DJ Kylie Lands on Cue
Her set is fed to the patio and escapes into the parking lot.
Listening from the outside, both the beats and power are muffled by the time they break through the unassuming corrugated exterior. Not until stepping inside Tulsa Eagle do you experience what DJ Kylie can really do.
Growing up near Keifer and Mounds, she would catch rides as a teenager to Tulsa for a record store on Cherry Street. As often as possible, she'd make her way there to look through the bins and use a turntable in the back.
“And they ended up hearing how terrible I was and asking, ‘Can we please just show you the basics?,’” DJ Kylie told ASLUT about the start.
Far beyond the basics, she has been spinning as a resident DJ every Saturday night at Tulsa Eagle since November.
Assumed regulars and those fresh out of the Red Ribbon Gala mix among her transitions on a Saturday night in April. The set time travels with nearly each transition.
Before graduating high school, she got her first gig as an opener for a show at the now Tulsa Theatre. Fueled by nerves and rum, she made it through only to fall coming off stage. DJ Kylie got up and has played thousands of sets since.
Yet the Tulsa Eagle residency has still been new territory.
“It's the only place that I’ve really played my own,” DJ Kylie explains to ASLUT. “I'm constantly just high, mashing songs together in my head. So I've played a bunch of them out there, and it's like, gone off. I've never been able to have that space to do that. It’s a testing ground. It’s pretty cool.”
House dropping into line with disco leaves the crowd free to move in any direction. Elegantly sliding back and forth through the decades, it’s clear why her relationship with Tulsa Eagle has been more than a one-night stand.
Her relationship with Tulsa is more than a fling too. She’s been DJing, living, and various side hustling in the 918 for years and years.
Aside from the lure of tour or land ownership, she doesn’t intend on leaving. And even those options are either temporary absences or within earshot of the greater Tulsa Metropolitan Area.
As local DJs are making themselves a loud layer of the current Tulsa Sound, DJ Kylie is not being left off the mix. She was included as part of the Tulsa roadshow at SXSW in Austin. Back here at home, she was the featured DJ at two of Studio 66’s spring events, Vu from the Top and ASLUT Bunny Ball.
“I need hot stuff” pounds as the clock is about to hit midnight. No one seems concerned about glass slippers. Most everyone on the dance floor is wearing comfortable enough shoes. Midnight strikes and the music heads back into a different century. Two hours before the doors close, there is no reason to be worried about Ubers becoming pumpkins.
“This is definitely my peoples,” she fondly tells ASLUT. “But it makes sense also, because I always went to the gay clubs, because that's where all the cool music was.”
The weekly ball celebrating “surviving the motherfucking week” ends no time soon.
She creates the space for the audience to express themselves however they want with whoever they want to. A space Oklahoma for all its geographic openness, doesn’t always naturally afford its residents.
It’s a space her grandma gave her in the first grade.
“I remember going to my grandma and telling her that I liked this girl in my class,” DJ Kylie recalls. “Her being, ‘Yeah, that's fine.’ Then she said some people don't agree with that, but that's okay. And she's always been super accepting.”
Nearly every square inch of pinewood the lightshow hits is being utilized for expression. Regardless if it is shoulder to shoulder during any given song, they are out on it.
“People never consider me for anything gay and it pisses me off,” DJ Kylie shares with ASLUT. “I feel like I get overlooked for a lot of gay things. I’m fucking gay. Can I do some gay shit?”
She has been doing fabulous with all opportunities of late, making it hard to look or dance away.
Beyoncé drops in within minutes of the morning to remind the crowd they are built for this.
“I definitely have hope because of the influx of all these cool young, gay and queer artists coming through here really doing some cool shit. So I'm definitely here to bear witness and make some music.”
DJ Kylie is built for this.
You can experience DJ Kylie almost every Saturday night at Tulsa Eagle, located at 1338 E 3rd St. Find her on Instagram at @djkylie918.