On a non-writing contest related note, I recently had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with DJ Tina T regarding her DJ youth camp, Camp Spin Off. Because arts education is one of my passions, it’s my pleasure to share this interview about an artist who focuses on giving back to young people.
DJ Tina T, voted Las Vegas’ “Top Female DJ” for the third consecutive year, is a well-known disc jockey playing in the hottest clubs in Vegas. Despite her meteoric success, DJ Tina T also has a passion for mentoring teens.
She founded Camp Spin-Off (now in its second year), a one-of-a-kind camp focused on teaching music and positive messages to teenagers.
Q: You’ve had a successful career thus far. What made you decide to start Camp Spin Off?
DJ Tina T: I went to all types of summer camps growing up and have the best memories from it all. Camp Spin-Off is a way to combine my passion for DJing with traditional summer camp in a positive way.
Q: Camp Spin Off is the first and only sleep-away DJ camp of its kind. What advantages does a sleepaway camp offer for musical kids?
DJ Tina T: Having it be a camp where we actually stay in cabins and live together as a community for one week allows everyone to be fully submerged in the culture. You eat, sleep, breathe DJing at camp. For many of these kids, it’s their first time staying away from home and it becomes a much more unique and memorable experience than just a day camp.
Q: What is your favorite class offered at Camp Spin Off and why?
DJ Tina T: My favorite class at Camp Spin Off is the basic DJing class using turntables and vinyl. Most of the kids have never touched a turntable before and with the technology these days, many of them will not end up using vinyl records. Its nice to see everyone taught in the original format before moving on to other platforms.
Q: I love the motto on your website: Less Skin, More Skill. What other positive messages and ideas does Camp Spin Off offer?
DJ Tina T: Every staff person, camp counselor and guest DJ brings a positive message to camp. I feel like we also break down stereotypes of DJs and show the kids that we are normal, down to earth people that they can talk to. Another positive message specifically to the girls who attend is that it’s not just the boys anymore.
We have an equal ratio of girls to boys at camp which helps girls not feel intimidated in a male dominated industry.
Q: You were voted best Female DJ in Las Vegas in 2010, 2011 and 2012. What special challenges do female DJs face? What do you find easier to accomplish because you are a female DJ?
DJ Tina T: The biggest challenge is being taken seriously as a DJ and not just a “female DJ.” As much as I am honored to get awards like this and love representing for the ladies, I also want to just be recognized as a great DJ and not someone who is good (for a girl).
It is easier to accomplish things like: getting your foot in the door with clubs who are doing niche female DJ promotions and getting booked for female industry related events in fashion, beauty etc.
Q: What makes you passionate about helping young people discover music?
DJ Tina T: Discovering my love for DJing when I was 15 makes me passionate about working with young kids who are in the same place I was. When the interest is there, you need people to support, motivate and inspire you. It feels great to make a difference in someone’s life.
Interested in Camp Spin-Off? You too can be a summer DJ star!
WHAT: Camp Spin-Off, where aspiring young DJs between ages of 13-17 go to play and learn
Forest Home Ojai Valley
655 Burnham Road
Oak View, CA 93022
WHEN: July 29 to August 2
This five-day, sleep-away camp is located in beautiful Ojai, CA, where young teens get access to great hiking and outdoors activities. The teens are mentored by some of the biggest names in the DJ world.
Tina also sponsors a limited number of scholarships that fund the education of kids in need.
Learn more about Camp Spin-Off: http://www.campspinoff.com/
For more about DJ Tina T: http://djtinat.com/
Article first published as Interview with DJ Tina T on Blogcritics.