.
What is one song that never gets old? Bad Girl, Usher.
Favorite effect to use on the turntables? Echo for sure. Sometimes you need just a little touch of echo to transition out and make your mix a little bit smoother. You can never go wrong with it. Well you can go wrong with it, I lied, but it’s a very beautiful effect.
What’s been the most exciting events you’ve DJ-ed? I opened for a Migos concert in Rochester, NY, back in 2017 and I’ve done the annual Wave Water Park Party in Greensboro, NC. I’ve also done everything else in between baby showers, birthday parties, private events, and corporate events.
Who’s your biggest critic? Me! My mind is my best friend and my worst enemy at the same time because although that is where all of the creativity comes from I can also be super super analytical of myself because I care so much about what I’m doing.
How are parties from a DJ perspective? I do my very very best to just enjoy the night, of course if the music is wack it’s almost natural for the people that are with me to be like “What is going on?”
What’s your favorite genre to play? I always adapt to different settings but I’m Trinidadian so I love when I can go from twerk to Reggae and then throw a little bit of Soca in there too. Those are best type of parties to play when you can mix it up.
How often do you use the microphone? I do occasionally, not as much as a MC in the club. I usually talk more at weddings than anything else because it’s more personal. I have to approach it differently because I’m not too comfortable with it yet and I have a very squeaky voice too.
Dreams and Nightmares…
DJing is more than just an additional stream of income for DJ KDOT, it’s an outlet for herself and her audience.
“My message is to enjoy the moment. The biggest reward that I get from it is knowing that I was responsible for or involved in somebody having a good time. Things like ‘Like oh my God, I had so much fun’ and ‘I haven’t danced like that in awhile’ make me happy more than any other moment. We all have stuff going on and life can be a little rough sometimes but that’s what partying is supposed to be about, enjoying the moment and having a good time.”
Don’t forget to catch a vibe for your musical needs with one of DJ KDOT’s playlists on Apple Music @xoxodjkdot.