Dallas-native DJ Duffey first landed on our radar as the official DJ for Amber Rose‘s SlutWalk event, which took place earlier this month in Los Angeles. We loved her style and joie de vivre, along with her willingness to join forces on an event a lot of celebs chose to distance themselves from out of fear of being labeled.
SlutWalk, however, is by no means Duffey’s first brush with a big stage. Building off of DJ residencies in her hometown of Dallas, she became New Orleans rapper Curren$y’s official DJ earlier this year, with plans now set for a month-long West Coast tour. She’s also handled interviewing detail on DJ Vlad’s popular YouTube channel and Drake, yes the one and only, is an enthusiastic supporter.
Though more than just an up-and-coming DJ, Duffey (whose real name is Latosha Duffey) is part of a rising group of in-control women like Rose, like Nicki Minaj, who are a one-person, fully-integrated entrepreneurial machines, who offer a complete package of creativity, boss mentality and eye-popping good looks that laugh in the face of typical Western beauty standards. All of them are female trail blazers and we are 100 percent here for it!
Check out her thoughts on the future of SlutWalk, industry double standards and of course what goes into her great look below.
Snobette: What project are you working on right now, what are you in the midst of accomplishing?
DJ Duffey: “Right now, I’m gearing up to go up on tour with Curren$y, starting November 5th for a 30-day tour. This is my first tour. I’m excited and nervous. This is my first time been away from my son for that long. We definitely will be FaceTiming everyday.”
Q: Where is the tour going to take you?
DJ Duffey: “It’s a West Coast tour so we start in L.A., then Santa Ana and then on to Honolulu, Hawaii, and then back to California for some more dates.”
Snobette: So as you know, you first came on our radar with Slut Walk. How was the event, what did you take away from it
DJ Duffey: “It was an amazing experience. I think the biggest things I got from it were personal. It gave me a chance to revisit some of the things that have happened to me in this industry and growing up as a young lady and during the time of my divorce and feeling slut shamed.
“I blocked those things out, but it was the first time I got back in touch with those experiences and was able to do so in a safe place. It gave me a chance to feel vindicated and take back some of my own power, which was great.”
Snobette: There was a big response to the event on social media, some good and some critical. Were you surprised?
DJ Duffey: “I definitely expected a lot of negative feedback because of the name and honestly I wished it didn’t have to be called SlutWalk. The event was positive and some people didn’t understand why we used the name.
“The founders came up with it. But Amber is in your face and not afraid of confrontation and the controversy of the name made people talk and gave the event a lot of publicity and that helped people educate themselves.”
Snobette: It was heart wrenching to watch Amber break down on stage talking about her experiences being slut shamed. Could you relate to some of the things she has been through as an attractive public figure?
DJ Duffey: “I could definitely feel that moment and I myself got emotional. Amber and I before then talked about some of the things we’ve been through.
“I was married to an NFL player for one year after dating for six years and as soon as we were going through the break up and I was no longer in his life and I was referred to as a gold digger and slut by him. For Amber, I was so happy everyone got to see that vulnerable side to her.”
Snobette: Do you think any progress can be made when it comes to slut shaming? It seems really deep rooted.
DJ Duffey: “I definitely feel in the next five years, progress will be made. Amber will do SlutWalk every year, and it will be bigger and better with bigger sponsors.
“And next year it won’t be such a big shock. People will pay attention to the cause and what changes she’s trying to make. They won’t care about the name anymore. And celebrities will be less scared to join in.”
Snobette: In rap, a music genre in which beefs are common and part of the culture, how do you address various rapper dust ups when it comes to song selection at any given venue?
DJ Duffey: “It’s hard sometimes. I can say I’ve been in a situation when there was an artist in the club and I played music the artist didn’t like and his entourage starting giving me the worst looks ever and were yelling at me to turn off the music. It was scary.
“At the end of the day I’m still a female. I felt awful. It’s hard to keep up with who is beefing with who, though now I Google who they do not like before the gig.”
Snobette: Do you change your mix according to the city you’re in?
DJ Duffey: “Each city has its own sound and I am mindful of it, but when I travel I like to bring a sound that speaks to where I’m from. Like at my residencies in Dallas, I don’t play a lot of West Coast sounding music. The DJ visiting from L.A. should come in and bring that sound.”
Snobette: You have a great look, can you talk a little about your nail/hair/fashion game?
