Ladies and Gents Meet Lady DJ Shannon Phillips

Shanlynn musix
DJ Shannon Philipps

Ladies and gents meet lady DJ Shannon Phillips also known as DJ ShanLynn. I first met Shannon when a bestie of mine was celebrating her birthday at Fanny’s restaurant near the Academy Museum in Los Angeles. While waiting for some friends at the bakery, some friends of mine and I were chatting with Shannon. I was impressed with her and We loved the music she played so I followed her on IG and we connected.

Shannon started at 15 years old as a hobby. She is now 37 years old and started playing professionally about 10 years ago. And now her curriculum vitae can’t even fit two full pages with all her stellar experiences.

Check my Q&A with Shannon and find out how she landed the career of DJing, how does she find her clients as an entrepreneur and words of advice for young people who want to be in the field.

Lady DJ Shannon Phillips

Popbuff: How did you land the career of DJing? Was this always your first choice as a career?
Shannon: I grew up as a dancer; ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop etc. so music was always a huge part of my life. When I became a teenager I was really into electronic music, which led me to going to clubs to dance. And I will never forget standing on a terrace above the DJ playing and I was watching him dance and have the time of his life, while he was playing. And I was like this is what I should be doing. I want to have as much fun as this person, the DJ was Donald Glaude btw. I wanted a job where it’s totally appropriate to bust out and dance. But DJing was not my choice as a first career, I wanted to be a professional dancer and choreographer. Which I was, but I gave that up to pursue music.

Popbuff: Who was/is your creative influence?
Shannon: I am totally a ’90s child. The early electronic music pioneers of that time were a huge part of my creative influence, and still are. My favorite artists include Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, 808 State, Underworld. But I also grew up on classic rock because of my parents, so Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are a big influence too. For my open format DJ sets Motown and Disco music are also a big influence for me. I was really into funk and soul as a teenager too. I also was an MTV child so listening and watching all the pop music from those times definitely helped me now as a professional DJ. I have been exposed and influenced by so much music through dance as a child too. I was into the underground Hip Hop scene so that played a part, as well as I have studied dance from many different cultures around the world which exposed me to global beats, and world music.

Popbuff: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
Shannon: When preparing for a set, first off, I need to know what the music format is. Because I am what you call an open format DJ, meaning I play all different kinds of genres, I would need to know what the client/venue would like for the event. If they are unsure, I usually have to dig deeper by asking what kind of music they like, what is the demographic of people, age range etc. And then go from there.

Popbuff: What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets?
Shannon: I can feel the energy of the room, and I am constantly watching, and paying attention to how people are reacting to what I play. So I just match the music to the mood of the room. But if I feel like the energy needs to come up I will play something to get people going.

Popbuff: What techniques do you use to engage listeners?
Shannon: I don’t stick to one type of song/ energy for too long. I will try to play a song for everyone there. Say I play a rock song, then I’ll go into something more disco, then a Latin track, then into pop, and continue rotating genres to keep people interested and mixing it up. But even if I am playing a DJ set that’s only one genre, say House music, you can still keep rotating sub genres of that genre to keep people engaged. If you play things that all sound the same your set would be stale, and boring. It’s fun to keep people guessing where you’re going to go. Where you’re going to take them on this musical journey.

Lady DJ Shannon Phillips

Popbuff: How do you find your clients?
Shannon: I work with DJ agents, as well as clients will find me online, or see me play out. I also get a lot of referrals.

Popbuff: What is your favorite genre?
Shannon: My personal favorite genre to listen to is Electronic music. But my favorite genre to DJ is a tie between old school Hip Hop, and downtempo chill out electronica/ jazz.

Popbuff: What is the song when you play, attendees or audience get up from their seats and dance like nobody’s watching?
Shannon: That 100% matters where, and who I’m playing for. Completely depends on the situation, the room, and the demographic of who I’m playing in front of. There’s not one jam that fits all unfortunately.

Popbuff: How do you stay up to date with the latest music and technology?
Shannon: I follow a lot of music technology blogs, and DJ sites. And through the community of DJs. And as far as music goes I’m always listening all around me wherever i am. Whether I’m watching a movie/ tv or out somewhere you can discover a lot of music. I also find a lot of new music from streaming or YouTube. And about once a month I will look into to see what is trending in the world, and try to find great remixes of it.

DJ Shannon Phillips at the Beverly Hills Hotel
at the Beverly Hills Hotel
DJ Shannon Phillips at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Popbuff: What skills do you need to embark on a career in DJing and what advice would you give to young people?
Shannon: You need to just have a strong will to want to be a DJ. I am old school, learned on vinyl, and think it is extremely important to learn how to beat match. And that takes a lot of practice, and training your ear. So you just have to want it badly enough, and put in the time and effort and you can make it happen. But it’s not just only that, you also have to have good song selections, learn how to read the room, and let go of your ego. You have to learn to play music for your crowd, not only what you want to hear. For young people I would say learn all the new technology, but also learn the old. And get exposed to as much music as you can.

Popbuff: What has been the most memorable moment of your career in terms of venue and the crowd?
Shannon: The most memorable moment of my career was playing for Aids Healthcare Foundations World Aids Day Concert. It was at the Shrine Auditorium, and Mariah Carey, DJ Khalid, and Neyo performed. So I played a cocktail hour set, and the after party. The energy in that room was out of control. I mean how do you even try to follow Mariah Carey, you can’t. You just have to ride that wave of energy.

Popbuff: What is on your bucket list?
Shannon: Creating an audio Visual Music Show kind of like Cirque Du Soleil meets Daft Punk. Marrying all of my passions into one.

Popbuff: What is your mantra?
Shannon: If you try your best, that’s all you can do.

Follow Shannon on Instagram @Shanlynnmusic

Speak Your Mind