Written by Jeffery Taylor
Tracy Young loves what she does. It’s obvious when you see her in the DJ booth of any party she plays. Dancing around, twirling knobs, smiling that big beautiful smile of hers and waving to boys on the dance floor, she definitely has a lot of fun at work. “I think being up there playing music should be an enjoyment for me as well as the crowd,” she says. Well, the crowd is certainly having a gay ol’ time.
Tracy Young began spinning her own unique blend of hip-hop, funk, and old school in Washington, D.C. before moving to Miami in 1998. It was here she had the fateful encounter that changed her life forever and has become almost gay folklore. Tracy had been hired by Ingrid Casares of Liquid fame to play at her Millennium Eve Party in South Beach. Madonna, one of Ingrid’s best friends, attended the party and loved what she heard. She asked Tracy to remix the first single and title track off her new album Music. Tracy was excited for the opportunity and delivered what was later to be described as “an emotional masterpiece” by Billboard Magazine.
Although this big break put Tracy on the radar, it is Tracy’s skill and talent that have made her one of the most successful female DJs/producers/ remixers in history. She has made a name for herself alongside the heavy hitters of house, tribal, and dance music and has headlined almost every major Circuit event and played at many of the hottest clubs in North America. She travels internationally to spin her magic in such destinations as London, Rome, Paris, Morocco, and Kuala Lumpur.
Stateside, the boys of Fire Island recently celebrated their freedom to her explosive beats over July 4th weekend. Following her success at last year’s Pines Party, Tracy was asked to return to the gay oasis to helm the turntables at the 13th Annual IndepenDANCE, which was held at Reflections and whose proceeds benefit GMHC, Brent Varner Project, and Pines Care Center. Guy Smith lit the bevy of beautiful boys with a breathtaking sunset as the backdrop.
At one point in the evening, Tracy played her Flying Monkeys remix of “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway musical Wicked. Idina Menzel, who played the green- skinned witch on the Great White Way, performed Tracy’s version of the song in New York City on Gay Pride Sunday. “She mentioned my name at the Pier Dance and I almost fell over,” Tracy remarked. Apparently, even a superstar DJ can be starstruck.
A bit surprising considering that, in addition to Madonna, Young has produced tracks for such heavyweights as Stevie Nicks, Pet Shop Boys, Cyndi Lauper, Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan, P!nk, and Shakira. She has also played private events for the likes of Diddy, Lenny Kravitz, Ricky Martin, and Cher. Even Paris Hilton has been photographed shaking her moneymaker to Tracy’s rhythms.
In 2002, Tracy released Tracy Young Remixes Living Theater in association with Kunduru Music, infusing eleven chill-out tracks with her fierce beats and unique musicality. A slight departure from the club-inspired productions Tracy is so well known for, this album captivates the listener as she seamlessly weaves her personality and style through each of the songs.
Young’s latest album, Danceculture 2, is currently out on her label, Ferosh Records, and Danceculture 3 is already in the works. Collaborating with Ceevox on a track for the new compilation, Tracy will also be working with her on a full-length album. Their first original production “Believe In We” appeared on Unreleased Vol. 1 sharing the spotlight with “Ferosh,” a track that marries Tracy’s signature sound with the unmistakable voice of Miami legend Alan T.
Still loving the place she calls home, Tracy is excited about her monthly residency at Score on Lincoln Road. Newly-renovated with an expanded dance floor and upgraded sound system, this survivor of Miami nightlife is packing them in with top DJs like Tracy, Joe Gauthreaux, and Miami favorite Abel. In addition, Tracy makes it up to New York City to spin at Splash once a month. The boys can also look forward to her “Genesis” party, which unfailingly packs them in every New Year’s Day. The popular party returns this year to The Cameo, former home of Crobar, in South Beach.
As if she’s not busy enough, this self-described workaholic is also designing a clothing line based on club culture called Ferosh Wear. Studded with rhinestones, these higher-end shirts will be geared toward the gay market. “I think that what I try to do is have my hands in a lot of different projects. I don’t think if you’re a DJ nowadays, you can just count on that being your main source of work. I think that you have to do other things and continue to grow creatively.”
The secret of her success seems to be working for her as her calendar fills with gigs and her discography continues to grow. Although the landscape of dance culture seems to be morphing, Tracy’s view on the Circuit and the future of large-scale dance events is decidedly optimistic. Noticing the shift from the larger events to smaller, loungier parties, Tracy feels the scene is going through a growth period. “It is changing,” she remarks. “I think that, like anything, it will go through its transition and then it will come back.”
Whatever happens, Tracy Young is certain to remain one of the top contenders in clubland and beyond, continuing to pack dance floors with her titillating productions and scintillating remixes. Tracy Young loves what she does. And so do we. Maybe there is something to this “like attracts like” stuff after all.