With the internet being so easy to access, it has become easier for independent artists to find an audience and let their work be known. As a result of this, a variety of movements, collectives and scenes have found a way to pave their path. The independent art scene in Puerto Rico is no different. Recently, a variety of artists from a variety of disciplines have found platforms that have made it easier for them to share their work. In addition, small businesses such as Electroshock in Santurce and Río Piedras, bars like Off The Wall in Mayagüez and libraries like La Casita Books and Gifts in Aguadilla, have provided up-and-coming artists a space for them to display their talents. “Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene” are interviews which provide a glimpse at a few of the women who are making their way in said movement. Though the artists were asked similar questions, some were asked queries focused specifically on their work.
Born Laura Rodríguez, but called “Lure (pronounced loo-ray)” by her peers. DJ BBYLU is one of the fastest up-and-coming DJs in the Puerto Rican independent art scene. After performing in events with artists like Alvaro Diaz, Jose Yellow and Labajura, the young artist has found a calling in the field and has slowly become one of the most sought out musicians in the movement. The following interview was conducted online.
Why did you choose to be a DJ?
To be completely honest, I never chose or even thought about being a DJ, it kind of chose me. Pepper Kilo, from Fuete Billete one day just tells me that I had about two months to learn how to DJ since he already had organized an event and my name was already confirmed and on the flyer. All of this happened a couple of days after a road-trip we went on in which I was the one person they had honored with the responsibility of the AUX cord.
After searching through Instagram, I found that you do a little bit of modeling. Are you also interested in that field?
I actually have always modeled for fun and for my friends who are photographers. Not many people know, but I actually studied photography all through college and I literally would just help out my friends with their homework and I guess that it all just developed into me helping other photographers with their projects and to be completely honest, I have always seen it as something fun to do and have never seen it as anything I would pursue as a career.
Is there any other art form you wish to pursue? If so, what field and why?
Currently I’m growing in the food and beverage industry as a bartender and it might sound cheesy, but I find it to be an art from. It’s been something I’ve been doing for the past few months, (which was a post-Maria job opportunity that has grown into a sort of calling). I just sit at the bars my friends work at and observe them, the way they move, speak, and work to learn the most I can. I want to make my friends proud and in learning the most, I can I feel that I might just achieve that. I guess that’s the only other art form that I’m trying to pursue right now and to be completely transparent with you, it was another field that ONE, I never thought I’d be thrown into and TWO, I also feel it chose me.
What do you think about the current state of DJ-ing in Puerto Rico?
The current state of the DJ-ing in PR is one of the haziest things for me. Honestly, I’m not that into it. It’s very male dominated and mostly house/deephouse forward, which is something I’m not that into either. However, in the field of the genres I do work with, I have met a set of amazing women and I have a feeling that we might just take over.
What do you think about the current state of the independent scene in Puerto Rico?
The indie scene in PR is really rising right now. For example, we have Radio Red on the actual air now, and that to me is amazing. When I was starting off with my DJ-ing they helped me out a lot and to see that they have grown so much now is very gratifying. Them being on the air is also a very good thing for the scene because they serve as a gateway for all of us indie weirdos that are out of the commercial spectrum, to be heard on a larger and more accessible platform across the island. I really believe it serves as a good example to see how much the indie scene is growing and being supported in PR.
What is your biggest goal right now?
My biggest goal right now would be to get back on my feet after the whole Hurricane María fiasco. I want to get back into my music and maybe even start producing, but María put all of that on hold for me.
What do you seek to achieve with your work?
What I have always strived for with my work is to empower women (and all people really), but mostly women, to not be afraid, to let go and dance. I also want to give space for other women to work into the music scene, because honestly, if I can do it, so can they. My sets are very female dominated. I like to include lots of female producers, singers, rappers, etc. Music by women for women. Not many people know that, but I like to talk about it a lot to those who ask. It’s something I’ve noticed I’m very passionate about.
If a young girl came up to you and said she wanted to be a DJ, what would be some advice you would give her?
The only advice I would give them would be to never stop practicing, build a killer playlist by never seizing to listen to music and to work hard and focus on their transitions, haha. The rest comes naturally.
***All of the pictures used in this article were provided by DJ BBYLU