The UAE-based 11-year-old who is one of the world’s youngest DJs is inspiring young music lovers at SCRF 2023
Young DJ and published author shares with UAE’s aspiring young musicians attending Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival that she knew she wanted to be a world-famous DJ at the age of five
Sharjah, May 4, 2023
Bringing young and talented personalities to the fore is on the agenda at the ongoing Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023), taking place at Expo Centre in the emirate. One of the shining lights to hold sway at the event is DJ Michelle, all of 11, who became one of the youngest turntablists to enter the annual DMC World DJ Championships at age nine in 2021.
Addressing a student meet-up session on Thursday, the young DJ spoke about her process and inspiration to a hall full of eager children her own age. “I used to watch my dad practicing at the turntables and got quite interested in DJing. On my fifth birthday, I told him I want to be a world-famous DJ and he bought me my first equipment,” said Michelle. Her father is the famous DJ Shock, who has encouraged his daughter’s passion and talent at every turn. On competing in DMC the second time, she climbed to ninth place, even beating her father – who came tenth – in the process.
The family, who hail from Baku in Azerbaijan, have honed their passion for DJing in the UAE. DJ Michelle cites many musical influences. “I like almost every genre, but prefer songs in specific. I’m obsessed with Michael Jackson and Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ songs and when it comes to DJing, I play everything from pop to rock to hip-hop.”
The talented girl is also into skateboarding, karate, basketball, and playing the guitar and drums. She is also multilingual, with varying degrees of proficiency in French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian and Arabic.
While her long-term goals in music include starting a school for aspiring DJs, the youngster has already published a book, about none other than her own life. “After beating more than 75 professional adult DJs in the DMC competition, I was interviewed by NPR and that led to a book deal with Blackstone Publishing,” she says.
I am DJ Michelle: How A Nine-Year-Old DJ Became A Global Phenomenon is an inspiring autobiography co-authored by her that is a celebration of her young life and achievements.
DJ Michelle is also an online sensation with 175,000 followers on Instagram and more than 100,000 on TikTok, and achieved quite the feat when she tied in 14th place at the DMC championships.
The 14th annual Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023) is the region’s largest festival of its kind, dedicated to stimulate creativity in young minds and bring them closer to books. The event is running until May 14 in Expo Centre Sharjah and carries the theme ‘Train your Brain’.