YesJulz is a Miami party girl with a heart of gold.
Whether she's at Story slinging bottles, throwing FDR Mondays at the Delano, or turning Best Day Ever into a roving international pool party, her number-one priority remains helping disadvantaged youth and rallying peers to take on charity work with her monthly Hashtag Lunchbag event.
Even riding in a cab on South Beach between business meetings, her mind is katana-sharp and ready for action. Here's what YesJulz had to say about Insta-fame, twerkathons, and making it cool to give back.
See also: South Beach's Ten Best Dance Clubs
Crossfade: How'd you get into throwing parties?
YesJulz: I threw a really sick prom party in high school and sold tickets for $10 each during lunch, and made my first $2,000 that way. So I said, "Wow. I'm gonna do this more often."
Was that in Miami?
I was born here, but I moved around a lot, so I went to high school in Tampa.
You have your own company?
I have an agency doing marketing, consulting, branding, charity work, and events.
What events do you do regularly?
I have a Monday party at the Delano, FDR Mondays. It's a cool hip-hop party. I do Best Day Ever, which is a field-day pool party for adults on the last Sunday of every month. And I do Hashtag Lunchbag every month. Last month, we fed about 300 people in downtown Miami.
What is the relationship between doing party stuff and benefits?
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It's really important to me. I had a plan since moving to Miami that I would make a name doing the parties, and once I had the attention, I'd start doing charity, and really try to get the popular kids that go to LIV to gain an interest in pro-social and charitable acts. It's important to me to get people who you wouldn't usually think care to show that they do by attending my events or starting their own. People may think that those who are in the clubs all the time don't care about anything outside of them, but the truth is that for many of us that's an occupation, and we do care too.
See also: EDM's Five Greatest Delusions
What drives you to to do this?
My main purpose in life, I feel, is to help underprivileged youth. I grew up in foster care, and my mom believed in me, gave me love, and gave me hope, and that's the one difference that could make or break a child's path. I wanna be the light in kids' lives that makes them want to do something. The next edition of Hashtag Lunchbag is going to include kids from the Big Sister and Big Brother program helping run the event. They'll feel like they're a big part and maybe start their own charity one day.
Hashtag Lunchbag is a national organization. How'd you open the Miami chapter?
I heard about it 'cause a friend of mine went to one in L.A. and I was like, "Wow, that's cool." I reached out and they were open to me doing it over here.
How did you lock down the staging venue where people are bagging up lunches surrounded by Ferraris and other exotic cars?
Lou La Vie is owned by a great and cool young guy that's open to ideas and he was like all about it. So they're really cool for letting us to it there.
What type of music are you into?
I love '90s hip-hop and R&B. It's my favorite.
How do you determine what artists and DJs you wanna work with?
I usually like to work with people I have a friendship with. It's all about people's vibes. I like people with good energy, because giving great energy to the crowd is the most important thing to me.
What do you think of Instagram notoriety?
It's a love/hate relationship. It's a cool platform to be heard and make money and be my own boss. But it's also challenging sometimes, because I walk into a conversation and people know more about me than I do about them. So, in business, it can be a disadvantage. Or sometimes, I just wanna be alone and not have a billion conversations. But overall, it's cool. It's awesome. But it should be used for good. There are girls out there with millions of followers, but all they do is post selfies. It's important that it be used for the greater good.
What are your plans for the future?
Oh, man. I have some really big plans. I think I'm special, that I was put here for a greater purpose. I'm doing what I feel is right and I know I have a greater purpose than I ever imagined. I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm supposed to do, and when God is ready, I'll do what I'm meant to do. I want to make the world a better place, that's all I want to do.
Who are some artists and DJs from Miami that you're into right now?
I love Miami. It's my home. I support the city in general, but anybody that's being productive. It's easy to get lazy with the beach and the way that people move here, but I support Rose who is a dancer and artist that coaches kids who are less fortunate in how to dance. Reid Waters is a dope DJ with great ideas. And Iron Lyon is amazing too.
Tell about your Best Day Ever party. Is it always at the same venue?
We're dealing with growing pains. It got way bigger than we expected. We're shopping for a better venue so we don't have to turn anyone away. It all started because I work in clubs. I'm at Story every night. And I never go to pools because they're loud, with annoying music, and they're really just about cabanas and spending money. Sometimes, you just wanna go have fun and not have to deal with that, or a crazy door. So it's a hip-hop party for our culture that's not intimidating on the beach. It's a party that's not about the VIP, just having fun and getting in the pool, swimming and getting hit with water guns, and having fun with friends. And I turn everything into a business, so it's a 50/50 thing with my partner Norma.
What do you think about being a business woman?
I grew up loving the Spice Girls. I love girl power. I moved around a lot as a kid, so it was hard to always be the new girl in school. Middle school and high school was hard for me. I said, "Man, when I grow up. I'm gonna make it cool for girls to support one another instead of put each other down." I think women are so amazing and dynamic and emotional, but strong and independent. We're everything a man is, but we're also fragile beings, and we have to be all that at once, but I think that's amazing and if we stick together we can do really great things.
You get on the microphone at your events. What is the idea behind being MC of the party?
I just come from a background of hosting and reading a room and knowing when certain songs need to be played or when energy needs to be in certain places. It started at my Monday party when I saw people leaving and I was like, "Give me the mic!" I got on and said, "I'm giving away my bottles to the best twerkers!" and the party went on for another two hours. I'm good with people because I don't judge, I just want them to have a good time. I did my first festival recently in D.C., on stage, in front of thousands of people, and I felt a high I've never felt, so it's something I look forward to doing more of in the future. But I always wanna keep a business aspect. I like creating, and doing numbers, and putting deals together.
How do you incite a twerkathon?
It's not as easy as people think. What I do is look around and see which girls are having fun and when it's time, I grab them to come over and dance with me and get the crowd involved. It's not a competition, just interacting with people to get wild and have fun.
Would you ever do any rapping on a beat in a studio?
I actuall freestyle everyday. Yeah, I'm open to it. Yeah, I would for sure.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I hope to have a brand established and known all over the world and recognition from companies I look up to. I wanna be on they're level if not above. I want my mom to have a house. I want myself to have a house. I want to have traveled all over Africa by then. I want my own festival. I want a lot of things. I wanna be like a cool, wild version of Oprah.
What are the key ingredients to making a party go off?
Good energy, good music, and a dance floor.
What would you do for a jam at Bayfront Park with unlimited budget?
I would have a concert with a carnival with rides and games and all kinds of music, house, hip hop, Spanish, local brands, and popup shops all re4presenting local people as much as possible.
What makes Miami different from all other party cities?
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We have the beautiful beaches that Cali has, with the party scene that Vegas has, and we're starting to have the style that NYC has. There's people from all over the world. Everybody is good looking. Good food, good places to party at, good art. We're the best. Yeah, New York is cool, but it's super busy and dirty. In Vegas there's no way to relax. After three days of partying in Miami, you just go to the beach and refresh.
Crossfade's Top Blogs
Best Day Ever. Presented by YesJulz and Norma. Sunday, September 28. Dream South Beach Hotel, 1111 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 7. Admission costs $10 for women and $15 for men. Ages 21 and up. Visit yesjulz.com.