We had the good fortune of connecting with DJ Amara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DJ Amara, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
During the pandemic, this was actually a looming thought that weighed heavily in my heart. The uncertainties of how the pandemic was going to affect the events industry long term, and whether or not I would be able to perform for a live audience again really put me in a dark place that led me to consider giving up a 20 year DJ career. Every day I thought about another career that might bring me the same happiness that playing events brought me. I had to make sure that whatever that new pursuit was, I’d have to wake up excited to do it. Days, weeks, months passed and I couldn’t think of anything else that could bring me such joy. I then started live streaming and the energy and passion I had for music and deejaying were reignited. Also, every time I talked to friends/family about giving up my DJ career, I would cry my heart out. I just knew right then that I wasn’t ready to give up. If your heart and mind are still in the game there’s no other choice but to keep going!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve been a professional DJ for 20+ years and own Kore Entertainment, a boutique collective of DJs, musicians, and event professionals. I learned the craft of DJ’ing early on in junior high school. My boyfriend was a DJ, and I was always intrigued by how he seamlessly mixed different songs, so I asked him to teach me. There were no computers or controllers to help guide you back then, so you had to use your ears to beat-match between one song to the next. I’m grateful to get that foundation because it allowed me to train my ears and not be dependent on technology alone. From there, my love for music and dance combined with my business acumen led me to throw events. I would rent out halls, print out flyers and distribute them at my school. I charged $5 at the door, all my DJ and dancer friends would perform, and we had a blast! That became my hustle in high school. I continued to DJ part-time in college while working a full-time job as a fitness trainer. Although my passion was music, I chose to major in Business, focusing on Computer Information Systems because I wanted a secure and reliable career and at the time having a career in IT was in high demand. I didn’t know anyone who had a stable career as a DJ, so I never thought that was a possibility. Continuing to DJ while learning business in college allowed me to have the framework I needed to form Kore Entertainment. After college, I held a corporate job for about seven years and continued to DJ part-time. One day, my company decided to transfer their IT dept to India, which was a catalyst to me DJ’ing full time. I took a leap of faith and decided to focus my time and energy on DJ’ing. I continued to DJ clubs, and being surrounded by very talented friends who were drummers, singers, guitarists, and dancers, we decided to create a monthly club night in East LA called Steady where we played house music alongside live musicians. I loved the energy this brought to the nightlife, and I knew that offering this same experience to my corporate and private event clients would be a hit. That’s how Kore Entertainment was founded. I wanted to create an extraordinary and personalized musical experience for our clients. Not only offering the standard DJ service but elevating that by incorporating live musical elements. Additionally, we are proud to be one of a few entertainment companies that are helmed by women. Not only do we have a roster of female DJs, but we also have women setting up and controlling sound and lighting, which we are very proud of!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite things to do is share food with people. I love exploring cities through the food they have to offer and LA has some of the most diverse food you can find in the world! I would definitely start my tour at Grand Central Market in DTLA! There is such an array of lights, colors, smells, and food offerings that it can please any craving. My favorite spots are Villa Moreliana for their slow-cooked Michoacan style pork tacos and of course my Filipino fam at Sari Sari Store! Next, I would walk around the fashion and party district in Downtown to see all of the fun street vendors and definitely snag a Mangonada ice cream treat from one of LA’s famous street carts! One of my other favorite downtown destinations is Smorgasburg at The Row. It’s a large pop-up of food vendors every Sunday where they have DJ’s playing. They also have a monthly vinyl fair hosted by Beat Swap Meet. Last, I gotta shout out to my favorite city just outside of LA- Santa Barbara! I love taking a drive up the coast and it’s just one hour away from my house. When I travel there, my favorite stop is The Sacred Space. Being a plant lover, the Sacred Space feels like you are transported to Thailand, surrounded by the sounds of running water, bamboo blowing in the wind, and tropical blooms. While you are up in Santa Barbara, be sure to arrive early on a Saturday to visit their fresh fish market! Seafood is my all time favorite, and I love grabbing some fresh live crabs and live uni caught right off the coast there. Next, I travel into the funk zone for drinks, antique shopping, and amazing art galleries. It was definitely my go-to getaway during the lockdown and I’ll continue to take any guests that visit up there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My dear friends Ruby Hoang and Lisette Elhayani. Two people who are huge positive influences in my life for their dedication, perseverance, and biggest hearts. They have their own successful lgbtq+ woman owned businesses and their daily drive and tenacity and how they value their family and friends inspires me daily.
Instagram: @djamara , @shaketothekore
Yelp: Kore Entertainment
@dorianmedia @devyngalindo @stsphotovideo @monday_photography @davidenglandphotography