Jamica El, who decided one day to take on the alias AfroDJiak while listening to a song from Common’s Like Water for Chocolate album, is the home-girl whose house party you want to get an invitation to. As a dui dropped to reckless driving ambassador; co-founder of the digital publication, Philly Music Magazine; and by representing one-third of the It’s The Life Creative, this deejay is one of the most connected and influential music movers in the city.
Initially a dancer, AfroDJiak turned to mixing music as a way to create soundtracks for her dance routines. But when she moved to Philly from Maryland in 2003, she fell in love with the party scene and decided to give up making pause tapes and get serious about being a turntablist. She began the process by hanging out in record stores when she eventually found a local deejay to be apprenticed by. AfroDJiak collaborated with her apprentice until she ultimately bought her own equipment and got started building her brand by throwing parties around the city.
Today, AfroDJiak can be linked to all things Philly—from being called upon to work parties for the Mayor and his wife to curating a tent of events on the grounds of last year’s blowout music festival, Made in America—AfroDJiak has become a familiar name for the elite as well as everyday events in our city. One of her most profound endeavors has been her projects with It’s the Life Creative, a collaborative effort with party promoter powerhouse, Stacey “Flygirrl” Wilson and local television personality, Laiya St. Clair. Together, this trio has been responsible for bringing some of the most notable players in music to “Inside the Studio.” This intimate evening of interviews enables fans to see their artist in a different light and, over the last two years, has hosted such names as Kenny Gamble, Marsha Ambrosius, producers Carvin and Ivan, and soul group, Jazzy Fat Nasties among others.
And as if that isn’t enough to keep this woman about the town busy, AfroDJiak also works alongside local producer, Damedelphia to provide the online publication, http://uristocrat.com/2012/09/vans-california-2012-holiday-sk8-hi-reissue/vans-california-2012-holiday-sk8-hi-reissue-2-2/. As the co-founder of the digital mag, AfroDJiak has been able to provide an array of highly visual editorials on the subjects covered for their audience. While this publication has primarily been about original videos and graphic work on the artists covered, AfroDJiak says their plan this year is to include more written content and diversify their offerings to reach a broader readership.
But even though her resume is long with her accomplishments, AfroDJiak talks about wanting her legacy to be about something deeper than the work she’s done. This prolific deejay and socialite prides herself on being warm and approachable and building real relationships. These characteristics also play out in her deejay sets. Her goal when behind the tables is to provide a setting for folks to dance. As a former dancer, she has an ear for what will get the crowd moving and she adheres to that in her sets.
“Being a [former] dancer highly influences my perspective. I’m not gonna play the head nod music all night or, you know, I’m not tryna give you my stream of conscious hip-hop all night or anything like that. I’m tryna give people the music for finishing your long day at work or preparing for your next long week or forgetting about whatever bills you have laying around, like, I’m trying to create an atmosphere where you can just forget about the bullshit and just enjoy yourself,” AfroDJiak said when speaking about being a dancer turned deejay.
Tonight you can come dance with AfroDJiak as she mixes up the antidote for the bullshit during her set at Silk City’s MIGHTY#Heartbreakers party presented by Heineken Green Room and two.one.five magazine. True to her girl-next-door persona, this deejay doll does play your requests and will read your card for a good time, so come ready to party.