Having been called the “House Queen of the DMV,” Confetti The First lays down multi-genre electronic music like it’s encoded in her DNA. Her high-energy, fun sets light up the dance floor and will leave you a hot mess begging for more! Having established herself as a household name in the EDM scene in the greater Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, Confetti The First brings the beats that will make you dance all night long.
In her time behind the decks, she has performed at venues such as U Street Music Hall in Washington, D.C., Flash in Washington, D.C., Soundstage in Baltimore, MD and more. She has performed at festivals including Big Dub Festival, Otakon Anime Convention, Unified Field of Consciousness, Flower of Life, and been booked by event companies such as Badass Entertainment, Panorama Productions, Symbiotic, Nu Androids, Club Glow, and Give Productions. She has also had the pleasure of sharing lineups with names such as DJ Micro, Elite Force, Helicopter Showdown, Baggi Begovic, DJ Venom, DJ Shiftee, Designer Drugs, Wes Smith, Laxx, and Nina Las Vegas.
Confetti The First is also an outspoken activist, who is committed in her support to equal rights for women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community.
We had the chance to catch up with her and talk music, pandemic and what it means to be an artist today.
Classic Entourage Mag: Thanks for chatting with us. What inspired you to be a DJ? Who influence you?
Confetti The First: Thanks for hitting me up! I remember being young and going to clubs 2, 3, sometimes 4 times a week. I loved the atmosphere and vibe, I loved the music and production. I went to my first rave in 2008, and while it had of course amazing music, I remember thinking that this type of event was truly special, as it accepted everyone as they were, and I felt that was really beautiful, I still do. During that time, I had found out my childhood dream wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life after all, and I decided to pursue DJing after a friend of mine told me to try it. She said, “You love music more than anyone I’ve ever known, you should do it.” So, after having a buddy let me play on his controller one evening, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
As far as influences, it’s really the dance music community as a whole. I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life at clubs & raves & festivals, and I wanted to be part of providing that for other people.
CE Mag: How did you get started?
CTF: Without being too long winded, it came from what I at the time viewed as a string failures, but failure is just life pushing you in a direction you weren’t working towards at the time, at least not knowingly. I’ve always been involved in the arts (dancing, singing, acting, writing, etc), so taking the next step to DJing seemed natural, although very intimating. I found a friend that was a DJ, he let me try out his controller, and I loved it. I then found a couple other mentors to show me techniques, as well as give me tips for getting gigs, networking, and the entertainment industry as a whole. Even with a mentor, you do find your own way, so now that it’s been years since I’ve had one, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to learn under some very talented and wonderful people.
CE Mag: With the pandemic going on what have you been doing to keep active in the music community?
CTF: I’ve been collecting new music from all kinds of genres, and have been working on producing my own tracks as well, both solo and with a partner. I also have played a couple virtual festivals, and am booked for a few more in the coming weeks. I’ve figured out some ways to improve the quality of my live streams, and have found kind of weird content to add to my DJ pages, not just music (I built a shoe rack while live on my channel, doing a Q&A, and did the same a couple times while making deviled eggs). Since we’re all quarantined at home and are online looking for ways to be entertained and connected, I’m trying to find ways to produce content that’s not only musical, but also helps my brand, with letting folks get to know me as a person, not just a jukebox. I also put out 2 new mixes in April on SoundCloud & YouTube. So I am keeping busy, creating content and learning ways to improve on what I’ve been doing. Learning has been the name of the game since quarantine.
CE Mag: Where do you think the future of music is going? Where do you see yourself within that realm?
CTF: As much as I miss playing live shows at clubs and raves, I really like the current move of labels and production companies putting on virtual festivals. I tune into at least one just about every weekend, and there’s so much to choose from, it’s great! I really hope that keeps going, even if it’s in a smaller capacity, once things open back up. I also see DJs doing more private live streams, which is really nice to see. It’s important to be connected to your fan base, and putting out good content online is an easy way to do that. I also see some DJs add “virtual tip jars” with their Vemno or CashApp handles in the video description, which I am all in favor of. I think it helps remind folks that this is indeed a profession, a lot of time and energy is spent into creating a set and a well produced live stream set up for viewers, and the request for a tip is a good reminder of that. I also see promoters putting on events for charity, which is great to see; it’s so important to give back. Even before the pandemic, there are so many causes that need financial assistance. I’m almost always happy to donate my time towards a charitable cause. I really hope these habits keep up.
CE Mag: What are some things you are starting to hate in the industry? What treads are not sitting right with you?
CTF: It’s not really a trend, it’s a tale as old as time, and I think it’s not specific to the dance music scene, but to any business or entertainment endeavor: toxic competition. We go further together. I see a lot of newer folks in the scene be really defensive and competitive, but in actuality, collaboration really gets us all further.
CE Mag: How did you get your name? How has that affected your persona as a DJ?
CTF: I get this question all the time! A friend gave me the nickname “Confetti” one evening, saying “you’re like confetti, you’re all over the place.” I got a good laugh out of that, and when it came time to pick a name, I went with that. I added “The First” because I envisioned helping other folks as I went along this journey. In terms of branding, it’s been a great guide. The symbolism of confetti is celebrational and jovial. You can’t not smile when you see it, you know there’s a celebration and fun when it’s around. I try to make my sets like that too- a great time that’s a lot of fun.
CE Mag: What is some of the best advice you can give new DJs coming onto the scene?
CTF: Don’t compete; collaborate. Find yourself a few good mentors that you can trust to have your best interest at heart. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s a community for a reason. Stay true to yourself and your style, you don’t have to become something you’re not. I think it’s also really important to be reminded often why you’re doing what you’re doing, and what’s important. There are so many details to work out, but once it’s all boiled down, your mission statement should be simple.
CE Mag: With the amount of new artist coming out everyday, is it becoming harder to market yourself?
CTF: I’d say yes and no. We’re seeing so many new artists because with social media and the internet in general, it’s easier now more than ever to get yourself and your content seen, by at least some folks. An independent artist can now have success without signing onto a label, if they don’t want to. But because of this, there are more elements than just talent that have to be taken into account. A DJ isn’t just a DJ anymore, they’re a graphic designer, a customer service rep, a fashionista, a social media manager, etc. We do so much more than ever before to just do the thing we wanted to do all along- play tunes for folks and make some music.
CE Mag: What are you looking forward to the most when everything reopens? Any favorite places you miss being?
CTF: I miss crowds and gigs! I miss playing music for people that are in the same room as me! I’ve been working at it for almost 10 years, with bookings every weekend and some during the week, so it’s super strange not to be in a club or warehouse for over a month. I definitely miss my favorite DC venues: Soundcheck and U Street Music Hall, also Flash and Echostage. The first show back is going to be heavenly.
CE Mag: Thank you for talking to us. Last question, what do you hope to be remembered for in the music world? Who would you like to inspire?
CTF: My absolute pleasure! It’s strange to think that there’s a potential to have a legacy in this community, but I sure hope I was able to make folks smile. I hope I’m remembered for providing a lot of fun during my sets, and made people smile with my social media pages. As far as inspiration, I remember not having a lot of people that looked like me to look up to, so I have a heart for curvy brown gay girls that felt like they didn’t have a place in this world or community. I hope to be the inspiration I missed during my younger years.
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Categories: Music Heads