DJ chloe performs her set for the DJ competition while exciting the crowd at SF State’s The Depot on May 9, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)
DJ chloe performs her set for the DJ competition while exciting the crowd at SF State’s The Depot on May 9, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tam Vu

DJs battle it out at The Depot for Rhythms Festival competition

Eight DJs competed against each other for the opportunity to open at the 12th Annual Rhythms Music Festival.

May 11, 2023

Color-changing lights gleamed against the backdrops of each DJ set as they played music that the audience sang to in unison. “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift and “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” by PinkPanthress and Ice Spice were some crowd favorites of the night.

Associated Students Productions hosted the Rhythms Festival DJ Competition on Tuesday night. The event had eight participants, each of whom performed 15-minute sets judged by DJs Juan “Wonway Posibul” Amador, Marcus Aurelius Rosario aka “Mawkus” and Eryka, who rated performances based on factors such as talent and stage presence.   

Students and audience members dance together as they enjoy the DJ competition at SF State’s The Depot on May 9, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)

Around 40 people attended the event held at The Depot in the Cesar Chavez Student Center where the performance stage was set up with DJ gear and interface. The crowd was energetic and people on the floor hyped up every DJ’s set. 

DJ Solo’s set was the first of many during the night where the audience cheered and engaged throughout. He spoke about his love for music and seeing people have a good time during his set.

“I love DJing, I love music and I love seeing people enjoy it. I just wanna bring good vibes, happy vibes, I wanna see people dance,” he said.

The judges announced the duo 6 Gramz in third place, DJ chloe in second, and DJ Mellow as the winner. The winner will open for rapper Lupe Fiasco, the headliner for the 12th Annual Rhythms Music Festival on Saturday. 

Chloe Ettinger, whose stage name is DJ chloe, participated in a DJ competition for the first time. She spoke about the style of music she played and her thought process in selecting songs for her set. 

“The music I played was mostly hip-hop and pop, and I would describe it as being very similar to music at nightclubs or lounges,” Ettinger said. “My thought process when choosing the songs was thinking about what college students would enjoy, while also considering both older and newer music.“

Rosario is part of the Singapore-based label collective Darker Than Wax. He spoke about the significance of upcoming DJs gaining exposure through such events and his own experience of starting his journey as a DJ.

“I think it’s important for DJs to do these things,” Rosario said. “As a DJ coming up, getting yourself out there and getting into these places where people can see you, you’re trying new things and exposing yourself.”

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About the Contributors
Photo of Ishaan Pratap
Ishaan Pratap, Copy Editor
Ishaan Pratap (he/him) was born in New York and is a 4th year print and online journalism major at San Francisco State. In his free time he enjoys video games, hanging out with friends, and watching soccer. He joined the journalism program because he's passionate about social issues like housing and city politics.
Photo of Tam Vu
Tam Vu, Photo Editor
Tam Vu (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine. She is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in Asian American studies. She originally entered SF State as a print and online journalism major, but switched to photojournalism in her second year after finding her passion for visual storytelling. Her special interests include Asian American identity and music journalism. In the near future, she hopes to make a video documentary on her parents' immigration story to highlight the generational impact that the Vietnam War has on many families. Outside of school, she loves to attend live music shows, find new music, and crochet.

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