21 Questions with a DJ
ft. DJ AMBZ
Words by E.Z.
Photographed by Kevin Neil
What is your name?
My name is Amberleen Deleon
Do you have a DJ Name?
My DJ name is Ambz
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Delano, but have been living in Bakersfield since 2007
What’s the most memorable thing about your childhood?
The family block parties where people would just eat home cooked food all day and play good music.
All time...might be good kid, m.A.A.d city
.At what age did you fist fall in love with music?
I can’t pinpoint an exact age, but music has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember. My dad probably influenced my love for music. When I was a kid, he used to take me to his hangouts with his friends and at night they would do covers to Filipino rock music where he would either be the drummer or lead singer lol. I then later found out he used to DJ when he was in high school.
Is that how long you've wanted to be DJ? or
So my dad and uncles are DJ's, but I never expressed to them I wanted to learn. I’ve always been intrigued with DJing, so I took it upon myself to learn in secret lol.
When did you start taking DJing seriously?
When I moved out to college, I started using virtual DJ on my laptop to make SoundCloud mixes, I also borrowed my friend’s DJ controller to practice, and then eventually got my own… the rest was history
DJ J.espinosa for technique for sure. But from the ladies, TOKiMONSTA
How do you feel about the term "Disk Jockey"?
I feel like people have their opinions on what or who they deem as a true DJ or “disk-jockey”. I mean if you asked me if I considered myself a DJ back in 2014-2018, I’d totally own it. But since I stopped frequently DJing and doing club gigs in SoCal to focus on finishing my college degree and work I’ve been identifying myself as a “sound selector”.
Do you still consider yourself a "sound selector"?
I think that still holds true today, since I only come out and do events when I have time. (I work full time in healthcare and am finishing up my masters degree 😅). I intend to push out more content and do more events once grad school is done though
What’s was the hardest thing you had to learn about DJing?
Ah, I think the hardest thing was navigating the industry. It’s one thing learning technical aspects of being a good DJ, but marketing yourself is another. When I first started, the DJ industry was heavily saturated with men, and at the time women DJs like myself would have to basically “show your worth”. Another part of being a female DJ/sound selector is fitting into those beauty standards to be marketable. I definitely felt that was a factor when I used to book gigs lol. I think nowadays though, there’s alot less emphasis on those beauty standards, and more on technique which is how it should be — regardless of gender identity
Do you consider yourself an expert in music?
Oh gosh no not even close. Still learning everyday!
What’s your favorite type of music to play/mix?
Definitely hip hop and rnb. Recently house has been another genre I’ve been getting into
What's easier to mix?
Hip hop in my opinion!
What do you do to get the crowd engaged?
I definitely make sure I know who my audience is and cater to what they want.
Do you take request?
NO! I mean if I’m doing a wedding or company event then sure! But for music events, you just gotta put your trust in the dj
How do you stay up to date on new music?
I have group chats with other dj friends and music enthusiasts we like share and swap music we find.
How do you determine which songs are worthy to put into a mix?
It really depends on my mood tbh..for example, a lot of my simp mixes are moments in time that capture different situations I’ve been involved in lol
Ever tried to make a beat?
Not a beat, but I made this dvsn & Janet Jackson mashup one time lol. Couldn’t upload to SoundCloud because of copyright.
Best experience being a DJ?
Ughhh definite playing at .wavSD in 2017 (I think?). Best crowd and vibes!