Rolling Out

Detroit’s DJ Stacey ‘Hotwaxx’ Hale is teaching people to love music


Source: Facebook Stacey Hale

DJ Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale has mesmerized crowds for over 30 years. Dubbed the “Godmother of House Music,” she is Detroit’s first female house music DJ. She has collaborated and played with industry greats, including Don Was, Ken Collier and Frankie Knuckles. Hale has local and international acclaim, yet she exudes humility by reciprocating the love and respect that she receives.

With no apologies, she’s shattered barriers and established new plateaus by delivering her craft with deliberate precision. In addition to creating euphoric mixes, Hale teaches the art of deejaying, she is part of a live performance group, and she is the assistant musical director for Black Women Rock.

Rolling out’s  “Fierce Female DJs of Detroit” series continues with a living legend and pioneering icon who remains relevant.

How did you get into deejaying?

The journey was music. Music was in my family. My brothers had components — walls of records — that fascinated me. My background is in engineering, so I like building things, I like electrical. When I was a teenager I said, “I wanna be a DJ.” I didn’t want to be talking on the mic. My thing was the music, it’s always been the music. There was no such thing as mixing back then, but I had this in my mind at 13. I practiced, practiced, practiced, and then I would give DJs [at parties] a break.

My uncle opened an after-hours place called Club Hollywood, I became the resident DJ. I would play from midnight to 6 in the morning for $25. [There were] 800 people in there and that’s where I got discovered and got introduced to the city. I’m the first female DJ that was progressive and mixing.

How do you thrive in this male-dominated industry?

It’s rough. It ain’t changed. Although there [are] a ton more female DJs out here now — and that’s good — now, it’s big business. I stay current, loving the music. Nobody can do what I’ve done, ’cause I’ve already done it.

Tell us how you became the “Godmother of House.”

It came from a fan. I don’t toot my own horn. Lord knows, I didn’t name myself that — I just embraced it a year ago. And I love all of the Godfather movies.

What’s your muse for your mixes?

I like all music. I like to feel good, I’m talking about spiritually and mentally. There’s always new stuff coming out every day, so that opens up the window to be ridiculously creative. There’s so much music if I like something — but [if] I don’t like what it’s doing — I change it myself.

Are you pursuing any other businesses or ventures?

My biggest thing right now is teaching children and adults to deejay; I absolutely love it. I’ve had the blessing of teaching after-school programs in Detroit Public Schools and Girls Rock Detroit [summer camp].

How do you stay humble?

I’m really down to earth, I don’t believe in hype.

Check out DJ Stacey Hotwaxx Hale’s “Twisted Tuesday” mixes on, every Tuesday at noon.

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