DJ Duffey: “With my nails, I get gel and I like them as glossy as possible because I’m very into bling, I wear a big Versace necklace and my engagement ring is huge because my fiancé knows I’m from Texas and that’s just my taste.
“I will do acrylics to get the length and I sometimes go with square and sometimes pointy, as long as it stands out, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I will add stones, but that’s more for special occasions. I use my hands so much that it’s hard if my manicure is too complicated.”
Snobette: How about your hair. I loved the look you had for Slutwalk.
DJ Duffey: “Thank you. I switch it up a lot. My natural hair is short and shaved on the side and sometimes I put designs on the side of my head, and then I love to play with wigs. The wig at SlutWalk was specifically made for me by my stylist, Shay. We work a lot with hair products from Indique, it’s the best.”
Snobette: And then fashion. The Discount Universe outfit you wore at the event was amazing. How did you hear about them?
DJ Duffey: “I’ve been a fan of Discount Universe for a while. With SlutWalk, I knew I could only wear the outfit once and it had to be something dope. I went to the Discount Universe website and I spotted that one piece with “sex” on it and knew it was perfect. Unfortunately they didn’t have my size so I searched the internet and found a girl in the U.K. who had my size and I bought it from her. I also like Chromat. They’re innovative and definitely a label I love as well.”
Snobette: How about footwear?
DJ Duffey: “I have a love/hate relationship with shoes because my shoe size is big. I have all these friends with cute feet who wear shoes from different designers and my feet don’t make the cut.
“There’s a shoe company called Bdonnas based here in Dallas, and they sell cute affordable shoes and they help me out a lot. I’m on my feet for hours so they have to be fashionable and comfortable. I’ve found that Jimmy Choo is good for me, but Versace, Michael Kors and Vince Camuto are also good
Snobette: As a DJ, what is your equipment set up, in other words, what do you bring to a gig? Do you have an assistant?
DJ Duffey: “Luckily when I go on the road all I have to bring is laptop and headphones. I have a rider and I tell them what equipment I need. I use a Mac Pro and I use Beats by Dre studio headphones that are blinged out. As far as assistants go, I pretty much travel alone, especially if I’m in Dallas. If I’m booked out of state, I’ll bring my publicist, Alexis, or my fiancé.”
Snobette: Ok wait—you’re engaged–congrats!
DJ Duffey: “He’s a basketball agent.” [Update: And his name is….Iman Shokouhizadeh]
Snobette: When are you getting married?
DJ Duffey: “Hopefully next summer in Vegas. I want it to be smaller so everyone has the best time.”
Snobette: From a business perspective, do you book your own gigs or do you have someone who helps manage you?
DJ Duffey: “Normally Alexis, my publicist, helps me with bookings and keeping track of money, but I’m still just starting out, plus I’m a Virgo and a perfectionist so I always think no one is going to do it as well as I do it. As I’ve gotten bigger it’s gotten harder to do it all my own.”
Snobette: As of late there have been some grumbling around use of pretty girl DJs who some think lack real skills. What’s your stance on that debate?
DJ Duffey: “This is my take. If you’re a female DJ who is attractive and whose skills are not that great and you’re getting booked, I can’t hate on that. You’re lucky. I can’t hate on the next women who’s doing something she loves. I was once that girl. I got booked off of looks and popularity, but now I can say I’m great at what I do and I can DJ anywhere in the world and kill it.
“And I wouldn’t be able to say that today if people didn’t give me the opportunity when I wasn’t great. If there are pretty girls who have no DJ skills and they get in front of turntable and put themselves in situations and do horrible, they do have the potential to make other female DJs look bad. You have to take the craft seriously and there are some females who do and those who don’t and those who don’t will be exposed.”
Snobette: Is there a double standard whereby newbie male DJs are put on by friends and yet their skill sets are less questioned than those of newbie females?
DJ Duffey: “When a man is coming up as a DJ, it’s much easier for him to be accepted because it’s a male-dominated industry. I know I can say I’ve met men DJing longer than me and I’m better, but the automatic assumption is he’s better because he’s a male.”
Snobette: As important as it is for women to support each other, how important is it for women to have male industry connects that help usher them past male haters and blockers?
DJ Duffey: “I totally agree and I knew that coming into the DJ world that I would have to link with a male DJ to get past my looks and gain respect. I reached out to the biggest DJ in Dallas and he became my mentor and once I got good enough to open he let me open.
