Philadelphia native DJ Diamond Kuts fell in love with deejaying the moment her father, Philly’s hip-hop pioneer, Grand Tone, brought home her first starter kit. Since then, Kuts has worked hard at perfecting her craft and it’s all paying off. From touring with Lil’ Mama and hosting BET’s previous late night show, The Deal to being the first and only female deejay on Philly’s ,Power99 station, DJ Diamond Kuts is paving the way towards a long lasting legacy for more young women to follow. EBONY.com caught up with the trailblazer and discovered why she feels inspiring young women is her true purpose in life.
EBONY: Having worked with the likes of Nicki Minaj and more, you’ve been one of the top buzzing female deejays in the country for some time now. Throughout out all of it, you’re ever committed to supporting and empowering young women. In fact, you demonstrated that when you became a part of the fourth annual, Dove Self-Esteem Weekend in October of this year. Why do you find it important to support and empower young women?
DJ Diamond Kuts: When it comes to young girls, I’m serious about them. I want them to realize that anything that they want to do is possible. I’m a female deejay and seeing a female deejay is rare—well it used to be. I want to encourage other girls to do what it is they want to do. I just want to be that source of inspiration for them.
EBONY: I want to know who inspired you.
DK: My dad was heavily into hip hop and deejaying was something that always went on in my household. So, I told him I wanted to deejay and he bought me turntables and I kind of got started from there. But as I started really digging deep into what deejaying was all about, like following female deejays like DJ Beverly Bond, DJ Jazzy Joyce and DJ Coco Chanelle, I fell more in love with the craft. I fell in love with what they did and I wanted to be like them when I grew up.
EBONY: One thing I’ve learned, as a 20-Something, is the importance of having a great mentor to guide you as you go after your dream. Were there any mentors along the way that helped you?
DK: As I got into it, especially as I got into radio, there was one woman, and her name was Gina. She was excited to have a female deejay on the radio station on Power 99. So when she hired me, there were times when we sat down and she kind of encouraged me and kind of said to me, “Don’t let these guys walk all over you. You’re great at what you do so achieve it and just do what you love.” So if there was anybody there in the beginning, mentor-wise, it was her.
EBONY: What do you feel is the most important thing that girls should know about confidence or about acceptance of themselves?
DK: I think young girls need more role models. There’s so much that we can tell a young girl, but I think them being around someone that sets an example for them is more important.
EBONY: The Dove campaign has reached almost 11 million young girls worldwide—and the fact that you contributed to their efforts by coming on board for the Self-Esteem Weekend is powerful and inspiring.
DK: I think if people continue to do events like [that], we’ll be able to grab these young girls attention, you know? Even for the girls that don’t have role models—[who may be] checking out this interview. I’m always here to empower them through social media and local events. I feel like that is the ultimate reward: giving back to those to continue a chain of success amongst young women.