DJ Goldielocks On Leaving New Orleans After Katrina, Confronting Fear And More

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by Nadirah Simmons

The best part about talking to DJ Goldielocks was when she mentioned the word “tribe.” Defined as “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect,” there’s no doubt how important tribes are to creatives, especially when they are Black and women. For Goldielocks, a tribe that supports, encourages and uplifts its members is all she can be around. And it shows.

Not only did our conversation find us bonding over our disdain with how SoundCloud has evolved and our love for Megan Thee Stallion, but most importantly the desire to see us all win-from the DJs to the journalists to the hairstylists. That’s rare to hear right off the bat when talking to someone you barely know, but Goldielocks emphasized it whenever she could during our conversation.

We talked to her about her introduction to DJing, the lasting effect living in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina has had on her, her dream person to DJ for and more.

I’m so jealous, you’re from New Orleans and I’ve been trying to go to for years. Do you stay there?
I stay in Dallas, Fort Worth. But most of my work is in Dallas.

Well I know what the music scene is like down there. How did it influence you musically?
I can speak to what it was like when I was there. When I was younger everybody used to be at the block party t-popping-that’s tootsie popping. And I remember hearing Big Freedia and hearing Magnolia Shorty and hearing DJ Jubilee and being excited. I met Juvenile for the first time when I was six or seven after the Second Line. But the musical scene down there is so diverse and different. It’s literally gumbo, a little bit of jazz, a little bit of Hip-Hop, a little bit of bounce, a little bit of blues.

[Laughs] Yes to the gumbo!
And while my mom is from New Orleans my dad is from Mobile, Alabama. So I had diverse music in my upbringing. My mom hipped me to India Arie and Kanye and OutKast. I used to think she could’ve been a DJ because she hipped me to so much.

When did you move to Texas?
I went through Katrina. I don’t like to call myself a refugee, I call myself a survivor because I’m a citizen of this country. After Katrina they put us on a plane and we didn’t know where we were going and we ended up in Fort Smith, Arkansas. From there my mom was a traveling nurse at the time so she was able to go to Little Rock for an assignment and then to Dallas, and we stayed with one of her friends for a year and then she sent for us.

You were so young. And I think as a kid from up north who was young when it happened, a lot of people like me forget how deadly Katrina was. And how damaged the community still is. 
We were in the convention center, and my mom just started going back two years ago. Katrina was fifteen years ago. I could’ve lost my mother. When she was going to WalMart she had to get some food to feed her kids-she had me and my cousins…As a twelve year old I saw dead fetuses. I had to move a dead body. I’ve had to use the bathroom outdoors. And not being able to take a bath for days. Getting ran over by a stampede of people. All at twelve. But that’s my story and I tell it, it’s only fuel for the fire. 

When did you get your start in DJing? 
I was really into Slim K and Rob Gallardo. They have this mixtape series Purple Children. I had started listening to it and I thought it was so dope. I went into the music and listened to the transitions and how they would chop stuff. I was like man I want to do this.

I was working at Waffle House over the summer between semesters and one of the popular DJs was a regular, Captain Charles. I started telling him I wanted to be a DJ and he told me he had a couple of boards he wasn’t using and that he would bring them to me. A week or two later he came with it.

I took it home and the first song I ever chopped was “Say Yes” by Floetry.

What? I need to hear that!
It’s locked away on SoundCloud. It’s horrible [laughs]. After that I would DJ in my room, people would try to get me gigs on campus and I was nervous. I didn’t start DJing in the public until this year when I moved to Fort Worth.

What was holding you back before?
Fear. Fear of failing. I never wanted to go out in front of a crowd and fuck up.

What is the environment like in Fort Worth and Dallas?
Nobody’s double crossed me, everybody genuinely wants to see everybody win.

Do you remember your worst DJ experience?
Yes. It was on my birthday. I arrived and the people didn’t have anything set up and they were giving attitudes. I ended up not playing until 30 minutes into the event. But it was whatever, what happened was after the event was over. I had to drive back to Dallas to get my check. They didn’t pay me that night.

What does making it look like for you?
Making it means not worrying about where my next check is coming from. I want to be happy. I wan’t my family to be good. I want those around me to eat. And I want to be a DJ for an artist one day.

Do you have an artist in mind?
I don’t know if Ari Lennox needs a DJ but I will deadass abandon everything [laughs]. If Mac was still here I would’ve loved to work with Mac.

Aw you are about to make me cry. That guy was my favorite.
Swimming is it!