Flashback time: It was February of 2013. Our city was overrun with athletes, celebrities and Thotties. Traffic around the Galleria Mall was at a standstill and flexin’ on Instagram was at an all time high for H-town. But what do you expect? It was All Star Weekend! Amidst all the strip club parties and regular bars that were advertising cameos from reality t.v stars, there was one event that actually sounded pretty cool: The Cross Over. The popular Los Angeles based party, The Do Over, came to Houston for one day to throw a party full of big DJ names such as Mick Boogie, Neil Armstrong and singer Aloe Blacc as MC. I’ll be perfectly honest, I didn’t know anyone on the lineup…but I was totally game for a new party experience! Not only was The Do Over one of the best events I’ve ever attended in Houston, but I was introduced to our #WomanCrushWednesday of today: DJ Gracie Chavez!

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Prior to The Do Over, the only knowledge I really had of local DJS were the ones on the radio, the few I knew from Krackernuttz, and some other friends who played at clubs I frequented. All dudes! So imagine my surprise when I saw Gracie go from dancing in the little V.I.P section to taking her place behind the turntables at Last Concert Cafe. Me and my friend Kar looked at each other like “A female DJs in Houston?! So cool!!!” I am shaking my head at how ignorant I was back then about Houston’s DJ music scene. Forgive me! Since that day, I’ve attended a lot more parties of Gracie’s, even at SXSW, and it’s always been an ass-shaking, hip-swerving good time for me on the dancefloor.

Represented by Scratch Music Group, the DJ academy and agency founded by Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, DJ Gracie Chavez aka La Mera Mera has been doing the damn thing for a lot longer than I’ve known about her. For over a decade, Gracie has been making everyone the people dance (even joining them on the dancefloor at times) and has built an impressive resume including clients like Red Bull, Sephora, Deep Eddy Vodka, Heineken, Remezcla, House of Dereon, BET Network, Latina Magazine and ADIDAS, just to name a few. She’s also part of DIRB (Doin’ It Real Big), the Texas based DJ collective of like-minded DJs, producers and creative visionaries with varying tastes in music. On Tuesdays from 10-11pm, you’ll hear her as the co-host for Son Pacifica show on KPFT.org that highlights indie Latin artists.  You’ll see her DJing at killer parties like Trashed at Boondocks or Museum of Fine Arts’ monthly Mixed Media, Danzon every Thursday at The Flat and course Bombón!

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What is Bombón? When I first heard about it, I thought people were talking about a tiny ice cream treat, but no…Bombón is a lively and truly unique party held at Fox Hollow and is known as “the ultimate tropical dance party” of Houston. As the co-founder of this event, Gracie Chavez can be spotted on stage at Bombón alongside DJ Navó, OG Bobby Trill and Panchitron with percussionist Ilya Janos, mistress of ceremonies La Comadre Mel and photographer (and fellow Bee) Jay Tovar aka Life Begins at Midnight aka La Barba Brava. This party features mixes of cumbia, moombahton, tropical bass, guarachero, 3ball, baile funk, salsa, mambo, some hip hop and just about any type of sound to makes you wanna move!

Recently, DJ Gracie Chavez released a mix she did for Deep Eddy Vodka that I love because it is the perfect soundtrack for these hot summer Texas nights and instantly reminds me of many great times I’ve had at Bombón, sweating til my curls are a hot mess. Nothing beats the puro pinche party vibes you get from her live sets but I enjoy this mix  from Gracie when I’m getting ready to go out and I need to warm up before killin’ the dancefloor with my psuedo-salsa moves.

Although she is the #WCW for The Hive Society today, Houston obviously shares our sentiments because Gracie is a nominee for The 2014 Houston Press Music Awards for Best Club DJ! YAS FOR GIRL POWER!

Voting ends on July 31st so show DJ Gracie Chavez some love, like she always shows for Houston, and vote!

Be sure to follow DJ Gracie Chavez on Facebook to stay up to date on where you can find her throughout the week. And of course, you can find me on the dancefloor.