A boss DJ with a killer sense of style and a widespread knowledge of varying music genres, Bella Fiasco has proven herself over and over again. As a DJ who splits her time between LA and Vegas, she definitely knows how to keep a party bumping all night long. MISSBISH talked to Bella about what it takes to make it in the industry, how she sets herself apart from the rest, and more.
When did you first fall in love with DJ’ing and how did you make it your career?
I first fell in love with DJ’ing when I was in 6th grade, watching videos of A-Trak touring with Kanye West at the time - also around the same time I was making playlists for my friends and burning them onto CDs to give away. I always had a knack for curating soundtracks and promoting new music amongst my friends; it just took me a while to find an outlet for that hobby. On my 17th birthday, I came home to a pair of turntables that my dad surprised me with. The rest was a love story. I spent countless nights researching, learning, and developing as a DJ. Making it a career is a whole other (and long) story- let’s just say it took a lot of dedication, courage, and perseverance. It wasn’t easy dipping into a male-dominated field, especially around the time I broke into the scene. I had to earn street cred and respect before I could book any gigs, and turn my hobby into a source of income as well.
How do you mentally prepare for a set?
A shot always helps calm the nerves. Or I scroll through my memes album (lol).
It’s easy to go to a club where you may hear the same songs over and over, but it’s your job to keep everything fresh and up to date. Where do you discover new music or artists to use during your gigs?
None other than the Beat Junkies record pool. I’m a proud ambassador of a record pool that’s different from the rest. We keep the site stocked up with gems, old or new and indie or popular. There’s no other place for hard core music aficionados!
As a female DJ, how do you set yourself apart from the men? What obstacles have you had to overcome?
I don’t let my gender dictate my abilities, I don’t let it box me in a corner. I continue to progress in skill and earn credibility that way instead of relying on my gender or “looks” as a gimmick. There’s a right way to utilize your image as an advantage, it has to be done tastefully and gracefully - but it can’t be the only thing you have to offer. Gender shouldn’t be a factor in earning respect. Skill will always get you noticed and acknowledged one way or another.
“I don’t let my gender dictate my abilities. I continue to progress in skill and earn credibility that way, instead of relying on my gender or 'looks' as a gimmick and form of marketing."
What advice do you have for any women aspiring to become a DJ?
It’s so much easier for female DJs to emerge in the field today, all thanks to the OGs who have paved the way. There’s no stopping us now. You’ve just got to remember to hold your ground, know your worth, and be a bad*ss inside and out! It all starts within you - be a believer of yourself and never stop learning and growing. They can’t tell you nothin’!
What kind of crowd is your favorite to play to and how do you know you've played a successful set?
I love playing for the 20s age group. For the most part, they appreciate new joints just as much as throwback jams. Those are usually my favorite sets - ones that allow me to jump from one era to another. It’s always a successful night when you can get the entire crowd not only dancing to the songs you’re dropping, but singing along as well. Their fun night, is my successful night.
You’re known all over Los Angeles and Vegas, how do the two locations differ in your sets and crowd reaction?
LA and Vegas are very, very different. Vegas nightlife is a melting pot of tourists from all over the world, so it requires a much wider song library. On the other hand, LA nightlife is trendy. Whatever’s hot at the moment is usually what to expect at any premier nightclub or bar across the city. Luckily, I’m an open format DJ - you can throw me anywhere and I’ll deliver.
What have you been listening to on repeat lately?
I’ve been listening to a lot of '60s soul lately. It helps refresh my mood. Playing in mainstream clubs can exhaust my music library so whenever I get some alone time, I like to put on stuff I never get to play or hear outside of my room. Music for the soul - a lot of Otis Redding, Isley Brothers, Etta James, The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, etc.
Who is your MISSBISH?
I stand by the most iconic MISSBISH of my lifetime - Hil Clinton.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
A woman of dignity, resilience, confidence, courage, poise, style, and grace.
What are three hidden gems in LA?
Three of my favorite go-to spots with good music and vibes minus the typical Hollywood politics are; No Vacancy, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, and Break Room 86.
Photography: Angelo Vazquez