OCEANSIDE — In a cozy Oceanside apartment near the coast, DJ INSP!RE fires up her laptop and turntables, nestled against the back wall of her kitchen under a black wooden sign that says “inspire.” A steady beat pours out of the speakers, flowing into the space.
INSP!RE remembers the time she played an event for Mac Cosmetics. She noticed a young girl fixated on what she was doing, so she invited her to try it out.
“I swear; she just did this … ”
INSP!RE scratched one of the records on the turntables.
“I swear, it made her day. That’s what it’s about right there,” she said.
The 24-year-old Oceanside native loves to inspire others — especially young kids — with her music. This Saturday, July 28, DJ INSP!RE will compete with eight women from around the world at the 2018 Supergirl Pro Sound Session. The grand prize winner will receive an endorsement deal with JLab, the major audio technology company.
This is INSP!RE’s third time competing with Supergirl Pro. This March, she performed at the Supergirl Snow Pro, and last summer she competed in Supergirl Surf Pro Sound Session. She was runner up to San Diego-based DJ Jenny Pocket, and J-lab ended up giving them both the deal. Supergirl Pro producer Rick Bratman said DJ INSP!RE brings an incredible energy to every event.
“She’s an entertainer,” Bratman said. “Somebody that definitely gets people dancing.”
DJ INSP!RE’s favorite genre is hip-hop and RnBass — a kind-of modernized R&B. Her most recent mix, “The Daygo Push Mixtape,” is up on SoundCloud, and features several hip-hop and RnBass artists local to San Diego. INSP!RE said the mix is meant to take you on a journey.
“Some of it’s like, I’m ready to take on the day,” she explained. “Some of it’s like, I’m in my feelings. It takes you on a roller coaster almost.”
INSP!RE began playing in 2014. She was introduced to DJing while working at a cell phone shop down in Pacific Beach. The DJ who played their grand opening let her try it out, and she was instantly hooked. She then enrolled in Scratch Academy, a national DJ program developed by Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, where she learned from industry legends. While many of her mentors are men, DJ INSP!RE said she looks up to many women who also DJ.
“There are women out there who are absolute beasts,” she said. “I just watch them, and I ask questions, and they answer.”
Still, the representation of women DJing in this space is low. According to The DJ List, women make up only 24 percent of the DJ community. This is why the Supergirl Pro competitions added the Sound Session component — to create a safe and empowering space for these women to perform.
“Women in areas of sports and entertainment and popular culture are often put in a position to play second fiddle to men,” Bratman said. “This is a unique event because it’s entirely based around women front and center.”
Since DJ INSP!RE is representing her city in her city, she said she definitely plans to bring the heat.
“I’ve been practicing — it’s going to be a fun little competition,” INSP!RE said. “Everyone’s going to bring their A game, so I’ve got to bring my A+ game, and just show up and show out.”
The 2018 Supergirl Pro Sound Session takes place this Saturday, July 28, from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. at the Oceanside Pier as a part of the Supergirl Surf Pro competition. This event is free. DJ INSP!RE can be heard on SoundCloud and several radio stations around the country.
To connect with the event via social media, follow @SupergirlPro on Instagram and Twitter, visit Facebook.com/SupergirlPro and use #NeonSupergirlPro.