Our Sports DJ Sound Off series is designed to provide insightful ways to properly theme and soundtrack sporting events. In addition to providing themed playlists, we're connecting with some of the most talented Sports DJs from around the country and picking their brains for your benefit. Listen up as we 'Sound Off' with the industry's finest.
My first impression of DJ Poizon Ivy was, "Oh my god, I love her." Her swag was on point. Hair dyed a Dallas Wings blue. Hoop earrings large enough to shoot baskets on. Her smile and sense of joy were the only things in the venue brighter than her neon outfitting. She's Dallas proud. Loud without speaking. The type of person you have to make up a word to describe properly.
After the two of us exchanged some friendly WNBA trash talk, she set-up on the turntables to DJ the first night of Dew NBA 3X in Dallas. Within minutes, I could tell her ability to theme song selections, create an exciting atmosphere and enhance our Center Court activations was next level. She blended genres seamlessly, hit cues without prompting and accented our featured action beautifully. As folks in the industry would say, "She gets it." After working with her for the first time, my final impression of DJ Poizon Ivy remains, "Oh my god, I love her."
I reconnected to 'Sound-Off' with my my newest homegirl and here's how it went down... Meet DJ Poizon Ivy.
MH: Which sports organizations have you, or do you currently, DJ for?
PI: I have previously DJ'd for the Milwaukee Brewers and at one point was one of 5 DJ's who auditioned to be the first ever in-arena DJ for the Milwaukee Bucks. I'm currently the official team and in-arena DJ for the Dallas Wings and the official tour DJ for Skylar Diggins' #Shoot4TheSky Basketball Camp. I've done some work for NBA events including most recently the Dew NBA 3X stop in Dallas. I'm also gearing up to make a HUGE announcement as I will be joining another home team as their official DJ. Stay tuned!
MH: How did you first get involved in sports and become a Sports DJ?
PI: Honestly, I really think that it's the universe's way of helping me create a dream career by meshing two of my greatest interests. I grew up around several family members who were NBA fanatics. I later went on to become a ball girl for the Dallas Mavericks for nearly 6 years. I played basketball in middle school and in high school for a year or two before I realized that wouldn't take me far. And of course I went on to attend Marquette so the heavy basketball presence was there. On the music side, I grew up around music enthusiasts. My grandmother actually bought me my first musical instrument for Christmas when I was about 5 years old. It was a 12 key baby grand piano. I played piano for years, played cello, had dreams of becoming a pop star, and then at 19, I discovered a new instrument, the turntables. At the time, my fraternity brother and mentor DJ Adamocity was one of the biggest DJs on the scene in Milwaukee so he taught me how to DJ and used his platform to help me grow a fan base. Given my educational background, I've always tried to find alternative ways to market myself and of course working with brands, corporations, and sports franchises included are a great way to expose yourself to several different demographics at once. It's great leverage on so many levels for me, I honestly just think it's in my DNA. It allows me to take my creativity to crazy different heights and I just love it!
MH: What is some advice you'd give to a young person considering a career in sports?
PI: Be open. Be open to learning all facets of the industry. Before I became a sports team DJ, I had worked in sports for over 10 years. Believe it or not, I never turned down an opportunity to be around the environment. And, while I was there, I'd soak in any and everything I could. But also, I would offer a small caveat; know what it is you ultimately desire and never lose track of that.
MH: Which of your career highlights are you most proud of?
PI: I am most proud of becoming the Dallas Wings DJ especially in their inaugural season in Dallas (my hometown) which is also in a marquee year being the WNBA's 20th Anniversary season. To me that means so much on so many levels. I am proud to be a part of history. Women in sports continue to dominate as much as if not even sometimes more than their male counterparts. The WNBA has been around since I was 6 years old so to be able to work in and with the league is not only a chance for me to witness history but to also be a part of it. I've been blessed to meet and work with women who undoubtedly do their part in makring and change the narrative of our culture. Skylar Diggins, Nanci Lieberman, Becky Hammon, Candace Parker, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, the list is endless and I don't take any of it for granted.
MH: What is your favorite sport or sporting event to DJ?
PI: I love them all! The great thing about sporting events is that the energy is always there. You just have to gauge the fans and find out what it is that riles them up and push that button!
MH: Which songs, artists or genres do you consider a guilty pleasure?
PI: Oh man, this is a good question. One of my favorite songs of all time is Bon Jovi's "Livin On a Prayer". I am very much a fan of arena music cult classics. See, I really try to create a soundtrack to every part of the game. So for player warm-ups, I like to keep it fun by including the must haves, the Eminem's, Jay-Z, Kanye, Drake, Future, Wayne, some classic rock hits, AC/DC, Queen, the Ramones. But I also consider myself a record breaker. I like a lot of new songs that add energy to the environment which is a challenge of playing in big arenas. So a few of my current favorites right now are Kamaiyah's "How Does It Feel", anything from Major Lazer, Khaled's "For Free", Anderson Paak's, "Come Down" and the list can go on for awhile... LOL!
MH: What equipment and software do you use?
PI: I currently use a Pioneer DDJ SX2 with Serato and Macbook Pro but I am currently actively working on integrating new technology. Anything to help enhance performance, and thus, the fan experience.
MH: Which 3 songs should every DJ have in their library?
PI: Frankie Beverly and Maze "Before I Let Go", Wizkid "Ojuelegba" and Lil Wayne featuring Drake "Right Above It"
MH: If you could DJ any sporting event in the world, which would you pick?
PI: A championship game for any of these teams: Dallas Wings, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas or the Dallas Stars. As long as the ship is coming home baby!
MH: If you were a professional baseball player, which song would you pick as your batter intro music?
PI: It would be something with a bit of rhythm. I would represent my birth place of Nairobi, Kenya so it would probably be "Kamata" by the late, great E-Sir.
MH: What's your favorite theme night to soundtrack for a sporting event?
PI: I LOVE THE 90'S! That's it, that's all.