In just a couple of weeks, DJ Mandy has risen to the top of the thriving online DJ community.
On TikTok, she's become infamous for her intentionally gawky mashups.
DJ Mandy, whose real name is Amanda Shultz, told Insider she has earnest hopes of becoming a skilled DJ in the future.
TikTok has a thriving subculture of DJ-influencers. These amateur and professional artists tout slick transitions and inventive mashups — and have completely transformed how music is promoted and discovered online.
While most artists go viral with impressive genre-bending mixes, one creator has become incredibly famous for her intentionally godawful ones.
Amanda Shultz, a 19-year-old college student from California known online as DJ Mandy on TikTok, has made an entire brand out of pretending to earnestly perform the most graceless song transitions imaginable. Her style is surreal: she is expressionless as she blends Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" into Flo Rida's "Low" with zero beat-matching and practically no fade-in or fade-out. She often captions her clips with innocuous requests for people to "leave feedback" or "learning how to DJ, give me tips," so the average viewer would be led to believe she's serious.
Shultz has been on TikTok for less than two weeks, but her videos have already amassed over 30 million views. Viewers have circulated clips from her live streams on other platforms like X (formerly Twitter), and the comments on her videos are an endless stream of both confusion and amusement. She's quickly becoming the provocateur DJ of the summer.
In the beginning, viewers did not seem to know if she was actually trying to learn how to DJ. "I don't know if this is legit or not but it's going smoothly," one person wrote on her first clip. Other people tried to offer genuinely helpful advice, like "Try to make the music the same genre," or "Try to make them fade into each other more!"
Shultz told Insider she gleefully committed to her bit "because it kept people guessing." What really sold it was her deadpan delivery, which has become such a meme that people have compiled clips of her breaking character by ducking out of the frame to laugh at her own bad mixes.
—young buck task force (@WifexOfxAgony) August 20, 2023
Shultz confirmed her content is meant to be funny. She began DJing in July with the intention of seriously learning and said she was partly inspired by seeing a lack of female DJs in the industry. She started uploading the funny mixes in August after watching a video by @jigitz, another TikTok DJ who started a "learning to DJ" series in early August where he purposefully performed ghastly mixes. She said he deserves all the credit for starting the joke and they've now become friends.
When thinking of songs to mash, Shultz said she goes for "the most unexpected" polar opposite sounds, and most of it she comes up with on the spot. Some of her mixes are plain awful (see The Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather" mixed with LMFAO's "Shots"). Others are so sloppy they may as well be called genius, like "Mia & Sebastian's Theme," from the "La La Land" soundtrack blended into Sage the Gemini's "Gas Pedal."
She also makes effects-filled "remixes," like a version of Jack Harlow's "I WANNA SEE SOME ASS" that sounds like the song has been crushed into pieces by a mallet and taped back together. There's a clunky charm to some of her mixes that brings to mind SoundClown, a style of online music mashups where bedroom producers would combine unlikely songs into awkward yet intriguing fusions.
What typically floats to the top on TikTok are the most practiced-to-perfection clips, so fans find it refreshing to see someone enjoying being bad at something. As for the haters — or people who don't understand that she's doing a bit — she has a message: "Learn how to take a joke, but in the nicest possible way. No need to mansplain to me how to actually do it right because I understand."
Sometimes, while streaming on TikTok Live or filming a video, Shultz said she'd accidentally make something sound good and have to re-do it to make it worse since it won't get as many views if it looks like she's actually trying.
In real life, she does want to get skilled at DJing, she told Insider, and plans to play for a sorority party one day. Friends in her real life have been asking her to play purposefully bad, so she might do that too. "We'll have to see where it goes," she said.
Read the original article on Insider