DJ Heat is a veteran mixer based in Washington, D.C. She’s currently an in-game DJ for the Washington Wizards and the Mystics along with the D.C. Defenders. Heat has been a fan of mixing since a young age, and she has since been heard at numerous spaces, deejaying at parties, clubs, and games, giving the crowd life and playing the biggest hits.
When did you start taking deejaying seriously?
Sixth grade is when I started getting exposed to rap, but I also started hearing the DJs on songs. Back then, DJs were more prevalent in rap songs. The song that did it for me was the “Rump Shaker Remix.” That remix had a DJ cutting on it toward the end. It was cutting throughout the song, but there was a part towards the end of the song where the DJ is cutting back and forth between different samples. Even though I had never seen turntables in person, or touched turntables in person, that made me want turntables. I told myself with my first summer job, I’m going to save up my money and buy my first set of turntables. Every single paycheck that I got, I saved up every check and I only spent 25 cents to buy a packet of chips. I was buying Source magazines, and they had an advertisement in there about this music store in New York that sells DJ equipment, and they had a DJ starter package. I called up and asked him how much it was for tax and shipping and handling, and they told me the total. I had enough from my summer check, so I bought it.
Where do you think you shine most as a DJ?
I’m always gonna give respect to doing games since my career has pivoted heavily to sports now and doing the Wizards, Mystics, and XFL Defenders. Games are always going to be great for me and the excitement of that. I don’t think a lot of people know how much goes into sports deejaying. Folks are surprised to find out that I’m handling just about everything that you hear. If you’re at a basketball game, you hear the music on offense that’s playing when the home team has the ball, you hear the defense sounds, and I’m playing all of that. I’m playing the sound effects for when we score to when something else happens, and if the other team turns the ball over. I’m trying to bring in the atmosphere and during the action of games, I’m trying to help enhance that atmosphere.