We had the good fortune of connecting with Luiza Melikyan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luiza, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When thinking about how I have taken risks the first thing that comes to mind is the biggest risk I have taken, which is beginning my career. Becoming a DJ is not a dream that most young girls have or are even considered for. However, this was mine. The risk that I took in pursuing my passion connects to many different layers. A major risk being breaking out of the norm and society’s standards to become an Armenian female DJ. This was a challenge in and of itself. This required a leap, not only paving the way for my own path, but for female DJs to come. I believe that pursuing dreams requires risk. Without risk there is no reward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There have definitely been challenges along the way, especially as a woman in an industry that is predominantly represented by men. As I began my career, one thing that was a challenge was not being accepted or taken seriously as a female DJ. Building a name for myself on the credibility of my work was not an easy task in this career as well. One of the major challenges as a woman in this field began here. I needed to do this work on my own. It has taken much effort to lay a strong foundation for my career. One of the main ways that I have done this is by putting in the work. No shortcuts. I believe this is one of the most important aspects and lessons to building a successful career. I dedicate my time, energy, and love to my art and work as a DJ.
My art consists of much more than just songs. Being a DJ requires much more than just the ability to mix music. The true DJs that stand out have the ability to connect with their audience as well as reading the crowd. The impact of music can be nuanced by social settings of those listeners and dancers. This is what sets apart the gold standard of DJs. Additionally, this standard requires the unseen work that goes into the performance before show time. I strive to always dedicate my focus on the work needed not only during the performance but also in preparation for every event as well. This is what I believe sets DJs apart.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many places, things, and people to see in this area. I would first begin with considering what my friend enjoys. Some of the places that I would include would be some museums and theme parks, such as LACMA, the Getty, and Disneyland, Six Flags. As a more relaxing experience I would include the beaches, such as Malibu or Newport Beach. Another experience would be the Griffith Observatory. Since I am such a foodie I would definitely recommend some restaurants, such as Shiki, Ca del Sole, Tao, and Nobu. Also, any visit to Los Angeles always requires multiple trips to In N Out.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My friends have played a critical role in encouraging me to pursue and nurture this dream of mine. I remember when I began this journey my friends provided me with the space and the opportunities to build my confidence and experience. From being there when I purchased my first piece of equipment to hiring me for special events of theirs, they have stood by me since the beginning. A great deal of my success is through word of my mouth and my friends were the first people to hype me up. For this, I am eternally grateful.
My family has been one of the strongest support systems that I have had during this journey. However, this was an unanticipated career choice which took some time for them to warm up to. Once they were more comfortable with the idea they provided me with their love, support, and blessings. Through the efforts in helping me with events at the beginning of my career and believing in me and my ability to make this dream a reality, my family has been my back bone through the most challenging and most rewarding of events. For this, I will always be grateful.
A great deal of my appreciation is dedicated to my past and present clients, without whom I would not have grown in the Armenian community as a female DJ. I am grateful for their trust, love, and support. Their greatest compliment to me has been referrals to new clients. For this, I remain humbled and grateful.
Photos by Sylvie