Born in the capital of Seoul, South Korea, abandon after birth and left on a doorstep of a police station, Rachel Hagen as her parents would name her (DJ K Yung) was not expected to become anything but a number in their system. After months in an orphanage, she was adopted and brought to Minneapolis Minnesota.
Growing up in the Midwest, DJ K Yung was surrounded by her new family’s musical influence at a very young age. During her high school years, a friend introduced her to DJing. After nothing came of it, it was during the summer of 2007 that she was asked to pick up DJing for a friend and her sisters graduation party.
It was then she knew that was what she was meant to do.After initially taking her love of music to the business side as an artist manager she decided to leave it behind and focus on DJing. Taking roughly 4 years to hone her skills, vinyl collection, equipment, name and brand, she began her DJing career at a fast pace.
While under mentor DJ Scratch Master Dee (Scratching and Turntablism) and under DJ Dolla (Mixing) she landed her own radio show on air at KALA 88.5 FM with the help of DJ Powder a then female radio personality. She started out in the mixtape scene while she was working on her mixing and scratching and started her brand there until she was confident enough to start djing live. She was fortunate enough in that time to land a mixshow with Plum Radio Syndication (Previously under FocusOnTheDJ) and started DJing and hosting live shows, concerts, and events eventually landing a short tour gig with the D-Block/Bad Boy South Talent Search Tour as the official DJ.Since then, DJ K Yung has exploded onto the DJ scene.
As a trained hip hop/rap DJ, DJ K Yung has opened her music catalog as the next open format DJ playing and dabbling in genres from Latin, EDM and sub genres to Caribbean and more. She was nominated for the Salute the DJs award in 2013 for The Hottest Female DJ, as well as Female DJ of the Year with the Fleet DJs and was DJ Clue’s – DJ of the Week in January of 2013. When she’s not on tour you can find her as the co resident DJ at various clubs in her hometown of The Quad Cities.
She guest spots as an on-air mixer at various radio stations such as SiriusXM Shade 45 VIP Saturday’s, SiriusXM FLY, and Dash Radio Hip Hop X Violator Radio UnKut. She currently hasa monthly mix show showcasing Midwest artists on SiriusXM The Drive Shade 45 presented by Chicago legend Andrew Barber and Fakeshore Drive. She most recently guest mixed in August 2020 on Hip Hop Nation. She mixes live at various retail stores and for brands. She was the founder and CEO of Flood 93 Media Group, which in October 2016, she opened and launched with 5 of her business partners but in December of 2019 she left the company. In August of 2015 she became a member of the Violator All Star DJs and then in March of 2016 became a member of Da Union DJs.
Between July 2015- 2017 she was brought on with celebrity DJ publicist Christina Clark and TheADJency and still holds an outstanding relationship with Ms. Clark. She then signed a management deal with Executive A&R Dre’ The U.R.L. at UMG in December of 2016 and became is Jr. A&R the following year. She then moved through the ranks and was promoted to A&R and now Senior A&R of Andre Williams distribution company The Stachehaus (A KMG Brand Powered by The Orchard). If that wasn’t enough to round things out, in December of 2016 she was officially sponsored by Luc Belaire Champagne as an official Black Bottle Girl. She gained notoriety in film in 2016 and 2017 as part of the last Ringling Bro’s “Out of this World” as the pre-show host filming and recording voice overs of the production. She made her national TV debut with NBCSports May 11th as the (fill in) pit reporter for Monster Jam. And in October of 2019 was featured as a guest DJ on “Sway in the Morning”. Rounding things out in 2020 she was featured on a segment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bradshaw Bunch on the E Network, and did a brand interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin with Kawasaki.
What got you into music?
A friend of mine I met in college tried out for “Diddy’s: Making the Band” – I went with her to the try out and enjoyed the experience watching from behind the scenes. She made it fairly far but did not go onto the show. She asked me if I would help her with career and I agreed and I just went full force into it.
How long has music been a part of your life?
I’ve been djing and in the music business since 2007.
If it wasn’t for music, where would you be now?
I went to school for law, but found that I didnt care for school when I went to college (I left college 2 years in), although the urge to get my law degree resurfaces once in a while, I would be safe to say I would of gotten my law degree and be currently practicing in a major city somewhere.
In what way do you aim to make a difference?
I want to show the music industry that woman are and can be major influencers in the music game. We can break artists, records, build brands, be creative and trendsetters in this still male dominated business. I want to show that a woman who owns her own music company can be a forced to be reckoned with and can stand toe to toe with anyone all the while not having to use sex to sell the fact that I am motivated, drive, and focused on being someone in the business.
Who are some of the DJ’s over the years, you have look up to and why?
I look up to a ton of DJs, locally and on a national industry level, its hard to just name names because I’ve been fortunate enough to have in some capacity a little engagement with some of my favorite DJs. I do owe my career and start to St. Louis legend, DJ Scratch Master Dee who was the first dj to ever give me a chance. DJ Dolla was a huge part of my career as he was the one who taught me how to mix, and DJ Powder, a female DJ, introduced me to radio. Those three deserve all the credit. Female DJs were a dime a dozen when I started, so I looked up to the Jazzy Joyce’s, Cocoa Chanell’s, DJ K-Sly, and a few other female DJs because at the time they were THE ONE AND ONLY.
What’s the vision? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope in 5 years to be helping lead the music industry into the newest era of music technology and advancement of streaming, touring, and connecting artists more to their fans than ever and of course having a resume and reputation of being the next rising DJ to hit the industry.
When it comes to Djing …what’s your style?
I was taught on turn tables and vinyl…. so I am a purist at heart, but I have evolved with the times. My style is old school in that I rarely use two channel controllers, I still love my four channel, and I would say I am a clean mixer. It drives me nuts when I have a bad transition. I would say I am the most known in DJing for playing hip hop, rap, and R&B but I have gotten fairly known in the latin world, and I have played country, Top 40’s and EDM (and sub genres).
If you could DJ anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Honestly, I’ve been fortunate enough to tour around the world and although I still have a bucket list of stops it’s not the location for me, it’s the event. I would love to DJ the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. That is the ultimate DJ event dream.
What can we expect to see next from you?
I hope to show the world how focused I am and driven to achieve my goals. To show the growth of Local Traffic Only and opening up soon Local Traffic Only Latino with the amazing people who keep it running while I’m DJ K Yung my team (Cory Ewing, DJ Reality, Rachel Vasquez, Hannah Rosenbaum, Bert Johnson, DJ Bryan Lee, Juan Vasquez, Ariana Savala). To contiune to build The Stachehaus and its brand and you will be seeing a lot more deals and ventures coming. I’m excited to be connecting with fans next year as I continue to tour across the country. I hope to be someone little girls, women, and teen girls look up too that can be a role model for them.