Marc Jay: So as many of you know I love music and I love DJs and I’ve been going out for many years and joining me now is miss DJ Quira. Hello Quira!
DJ Quira: Hello!
Marc Jay: So I want to talk about the future, but first I want to talk about the past. I’ve known you for eight years and going back eight years ago you were an incredible cocktail waitress. Tell us, how have you made this transition from being a cocktail waitress to becoming one of Vegas’ most popular DJs?
DJ Quira: When I decided I wanted to start DJ'n initially I started with Serato, but then I got serious and decided to go back to basics, so I called my friend Bad Boy Bill and he mailed me out a box full of about 50 vinyl records, so then I learned how to play on real vinyl. And I really think that its important to learn all the tricks of the trade. Along with that I'm taking it slowly cause there is a lot to learn, and I feel its important I put in my time.
Marc Jay: So tell us, you’re from Seattle. How did you end up working and living in Vegas?
DJ Quira: I was living in Seattle and I came to Vegas right before I was 21 for a vacation with my girlfriends and I ended up falling in love with the city and decided to come out here and attend UNLV.
Marc Jay: You still DJ, waitress, and study. How do you combine that into one week? It must be pretty crazy.
DJ Quira: Well for the last few months I have just been spinning & going to school full time at UNLV. I will be graduating this May with my BSBA Marketing Degree. Although I have actually decided to do doubles this summer and am officially going to be cocktailing at Wet Republic Pool on the weekends along with spinning during the week at different pools and clubs. This will be really good for me for cause I will be able to hear the most amazing talent in the world every week along with ill be able to pay off my debt and save some money.
Marc Jay: Going back years ago to Ice, I always saw you jumping around and dancing a lot and enjoying the music. I didn’t realize you were that into music. Has this been a passion from childhood or just since you got to Vegas?
DJ Quira: Music has been a passion my whole life, but when I was 16 back in Washington my friends and I would go to all age Raves in Seattle. This is actually where I got my first true experiences with the house music scene, I saw Donald Glaude at NAF Studios when I was 17 yearrs old. So I have been in the music scene for quite some time and have always loved being in the DJ booth, that's usually where you'll find me.
Marc Jay: That’s funny because Vegas is known more for its commercial hip hop music and you’ve gone down the road of DJ-ing electronic and house music. How is that going and how did you fall into that area of music?
DJ Quira: Well to tell you the truth my passion is truly with house music. Although I am trying to find my niche in the style of music I play, I want to be unique yet also keep people interested in whats coming next. I really feel like Vegas is known for its commercial hip-hop, yet I am loving all the amazing house DJ's that are getting monthly Vegas residencies. But even though I am a house head, I also do like hip-hop and am all about being versatile and playing what's going to make people dance. I do what I do for the reaction I get from people.
Marc Jay: So when did it start exploding for you in the DJ world? The last time I saw you you were working at Tao and all of a sudden you’re name is everywhere. When did that transition come and how did it come about?
DJ Quira: I have actually been working with Omar Galiano, whom is the music director for TAO group. He has been mentoring me for about two years now and he has probably helped me more than anybody with my music. So I felt that last year it was just time for me to resign from cocktailing at Tao and time to pursue my deejay opportunities. Thank goodness I made the right choice and everything is going great, I am spinning at Lavo three to four days a week and Omar gives advice along with 'DJ tests' and is really pushing me to be my best with that good ol' tough love.
Marc Jay: So tell us a bit about the equipment that you prefer to work with. Because I know all DJs work with different CDs or turntables or laptops and so on. What is it that you’re working with right now?
DJ Quira: The equipment I prefer to use would be a set of Technique 1200s and a Pioneer 800 mixer. When I go live I use Serato and a laptop of course; although I am learning Ableton as well because I want to be able to do the bridge and learn how to produce live. That’s really interesting to me. I’m also putting my music on SD cards because I want to be versatile and also learn the CDJ 2000's because I'm all about being prepared for whatever comes my way.
Marc Jay: One thing I love about Vegas is I think it gives young people multiple opportunities. Now, I think if you lived in Seattle, coming from a waitress that wants to be a DJ you would probably struggle a little bit. But in Vegas it seems that with so many clubs opening that it would seem being a DJ in this town could be very profitable and it could actually build your career from here. Is that one of the reasons you came to Vegas to begin with?
DJ Quira: Your 100% correct! My choice to move to Las Vegas when I was 21 and get a cocktailing job at ICE was the best move I ever made. To Financially be able to put myself through school with only having to work three days a week really gave me enough time off to focus on school as well.
Marc Jay: I see that. I mean I was just in Chicago and saw your name on a flyer. Is it just that Vegas is such a huge market that people hear you and want to book you?
