With her remix of
the Madonna's "Music" out DJ Tracy Young is creating a
different beat in a man-heavy business
Tracy Young will
never forget her first days as a DJ. She was a student at the
University of Maryland. "I played frat and sorority
parties," the 29-year-old Washington, D.C., native remembers.
"I got my $50, carried in my equipment, and played. And let me
tell you, I was horrible."
years to New Year's Eve 1999. Young was spinning in the VIP lounge at
Barroom in Miami's South Beach. In walked Madonna. Followed by
Gwyneth Paltrow. And then came Donatella Versace. "There was a
point when I was actually dancing with Madonna and Donatella at the
same time," Young remembers. "It was wild."
A few weeks later
Madonna flew Young to New York to spin at the premiere party for The
Next Best Thing. As if that weren't enough, Young's now got the
ultimate Madonna seal of approval--she was chosen by the music queen
to do the dance remix of her new single, "Music." In fact,
Young is the first female--and a lesbian, at that--Madonna has used
to remix any of her songs.
This isn't the
first time Madonna has made a huge impact on Young's life. "She
has done so much for gay people and women," she says. "When
I was young and things were hard for me and I'd be thinking, I'm not
going to make it, I'd turn on Madonna. I'd think, If she can do it, I
can do it. She kept me going."
Young began making
a name for herself spinning at lesbian bars in D.C. "I'm not
knocking it, but girls just don't get outrageous like boys," she
says. "Most lesbians have a couple of drinks at the bar, hang
out, and go home."
She also says it
was hard to get the gay male night crawlers to trust her, but they
eventually came calling, and she became one of the few females
spinning for hard-core nights at gay male clubs. "People didn't
believe I was a DJ," she says. "People would shut their
doors in my face. But I just wasn't taking no for an answer.'
Just because she's
playing for guys, however, doesn't mean Young spins or remixes like
one. For example, she says, there's "a female perspective"
to her Madonna remix. "A lot of guy DJs can be hard and deep,
but my mix is more musical, with a piano and a string section,"
Young moved to
Miami about two years ago, working for Interscope Records during the
day and spinning at night--Madonna pal Ingrid Casares had already
been flying her from D.C. to South Beach to play in her clubs. Her
Interscope job included going on the road with "fag"-slinging
rapper Eminem. Not surprisingly, she was too scared to come out to
him. "It's kind of sad," Young says. "Eminem is so
brilliant, but he channels it in the wrong direction. When I was with
him, I was petrified. I just think he hates anything he doesn't
understand. We got into an argument, and I was petrified. I never
wanted to be alone with him."
Interscope about a year ago and had her first dance hits with remixes
of Enrique Iglesias's "Bailamos" and "Rhythm
Divine." Since then she's DJ'd at parties for Lenny Kravitz,
Ricky Martin, Sean "Puffy" Combs, and Lauryn Hill.