When it comes to Brittany Sky, the world is her oyster. The Queens, NY native is building a fast-growing brand, thanks to her smooth skills on the turntables and down-to-earth personality. Though Sky has been spinning for just a couple of years, her work ethic and impressive portfolio prove that she's just as polished and talented as any veteran DJ. We took the opportunity to speak to Brittany, who shared stories about her budding career and being a woman in a male-dominated field. Check out the full interview below.
You're based in LA now, but tell us how growing up in Queens, New York shaped you into the person you are today.
I went to a lot of different schools, so I feel like I’ve always had to adjust to whatever group of kids I was around. I actually got bullied a lot in elementary school. I guess I was the “different girl.” There weren’t that many black kids in my school, like there was probably one other black girl in my grade, so I’d get called different names because of my appearance. Going to different schools and moving around has helped me in situations where I’m having to meet new people, which has been my life for the past several years.
Starting off your career as a model, what drew you to start DJ'ing? Do both of those creative mediums go hand-in-hand for you?
I’ve never considered myself a model, I think I was just given a great opportunity. I found myself doing tastemaker/influencer photoshoots and then the whole Kendrick Lamar thing - that was just being at the right place at the right time. I’ve always had a passion for music, finding myself referencing songs depending on the situation. My friends would always tell me "You should DJ!" It took me a while to get to that point because I know there are DJ’s that put in work, they carry crates, etc. and I just didn’t want anyone to feel like I was disrespecting the craft. One, I’m a female. Two, you didn’t have to put in as much work because I had already started to establish myself as a brand and I already had those relationships. I started to dedicate more time to it and thankfully, I was surrounded by DJs. I worked at Hot97, some of them supported me, some of them didn’t, and now I’m just doing my thing.
How would you describe your style?
I dress based on my mood. If I want to turn up a little bit, I'll wear heels, but I always like to dress it down. The clothes you pick kind of determine your confidence. For me, I like being comfortable and when I’m comfortable, I’m confident. Whether I’m wearing sneakers - which happen to be my favorite thing - or sweats and some type of heel or hoodie, I’m comfortable because that's what I want to wear - that's my mood for the day.
There have always been women in the DJ'ing field, but lately, women have been getting a lot more recognition. What's your take on that? How can we apply that to other fields of work where we are not getting as much recognition?
For me, I think it’s a matter of women sticking together. I feel like we’re so competitive, as though there’s only room for one or two DJs. I feel like everyone has their niche - whether it’s fashion, beauty, or fitness. Everyone has their own lane and they overlap from time to time but there’s room for everyone. I think if we apply that to other career choices, we’d get so much further - but I feel like we’re starting to get there. I see women collaborating with each other a lot more.
“I think it’s a matter of women sticking together. Everyone has their own lane and they overlap from time to time but there’s room for everyone."
What are some of your biggest musical influences?
I like funk music. I grew up on it. Someone that I really admire is Angie Martinez. I feel like she still doesn’t get the recognition that she deserves. She’s been on the radio for as long as I’ve been alive. The way she is, the way she conducts her interviews, the level of trust that people have in her, it’s crazy. Queen Latifah is someone that also inspires me, just because she covers so much ground. She’s done movies, music, beauty, produced her own TV show. She’s worn so many different hats and for me, as a “millennial,” that’s something to look forward to. We can wear as many hats as we want.
The term "influencer" has been thrown around a bit this year. How do you feel about that word and what does it mean to you?
It doesn’t have the same meaning that it used to have. When you think about it, an influencer is someone that influences a crowd of people, but it doesn’t have to be specific to a crowd. She may be influencing the next generation of girls who want to be Instagram models, and then there’s someone that might be influencing the next generation of engineers or producers. There’s no right or wrong way to influence people. For me, I don’t want to be considered an influencer. I want to be considered as someone who likes what they like.
Traveling so frequently while maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. How do you make sure you're staying on track with staying fit?
I’m going to be all the way honest with you - I’ll do so well when I’m at home in New York or out in LA, but once I start travelling and I’m out of my comfort zone, I’m not on my regular schedule and I fall off track. If I have a friend that motivates me to get out or run with them, I’ll go ahead and do it, but for the most part, it’s really hard. Especially being a DJ. Whenever I travel for gigs, it’s hard because you’re out late.
What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?
There have been so many good ones, it’s hard to break it down. I would have to say ComplexCon; that one meant a lot to me. For me to get out of my comfort zone and perform in front of all of those people as a headlining DJ, to have people believe in me. It’s nice to know that people believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself, or you don’t see it for yourself yet. I didn’t know that I had that in me. I put my shyness aside; I personally hate talking on the mic, I hate doing certain things while performing but I just let go. Having my team being there to support me was incredible.
Name 3 of your favorite beauty products.
My Tarte eyebrow pencil. I have this Guerlain bronzer that warms my face up that I love. Also, I love red lipstick. I either go between Stila’s “Beso” or Kylie Cosmetics’ “Mary Jo.”
When you're not DJ'ing, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m learning how to be alone. It’s very difficult in LA because this is such a lonely place, but I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. When I’m alone, I’ll workout, clean, put more time into DJ’ing and work on my sets at home. I’m always watching beauty videos on YouTube as well.
List 3 hidden gems in Los Angeles or New York.
1. Sugarfish (LA). The sushi is so fresh and so good.
2. Los Tacos in Chelsea Market (NYC). Best tacos in New York.
3. Adults Only (LA).
Tell us who your MISSBISH is and why she is an inspiration.
Ryan Destiny, even though she’s younger than me. I feel like she’s got it. Kehlani as well. I like the fact that she’s rugged on the outside but she’s so sweet on the inside. I feel like a lot of artists sugarcoat who they really are, and I feel like she’s really honest.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
When I hear the name, I think of that bish. Someone who makes their own money, is fly, can foresee what’s next in fashion, beauty, trends - someone who’s on it. Someone who’s a staple in culture.
Photos by: Paulsta Wong