DJ Quira: Yeah, I actually have not gone and looked for one gig. Every gig that I have gotten so far has come to me. How I feel about it is, when people want me they’re going to come get me. Just this weekend, I did a private party and I just got a call today from the modeling agency and they want to book me for another event. It’s word of mouth, people see you, they want to book you and that’s how it happens.
Marc Jay: So tell us, what can we see of DJ Quira in the next 10 years? Where would you like to be?
DJ Quira: I want to be an international DJ and producer.
Marc Jay: I know you’ve been to Ibitha a couple of times. What was your experience with going to Europe and listening to dance music and big Ibithic style clubs?
DJ Quira: My experience with clubs in Ibiza was such a different experience than the club scene in Vegas. So I really payed attention to the programming and the reaction certain tracks got out of people, because people actually love to dance out there. I must thank Queen of House Zee, Jackson and Rob for all taking me to Ibiza, it was a life changing trip for me.
Marc Jay: What kind of DJs inspires you right now?
DJ Quira: One of my main inspirations and they are also friend's of mine is Tiesto and Erick Morillo. I really admire look up to the whole performance aspect of it. They put the whole show together they do the music and they make it more of show and I feel like that’s important. Even when I did my gig at Blush I brought in my own performance. I had a mood director come in and they had a whole performance and I really feel like it’s about putting on a show and bringing energy and creating energy in a room.
Marc Jay: There’s now 30 clubs in Vegas and they’re all fighting for the same customer sometimes so you have to bring something more to the table than just your DJ-ing skills. You have to put on a show almost.
DJ Quira: Back in the day a DJ could just be a DJ but now-a-days you need to be more versatile. Versatile is the key word. I’m even getting down to learning tricks; like scratch and hip-hop tricks. Which I am learning from DJ Frankie from Studio 54. I’m working hard to be well rounded in my music and be able to tackle whatever comes my way.
Marc Jay: I know you mentioned that all this work you’re getting is from people phoning you directly. Do you have a book agent or a manager yet or are you doing this all yourself?
DJ Quira: I do everything by myself. I built my website myself and also update it. I manage my facebook and twitter currently by myself. I had a part time assistant but right now I’m just solo and I have a lot of people approaching me for management but I’m just holding off for right now.
Marc Jay: So how do people follow you and find you. What your website and twitter pages?
DJ Quira: My website is www.djquira.com and from there you can link straight to my facebook, my fan page and my twitter. I have a blog; everything’s on my website. I update my calendar and my photo’s too.
Marc Jay: Do you have any tours planned in March; will you be reaching out to the rest of America or will you be in Vegas?
DJ Quira: Well, I’m planning to go to the Ultra Festival in Miami. Then on February 26th I’m doing a show in Chicago at the Roof in the WIT Hotel. Then pretty much until I graduate in May I’m not going to be going on any tours but once I graduate school I want to start going on tours around the world.
Marc Jay: Why do you think DJ-ing always seems to be a male dominated business and there are not many good female DJs? I can think of 2 or 3 but why is that? Girls can DJ just as well as guys do.
DJ Quira: I think that it’s because it’s a lot more work than people think it is. It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time. I’m not trying to just be sexist; you just have to have the right mind set for it. You can’t think it’s just all going to come together you really have to do your homework and I spend hours and hours downloading music, tracking it, practicing it and there’s so much more to it and I’m willing to dedicate myself to the art of it and I immerse myself around other DJ's to help bring good creative energy.
Marc Jay: Now do you have a studio set up in your house at all where you practice all the time?
DJ Quira: Oh yeah!
Marc Jay: How many tracks do you have at home?
DJ Quira: I have about 7,000 songs or so on my laptop, along with a few hard drives at home full of music as well.
Marc Jay: Well I know you have to rush off because we’ve caught you just before your gig. You’re off to Lavo tonight, is that right?
DJ Quira: Yeah, I’ll be at Lavo tonight and tomorrow night as well.
Marc Jay: Lavo Vegas has become a hugely popular club. They have a great line up of DJs there every week. Do you enjoy playing the venue?
DJ Quira: I really do. It’s been great practice and exposure for me. It’s got me in the door and they’ve already talked to me about doing Tao Beach this summer for them. They want me to do Marquee Day Club. I already got calls for other venues; it’s going to be a really busy summer. I have a lot of fun stuff coming up.
Marc Jay: Do you think you going to make it to New York any time soon?
DJ Quira: I do. Probably the summer.
Marc Jay: Wonderful. Anything else you’d like to tell the reader’s of clubplanet?
DJ Quira: Please stay tuned for more! By the end of this year I plan to produce my first track and to get in the studio with some amazing producers to collaborate with.
Marc Jay: And you can’t miss her. Her name is DJ Quira she’s beautiful and she’ll be coming to a town near you!
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