Anyone who frequents Seattle’s nightlife has heard the name Frida K. She has opened for top-tier DJs across multiple states and is catching major traction on the festival circuit. We got the chance to talk with Frida K about her rising success just before her performance at Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge earlier this summer.
DMNW: How did you get into DJing?
Frida: So I’ve always been a creative person, so I was always trying different things. I was really into drawing for a little bit, really into photography, video production. But I just couldn’t find something that was fulfilling enough. I have always been a fan of just music, and I went to my first rave when I was 15, and then I basically never stopped. Then eventually I wanted to get involved with the scene, so when I turned 18 I started promoting.
I was working for USC [Events], and I would work shows here and there and wanted to work my way up to do some production stuff. I had bought a mixer when I was like 15 or 16 but never really used it because I never had the confidence to use it, but I had a roommate who was a DJ and he would let me use his stuff. Eventually I was like okay, this is kind of cool so I started just practicing and practicing and at the same time some of my friends were throwing shows.
I played the second show that they ever had, which was at a bar in Ballard, and I loved it. With my past of being a promoter, I was able to get better shows right off the bat. I opened for a bunch of acts and then just kept hustling and hustling for about a year. Then I was like, okay, I like this, but I wanna make my own music too. So I started doing that, and I was 21 at this point. I kept getting better opportunities while releasing my own music working my way up so I can quit my day job eventually.
How did you choose your stage name?
Frida: My mom named me after Frida Kahlo, and at first I didn’t know what to have as my DJ name, and then right before this show, they were working on the flyer and we didn’t have a name <laugh>, and I was just like, I don’t know what to do. Around this time I had gone to Mexico to visit family, and I went to the Frida Kahlo museum, which is her house. And I had like a weird epiphany – I understood why my mom loves her so much, but also her story’s really cool and what she stands for is really cool. I love her and, I don’t know, it just rolls off the tongue.
What helped you the most while getting into the Seattle club scene?
Frida: Well having a background of being a promoter, I knew how to cater to an audience and how to market myself as a brand in a sense. I also knew how to promote my shows because I knew how to bring people to shows. I used a little bit of that to bring people and bring my friends to my shows. To this day I would like to think that I am still good at promoting, and I take pride in the things that I do to promote because it’s what I know and where I came from.
As a promoter, I knew a bunch of people. So I skipped the part of when you’re a DJ and you have to go to the club and meet people. I knew a bunch of people that were DJs because they were all my friends that were playing the shows that I was promoting. People were excited to see me do something that I liked, and they helped me because I helped them by promoting their shows, a mutual thing.
The hard part was balancing work and making something out of this. To this day I still struggle with that. I have to have a job, so that’s always been a struggle. The first couple of years I was younger so I was just going out more and trying to do 30 things at once, compared to now I feel like I have a better balance.
Are you excited to play at Beyond Wonderland?
Frida: I am very excited. I’m super nervous. Just because I have an hour to show people the best of me. It’s not like a club show where I’m support for someone, where I have to kind of see what I’m playing and not go too hard or cater to whatever genre they play and play around that. I get to do whatever I want. So having too much freedom kind of freaks me out cause I’m not used to it. But that’s the fun part about it that I can play whatever I want which I’ve been trying to expand on. I like playing tech house, but I want to play other stuff, so that definitely is a nice part about it. There’s just so much I wanna do, and I am limited to an hour.
Do you feel that you have been supported as a member of the LGBTQ community in the PNW?
Frida: I definitely feel supported. I’ve never had any issues in the Seattle scene in regards to that, and everyone’s been super accepting. I think the club scene and the dance scene are really open, so I’m very lucky that I’m in a scene where it’s okay to be different.
I’m aware that I’m very straight-passing, and I’m also aware that I’m very white-passing. I’m full Mexican so a lot of people are surprised when I have a girlfriend or tell people I was born and raised in Mexico. I don’t think those things had anything to do with where I’m at because I don’t get booked for a lot of things like Pride events or anything along those lines, which I would love to. That’s something I’m looking to do in the future. I feel like I’m open about it. I post about my girlfriend, I’m very vocal about like being gay and advocating for gay rights. I like to let other people know they are supported in the scene if they are gay, lesbian, trans, whatever.
What can we expect to see from Frida K in the future?
Frida: I have a couple of shows in July coming up and more in the future. I just released my EP, so now I’m working on music again. I don’t have any songs coming up anytime soon so I’m just going to keep hustling and writing music. I’m hoping to write more music that’s for specific labels.
I don’t want to just stick to tech house. I want to make more techno and bass house and lofi house. My goal is definitely to expand music wise with what I’m making. I wanna be more multi-genre in a sense but still have it be four-by-four. I’m hoping to expand and grow as an artist now that I’m getting around to finding my sound.
Want to check out more of Frida K’s discog? Check out her Soundcloud.
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