FeaturesGayest & Greatest 2021

Gayest & Greatest 2021: Entertainment and Nightlife Part II

DJ Athenz’s tunes draw in a wide variety of listeners.

DJ Athenz (photos by Frank Hernandez for OutSmart magazine)

Favorite Female DJ

DJ Athenz has the ultimate job for anyone who loves music and loves to get a crowd going. She is a full-time DJ and producer known in the Houston area and beyond for her ability to get the party started.

Athenz, 32, is a native Houstonian who attended the University of Houston, majoring in media production with a minor in studio art. “Not to mention, I graduated with honors,” she adds. 

When she was growing up, she wanted to be an architect, a professional skater, and a rock star. Those big dreams and her big imagination paid off, although becoming a DJ certainly wasn’t at the top of her list. “I never looked twice at DJing, as I was so heavily into playing guitar.” 

But when she realized during her college years that she wasn’t really the party type, she decided to be the one who played the music at all of her friends’ parties. “It went from me playing my friends’ parties to playing warehouse parties to playing small lounges and bars,” Athenz recalls. “That’s when I knew I had something solid going on, because it just flowed effortlessly.”

The award-winning DJ has worked nationally with some pretty heavy-hitting brands, including Vans, Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren, Armani, and BMW. Locally, she’s a well-loved regular at Pearl Bar and at Pride Houston events. Listeners can enjoy her latest dance mixes on her weekly podcast Pure Stimulation. Her repertoire is known for being eclectic and appealing to a wide variety of listeners. 

The October 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine


DJ Athenz does not take her success for granted. She considers herself extremely blessed when it comes to her career, and is truly thankful for the opportunities that have come her way. 

“From being a radio DJ on Houston’s biggest stations to touring with Truth on the final Vans Warped Tour to DJing for the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams, I would say the biggest thing right now in my career is becoming the official DJ for the Houston Texans. As far as what I have coming up, I update my schedule monthly on my website to reflect where I am spinning next, as well as my latest releases,” Athenz says.

Her first club gig was in the LGBTQ community in 2013. “And it instantly felt like home.” Every year since then, she has made sure to stay in the loop with her community, “attending and performing at Pride events, clubs, and fundraisers. It gives me great joy to bring light and love through the power of music.”

Athenz’ favorite part of being a DJ is
“connecting souls through the power of music. With everything going on in the world, I feel like for that moment on the dance floor, we are all one. I believe, as a DJ and entertainer, that I have the power to raise people’s frequencies and make them feel something.” 

For more info, visit athenzmedia.com.


Favorite Local Band/Music Producers

Dirty Disco
Finalists: Attxla, Gndrbndr, Morena Roas, Space Kiddettes

Favorite Male DJ

Jimmy Skinner
Finalists: DJ Eddie E, GNDRBNDR, DJ Joe Ross, DJ Easton Santos, DJ Alex T 

Favorite Female DJ

DJ Athenz 
Finalists: DJ Drea, DJ Krazzy Kris, DJ Tina

Favorite Drag Queen DJ

DJ Aracely
Finalist: Lady Bunny

Favorite Nonbinary DJ

DJ Melle Mel
Finalist: Hustle Cry

Favorite Community Bar

Finalists: Eagle Houston, George, JR’s Bar & Grill, Pearl Bar, Tony’s Corner Pocket


Favorite Men’s Bar

Eagle Houston
Finalists: BUDDY’S, George, JR’s Bar & Grill, Michael’s Outpost, Tony’s Corner Pocket

Favorite Women’s Bar

Pearl Bar Houston
Finalists: Buddy’s, Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon, ReBar


Favorite Straight Bar

Bar Boheme
Finalists: Belle Station, Griff’s, Max’s Wine Dive, The Flat 

Favorite Place to Show Off Your Leather

Finalists: BUDDY’S, Eagle Houston

Favorite Place to Watch Male Dancers

Tony’s Corner Pocket
Finalists: Eagle Houston, Papi’s

Favorite Live-Music Venue

White Oak Music Hal
Finalists: Dan Electro’s Bar, House of Blues, Numbers Night Club, Warehouse Live

For a full list of winners, go here.

This article appears in the October 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.


Jenny Block

Jenny Block is a frequent contributor to a number of high-profile publications from New York Times to Huffington Post to Playboy and is the author of four books, including “Be That Unicorn: Find your Magic. Live your Truth. Share your Shine." She has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs from Nightline to BBC Radio to Great Day Houston and has performed and spoken at bookstores, events, conferences, and resorts in the US and Mexico, as well as on Holland America Cruise ships.
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