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‘Do What I Want: Spin Off Edition’ puts the spotlight on Asian American DJs

By Saleah Blancaflor

Being a DJ is more than just pressing play or curating a playlist. It’s a hustle.

That’s exactly what Filipino director JFERRER wants to convey in his new documentary Do What I Want: Spin Off Edition which explores the paths of emerging Asian American DJs in Southern California. In it he documents their challenges and showcases the determination they must have to influence the nightlife scene.

“When you listen to what they’re doing, they totally try to curate music that fits in with the crowd,” JFERRER told AsAmNews.

The documentary highlights the lives and careers of DJs Seduza, MAZD, Athena, Jakob Mesina, Brkn, Way2pac, and Jey.

It is a sequel to JFERRER’s first film, Do What I Want, which centered on Asian American creatives like musicians, fashion designers, creative directors, fashion designers and more in Southern California. This time around, JFERRER said he was inspired to make a film focused exclusively on DJs.

Director of Do What I Want: Spin Off Edition Jferrer with arms folded in a party scene
Director of Do What I Want: Spin Off Edition Jferrer. Photo by Rob.img

“In my past, I was a manager in the nightlife industry so I was able to meet all the DJs in person and hear their stories, where they came from, and it inspired me,” JFERRER said. 

Do What I Want is more than just a documentary. It’s a movement, according to JFERRER. To coincide with the premiere of the film, he is launching a Do What I Want tour where the DJs from the film will play at live events and select clubs in SoCal so audiences can experience their music live.

DJ MAZD, one of those featured in the documentary, said he always wanted to be a DJ since he was in high school, but it wasn’t until COVID-19 that he began to pursue it more seriously. During lockdowns, he started making SoundCloud mixes of music he enjoyed listening to like West Coast rap and hip-hop and began sharing them online.

Soon enough he was DJing at random house parties and when his name started to get out there, he began playing at nightclubs. He said one of the reasons he loves DJing is because he enjoys being in control of someone’s night and allowing them to have a good time. 

DJ Mazd sits on a sofa
DJ Mazd. Photo by Alyssa Goh

“Some people do it for the money,” DJ MAZD said. “I gain satisfaction just from making people’s night.”

He added that he hopes the documentary will inspire other Asian American DJs or artists to not be scared to follow their dreams.

“I believe this documentary will be a stepping stone or a catalyst to other DJs or Asian American DJs, in particular, or anyone that’s in the entertainment industry to pursue what they want to do,” he said.

DJ Seduza, who is also featured in the documentary, started her DJ career in 2019 post-graduation and was introduced to the club circuit in 2021 after quarantine restrictions were lifted. Seduza believes telling stories like this are important so people can get a better perspective of Asian American artists.

“We’re in a place where Asian American in the media have just been growing so effortlessly and I think we have a huge part in inspiring each other and celebrating each other,” DJ Seduza said. “In a community like the Asian community, it’s also important to be honest and vulnerable. Telling these stories in general helps people get perspective on what is possible and what is actually going on behind-the-scenes especially as a creative.”

JFRERRER said that another one of the reasons he made the documentary is to show how Asian American creatives are breaking the mold, but to show the challenges they go through to get to where they are.

Do What I Want: Spinoff edition.
Do What I Want: Spinoff edition. Photo by rob.img

“Asian Americans in this generation are definitely breaking the stereotypes,” JFRERRER said.  “When I was growing up, you didn’t really see many Asian Americans in the creative field. We’re basically forced into the mindset to be nerdy, or if you’re Filipino, you’re told to be a nurse. It was out of the ordinary to pursue anything in the creative field. It’s discouraged. That’s kind of what spurred me in the beginning. Because when I wanted to do something, I didn’t want to be an engineer or a nurse. Fortunately, my family did support me, but it was my friends and my peers at the time that discouraged me from it. They called me whitewashed. But that’s what made me start the idea of creating Do What I Want to highlight Asian Americans.” 

“A lot of these DJs [in the movie] talk about the obstacles that they had to overcome, like, homelessness,” JFRERRER said. “It’s a problem anywhere in life, anywhere in the creative field, or whatever field you’re in, that you’re always going to have to overcome obstacles. That’s what I want the audience to take away from it.”

Those in Southern California can see the premier Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m. Tickets and information is available here.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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