by Mimi Montgomery
Photograph by Jillian Clark
You may know her as Kristen Stoneman, but when she steps in front of the turntables, she’s DJ K Stones. The Raleighite and East Carolina University alum has been DJ’ing for 10 years (seven of them full-time), spinning tunes at corporate functions, sporting events, bars, clubs, birthday parties, weddings, and every other occasion and location in-between. She knows her stuff: Stoneman served as WZMB 91.3 FM general manager and hip-hop director and was the 2011 Carolina Music Awards DJ of the Year and the 2011 Raleigh Downtowner Favorite DJ. She’s planned local events like Soundfest and her work with Scratch Events has led to gigs DJ’ing for Sephora, Chanel, Madewell, InStyle magazine, and more. Below, she talks music, local haunts, and tips for packing the dance floor.
What kind of music were you into growing up?
Thanks to my family, I loved Motown, R&B, and old school hip-hop.
What was the first party you ever DJ’ed?
It was at a venue called The Hideaway in Greenville, N.C., circa 2004 on two CD decks and a book full of labeled CDs.
Who are some DJs you look up to?
I loved Jam Master Jay and Spinderella growing up. Now most of my favorite DJs are local.
Who are some of your favorite musical artists?
Prince, Jay Z, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Al Green, J. Cole, Jess Glynne, Alicia Keys, John Legend (and so many more).
Which three songs are your go-tos for getting people on the dance floor?
That usually depends on the event I’m DJ’ing. I’d say my favorite go-tos are Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack, any Michael Jackson song, and Push It by Salt-N-Pepa.
The craziest party you’ve ever DJ’d?
Probably one of my first solo nights DJ’ing in Raleigh at The Black Flower. The owner gave me a Tuesday to prove my skills and to see how many people would show up. The place was packed, and I realized this was something I wanted to do forever.
Where are your favorite places to DJ in Raleigh?
I like playing at all of the venues for different reasons. Each spot has their own type of crowd and requires different formats.
Where’s your favorite local place to go listen to music?
I mostly go to The Black Flower and The Pour House for local live music. I also love to go to Red Hat and Walnut Creek for some of the bigger shows.
If you weren’t a DJ, which other career would you choose?
I’d be a chef. Cooking is definitely one of my passions.
Choose one: The Electric Slide or Cha-Cha Slide?
Ugh, don’t make me choose! I’d pick The Electric Slide. It’s a classic!
Choose one: Shout or YMCA?
Gotta go with Shout! I never get sick of people getting low and bringing it back up.
Choose one: Vinyl or digital?
I love the sound and respect the history of vinyl, but nowadays it’s much easier to go digital.
Choose one: Bose headphones or Beats by Dre?
I prefer Pioneer headphones, but if I had to choose between the two…BOSE!
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