Interview: DJ Beverly Bond, Founder of Black Girls Rock! Awards

This year the 4th Annual Black Girls Rock! Awards will be taking place on October 17, 2009 at the New York Times Center. Philanthropist  and Founfer DJ Beverly Bond celebrates the 4th annual Black Girls Rock! Awards fundraiser with cohosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross. Among the 2009 honoress will be Mary. J. Blige, Raven Symone, Sonia Sanchez, Janelle Monae, Naomi Campbell and activist and White House fellow Dr. Meheret Mandefro .  We got a chance to sit down with DJ Beverly Bond to talk about what we can expect from the awards this year and also her take on the music industry. 

1) How do you feel about the current condition of music?

I think it going through its phases. I listen to a variety of music, technology has definitely changed things. There is also a lack of artist exposure.

2-)You were a model for Wilhemmina modeling agency at one point, what made you decide to become a DJ?

Well I didn’t choose DJing, DJing chose me. I love music, I was always into it. When I bought my first set of turntables I was in love. I started doing it as a hobby. I was always around music.

3) Do you feel more opportunities have been made available to women in the music industry since you began your career in music 6 years ago?

I don’t feel that people hold female DJ’s to the same standard. I hold myself to a certain standard. I had to earn my respect. People started looking at me as more than a pretty face. I’m a prototype in a way. There were female DJ’s before me Spinderella, Monie Love etc.. I’m not commercial, underground OR mainstream. People aren’t able to label me.

I learned my craft inside and out. I feel people like the idea of being a DJ but they don’t want to do the work that goes behind it as far as truly studying it. I see the standard isn’t being upheld.

4) Have you experienced any barriers because you are a woman?

Yes, there are definitely barriers. There are times when I know that I’ve been overlooked for certain parties and events because I am a woman. People seem to be more comfortable having a male DJ their parties. A prime example is the Nas party. I should have done the Nas party. I was playing his music when no one else knew who he was. There is a stereotype.

There are also the female DJ’s who give us a bad name because they didn’t realize that you have to work twice as hard BECAUSE you are a woman.

5) Black Girls Rock just held its first official graduation ceremony on Sept 20 2009, are there any more projects you are currently working on?

Yes, the girls programs are year round. In January we are starting a program called Taste The World, where the girls have culinary classes, tastings and become more cultured.

6) You made the Ebony 150 list what was that like?

It was great. It felt like such an honor to be on the same list as people like Oprah and Jay-Z

7) What are some of your thoughts on fashion at the moment?

I have been so focused on Black Girls Rock that I haven’t even had the time to look at anything else. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.

8 ) What do feel you owe your success to?

I don’t call it success. I call it a continuation on my path. I don’t know how to define success, I am truthful to what I do and how I live.

9) What advice would you give young women?

I think they should be thorough and know they’re craft. Study great people, find your way and find out what works for you. You have to give it your all. Know your craft.

To purchase tickets for The 4th Annual BLACK GIRLS ROCK!TM Awards, please visit

http://blackgirlsrockinc.com/Awards09/ 

or

 www.blackgirlsrock.org