Arlington resident Ailynn Aguilar recently performed her first club set as a guest DJ for Noches De Fortuna. She previously played smaller events for them before her debut, like their Día De Los Muertos event.
“Leading up to being on stage, I [was] an anxious mess,” Ailynn said. “But once I’m on stage and saw everyone’s faces and dancing to my [set], it made me feel really comfortable, it reminded me that I’m here to have fun and we’re here to dance.”
She attended Arlington Collegiate High School, which allows underrepresented students to earn their high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously. The program was rigorous, leaving little time for extracurriculars. After graduating in 2019, she studied sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington, but, shortly after, the pandemic pushed her classes online.
“I took a break and figured out what I want to do seriously before I go back in,” Ailynn said. “Time is ticking, so I’m just trying to get my priorities straight.”
While Ailynn doesn’t know if deejaying is her long-term career, she has a deep appreciation for music, which is something that she shares with her brother Juan. They both bond over it.
The duo went to concerts together in their youth and enjoyed sharing new music with each other. Earlier this year, he started playing with Noches De Fortuna and watching him practice his sets sparked her interest.
“She was just asking questions here and there, but it was mostly her figuring it out,” Juan said. “But every now and then, whenever I would stop by and give her some tips.”
In her few months of deejaying, she impressed Lilian Xitlalic, 23, the promoter of Noches De Fortuna. They first met when Aliynn was the opener for “A Day in the Park” at River Legacy Park, where she had to fight through technical difficulties.
“I trust my intuition a lot. I trust my gut, it hasn’t strayed me too far away yet, and there was something about her,” Xitlalic said. “ I want her in my repertoire.”
She wants to use her newfound platform to advocate for issues affecting her community. She said she would like to collaborate with FunkyTown Fridge on clothing and food drives to bring awareness and Walkable Arlington to get people in the city to be more involved in the city’s development.
“I’d like to have some voter registration tables at some events to encourage my peers to get involved with local politics,” Ailynn said. “I’m still brainstorming, but I want to find ways to encourage more people to be curious about our county and come together.”
Juan, her brother, said Ailynn has always been informed about issues affecting their community and would learn from her. He thinks this is one way that she will stand out in the deejay scene.
“I think it’s amazing. I think a lot more people need to be doing that,” said promoter Xitlalic. “I say that as a hypocrite, but I admire her so much for doing that. I think it’s necessary, especially coming from Dallas, where I feel like a lot of people don’t really know what’s happening within our city.”
Xitlalic said that she hopes Ailynn will become comfortable enough to become a resident DJ for Noches De Fortuna.
“I want more women’s DJs,” She said. “Fortuna is like this weird first-generation Latin thing, and I want people like that (more) involved in it.”
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter.