Though no longer known as DJ Charity, after three years as a professional, Falls Church native Cyndi Tran has evolved into DJ CYD, and the idea of “giving back” has moved past dollars and is more squarely focused on beats, much to the benefit of the DC-area club-going community. A headline act at New Year’s Eve’s Big Night DC event at the Gaylord National Hotel and Resort in National Harbor, MD, the booking reflects how impressive her development has been.
CYD’s rise begins in a most typical manner. “I was into nightlife and became a bartender, but music has always been a big part of my life. Meeting DJs [made DJing as a potential career choice] really intriguing to me. I loved music and dancing, so, back in 2008, I decided to give it a try.” Furthermore, she tells On Tap, “ I was mesmerized by DJing and practiced eight-to-ten hours a day. I never imagined I could make it a full-time job. After a few years, making the right connections, and getting better at it, I was able to make it a full-time thing.”
As the Nation’s Capital begins to settle into accepting dance nights being available every night of the week, there still isn’t significant gender diversity amongst spinners in the area. When asked how she’s accepting this notion and attempting to change it too, CYD tells On Tap, “There aren’t many female open-format DJs in DC. I’m proud that I’m able to do that. I’m eclectic and keep my music range really wide. I love hip-hop, house, Latin music and more. I like playing at The W in DC. It’s an international crowd, I can play everything there and they all have a good time.”
That good time has always been a part of CYD’s history in and around music, a history that starts with a touch of frank humor. “I used to use my brother’s ex-girlfriend’s fake ID to get into clubs,” CYD begins. Continuing, she says, “I thought dance music was awesome and I loved dancing. That set the tone. Later, when I moved to New York City, I spent a lot of time around [leading NYC rap radio station] Hot 97’s Heavy Hitters DJ crew and they were influential to my sound.”
In the past twelve months, CYD’s skills have increased and she now has DJ residencies in both DC and New York City. Calling the Big Apple a “home away from home,” the vibe of playing to an “accepting” crowd in an area where dance music has been a part of the city’s mainstream culture for a half-century is exciting. When asked about her career moving forward, CYD’s vision has moved past both DC and New York City though, and onto far more grandiose aims. “[By this point next year] I would like to have started producing music. I definitely will be working on finding my sound. I want to experiment, take some time, and hopefully put out an EP. I want to travel and see other cities nationally and internationally.”
New Year’s Eve at Big Night DC is what’s next on the horizon for CYD, and expect to hear the spinner at her best. “There’s going to be a wide range of ages and backgrounds there. So, people can expect to hear me playing old stuff that people can relate to, but I want to introduce people to new genres, too. There will be a lot of remixes, especially deep house early on, and then some future house and bass, melodic trap, and maybe DC’s own moombahton sound as well. I want to represent well not just for local DC DJs but for females and crowd rockers everywhere. I’m excited!”
To learn more at about DJ CYD at www.djcydofficial.com. Follow her on Facebook at @DJCYDOFFICIAL, Twitter @DJ_Charity and Periscope @DjCharity. To get tickets to Big Night DC visit www.bignightdc.com.