#IAMDYNAMITE’s Fafa Khan Q & A
#IAMDYNAMITE is an inspirational movement that encourages women to be confident and passionate, believe in themselves, work hard and follow their dreams. Our first feature profile is Fafa Khan, an artist, DJ, and graphic designer based in Montreal, Canada. Fafa embodies all these #IAMDYNAMITE attributes in her every day life and career. Check out Fafa’s full profile here. We had the pleasure of getting to know Fafa a little more with a quick Q&A.
You’re a DJ, artist and graphic designer, how do you manage your time between all these areas?
I have to do all my graphics/flyers at the beginning of the week (Monday/Tuesday) considering they have to be released before the weekend for advertising. By Wednesday I’m already DJing. Thursday, I’m working on new music research and Friday through Sunday, I’m hosting and DJing at 3 – 4 different clubs. On top of all this, I try to find time to paint, attend meetings, DJ weddings and corporate events etc. It’s difficult but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a night owl and a day dreamer, this lifestyle suits me perfectly.
Was there someone or something that really helped you get your start as a DJ?
I was a hip-hop dance teacher before I was a DJ so that really helped me keep up-to-date with music and choreography. Since I had this background, one of the owners of Garde Manger, a restaurant in Montreal, Canada, asked me to play music off a laptop and iPod for fun and it ended up being a crazy Saturday every weekend. After a year, by coincidence, DJ Taha had bought one of my paintings, so I asked him if he would teach me basic techniques to DJing and he was more than helpful. Once I got my first real gig at a big club, DJ Donald Lauture gave me his library of music as a solid foundation to help build my own. To this day, we still share our music to help each other out.
Get Fafa’s look: Sleeveless blazer
Have ever encountered any negative experiences being a female DJ in a male-dominated profession? How did you get through it?
I was nervous at first coming into the DJ scene since most of these guys have been around for 10-15 years, but I was lucky that all the DJs I met were all really cool and supportive. Before ever approaching a club owner, I always asked the DJ first if it was ok for me to start working with them. If I was ever looked at negatively, I would just make sure my sets were on point no matter what. No one can say anything if you’ve done your job well whether they love you or hate you, only the results matter.
Watch Fafa talk more on this here:
You’ve got a busy lifestyle. What do you like to do in your downtime?
Sleep, eat and chill with friends. Any day I have off I hardly ever go out. The nightlife is work for me so I actually love to stay in.
Strong women are often a subject in your artwork. Is that a reflection of how you feel about yourself?
I’ve had to be really determined to make what most people see as hobbies into a full time career so I guess when I paint, I’ve never wanted to paint men, it’s always been women. They appeal to me more aesthetically and mentally, I see myself and hopefully other women see themselves in my paintings.
What inspires you in creating your art pieces?
I have traveled a lot, I also studied every art form, fine arts, creative arts, visual design, as well as art history which has influenced me. I never know how my abstract pieces will turn out, it’s a surprise every time and that motivates me to create more.
You started very young, teaching yourself Photoshop at 12, first art show at 18, DJing at 19. What advice do you have for young women who want to get their career started?
Start as soon as you can! Even if you’re not sure what you want to do, as long as you try everything at a young age, you will narrow down what you’re best at earlier in life. From there you can make anything you love to do into a career. My parents never supported my art until I proved it to them. Actions speak much louder than words, if people see proof that you’re good, opportunities come to you instead of you chasing them.
How do you describe your personal style?
There is a major urban influence in everything I do from how I dress and draw, to how I dance and DJ. But I also have a colorful side which you see in my artwork and in my socializing skills, it’s my reflection of a stress-free life.
Get Fafa’s look: Dress, Fur Vest & Hat
Song on repeat right now: The Weeknd – Acquainted
Up & coming musician we should check out: Niykee Heaton. She does all my favourite rap songs on acoustic, I hope she breaks out into an artist that can do more than covers.
Favorite instagram account to follow: I only follow one celebrity: @Beyonce
Favorite music festival: This year I really loved Osheaga
Favorite female DJ: Vashtie
Most annoying request in the DJ booth: It’s not really the request that bothers me it’s the entire story before… “It’s my friends birthday, bachelorette, day off, we’re from out of town…” They feel they need to come up with a reason for their request which I really don’t need to know.
First job: Hip hop dance teacher and designing flyers for my friends’ birthdays
Dream city to DJ in: In Miami at LIV on Sunday specifically because it’s hip hop night and the actual artists I DJ songs of, all attend in person.
Guilty pleasure: Netflix
Click here to check out more on Fafa.
Listen to Fafa’s exclusive Dynamite Summer End mix here: