With photography, I started in high school. We didn’t have music classes in high school so I joined year book. With year book, you need photography and it was one of those things I did for fun and didn’t think anything of it. My parents have had cameras and it was something that was always present in my life.
We used an automatic 35mm, and we just got what we needed to get the job done to document sports and all of that. From then until now, I’ve traveled for my brother’s wedding, and I shot a lot on my iPhone at the time. Eventually I bought a fuji – the x100s. I was shooting for fun for a while and eventually I got the Fuji XT1 and kept going with it. I started shooting everything that had to do with music, friends, family, landscapes – anything that was inspiring to me. I kept going with and traveled a lot and this was in 2015.
I was working as a graphic designer for a few years, met Mark Andrew, and he would always ask me “why aren’t you doing this on your own full time?” and he would always ask me to shoot with him but I would have work. It was a lot of fun doing graphic design, especially for hospitality, but it left me uninspired. Having a camera reminded me that I had something to work towards. I did that for about a year and that connected me with an agency to do a shoot with LG and got sent to Mexico. That December, one of my photos was chosen for Street Dreams Magazine and booked a ticket last minute because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go but it was amazing!
It’s cool to see because they are a start up company and they’re people just like us. Underlying all of these things with photography was my music side which came in and out since high school. I graduated college at SDSU with a degree in multimedia production and worked with my brother and a few others to do a start up company that allowed me to create music for different apps under Pixel Stream. DJing was something I wanted to do since high school but it was kind of hard finding friends that wanted to DJ at the time because I didn’t know anyone in that industry. It took me a while to finally find my friend that connected me to that world and this was when I was 16. I took a class to learn basic mixing and then after high school I had Lily so I had to put a hold on music stuff but still kept it around.
Coming back to now after all those years raising Lily, school, then working the 9-5 I had to figure out how to separate my own self and my identity as a mother and really find out like who am I aside from being a mother? That’s when all my passions came back into play and I definitely wanted to give music another shot I just didn’t want to rush it. With anything, you don’t want to force it because good things take time. I feel like now everything has fallen into place as far as where I am in my life. If I had forced it, things probably wouldn’t have worked out the way they did now nor would it have felt right.
I just started to DJ in the last year outside of my room, it was a huge step for me to just play in front of people and be in front of a crowd because I get so nervous and have so much anxiety. My first show was Summer 2016 at Bluefoot for Sasha Marie’s Weird & Wavy. That was really cool and it was a good introduction to the world of doing live shows and dealing with situations that could happen with equipment on the spot and figuring things in the moment out to get the job done.
I do graphic design on my own time and with photography I don’t shoot as much, but my focus is definitely in music and to see how far I want to get into that. My dream gig would be to just play in really cool environments. I remember looking at something on Instagram and Red Bull Academy had posted a photo of someone doing a show in a planetarium/observatory and projected on the dome was space and I thought that was the coolest thing! I would imagine something like that – to play in an environment in something of that nature. To really do what I’m doing now and get to play in different cities, cultures, and explore more through music. That’s the main thing I want to do.
For production, I get my inspiration for production from Young Guru, he does the engineering for a lot of the stuff for Jay Z. He is very knowledgable and does photography too which shows how much of a well rounded person he is and teaches a lot about the spiritual side of how music influences people. For turntablism, I look up to DJ Qbert and them and the work they do on the technical side. I grew up to 90s hip hop so my inspiration comes from all over the place – Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, they’re all huge inspirations to me and I remember when I was in 5th grade listening to Pony and we would all be singing it but we didn’t know what we were singing at the time but we just connected with it. I get the same feelings when I listen to their music now and artists like FKA Twigs, TaKu, who share their influence not only through music but through visuals and with the culture they share.
I hope to just be the best I can be, put something out people can connect to, and know that they can do it as well. Maybe they can relate to me as an artist, a person, or in any aspect and know that they can do it too. Music is really based off any experience. You can feel a certain way and find music to relate to that feeling. Preparing for a gig, I would prep music based on my mood and still be aware of who will be there so I can mix in and consciously spread new music out there from different artists. There is so much music out there, it’s like an endless and infinite journey of music – there’s old music to be discovered and there’s new music being made every second of every day. So it’s this constant idea of time traveling, like listening to old music bringing back old feelings and memories, and it’s always so mind boggling to me.
We are so lucky to have connected with Quynh through happenstance and mutual friends. She is an absolute gem and radiates so much light through her big smile and positive energy. Not only does she do graphic design, photography, and DJ, but she’s also an incredible mother as well!
We really admire what she does and the experiences she gets to create through her art. And we are so happy to share that she is going to DJ at our event this coming Saturday (January 21st, 2017)! She reminds us that it’s never to late to start something new and really cultivate what you’re passionate about. From her first real gig in 2016 up until now, she’s making moves and really following her dreams in her music career and we couldn’t be happier to follow along!