We all know you can’t have a lit party without a good DJ. The one who knows exactly what jams to drop and when to make everyone lose their minds and dance like there’s no tomorrow. And since the inception of hip-hop in the 1970s until now, Latinxs have been there — selecting those jams, mixing them together, scratching that vinyl, and dropping those beats.
HipLatina is a flashlight that shines its light on Latinx people and accomplishments that don’t get that special shine they deserve. We wanted to highlight 23 Latinx DJs who everyone should know about. Read all about it, and get to listening.
DJ Charlie Chase
Puerto Rican Carlos Mendes, who professionally goes by the name DJ Charlie Chase, was a founding member of the Cold Crush Brothers. He was also a DJ for the Furious Five (in 1981) and DJed alongside Funkmaster Flex. Charlie Chase stepped on the musical scene in 1975 and has been a part of several hip-hop and DJ firsts. For example, the Cold Crush Brothers were the first rap group to be signed to CBS Records (through the label Tuff City) and the first to go to Japan.
Another notable Latinx DJ is Nicaraguan DJ Craze. Born Aris Delgado in Managua, Craze is the only DJ to win the DMC World DJ Championships three times in a row. Styles of music that the turntablist spins are hip-hop, breaks, drum and bass, dubstep, Miami bass, and trap.
DJ Muggs, a.k.a. Lawrence Muggerud is a Cuban-Italian DJ and producer from Queens. You may know him as the DJ in Cypress Hill. He also produced with the group, as well as producing House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” and Ice Cube’s “Check Yoself,” and several other musical projects.
Alex Sensation is a Colombian DJ, born in Bogota. He has spun in several Latin American countries, dropped beats in sold-out events in places like Madison Square Garden and Nokia Theater, and can also be heard on La Mega 97.9 in New York. Alex has also made the transition to music artist; his single, Pa’Lante, ft Anitta y Luis Fonsi is out now.
You remember Nina Sky, the Puerto Rican twins known as Natalie and Nicole Albino, who dropped that fire hit, “Move Ya Body” in 2004? Well, the duo has released more music since, but when you see them on the stage today, it is mostly behind the DJ decks.
DJ Enuff, born Ephram Lopez, is a Nuyorican DJ from New York. The Brooklyn native was the Notorious B.I.G.’s road DJ, became part of The Flip Squad All-Star DJs, and currently is “The Leader” of the Heavy Hitters DJ Crew. You can hear DJ Enuff’s work on the regular on HOT 97.
DJing isn’t just a man’s craft; women have been killing it on the 1s and 2s for decades. If Latino DJs need that much-deserved shine, you know the Latinas spinning dope music need it even brighter. One such Latina is Venus X. With over 78,000 followers on Instagram, the Afro-Dominicana-Ecuatoriana can be seen spinning at New York fashion and art shows, and cool parties.
Louie Vega, a.k.a. Little Louie Vega is a Puerto Rican DJ and producer, who has been spinning for over 30 years. As a producer, the Bronx native has worked with artists including Gloria Estefan, The Cover Girls, and Queen Latifah. Fun fact: Did you know that Vega’s uncle is legendary salsa singer Hector Lavoe?
Deorro is a Chicano DJ (born Erick Orrosquieta, and formerly known as TON!C) from L.A. The music star, who has a staggering 730,000 followers on Instagram. gets the masses moving with his jams, that fall under the genres of Dutch house, trap, Melbourne bounce, progressive house, and electro house.
DJ David Morales
Puerto Rican DJ and producer David Morales has the distinction of winning a Grammy. He was first nominated for Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” in 1996 and won in ’98 for Remixer of the Year. Morales has created remixes for artists including Selena, Janet Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Kylie Minogue, and Madonna.
Now back to giving props to the female DJs. DJ Saige, who hails from New York’s East Village, is another DJ holding it down for both women and Latinxs. She is a member of the Heavy Hitters DJ Crew and was discovered by legendary DJ Funkmaster Flex. We cant wait to see what Saige does next!
The Martinez Brothers
The Martinez Brothers are Puerto Rican DJs and producers who are truly booked and busy. This year, the duo will spin for crowds all over the worlds, including in Ibiza, Los Angeles, London, Queens, Amsterdam, Mykonos, and Novalja.
Next up on our list of 24 Latinx DJs to know is Roger Sanchez. The Dominicano is also a Grammy winner, getting the win for his remix of No Doubt’s “Hella Good” in 2003. He also scored an international hit with his song, “Another Chance.”
DJ Orange Calderon
DJ Orange (a.k.a. DJ Orange Calderon, and DJ OJ) was born in Houston, Texas. The Mexican and Filipino-Basque artist has opened for Skrillex, and Outkast, and has worked with clients including Nike, BET, and MTV. You can also catch Orange on her radio show on Beats 1 on Thursdays.
DJ Disco Wiz
Puerto Rican and Cuban DJ Disco Wiz, born Luis Cedeño, is credited as being the very first Latino DJ in Hip-hop. The Bronx native was one half of the Mighty Force crew, with Grandmaster Caz (then Casanova Fly), who presented the first Latino rapper, Prince Whipper Whip. Wiz is also credited with creating the mixed plate in 1977, the first mixed dub recording in hip-hop.
Erick Morillo is an Afro-Colombian DJ who was born in New York. In 1991, he worked with El General on his classic “Muevelo,” and also co-created the international hit “I Like to Move It,” in 1993. Today, Morillo jet sets around the world, “known to play up to 30 shows a month!”
Luciano is a Chilean DJ who was born in Switzerland. His work is very influenced by Latin music, and he is credited with promoting underground electronic music in Chile. Luciano has won the Best Tech House DJ award five times.
Chulita Vinyl Club
The cool thing about Chulita Vinyl Club is that it’s not just one badass Latina DJ, it’s a whole movement. There are chapters in Austin, the Bay Area, San Antonio, the RGV, San Diego, Santa Ana, and Los Angeles, and the music is always a shout-out to Latinx identity, culture, and pride.
Puerto Rican DJ Sneak, born Carlos Sosa, is both a DJ and producer, from Chicago, part of the second wave of house music makers in the Windy City. He has released over 10 albums since 1996, and you can still catch him spinning at several venues around the world.
Lissette Aya, a.k.a. DJ Ill-Set, is a Latinx DJ who has been spinning in front of audiences for 13 years. She is the resident DJ at Wepa! party in both Houston and Miami, and you can catch the Colombian-Cuban dropping beats at all sorts of other fiestas in South Florida.
Ricardo Villalobos is a Chilean DJ and producer Ricardo who works within the musical genres of techno, microhouse, and minimal techno. He has been DJing professionally for over 20 years and was selected as Resident Advisor’s top DJ of the year in both 2008 and 2010.
DJ Chris Villa
Another Latinx DJ you should know is DJ Chris Villa. Based in Arizona, Villa was chosen by the Phoenix New Times as the Best DJ in 2018. Not only does he spin five nights a week, but he is also the official DJ of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The last Latinx DJ of this roundup, that you should know, is DJ Camilo. With 315,000 followers on his Instagram, the Colombian New Yorker (born Juan Camilo Sanchez) is a member of the Heavy Hitter DJs crew and is signed to Roc Nation. You can catch him on HOT 97, or at one of his live shows in places such as New Jersey, Paris, Sweden, Japan, New York, and Las Vegas.