Member of the Month: Claudia Saenz
Let’s give it up for another great woman in music. The Wimpact applauds 28-year-old “Tejana” Claudia Saenz, a DJ and the founder of Chulita Vinyl Club, which was recently featured on NPR. She was a big part of the first annual Women In Music! Bay Area festival as a panelist at the Pandora headquarters in Oakland this past weekend.
Her nostalgic and proud description of growing up in Rio Grande Valley, Texas was one of family and close ones living in low-income neighborhoods, but being rich in spirit and rich in culture. As she told NPR, listening to chicano soul was “a way of archiving history.” Before her career as a DJ started, she earned a degree in History from the University of Texas Pan American.
Saenz has taken a male-dominated genre and unintentionally created a movement with fellow chulitas that embrace the historic sounds of corridos and rancheras. It is a generation of women deeply connected to their culture’s history. Saenz first started Chulita Vinyl Club, or CVC, in Austin, TX in December 2014 and now has seven chapters. Although recently new to the Bay Area, Saenz now works frequently with the chulita chapter there.
She recalls certain DJs and music she loves, and realizes there were not many DJs that played the combination of sounds she loved - especially women DJs, for that matter. So in her later twenties, she went for it as a hobby, and created a supportive following.
During her speech at Women In Music, Saenz emphasized the fact that talent buyers need to start booking more women to headline shows.
Why she loves what she does and why her mentality matters: “If you don’t see yourself up there it doesn’t mean you don’t belong there.”
To learn more about Saenz and Chulita Vinyl Club, check out their freshly launched website: https://www.chulitavinylclub.com/