“Without that male figure it would have been harder and take even longer. And the positives work both ways. With Curren$y, he now has his first single, ‘Bottom of the Bottle,’ that’s getting airplay. Musically we’re opposite in a lot of ways but there’s good synergy between us and he tells me all that time how appreciative he is of me and how valuable it’s been to have me as his DJ.
Snobette: You played division one basketball in college at University of Texas at Arlington, what position did you play? Did you ever consider playing professionally?
DJ Duffey: “I was a shooting guard. I was definitely more of a party girl and the only reason I played was because I was good and wanted a free education. My dad was very tough on me and pushed me really hard, which thank god, but the end result was that I didn’t really love playing the game of basketball.”
Snobette: Do you have siblings who were athletic, too?
DJ Duffey: “I have an older brother and he played football in college and my mom played college basketball and my little brother is a quarterback at Texas Tech.”
Snobette: Your confidence levels really pop out. How much of that is just your DNA and how much of that was built up through life experience whether role models or through playing organized sports?
DJ Duffey: “I’ve always been confident. If I was to think of a reason why, I’m from a military family and we moved all the time so every three years I had to make new friends. And that was difficult, but I was never afraid to walk up to that random girl wearing the cute outfit and say, ‘Hi, nice to meet you.’ I love being the center of attention. When I was young I wanted to be on Real World, I would tell my mom, ‘I’m going to be famous.'”
Snobette: There is such a real culture connection among people who grew up in military families.
DJ Duffey: “It’s true. Amber’s father was in the military, too, and it turns out her three best friends were too. For Slutwalk, I stayed at her house with her friends and I was worried I wouldn’t fit in and when we found out we were all military kids, it was a wrap. It was so much fun.”
Snobette: As far as the NBA goes, do you follow teams or players or a combo of both?
DJ Duffey: Of course I’m a Dallas Mavs fan but my favorite player is Lebron James. I respect him on the court and also off the court with the way he is with his family and all the things he does for charity. I really respect him for that.
Snobette: How about the NFL?
DJ Duffey: I have been a Dallas Cowboys fan since birth, I had a Cowboys blanket as a little girl. My favorite player would be Dez Bryant, a personal friend, who is sometimes misunderstood in the media, but is an amazing person on and off the field.
Snobette: How is he managing through the injury?
DJ Duffey: He’s doing great. His spirits are high and he knows he just needs to heal. We’re cursed this year, the way we lost all these players. I really thought it was going to be our year!
Snobette: Your son is the child of two athletes. Do you see organized sports in his future?
DJ Duffey: “My son is very into singing and dancing and entertaining and that is completely my fault, but I’m trying really hard to get him excited for sports. I bought him a football helmet and a baseball bat, just to put the equipment around him and see if he picks up on something. I’d like him to play something, but I won’t force him.
“As a division one athlete, I took away so much from sports like dedication, discipline and time management. Hopefully he gets into sports but right now he likes to rap. I just put up a video of him on Instagram. He’s wearing a thank-you chain Curren$y gave me and is like, ‘Record me, record me!'”
Snobette: What’s your plan for the next year or so? When we look back at this interview a year from now, what would you like to say you’ve accomplished?
DJ Duffey: “I have some things in the works. You may see me on a reality show and there’s also the possibility of daytime TV and DJing for a talk show, but I can’t say more than that. Definitely I want to travel to new places and reach more people as a DJ.”
Snobette: Are you thinking of moving to L.A.?
DJ Duffey: “I feel like the move to L.A. is coming. Dallas is home to me, but definitely [my fiancé and I will] be going back and forth.”
[As we start to wrap up our conversation, I mention to Duffey a recent trip to Houston where for self-entertainment purposes I asked more or less everyone I came in contact with if they had a Knowles family story—and by the way, there were many! As it turns out, Duffey has met plenty of celebs, but not yet fellow Texan, Beyoncé, but she’s already imagining the moment and hoping she survives it.]
DJ Duffey: “The first time I meet her, I hope I don’t pass out. I’ve met some huge celebrities and it’s no big thing, but for Beyoncé, if I meet her, I might just stop breathing. She’s a Virgo, she’s a mom, she’s amazing to me as a person and a woman.”
Check out some additional images of Duffey below.