Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
DJ Ill-Set has earned a remarkable reputation as a versatile turntablist with her incomparable energy, skills, dedication and deep passion for music. She inherited these qualities from her American, Cuban and Colombian family that introduced her to many different genres and styles of music, from hip-hop to salsa to house music. Every party she rocks incorporates her Latin flair and variety.
Who? Ill-Set's given name is Lissette Fukuda-Aya, 30, born in Houston's Heights to a Colombian dad and Cuban mom. She is married to Masaru Fukuda, aka DJ Chino/Masaru. ill-set has been DJing and collecting records for more than a decade, and is owner and CEO of Soulphisticated Entertainment.
"My parents used to take me and my brother (DJ Nando 1) to parties or throw house parties with my dad rocking one turntable spinning Latin records," she says. "So I basically grew up in a house with Latin music and dancing all the time.
"At a young age I got in to the hip-hop culture scene watching B-boys, B-girls, poppers, MCs, graffiti writers, and of course DJs," Ill-Set continues. "I began to listen to funk, old-school hip-hop and soul music. Then later I was introduced to the Houston House dance scene and deep, soulful, jazzy, Latin house music. I started break-dancing, at a local spot called Y.A (Youth Advocates). While practicing, I was intrigued by a DJ spinning, MCing, cutting and scratching, inspired by my friend DJ Joe B (Rebel Crew).
Home Base: Ill-Set lives and practices in Houston. Soulphisticated Entertainment, she says, specializes in DJ services, custom VIP & DJ Booth, lighting, sound and DJ-gear rentals and a photo booth for all occasions.She has DJ residencies at House of Blues, NOX Houston, and Top Golf Houston.
"I also do a lot of guest spots at other clubs, venues and events all around," she says. "I am proud member of the Worldwide BumSquad DJs. I have also performed in all over Texas, Miami, L.A., Las Vegas, Kansas City, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "My family is my life and world," Ill-Set says. "Always promise to be there for them as they are for me. Wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my family and friends.
"Big shout-out to all of my amazing DJ friends [and] DJ crews here in Houston and all over," she offers. "Of course my crew Rebel Crew & Bumsquad DJs, The Krackernuttz, Kratez Crew, and Booth Pimps. Thanks to all who have inspired me! Much love and respect!
Good War Story: "Music-wise, I just always try to earn and gain my respect as a female DJ, which is not always easy," Ill-Set admits.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "It kills me and I don't understand why people are brainwashed of the garbage that is played on the radio," she sighs. "Many of the genres don't talk about anything of substance, with horrible lyrics and bad sound.
"Of course, a DJ sometimes has to cater to the crowd and play this stuff, but doesn't mean we like it," continues Ill-Set. "We do get requests all night for some of the wack tracks that are played on the radio. So my pet peeve is people loving and requesting wack music."
Five Records You Can't Live Without:
Best Show Ever:
Performed: Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas ("longest set ever!")
Attended: "Has to be the Rock Steady Crew Anniversary In New York. They do an awesome concert with old school artists and DJs."
ill-set appears regularly at with the Que Nota Latin band at Mambo Thursdays at Crossroads [House of Blues' Restaurant]; "Meet Me After Dark" Fridays from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. at Top Golf Houston (1030 Memorial Brook Blvd.); and Vibe Saturdays at NOX Houston.
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI