V Busy with Marissa Le aka DJ Yolo Ono
Marissa Le aka DJ Yolo Ono is probably one of the coolest DJs we’ve met to date. She hails from Fishtown (Philly jawns you already know what’s up) and she will be DJing at our NYC Tour stop on September 21st at Betaworks Studios. We’re ready to dance on top of furniture (her sets kind of have that effect on you); but, in the meantime, read on to learn all about this talented af turntable babe.
Hey, Marissa. We already know you’re the shit. But for inquiring minds, what do you do and how did you get your start as a DJ?
I'm a DJ and Art Director. I've been DJing for almost 10 years, I started when I was 20 and was taught by a friend who was a really established DJ at the time. She spotted my love for music, since I was always begging my boyfriend from then to get me into shows by asking her for tickets. I was fortunate to learn the ropes for real, on turntables and everything.
We love a good come-up story. Are there any particular types of events or parties you like to DJ at?
I started DJing with the Mad Decent Philadelphia crew, a thriving DJ community that Diplo built when he lived there. Since then I've always carried a deep passion and appreciation or electronic music and digging deep in my crates. As I've grown, I've had the honor of DJing celebrations of women like award shows and launch parties, and love playing huge blocks of all-female artists.
Got to ask. What’s it like having a DJ persona? We’re low-key obsessed with your stage name DJ Yolo Ono.
Building a personal brand is tough. I've found it so much more challenging than working on brands at my agency job. It's so hard to develop a little distance from your personal work and let things out into the world. Sometimes I go through imposter syndrome and question my voice and style of DJing. When I started to view it almost as an alter ego, it was really empowering and allowed me to take risks and be less shy about it.
What’s it like out there for female DJs?
Female DJs are on the rise - there's a huge pool of female DJs in Philadelphia that are really supportive and want to build things together. I've had really wonderful experiences collaborating with female DJs, we really champion each other. We deal with the same boys club mentality of other industries, or on the flip side are judged and booked based on arbitrary things like our appearance. What really frustrates me is when other DJs, sound techs, or booking agents mansplain or talk down to me. I remedy that by knowing everything I can about all DJ equipment and technology. Don't rely on anyone to set up your sound for you - do it yourself and show them you're a force to be reckoned with!
Any particular female or female-identifying media or artist are you totally obsessed with right now?
For self-care, Chillhouse in NYC is my EVERYTHING. I'm obsessed with Cyndi Ramirez and what she's built. It's a truly unique space that is a whole freakin' vibe. Musically, I'm super into King Princess, and Nina Las Vegas right now. King Princess has such a unique aesthetic and soothing sound. Nina Las Vegas is an incredible DJ and runs a record label that's always bringing up new female artists. Spiritually, I've been listening to the Expanded podcast by Lacy Phillips nonstop lately. She talks about how our self-worth dictates our ability to manifest what we desire.
You’re going to be spinning at our Tour wrap party in NYC! What are you most looking forward to?
Connecting with dope chicks doing dope things, and hearing real actionable tips that I can hit the ground running with!
What do you love most about the creative womxn and why is it important to get together in this way?
I love how much we’re willing to support one another. I truly think we’re at a time where we each bring a diverse perspective to the table and a majority of us don’t perceive each other as a threat. It’s so crucial to connect IRL and share stories, vulnerability and advice with one another - instead of seeing each other through a grid of perfect photos!
Come see Marissa at Pretty Thing Tour 2019 and use checkout code “YOLOONO” for $20 off your General Admission ticket.