DJ NELLE C: The Bay Is Alive
DJ Nelle C was inspired to create “The Bay Is Alive” mix series approximately two years ago after she and a friend were riding around discussing different hip hop stations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The conversation landed on the question, “Is it the DJ and the radio station’s fault for not pushing music from the Bay, or is it the artist’s fault for not continuously promoting their own music?” DJ Nelle C came to the conclusion that both were at fault. She reasoned that since the end of the Super Hyphy era, there has been a communication obstacle between the creators of the music and the radio stations that play the music.
DJ Nelle C states, “After the Hyphy movement, sideshows slowed down and social media became stronger; which made it easier for [popular] artists to get their music out and harder to get listeners to support Bay Area local artists, except for YouTube views. As someone who loves the Bay immensely and who lives through music, I wanted to end that disconnection between the two and that’s when I came up with the “The Bay is Alive” mixtape idea.”
Coming up with a playlist that featured at least one artist from every city in the San Francisco Bay Area, DJ Nelle C started off with over 100 submissions and narrowed the list down to forty songs. Wanting to make sure every song got the shine it deserved, she saved the remaining songs for the next mixtape.
Since the inception of “The Bay is Alive Mixtape”, DJ Nelle C noticed that much of the Bay Area’s creativity and sauce has been stolen from local artist and has been renamed and used by other well-known artists. “Since we do not work together as a unit, these biters and copycats are getting way with our creations”, states DJ Nelle C. “Like when they tried to steal and rename “Yiken”, and made it some Migos dance.”
DJ Nelle C hopes to be an inspiration for the unity that will bring back the Bay Area compilations that highlighted remixes such as the “Grown Man” remix and the”5 On It” remix. She feels it will take baby steps to bring the music together.
Bay Area radio stations play a few songs by hometown artists in their daytime rotations, unless the artist has gone mainstream. Lesser known artists are regulated to late-night shifts between 11 pm and 4 am. “Our radio stations constantly play other artists’ terrible music repeatedly…Bay Area music is better than everything on their playlist. Why do they wait until midnight to play ours?” questions DJ Nelle C.
Taking matters into her own hands, DJ Nelle C started “The Bay is Alive” mix series to give listeners something to enjoy. After the success of the first mixtape, featured artists started contacting her to thank her for including them and began sending her unsolicited music. DJ Nelle C states, “It started to feel like, ‘OK, this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing’. I’m not letting up at all. I just kept going in from that mix.”
DJ Nelle C plans to eventually turn the mixtape series into its own radio station and to become an entity that current and future artists can use as a vehicle to unify the Bay’s music scene.
Adapted from a conversation from BPEtvShow.com and DJ Nelle C