Name: Taja Barber
Peep her mixes: https://soundcloud.com/filthyrichtaj
Don’t get it twisted, folks. Although she’s only 17, DJ Filthy Rich Taj—née Taja Barber—has already made a name for herself for her command of Serato. Now the DJ for the newly signed Atlantic Records artist Justine Skye, the Bay native and NYC transplant has nowhere to go but up. In this week’s edition of Family Swank, Barber waxes poetic on her must haves, Serato, and her go-to songs. Check it out.
Taja Barber: Every time I get a new gig, it’s a really great feeling. I feel like saying, “Wow this is only the beginning.” I can tell that I’ve grown as a DJ, as an artist, and as a person.
MA: How did you get into DJing?
TB: I’ve always loved music. My mom thought it would be a good idea for me to try out spinning classes at Scratch DJ Academy when I was 15. [In] a few months I learned how to scratch vinyl, set cues, and how to set up my equipment: [that] summer I went to Dubspot to learn more, practice more, [and] decided I wanted to really be a DJ.
MA: Every DJ has a preference, what’s yours: vinyl or Serato?
TB: I prefer Serato, although I wouldn’t mind vinyl.
MA: My go-to song during a set is…
TB: “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean or “Poetic Justice” by Kendrick Lamar. You can basically go into any genre from these two songs.
MA: What decade do you feel has the most impact on music right now?
TB: I feel that the ‘90s has a huge impact on music today. I see a lot of rappers giving that old-school feel, trying to bring it back in their own unique ways: for example, Drake in his “Started From the Bottom” video.
MA: If you could have your choice of any artist to work with, who would it be and why?
TB: I really want to work with Toro y Moi, because he’s overall amazing. James Fauntleroy [because] he’s a great songwriter, and M.I.A. because she’s popping.
TB: I actually just copped my must haves: COMME des GARÇONS pros and these awesome black boots from Opening Ceremony by Rihanna for River Island.
MA: The worst of trend of 2013 so far is…
TB: Those stupid men dresses/skirts—whatever they are. Thanks Kanye.
MA: What’s the future looking like for FilthyRichTaj?
TB: My future, for a fact, will be bright. I know I have an exciting journey ahead.
MA: What advice do you have for other young girls who want to pursue a career in DJing?
TB: Don’t let the men intimidate you: the world is yours … Practice, practice, practice. Find a mentor, learn your music, and maybe take a class.
MA: Favorite quote or motto?
TB: Be the first, best, or most different.