We are so lucky to have DJ Brynn Taylor with us headlining Saturday night, June 25, at Wildrose Pride, and the Seattle PrideFest Fountain Stage on Sunday, June 26! This isn’t her first time to Seattle, but it is her first time at PrideFest! She has played all over the world, for major brands and special events. She has a fantastic talent for blending and mashing tracks with that Trademark smile, and a unique ability to connect with and entertain crowds from shore to shore. If you aren’t familiar with Brynn, you should be. Seattle Gay Scene was lucky enough to grab some time for a quick interview, read on to learn all about her, then follow her on social media for her special rooftop blend sessions, THEN, come see her Saturday June 25 at Wildrose, or Sunday June 26 at PrideFest. We PROMISE you won’t be disappointed!
LA Kendall: So, you are a jill of all trades! DJ, On Camera Personality, Stand Up Comedy (which makes all the sense btw) – how did you get into all of these, separate, but related career tracks?
Brynn Taylor: A Jill of all trades! Wait, does that make me “trade?” Yes FINALLY! For real though, I started DJing my first year of college. I bought all of the equipment through a catalog (ok for those who don’t know, a catalog is something we used to buy things before the internet) and I would spend all of that time I was supposed to be studying and learned how to DJ instead. I switched my major to Theater because had some pressure from my family to be the first one to graduate college, and honestly – I didn’t really like college much at all. I thought Theater would be easier, and as it turns out, I was right. I learned how to be funny (well, I learned how to defend myself with humor) because I was teased a lot for being “different.” I’m sure some people reading this can relate. I was voted Class Clown in one of the two high schools I attended, and voted Most Like Peter Pan, never wanting to grow up, in the other.
I connected with a lot of very nice people after I relocated to Los Angeles by immersing myself in all types of classes. I graduated from the Conservatory Program at The Second City LA. I took any stand-up classes I could find on Craigslist. I also applied to all sorts of interesting jobs. One of my first jobs was hosting wet T-shirt contests at one of the last two Lesbian bars in West Hollywood (The Palms), and I was DJing at the other (The Normandie Room). As it turns out, the comedy people also like music, and all the music people liked comedy (well, most of the music people…some of them like Morrissey, and I’m not even going to try and make them laugh). I always try and connect people together, whether it is for laughs or for music, or both!
LA Kendall: What led you to being a DJ specifically?
Brynn Taylor: I really loved the idea that I could take something that already existed in its own complete form (a song) and then make it into something new (a remix). In retrospect, perhaps I was subconsciously trying to overcome my past by trying to make “different” actually be cool or better. Consciously, I was just absolutely obsessed with the sounds that would accompany the music manipulation. I tried to take a break from DJing when I moved to Los Angeles in 2005. I was determined to use that degree and focus on becoming an actor, or a voice-over artist, but I really wanted to be a host. I went to a Lesbian night at a club off of Santa Monica Boulevard, and it came up in a casual conversation about how the promoters for that night were looking for DJs. I mentioned that I used to DJ, but I was here to focus on hosting! Unbeknownst to me, that person was apparently one of the promoters for that night. She asked me for a demo and later introduced me to Linda Fusco and Michelle Agnew. They told me that they were starting a new lesbian night called Truck Stop, and soon thereafter not only did I become the resident DJ for Truck Stop, but I also had a long run as the MC on the mic. It was a magical moment in time that secured my path as a DJ.
LA Kendall: So it’s March 2020 and Covid takes hold all over the world. I am sure you, like myself, had flights booked and contracts in place well through the Summer of that year at least. How did that affect your career plans for 2020? What did you do during the lockdowns/Covid restrictions to keep yourself connected to your career goals?
Brynn Taylor: In March 2020, I was actually in the middle of a DJ set in West Hollywood when I was informed about the mystery that we now know to be Covid. I was at a transitional time in my career, and I used the lockdown to really try to better align myself with what I really wanted to do with DJing. I tried to focus and learn more about music production and music business, and I did some voice over work here and there, but like a lot of people, 2020 threw off all of my career plans at the time. It actually ended up being better for me in the long run, though, because I got out of the routine of DJing marathon sets at clubs constantly. It freed up time for more mindful musical work that I truly enjoy – like making mashups.
LA Kendall: Last year we dipped out toes into the pool with few events here and there. What was your first gig post Covid like?
Brynn Taylor: My first big gig back was intended to be a huge pool party at a club in Atlanta during Pride. The club was trying to accommodate the new outdoor-preferred format for gatherings, so they had a construction company build out an entire patio with a pool and deck, etc. I was so excited! What a wonderful way to come back to the scene after all this time!? Annnnnd then a hurricane happened the morning of the event, and…let’s just say that Mother Nature was not cool with the pool. We moved the party inside after power returned and had a very scaled-back, yet wildly entertaining pride celebration in the club.
LA Kendall: A hurricane? Girl, you have some wild stories! This year, Covid be damned we are doing our level best to get back to some sense of normalcy. This has been helped tremendously by vaccines, the development of therapies, the general passing of time which naturally brings more knowledge about the virus and how to deal with it, etc. But we back! Big music festivals like Coachella in California and Movement in Detroit, among others, are back and bigger than ever. It’s exciting to be working on events like The Wildrose’s Annual Block party (which hasn’t happened in two full years), and to be booking the headlining talent for Seattle PrideFest (which did a hybrid event last year) as these events return to normal. It’s especially exciting to finally be able to work with you for Seattle Pride weekend. What do you have in store for the crowds at both The Wildrose (Saturday 6/25) and Seattle PrideFest (Sunday 6/26)?
Brynn Taylor: I cannot wait to finally be able to work together for Seattle Pride weekend! I am really looking forward to celebrating with everyone this year! I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but for my set on Saturday 6/25 at The Wildrose, I really want to focus on celebrating some iconic Lesbian artists and music. The energy from the Block Party in the past has been on an epic level, and I’m excited for a high energy set! For Sunday’s Headlining Seattle PrideFest set on 6/26 at the Seattle Center, I am going FULL out. Mindful music for those who are paying attention, and a stadium-sized set of songs celebrating the LGBTQIA2S+ community are to be expected. Open-format for the open-minded is my motto for this year!
LA Kendall: You’ve been to Seattle before to play at Trinity, and a while back, you even have played at Wildrose. What are you most looking forward to in your return to the PNW?
Brynn Taylor: I am most looking forward to connecting and reconnecting this year. I feel that is what we all really need right now. The PNW has always been such a welcoming place for me, and I am so grateful to be able to share the June sunshine with Seattle!
Well, you heard her folks! She’s got plans for days to rock these parties and please the Pride masses. Catch one, or both of her sets while she is in town. Sounds like she has unique plans for both that are worth catching! We know where we will be!
Wildrose Pride: https://www.facebook.com/events/1052745422016131
Seattle PrideFest: https://www.facebook.com/events/339210894824112