DJing is the one thing for me that has never let me down. It’s the one thing that I’ve never given up on. And it’s the one thing that has given me so many freakin’ blessings. – DJ K Yung

Smack in the heart of Midwest, a down-to-earth, funny, DJ and Host has defined her niche and is producing loud decibels in the DJ industry across the nation. DJ K Yung is a pure example of having a badassery drive, following your true passion, and never giving up is the foundation of a next level mindset.

DJ K Yung is a nationally recognized open format DJ, an on-air guest DJ for various radio stations, sports fanatic, foodie, and a host for an international motorsports company. This Queen of the Quad Cities began her DJ journey in 2007 and her path leading up to it and throughout her entire DJ career has been a series of good things that have always led to the next greatest thing.

DJ K Yung was born in Seoul, South Korea, and abandoned on a police station doorstep. She was taken to an orphanage where she stayed for 6 months until she was adopted and flown to Minneapolis, Minnesota to be with her new family. While she was surrounded by music and the arts growing up, she didn’t have an interest in it and admits she never focused on what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I was more focused on high school and college. And I wanted to play soccer. I had sporadic dreams of all kinds of different things. I never really knew what I wanted to do. Had anybody asked me, I would have probably said I would have wanted to be a marine biologist because I love the water! It’s probably because I’m an Aries and I’m a fire sign and the water calms me down…my parents never forced me to have to go to college or choose a career. I was raised to do whatever makes me happy,” explains DJ K Yung.

During high school, she was first introduced to DJing and the hip hop culture, but it didn’t grab her attention at the time. Fast forward to 2007, her best friend’s sister needed a DJ for her graduation party and DJ K Yung stepped in to give it a shot. “At that time, I was engulfed in music. I was managing some artists, so I was like, let’s go rent some equipment! And I’ll just DJ. I’m sorry if I suck, but I did it in high school with friends. I don’t know if I’ll be any good. But let’s try. I was horrendous, but it made me realize that, holy cow, this is what I want to do!” says DJ K Yung. “And it was a come to Jesus moment to the point where I even quit school to pursue it 100%.”

She viewed being a DJ as a prime opportunity to help the artists that she managed as well and decided to invest in a lot of equipment (first set of DJ gear was the Technics CDJ SL-DZ1200) to put on a show to help her artists get their name out. “Basically what happened was, is that I wanted to DJ, but I was managing artists. So, I was thinking to myself. I’m having a hard time as it is trying to send music to DJs and whoever else, so I was like, well, I’ll become a DJ and then I will take your music and I will send it to other DJs as a DJ, and it’ll probably get played. And that’s exactly what happened. I was coming to them as one of them and not somebody in business and they were cool with it.” says DJ K Yung.

Then she met her first mentor, DJ Scratch Master Dee, who taught her scratching and basic DJing skills and also encouraged her to come up with an official meaningful DJ name, which is when DJ K Yung was created…”My name that the orphanage gave me was Shin Kyung Ban because I didn’t have a name. So, I separated the K from the Y and it ended up being DJ K Yung, so it keeps a part of who I am.” says DJ K Yung. 2 months into training with DJ Scratch Master Dee, he booked her to be the official opening DJ of the Soulja Boy and T-pain concert for 6,000 people!

DJ Dolla entered her life a little bit later and took her under his wing and taught her how to become a solid beat mixer using vinyl records. Along with getting her foot in the door DJing in the clubs and little festivals, DJ K Yung’s newly refined mixing skills soon landed her own radio show on air at KALA 88.5 FM with the help of DJ Powder a then female radio personality which she said is one of her biggest accomplishments since it has given her the platform to reach thousands. Currently, every month she has a show on SiriusXM Shade 45 called the Drive on Shade 45 presented by Chicago legend Andrew Barber and Fakeshore Drive that showcases Midwest artists, whether they’re unsigned or signed. She also has been a guest DJ on both SiriusXM shows, Sway In The Morning and Hip Hop Nation.

Along with her accomplishments in radio, bars/clubs, and festivals, DJ K Yung has been a host for an international motorsports company for the last 7 years. “I accredit my DJing to being able to do that. I have done everything from small little arenas to NBA arenas, to MLB stadiums, to NFL stadiums. Before COVID hit, one of the last shows I did was at the Cowboys Stadium, the AT&T Stadium. I also got to also be on Ellen this year and do some stuff with Stone Cold Steve Austin,” says DJ K Yung. In addition, earlier this year DJ K Yung started a company called Local Traffic Only, which is a multifaceted entertainment company and brand management house. They manage artists and anybody that has a brand. She has big plans to expand the company into other areas, one being relaunching an internet radio station.

Being in the industry for as long as DJ K Yung has, the obstacles she has faced have only made her work harder at achievieng her goals. Her biggest obstacle has been being a female in this male dominated industry and being take seriously, especially early on. “I hate to be cliché and try not to use it as an excuse, but I started DJing when there wasn’t a lot of female DJs. And so, I feel like my obstacle was that I wasn’t being taken serious as a female. Once people realized I quit college and dedicated my life to it because I wanted to make money and build a career out of it, they took me serious and respected me,” says DJ K Yung.

Not once has DJ K Yung taken any of the incredible opportunities she has been given for granted. “I probably could have just been homeless on the streets of Korea somewhere to now being able to do some amazing things and I’m very blessed. I think that the takeaway of my life so far is that if anybody wants to do something, no matter how long it may take, no matter how hard it may be, no matter how many obstacles you face, I think that if that’s your true passion, it’s going to work out for you in the end. Every time I’ve tried to stop DJing, God or whoever you want to blame it on has always been like, ‘Nah, not today. This is going to happen today for you. And this is going to happen tomorrow.’ I think it’s just so cool from the DJing that’s led into the motor sports to some of the TV stuff that I’ve been doing, and the other stuff that I’ve been segueing my life into, how cool is it that!?” says DJ K Yung.

Behind the Decks Q&A
Q: On event day or before a set – do you have any pre-event rituals that you feel set you up mentally or physically to be ready to go? 
A: A good prayer and a shot of tequila. Lol it sounds contradicting but it’s usually what happens. Not even a planned thing.
Q: What is 1 thing you love the most about DJing?
A: The ability to make people forget about their problems of the day or the week. To be able to use music as a means to bring happiness for a few hours.
Q: What do you do at the end of the night after DJing a set?  
A: I find some food always hahaha I love to eat
Q: Using only one word, how would your colleagues and clients describe you?    
A: Funny
Q: What song immediately enters your mind when you want to see hands up in the air, bodies shaking/bouncing, and people going absolutely nuts!?!!?
A:  That’s hard it depends on the crowd I’m playing too. I cater to everyone from Latin to Hip Hop to open format. Every demographic has its own song right now that would get them hyped. And as much as many changes so do peoples ears and taste. From Bad Bunny to Ozuna, to Drake and Harry Styles to Roddy Rich and Da Baby.
Q: What artist/song do you feel has made an impact on your sets in the last decade?
A: I think throwbacks have impacted my sets… those “ Whooaaa I remember that song” moments from the crowds. Young Joc, young Soulja Boy, and Eastside Boys.
Q: What do you do in your free time when you aren’t DJing?  
A: I love sports, all kinds so I watch and play sports as much as I can. I work out, and I love to paint and draw. I am a wannabe food critique aka just a foodie. And I love to travel. (unfortunately, COVID has put a stop to that)

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