It was just a regular Saturday for Sage Edgerson, also known as DJ Legatron Prime, back in November. The DJ, who splits time between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, was prepping for her weekly DJ gig, Primetime, at The Dragon’s Den when she got a phone call. It was from Saint Heron, the creative brainchild of Solange Knowles about an upcoming event they wanted her to spin at the next evening. Although the last minute request would conflict with an event she had already booked, Edgerson made it work, jumping at the chance to lend her talents to Saint Heron’s interactive music and video installation commemorating the 9th anniversary of Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreaks album.
While to the uninitiated it may seem as if the opportunity fell into her lap, it actually was the culmination of a lot of hard work. Saint Heron heard about her via word-of-mouth and decided to reach out to her. After being introduced to DJing in 2012 while hanging at a friend’s house during her sophomore year at Southern University, Edgerton began taking the art form seriously enough to purchase her first controller using her refund check from school the following year. “I had grown up around music so I had always loved it. I didn’t know what I was doing the first time I touched the turntables, but it was just the vibe that I was going for and my friends couldn’t believe it was me. We were all surprised,” she recalled.
From there, she began the arduous task of establishing herself in the very male-dominated field. She began creating her own mixes, many that were played on a radio show that she and her friends hosted on campus. In fact, it was ultimately her mixes that caught the ears of the folks at Saint Heron. Along with navigating the industry as a newcomer, Edgerson has also had to navigate it as a black woman.
“It’s interesting because people kind of look at you like a specialty,” she says about her experience thus far. “It’s just interesting how people react to the fact that they haven’t seen a female DJ or they didn’t know that females can DJ. I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has approached me and said something like, ‘I didn’t think you could do that or blend as well as you do.’”
Though it would be easy to let such comments discourage her, she instead uses them as inspiration to prove them wrong and show what she is capable of. And with a tagline of “spinning Black Girl Magic,” it is evident that is using her turntables to sprinkle a little bit of Black Girl Magic everywhere she spins. Her mixes, which she often uploads to SoundCloud, feature titles like Boss Ladies and #SpinningBlackGirlMagicMix 0.5, and Queen of Screw, and regularly highlight female artists and the music they create.
“When I say ‘Black Girl Magic,’ it’s being able to do what they constantly tell us what we’re not supposed to do or can’t do and excelling at those things. It’s being in control of your destiny and being accountable for your growth,” she offers. “When you’re doing things that are authentic to you and not following the wave, things will work out for you every time. That’s my definition of ‘Black Girl Magic.’”
She doesn’t just reflect this messaging in her blends, however. She also uses her platform to help uplift aspiring female DJs in the area. Last month, she dedicated her weekly Saturday night set to local female selectors, tapping a different DJ each week to share the stage with her. She insists it is important that female DJs help each other whenever possible. “At the end of the day, we have to stand together and be strong and firm and let people know that we do exist and we’re damned good at what we do. We’re really talented and we bring something different to music, entertainment and artistry,” she says. “If I can’t have you at my event, I’m at least going to push you to get to where I am and really nurture your craft.”
Of her style, she tells OffBeat.com “My taste is all over but if I’m at an event, I’m usually not gonna play what I play for myself. DJing is a release for me. I really like to play the top 40 sometimes but also like to play the jams you don’t hear all the time. It won’t feel like you’re in the club. You won’t hear much bounce. You wont’ hear 50 Drake or Future songs. Nothing is wrong with that but it’s just not the vibe that I’m on. It’s a good music turn-up. You hear throwback, ‘90s, 2000s. You might hear Kaytranada. You might hear a new remix to a song you’ve never heard before. I want my selections to heal people. I want it to be a healing space where people can dance the night away.”
Though it is admittedly a long road ahead, she is finally at a place where she can see the results of her hard work. In addition to her weekly event, she regularly books gigs between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, all while being a mom to an active toddler. For Edgerson, it’s all in a day’s work and a small price to pay for living out her dream.
You can catch a bit of DJ Legatron Prime’s Black Girl Magic every Saturday at 10 p.m. at The Dragon’s Den (435 Esplanade Avenue). No cover.