My dream is to make DJing my full-time job. To be the best DJ I can be, the most skilled and knowledgeable. The best female DJ there is. I’d love to tour around the world, teach young and eager students the art of DJing. I’d continue battling, start my own line of merchandise… The opportunities are endless.

Full Name: Stephanie Todorovski
DJ Name: deejay t-jr.
Nationality: Macedonian

How did you start dj’ing?

“I remember it like it was yesterday… I was 15 working at Loblaws as a shelf stalker. Zee, who was my manager at time became my mentor, my big brother. We would spend hours together. He was shocked and impressed by my deep knowledge of Hip Hop and that’s pretty much what got us to become so close. He told me that he was a DJ (which I didn’t believe); imagine trying to picture your manager doing your dream job. He said that I should try hopping on the turntables. I didn’t even think that was thing… That day eventually came, and I remember being very reluctant to get on the turntables, and when I finally did it was the most unnatural thing ever. My coordination was totally off… I felt like Bambi taking his first steps. So instead, I sat back and listened. When I heard Zee scratch for the first time, I was like ‘Hold up. What was that?! I want to do THAT!’ 4 months later, I messaged Zee and said, ‘Let’s go turntable shopping.’ It was a wrap from there!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

“My biggest inspiration is DJ Craze. Hands down. He’s the GOAT. To me, DJ Craze is what the perfect DJ is. I admire his skills, his character, passion and drive, his dedication and ongoing contribution to the craft of turntablism and this beautiful artform of DJing. When I was started spinning, my bedroom was my playroom, I did lots of research and watched DMC Finals and the ITF Finals on YouTube. It was so fascinating because I didn’t grow up during that era, that was before my time. Basically, I would look for whatever I could dig up on the internet to better my skills.”

“The 1998-2000 DMC Championship sets were what really caught my ear though. DJ Craze won consecutive titles, back-to-back, all vinyl. That’s crazy to me! And the thing is, all of those sets are absolutely timeless, they have stood the test of time and he could still ruin new DJs with any one of those sets.”

Where was your first gig?

“My first gig ever was at the original Escobar in Toronto. My friend Deejay Midz was spinning there at the time. I’d been there a bunch of times just because it was a super low-key spot, and it wasn’t really crazy packed. Most importantly it was one of the only joints in Toronto that had really dope music and underground hip hop. One Saturday he asked whether I wanted to split the night with him, I said ‘Hell yeah I do!’ I didn’t really know what to expect, or how it would all go down. I do remember having some technical issues with my laptop during set up so I was freaking out trying to troubleshoot and download all sorts of drivers or firmware last minute. It all worked out in the end though. The crowd enjoyed my music and I got some really good feedback, especially after I dropped Shook Ones Part II.”

Whats your dream job?

“My dream is to make DJing my full-time job. To be the best DJ I can be, the most skilled and knowledgeable. The best female DJ there is. I’d love to tour around the world, teach young and eager students the art of DJing. I’d continue battling, start my own line of merchandise… The opportunities are endless… My big goal would be to produce and work with major artists. It’s all about the music, it comes back to that.”

What’s it like being a female DJ? Do you feel DJ’ing is a man’s world?

“DJing is my favourite thing to do, I love it! I’m in my element, it’s where I am the happiest, and where I have the most fun doing this ‘thing.’ I’m all about the challenge. So, now the more I practice and learn, the better I get at my craft, which allows me to not only build my skills and knowledge but also puts me up there with my peers. Being a DJ, and caring about being a great one, affords me the opportunity to both connect and compete with my peers, who are predominantly males. It also allows me to set the stage for other women who want to do the same.
Statistically speaking, yes, DJing is a man’s world… right now. But in my view, DJing is actually for anybody who whole-heartedly loves music, who want to practice and work hard to be great, who has a strong knowledge of music and consistently seeks out music. It’s for individuals who have a certain ear and who love to get creative with music in different ways, and love when others are able to have a good time from the vibe they’re curating. Things are changing; more women are getting into it, we’re definitely seeing some momentum there. I do see a lot more females getting involved in this field, so hopefully I can inspire more who are interested, to dive in and go for it if they truly love it.”

Do you feel DJing is a lost art, what is the future for the dj world?

“You know, this is a difficult question to answer. I wouldn’t say that DJing is a lost art. However, I do feel that the true art of DJing has slowly been lost over time – maybe in part due to advanced technology, the ease with which people have instant access to information, and just the way society has changed as a whole over the course of time. There are definitely DJs out there today that are truly maintaining the roots of DJing and promoting and teaching the fundamentals (Beat Junkies Institute for Sound comes to mind), but overall, I believe the art form has been diluted, despite being overly saturated with DJs, as ironic as this is.”

“I feel like DJing was rooted in something purer in the past, it had more substance, people worked a lot harder and took pride in really being the best and excelling in their craft. DJing has been stripped of that, there are too many things in the mix, too many “confounding variables.” I feel like DJing is being sold as a commodity, which takes it away from what it really is. For example, we’re now seeing major celebrities spontaneously becoming overnight “DJ sensations” showcasing at large events and festivals. We have DJs whose main priorities have now become acquiring brand sponsorships, and Instagram “fame” with little or no DJing being done at all. I see more and more DJs being promoted, and DJing being sold for every reason except for that which it is originally intended. This is being done to the detriment of the art of DJing and it really hurts the culture. That truly doesn’t sit right with me.”

“At the end of the day, I ask myself, what am I doing every day to become a better DJ? Am I continually evolving? What am I contributing to the culture? If I’m not hitting these points consistently, then I really need to step away from the turntables and do something else.”

What fashion statement do you make as a female Dj?

“My fashion sense – firstly, I’m a huge sneakerhead. I love my Air Max 90s, everyone knows that about me – that’s like the shoe to my heart. To me, your kicks are the most important thing. They’ve got to be on point, especially as a DJ. It’s just a ‘thing,’ you can’t have bad shoes! Great sneakers go a long way – trust me! When it comes to clothing, I’d definitely say that my style is a mix of an urban/athletic/hip-hop/east coast New York vibe. I just wear what I like, whatever feels right and what I think suits me and my body type best. I don’t like trends, I don’t watch them or follow them, I just do me at the end of the day. I like to keep it edgy yet feminine.”

“When it comes to make-up, overall, I’m not huge on make-up it’s not a fun process for me, I keep it pretty simple. The ‘sneakers’ of make-up to me are my eyebrows. They have to be on point, always! And just like my shoes, I feel like my eyebrows can make or break my entire look, so it’s important to maintain them well and give them that extra love and attention. I just keep a quick regime and spend that extra time practicing on my turntables!”

Playlists for Fashion:

ShaqIsDope – Fashion Killa ft. J.O.Y.
Tory Lanez – DrIP DrIp Drip ft. Meek Mill
A$AP Rocky – Praise The Lord (Da Shine)
Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe
EverythingOShauN – Lowry
Prodigy & Alchemist – Raw Forever
Spirit – J Hus
Big Freedia & Mannie Fresh – Dive

Playlist for Hairstylists/Makeup:

Staasia Daniels – Everywhere
Be Your Girl (Kaytranada Edition)
I Wanna Be Down Remix – deejay t-jr. Edition
Afro Bros – So Much Love ft. Charly Black & Stevie Appleton
Fkj & Masego – Tadow
Janet Jackson – Would You Mind (Rey Ruccio Refixxx)
Govi – Just Move ft. Clairmont The Second
HoodCelebrityy – Walking Trophy Remix (ft. Konshens, Big Zeeks, Alicia Harley, Toddla T)
Lady Leshurr – OMW