Turning the Tables

By Christina Dylag
Photos by John Audley

(Published in the May 2010 issue)

Unlike most of her colleagues, rising San Diego DJ Tara Brooks is a woman. But Tara doesn’t let gender stereotypes get in the way of laying down great beats at clubs and bars around town.

PacificSD: Is it difficult to control the ones and twos when you have two X chromosomes?

Tara Brooks: Most people think that you got it for the wrong reasons, because you’re hot or whatever. I like proving people wrong. This is actually something that I love, just as much as any guy.

Brooks takes pride in having honed her craft on vinyl (Google “enormous 1900s rotating plastic musical disc”) and remembers how it all started.

How’d you end up on this side of the DJ booth?

Brooks: My ex-husband had a DJ set-up at our house, and he was a really great DJ. It was what we had in common-our passion for music, dance music especially.

With a penchant for all things house music, from techno to progressive and tribal, Brooks refuses to spin Top 40.

Can I hear some Lady Gaga?

Brooks: People might expect Britney Spears, but I play high-energy, peak-hour. My music is super-banging. That’s what moves me.

Now backlit by a trillion-watt LED wall, Brooks has modernized and moved away from records. But despite the transition, her career continues to spin without a scratch-in April, she performed on her home turf, Voyeur in the Gaslamp, as the opening act for one of her primary influences and DJ superheroes, Trent Cantrelle