INTERVIEW: DJ Shawna
DJ Shawna first came onto our radar a few months ago, when she was named as the official DJ for Marquette Women’s Basketball. However, we really got to know her when she filled in last minute at our most recent “An Evening With” show at The Tonic Tavern. Not only does she throw down on the 1’s and 2’s with ease, but she also has a very interesting background that ultimately brought her to Milwaukee. Get to know DJ Shawna with our interview below:
B&E: Introduce yourself! Who are you?
DJ Shawna: Hi Breaking and Entering! I am DJ Shawna, Shawna Nicols, a DJ from Milwaukee trying to make this a better place through music and my clothing line with the movement #DareToBe. From having residencies in Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison, and Louisville at some point in my career and even DJing while living in Europe, I take pride in my profession and bringing love, attitude, and passion every single night. I have been fortunate to DJ for thousands of people at Red Bull events, private events, festivals, and I have worked with nationally known DJs. Every year continues to get more exciting!
B&E: How did you get your start as a DJ?
DJ Shawna: I started DJing over a decade ago after I finished my undergrad at UW-Madison. The group of people I spent the most time with hung out often in bars and clubs, so as a non-drinker, admittedly, I got quite bored. I started playing with turntables and haven’t looked back since!
B&E: You’ve become the official DJ of Marquette Women’s Basketball. How did that connection come about?
DJ Shawna: As a former professional basketball player and UW Badger, basketball is a huge part of my world. The head coach at Marquette, Carolyn Kieger, is a friend of mine. We share a similar passion for the game that has given us both incredible opportunities, so when she called and asked me to be their home game DJ, host/emcee, and bring energy to make The Al McGuire Center one of the best venues in the country, it was pretty easy to say yes!
B&E: What types of music do you like to spin most? Or is it a mix of everything?
DJ Shawna: When I spin my main objective is to make everyone else happy. I don’t view DJing as an event that is about me and what music I want to hear; it’s about the people in front of me that choose to come to that particular event and my job is to make it an event to remember that is talked about for days. With that, I am an open-format DJ with an emphasis on hip-hop, pop, and EDM.
B&E: In your experience, what’s your favorite aspect of the Milwaukee music scene?
DJ Shawna: Milwaukee has SO much talent, from the plethora of DJ’s alone, not to mention all of the incredibly talented live musicians, dancers, theatre, and festivals! This city is constantly growing and inspires me daily to step out of my comfort zone so I, too, can continue to grow and inspire.
B&E: Lastly, where can people come see you spin?
DJ Shawna: Check out the website! www.djshawna.com. We keep the shows updated; while you’re there check out the ‘Store’ and take a peek around! Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all @djShawna! #DareToBe