Locals Only: DJ Moxy

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the fall of 1999, five days before her 21st birthday, the enthusiastic lass who would become DJ Moxy Martinez moved to Columbus from suburban Cincinnati. Within weeks, a friend began introducing her to the club music that would alter her life path. One track in particular, the Thunderpuss remix of "Bodyrock" by Louchie Lou & Michie One, caught her ear.

"It changed my life," Moxy said. "The light bulb went on and I was like, 'Oh my god. I am going to be a DJ for the rest of my life.' "

From then on, Moxy has worked to become one of the most active and ambitious forces in Columbus music. What started as a slow climb - she didn't get her first gig until 2005 at Saks Fifth Avenue - has become a rapid rise.

Now Moxy seems to be everywhere, crisscrossing through scenes and venues without regard for cliques or cultural boundaries. She's as comfortable spinning a down-tempo opening set at Dragonfly Neo-V as headlining a packed Ravari Room on New Year's Eve. This weekend, she'll close out the latest installment of the Juicy! party at Circus.

"I feel like my style is, and has been, versatile enough that I can play a party and make it really effective," Moxy said. "I can play a roller derby bout and throw down rock and hair metal and then turn around and close the night at Bristol and throw down dubstep and electro."

Moxy's protective of her real name, so most folks just call her Moxy, a title she picked up from an old flame. It's a fitting moniker for an artist bent on taking risks and convinced that she will succeed in bringing her ambitious plans to life.

"Too many people get comfortable in their work, in their profession, in their lives. They stop taking risks and they stop having that fear," Moxy said. "Without that fear, what art is there?"

Besides rocking a wide variety of parties around Columbus, Moxy does production work and collaborates on an experimental electro band with Face, aka Gendala Kelli Anna of avant dance troupe Queen Mae and the Bells. Formerly known as Titz N Milk, the duo recently changed their name to MOUTH.

The band is a central part of Moxy's plan to win a Grammy within the next five years and tour the world. The pair is collaborating long-distance for most of 2010 while Face finishes a school program in Houston, but this fall the bandmates plan to relocate to San Francisco.

The move will mark a major shift for Moxy and a big loss for Columbus, but the DJ is dead-set on it.

"That's what I have to do. I don't have a choice. I have to do that," she said. "It's the universe pretty much saying, 'If you don't do this, I'm going to be real mad.' "

E-mail your local music news to Chris DeVille at cdeville@columbusalive.com


When: 9 p.m. Friday, April 9; Moxy at 12:30 a.m.

Where: Circus, Short North

Web: djmoxy.com