Monster Energy Outbreak Tour selects female DJ Frooot as the University of Texas’ best DJ.
Proving to be much more than a sugar-saturated, mean-green speedy beverage, in recent years Monster Energy has teamed up with Idol Roc Entertainment, and CAMPVS to expand their influence as “Outbreak Presents.” This three-way partnership has blossomed into a cohesive alliance as they have collectively put together multiple nation-wide tours, and scouted some of the most prominent artists in the game. While the Outbreak empire has showcased artists as big as Kendrick Lamar, The Chainsmokers, and Post Malone, the collective is simultaneously respected for braking for undiscovered musicians, and visionaries. In an effort to find young, talented DJ’s from across the nation, Outbreak created a never-before-seen circuit “Monster Energy Outbreak Tour: Campus DJ.” The tour serves to find the best, scholarly DJ in the states by hosting DJ competitions in college towns with a notable headliner.
This year’s Campus DJ Tour kicked off in the heart of Texas and crowned UT student Paty Gomez-Palacio as the best student-DJ in Austin. The lighthearted, strong-willed RTF major spins tracks under the name Frooot, and proves that female musicians are marketable, not manipulated.
We sat down with Frooot on a rainy, pre mid-term Tuesday to talk success, influence, and DJ names.
Can you tell us more about the Campus DJ tour?
Paty: “Basically Monster Energy puts on this competition every single year. They travel around to all the biggest college campuses around the US trying to find the best DJ on the campus. So UT was the first school they went to this year, and you have to apply to even be a competitor, and once they have a bunch of competitors from each school they all compete against each other. So I competed against three other UT DJ’s…and I won, which was super exciting. And now I get to compete against all the other winners from the other schools. ”
Did you have to perform to win, or did you just submit your music?
P: “No, I had to perform live downtown on 6th st. at Vulcan Gas Company.”
Did you have a big turn out?
P: “Mhm, yeah! There were probably a little under 200 people, which is great because it started super early- it started at like 10:30 PM.”
Are you a producer, or do you only DJ?
P: “Well, I started out just DJing for a while, just kind of as a hobby, and now that it’s actually starting to pick up- I’m starting to produce a little bit. I’m just trying to get started.”
And your major?
P: “I am RTF, Radio Television and Film.”
What do you want to do post-grad?
P: “Well, it’s kind of all over the place right now. I’ve always wanted to be a music video director- I mean I still do, that’s what I’m striving for, but this DJ thing just kicked off out of nowhere, and it kinda depends where it takes me, I don’t know- I’m open to anything. I want to make my own graphics if I do make it big time.”
How do they choose the winners for the DJ competition? Is there a panel?
P: “Yeah so there is a panel of judges and they had, I think, three judging factors, or maybe it was four- song selection, stage presence, crowd engagement, and mixing ability.”
What do you use to produce and mix?
P: “Well I’m just now starting to produce, so a little bit of Logic, and I have a pioneer controller. I started out with a tiny one but now that I have been playing a lot of gigs, I upgraded to a bigger industry standard, which is really exciting.”
How many shows have you been playing recently?
P: “As of now, well…I have work and I have school but I tend to play around two shows a week, sometimes it’ll be more, but it just kind of depends on how my availability looks, but it’s pretty flexible. I just say yes or no, whenever I want.”
Where do you like to perform at?
P: “I really like performing at fraternity parties, that’s how I started, and I know so many people at them- they obviously get the craziest but like I recently have started playing at Rio, and I just started playing at this club called Ethics which is really fun because I’m allowed to play more music that I want to play. Not just crowd pleasers and stuff, which is a lot more fun for me.”
So, what’s the next move now that you won the competition in Austin?
P: The finals will be in LA, but it’s far off in the future since UT was the first stop, but when they get all the schools done, we all get to compete against each other. And the prize is that you get to perform at some music festival, and umm money, and you get to be presented to a bunch of talent scouts.”
Do you play any other instruments?
P: “I play drums, a little bit of piano- that’s about it.”
I feel like if you have a good understanding of drums you have a pretty solid understanding of-
P: “Yeah! Because DJing is absolutely just about having a good sense of rhythm, that’s really all it is.”
I’ve been trying to get better at music theory, it’s so hard!
P: “It is hard, my brother is a music producer in LA and so we would get together at my house whenever he was in town and he would try to teach me, and it’s like, the hardest thing to try to understand but…it’s a process”
Growing up, girls are told that women are often marginalized in business settings. Have you ever faced any sexism since you’ve been making music?
P: “I mean, no. To be honest, I think it’s been more of an advantage than a disadvantage as of now. I mean not as high up to be working with all these people who are in a position to look down on me, for now it’s really like people looking at my talent and trying to boost me. That’s where I’m at right now, which is a really good place to be. But if I ever face that, it doesn’t really phase me. Whatever, I’m doing cool stuff, I don’t really care what people say…I have a lot going for me as a female.”
What kind of music do you like to mix?
P: “Mostly it’s like deep house, and bass house- that’s what I really like to mix, that’s what I have the most fun with. But I mix everything from rap, to salsa music, I like mixing moombahton. I can just read the crowd really well, and mix anything that I think they’d like.”
What are you listening to right now?
P: “Well my favorite artist is probably disclosure- they’re big time for me. AC Slater is a big bass guy, all the night house big bass guys are super cool. I’m big MAALA fan, Drezo…like deep house guys who are on the rise right now.”
Tell us about your DJ name.
P: “It’s actually a really funny story. I started DJing in my freshman year dorm- well I literally asked my parents for a mixer when I was 16 because I saw it on a shelf at Target. And they bought it for me, but I kinda forgot about it- I learned how to use it then I put it on a shelf for like two years. Then my freshman year I went home for Christmas, and I saw it and I thought ‘this would be pretty cool for pre-games.’ So I brought it back, and started using it at pre-games, literally just for my friends, and they were like ‘wah you need a DJ name’ and I was like, ‘No I don’t I’m literally sitting in the corner DJing,’ but they kept coming up with different names and nothing sounded good. And then my friend Meredith was like, ‘close your eyes and open them, and what’s the first thing you see?’ So I did that and I saw a basket of fruit, and she was like ‘what about fruit with two o’s?’ and I said no, and she was like ‘what about fruit with three o’s?’ and I was like ‘alright shut up whatever.’ Then my guy friend, during Round UP, who is a ZBT was like ‘our opener for Troyboi just bailed, you’re the only person who I know would do it.’ So, after I did it, this producer who owns a bunch of clubs came up to me and asked for my DJ name, and I was not prepared, so I was like, ‘Uhh… Frooot.’ So everyone just started calling me that. As much as I’ve tried changing it, I’m getting used to it.”