The Dallas Mavericks have a new star, but not on the court. DJ Poizon Ivy, the artist behind every song and sound that rings through the rafters during Mavs games at American Airlines Center, has been nominated for a Global Spin Award for Best Female DJ of the Year.
It's basically the Oscars for DJs.
“You look at the people I’m nominated alongside, and you just go, ‘Whoa,’” Poizon Ivy says. “And it’s crazy because I went to the awards last year to play in the lobby, and now I’m a nominee.”
The other nominees in Poizon Ivy's category are DJ Kiss, DJ Diamond Kuts, DJ Duffey, DJ Carisma and Vashtie. The awards ceremony is Feb. 15 in Los Angeles.
Poizon Ivy was born Ivy Awino in Nairobi, Kenya, and moved with her family to Dallas when she was 9. She played music as a student at Hockaday School and discovered a love for radio and deejaying while attending Marquette University in Milwaukee.
“I’m a classically trained pianist and cellist, but really I just wanted to be the next Britney Spears,” she says.
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Today, she plays local clubs and serves as the NBA's first African-American female DJ, a role she has had for two years. Shawn Prez, founder and president of the Spin Awards, is happy to shine a spotlight on Awino’s work.
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“DJ Poizon Ivy has successfully impacted the DJ culture in a male-dominated business with integrity and a true commitment to her craft,” he says. “She is consistently at the forefront of what's next.”
When Awino isn't perfecting her craft at Mavs games or collaborating with other African artists, she's working on her original music. One of her main motivators is her 5-year-old daughter.
“The awards are amazing, but I’m past the point where I’m doing it for me,” Awino says. “I’m doing it for my daughter and for other young girls.”