Rolling Out

How DJ Gemini Gilly became 1 of Milwaukee’s most exciting mixers

DJ Gemini Gilly turned her love for music into a steady career
How DJ Gemini Gilly became 1 of Milwaukee's most exciting mixers
Photo courtesy of Freakish Nerd

DJ Gemini Gilly is a Midwest-based deejay and curator. Growing up listening to a variety of musical genres from her older brother’s collection, she developed a love for music at a young age, occasionally stealing his CDs to listen to her favorite tracks. After countless times being the designated aux cord operator, she recognized that deejaying and curating music was her true passion and she embarked on her journey.

Tell us more about how you started deejaying.

I’ve always listened to music and classical music from a young age. I have an older brother who wanted to be a music producer, so he was doing all the sampling. I was hearing a little bit of everything at a young age and I grew up in the “106 & Park” and the “MTV Jams” era when that became a thing.

In high school, people used to invite me to parties just to put my phone on the [auxillary]. I would make a playlist by seeing how the vibe was, so that was my earliest deejaying experience. I didn’t start getting into it for real until I got to grad school. I felt that I needed a hobby and an outlet. I was going through Twitter one day and I saw an article about female DJs. I remember thinking, “I can do it, or at least try to see if I can make this a hobby.” After that, I never looked back. I had my first gig nine months after I bought my first DJ controller.

How would you describe your DJ style?

I like to play a lot of the deep cuts and stuff that people are not used to hearing while they’re out. I will play anything that I want to hear that I feel is a vibe. I will play the album cuts that people may have listened to at home or they listened to in a car, but don’t hear it when they’re out. It’s always a great reaction because they’re like, “I don’t get a chance to hear this while I’m out.” You get a whole bunch of people singing a song that they’re used to hearing at home when they’re cleaning up.

I like to play a lot of stuff that people are not used to hearing or probably haven’t even heard before. I feel like the greatest compliment as a DJ is when people come up to us and they might what someone played and they’re like, “What was that song you just played” or “I’ve never heard this artist before.” I like to do that in my set and I like to do that when I’m making playlists as well. I’ll have people be like, “You just put me on this new artist I didn’t even know, but I heard it in the playlist that you put out.” That makes me feel like I’m doing a good job and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.

Take a listen to one of DJ Gemini Gilly’s mixes.

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