"Being a woman is everything to me. I wouldn't trade it if I could."

©Ruby Rose

©Ruby Rose

Tell me about yourself.

Hello all, my name is Briana, I go by Brianaajayy or my DJ name Bandana $antana. I'm currently studying Photography at Paier College of Art. I've been into art since pretty much birth. Played the violin, piano, took vocal lessons, drawing and the list goes on. I dip into any outlet hands on I'm all for it. Art is pretty much my whole life! Not sure what else I would do if it wasn't something creative. Super into Astrology! Virgo sun, Leo moon and Sagittarius rising sign. As soon as a person tells me their birthday I can instantly say their sign in seconds and have them all figured out just off that. I've only been dj'ing for a year and I can honestly say it has been the best journey yet! Besides loving music you get to learn the speed of songs and how to mix them perfectly into each other. Once you learn the speed of a song you get to know the song more. Then you start making mixing different genres into each other and the fun never stops because there's new music everyday! And you get to party. You get to test out what you've been playing with in your alone time and see how the crowd reacts. And there's so many dj's out there with a bunch of different styles, you get to make dj'ing your own. That's the joy of it.

How did you get into music? 

Music is apart of my culture/ethnicity. My mother's parents are from the Dominican Republic and my father is African American and music is just apart of you. Growing up Hispanic you have to learn all the traditional dances such as Bachata, Merengue and Salsa so you can be ready for all the family parties. Also being African American it's in your blood. Hip Hop coming out of the late 80's created a whole new culture. The 90's was the most influential era for music and there's just key things you have to know even before Hip Hop was created.

Have you performed? 

In HS I actually was in a choir and I had a solo which was soooo nerve-wracking. I also was in a play and I specifically asked for a non speaking part but of course I got a main character. Dj wise of course, that's where the magic happens and you get into your zone! But you gotta watch the crowd- you can be in your zone but if the crowd isn't rocking to it then is it really a fun atmosphere? You want the crowd to be on the same wave as you or at least get them there.

How do you deal with nerves before a show?

I'm always nervous but then I realize this isn't my first time dj'ing so relax. You're actually good at what you do and also you can't be unfocused because that's the real problem.

What genre of music do you play?

The types of genres I play range from Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae/Danehall/Soca, Reggaeton/Dembow, Salsa/Bachata, Pop and this new genre from Brazil called Baile Funk that I'm loving.

What are your favorite places?

My favorite places to dj are probably places I haven't spun yet!  A bunch of Bars in L.E.S. But besides that I would love to dj at The Redbull Studios, The New Museum, House of Vans and that's only in NYC.

Who inspires you? 

One person that inspires me is Vashtie! She's so humble and cool. She always reminds me that I can be a tomboy and still kill it. Always stay true to yourself.

Do you have any other interests? 

I just picked up Videography and I love it. Besides watching your videos on a big screen I even like the editing part. Cutting the clips up, adding music and effects. It's all enjoyable to me.

How is being a woman impacted your life?

Being a woman is everything to me. I wouldn't trade it if I could. Women are such strong people. Carrying all that emotion and knowledge day to day holding families together is a talent. Who can multitask better than a women and still remember the smallest things like turning the light off. Watching my mom and being surrounded by women as an only child it taught me how to carry my own weight, but also be mindful of everyone else and lend a helping hand even if they didn't ask. It's all about empowering each other. We're in this together. I'm not fond of gender roles or anything of that matter. Women can take out the trash or be the head of the house just as much as men. We are superwomen.