Updated: Mar 6
TCB: Welcome to The ChaCha Blog Sarah! Thank you for joining us. Do you mind telling everyone about yourself?
SM: Hi! My name is Sarah Martin. I am 23-years-old and I was born and raised in Oxnard, CA.
TCB: How did you first get started in DJing?
SM: I applied for a DJ school in Santa Ana and luckily I was accepted. From there my dreams took off.
TCB: What or who were your early passions and influences that have helped shape your vibe as a DJ?
SM: If we’re speaking artists, I am influenced by Kamiyah. West coast is and forever will be my heart and her sound is always that. I also tend to have a soft spot for Bay Area rappers. Nothing I enjoy more than going dumb.
TCB: There is so much music to take in. How do you decide what makes the set and what doesn’t? Do you primarily stick to certain vibes or decades?
SM: Oooh, so that’s a hard one. Honestly, I try to set a vibe and maintain it.
I create a feel within the first five minutes of my set and that tells me where I want to go. From there I continue to find songs, BPMs, keys that can ride that vibe out or switch it up in a way that interests the listeners.
Picking music is a pain lol because sometimes songs just DON’T work for me and learning tricks to either find a way around it or another song is a challenge that ultimately I do enjoy.
TCB: Where did your drive originate to take on DJing and making your mark in that world?
SM: So, I’ve danced pretty much my whole life. If you’re a dancer you know that means literally every time ANY song comes on you’re moving.
Whether it’s your hands, arms, legs, shoulders you can’t sit still. That’s where I learned that I loved music. No specific genre or person, I just really loved music.
I used to get so excited growing up making playlists for people or sending my homies mixes or songs I found and I was always “AYEEEE plug your phone in at the party” girl.
So as sudden as it seemed, DJing has always been within me. Once I heard about ACODJs (Academy of DJs) I was like “Nah, there’s no way I can make money off of it for real.”
Once I learned I could make a career out of this AND still dance AND still be on stage???… It was a wrap.
TCB: How has your background as a dancer contributed to being a dope ass DJ? Has it made it harder in any way?
SM: Awwww thank you! Honestly dancing and DJing go hand-in-hand for me. Everything I learned in dance I use it while DJing.
Whether it’s cleaning my mix transition by transition like I’m cleaning a dance piece or doing things with purpose. Horns and claps are cool but are they necessary?
As a dancer that would get me upset at the club when my favorite song was horned out hahaha, so I just keep that in mind. When I’m DJing I’m always pretending I’m in the crowd.
TCB: What’s your process in creating a set or prepping for an event?
SM: So if it’s an event… I need to know who’s my crowd, whether I’ve been to the venue or not I need to know who I’m setting the mood for.
Then I gotta find music in a genre that fits that setting. Then I just make it “ME”. Make sure even if I’m playing someones song choices I do it in a style or way that you know I’m DJing. Whether it’s song order or just how I bring a song in, I make sure I’m creating a fun and enjoyable experience all around.
TCB: Do you remember the first mix you made? How have you grown in terms of style and work ethic since then?
SM: Oh my goodness, sadly yes. Hahahaha! It was our first week of class homework? And let’s just say, boy I was just throwing songs together.
Me, “MS. DANCER”, couldn’t find the beat to save my life because my nerves were covering my ears! I have changed and grown so much from then.
I’ve learned that my mental is so important when creating. If I want to create happiness and joy I need to be in the state of mind while DJing. Especially because that is the energy I want to give and share with my listeners.
Silly, but super important.
TCB: When you’re not working and creating, what do you like to do in your spare time?
SM: I smoke weed hehe. I got a million ideas and thoughts going through this mind, so if I’m not feeding them I’m hanging out with friends and family.
TCB: We like to keep it real at The ChaCha Blog and not hide our faults or struggles, so with that, have you experienced any pitfalls or struggles so far? If so, do you mind sharing what that struggle was, and how you bounced back?
SM: So I graduated and then BOOM! Mrs. Corona hit me like a train.
It was frustrating, discouraging and so depressing. I remember just telling friends at the time how sad it was to know I might not DJ a live club again or like, I don’t know when I’ll be able to book a gig, and just being told, “Eh, figure it out”.
Well luckily I did and I made business partners and connections with people I may have never known before. I decided to prep, prep, prep because ain’t no such thing as too much content! So with preparing and taking care of my mental health, I’ve been trying to stay consistent on mixes just to let the people know I’m here, I’m ready, and I’m not going anywhere.
Also nice that everyone can hear my growth.
TCB: What is your best advice for others looking to pursue this career path?
SM: Do it. Full force. Don’t hold back. Remain humble and a student. Enjoy yourself. Every single time make sure you enjoy yourself.
TCB: Last but not least, where can people find you to stay up to date on your work?