Interview With a DJ
I sat down with Janet Yarosik after a set at club Limelight in North Carolina. She goes by the name J Yo. The club was jumping with strong blends of R&B and ‘ol Skool. No surprise as I had caught J Yo in action at a few clubs in town and she never lets me down. She knows how to bring in a crowd and keeps them coming back.
When did you start D Jing?
I started D Jing at the age of 17, at cellar parties in the late 70’s. My friends and I would gather at someone’s house whose parents weren’t at home and we would get the party started. I would spin the records that we were jamming out to at that time. Funkadelics, Bar Kays, Commadores, Earth, Wind & Fire. I could go on and on.
What or who were your early passions and influences?
I listened to two main radio stations when I was growing up. WDVE and WAMO. WDVE played Rock Music. WAMO played R&B and Soul music. I was the youngest of five girls, the oldest was fourteen years my senior. So I heard the Beatles, Beach Boys, the Righteous Brothers and James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Temptations and the Jackson Five. I had a wide music range at a young age.
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moment?
I would probably have to say when I was 21. I had an opportunity to shadow a known local DJ at the Riviera Club. He showed me the various equipment that he used and how to use it. He had (2) turntables, an equalizer and heavy duty speakers. He showed me how to cue up the next record to keep the flow going. That’s when I realized, “Hey, I can do this!”
What currently are your main challenges as a DJ?
Staying relevant and fresh. Making sure that I market myself in the right places. Sometimes I feel challenged being a female in this business. I don’t let that stop me. I have a dream and I have left my mark in this world of entertainment. I’m not done yet!
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
I introduce myself and get the crowd engaged by bantering back and forth. Then, I gauge the energy of the crowd and play selections that emit what I want the crowd to respond to. I just listen to my heart & soul and that is what makes things happen.
Penny for your thoughts now in this moment?
How many more questions??? Just kidding!