Tracy Young is definitely one of the few DJs who have catapulted themselves into superstardom. Over the last 20 years, she has taken her passion for dance music from the underground to the mainstream, going from club land to mainstream celebrity in the process. With the assistance of luminaries Ingrid Casares and Chris Paciello, Young carved a niche for herself in Miami, both as a female in the traditionally male-dominated stomping grounds of the DJ booth, and as a darling of the thriving gay circuit party scene.
But it wasn’t just the gay community that was drawn by Young’s magnetic musical pull; celebrities from Cher to Sean Combs fell under her spell, inviting the disc-jockess to spin their exclusive private parties to the joy of A-List invitees. Once Madonna crowned her as her go-to DJ in 2000, Young became a global electronic music celebrity in demand at nightclubs around the world and a breakout name on the Billboard charts. She racked up 40 #1 Club Play hits, including 13 Madonna remixes and as well as imaginative electronic reinventions of songs by Christina Aguilera, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias.
It was a pleasure to once again sit down with Tracy to talk about her career and her annual Genesis Party as it moves to Fort Lauderdale at Revolution Live (100 SW 3rd Avenue) for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
When did you realize you wanted to be a DJ?
When I was 8 years old. My grandfather was an engineer at a radio station in DC, so I was born with the love of music. DJing was really the natural progression of things.
You have toured most of your career. What are some of your favorite cities and events?
There are so many, but I would have to say Sydney, Australia for Mardi Gras, Paris, and Montreal for the main event for Black and Blue.
What separates you from other DJs?
I think that I have an old-school playing style. I never use the “Sync” button and I mix live. I also have a vast array of music knowledge that comes from my radio background. I am also very proud of the fact that I know a lot about music history.
You have worked among and with superstars. Who are your favorites?
The obvious is Madonna. And even though so much time has gone by, and I DJed her wedding, I am more known for dating Kim Zolciak. However, she will always be my favorite.
How did Genesis New Year’s Day party get its start?
I was with Vito Abate (May he rest in peace!) on New Year’s Eve and it was such a clusterf–k all over South Beach. We decided this was ridiculous and Vito said, “Let’s do a morning party next year.” We planned it and the next year Genesis was born.
Were you surprised on how successful Genesis immediately was?
Yes, and I have noticed a trend in day parties since we tapped into it.
This year, you moved the Genesis New Year’s Day party to Fort Lauderdale. Are you excited about the move and how will it change/affect the event?
I was contemplating the idea of Genesis and whether or not to continue the event. Thirteen years is a long time and I would rather stop the party rather than throw a bad one. When I started researching and asking around I realized that people all over the world look forward to Genesis every year and it was not the end. When Mansion closed so did an era of Genesis. It also was a great opportunity to try a new concept and with most of the gay community being in Fort Lauderdale it only made sense to try Genesis in Fort Lauderdale. There was not a venue in Miami that excited me the way that Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale did. It only made sense to try. I’m very excited about the change of city and venue!
Since we sat down with you last year, how has your life changed?
Well, I’m older, wiser and happier. I have had amazing life experiences….experiences that people only dream of, and a great career. I love to work! It never feels like I’m working because I live, breathe, and eat music; however, things change. I believe in balance now, and just as work is important, so is spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. I make time for that more than I once did. I’m definitely more comfortable in my own skin.
Other than DJing, what do you like to do for fun?
I am a huge animal lover and I also love Broadway shows. I go to see them as often as I can.
What does the future hold for DJ Tracy Young?
I am working on several huge projects. I believe everything has a beginning, middle and end and ultimately I always thought being a DJ would come to an end. I now realize it never will. I will always be a DJ as it’s who I am but I’d like to take that to another level. There is no other option for me. Music is everything to me.
To purchase tickets to Genesis New Year’s Day Party in its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, go to GenesisNewYearsDay.com.