Born and raised in New York City, Maria Clifton– otherwise known as DJ RIA– is truly a force to be reckoned with. After spending several years playing professional basketball overseas in Germany, she took her talents back to the city and established herself in a handful of professions, including modeling, acting, and leading DJ.
Soon after her basketball career, Clifton began working in the entertainment industry at the age of 21. Before her many jobs in the industry, she worked at the front office for the New York Knicks as a coordinator in field marketing and community relations. She also worked for the NY Rangers and the NY Liberty in event presentations. But it didn’t take her long to figure out she was meant for much more than just a desk job.
Thanks to her tenacity and her hustle-mentality from playing sports, she decided to pursue acting and modeling full time after signing with the prestigious Wilhelmina agency. Clifton has now worked everything from sports & fitness to commercial and runway. However, she has certainly been adamant about mentioning it was no easy feat. “It took a lot for me to make the decision to chase this somewhat far-fetched dream,” she explained. “I had to sacrifice a lot. But I’ve discovered that the hard work you put in is everything you’ll get back.”
And the female powerhouse didn’t stop there. After modeling for three years, while catching up with her old boss Ryan Halkett from her time in event relations, he suggested she had the ideal look and background to take up DJing. Halkett recalled that Clifton had played the violin and the flute throughout grade school, so he explained that the transition to music wouldn’t be a far jump. She, of course, mastered the art of DJing in no time and was hired by a company created solely for female DJs in the current scene. Eventually, she found herself playing exclusive gigs that were hosted in high-end venues such as the W and The Dream Hotel. Within a saturated, male-dominated industry, RIA found herself succeeding beyond comprehension. As per her history in sports, she was ready and willing to conquer whatever stood in her way for achieving greatness.
Once the company she was working for disintegrated, Clifton began to manage herself. Her fame as DJ RIA blew up due to her established networking relationships that played alongside her talent. She began to receive freelance gig invites from MLB and NHL teams who wanted her DJing at the games. She has now DJed for the MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, and NFL. She’s also worked events for companies such as Nike, Puma, Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, and more. As of 2020, she’s gotten signed as a contracted host and DJ for the NY Liberty and the NY Islanders. She’s also gotten the opportunity to co-host Scram Jones on Shade 45, a SiriusXM radio station, for the past six years.
Although she’s enjoyed the nightlife gigs (and still does), Clifton claims her transition over to the production portion of the industry allowed her to “find her niche” and play her own personal flow of music. Her favorite gigs usually consist of corporate events and weddings, where she gets to “curate a vibe”. Her current freedom as an artist, and being able to share her talents with people that enjoy it, are the main reasons she so flawlessly thrives in her career.
So what does a woman who’s done it all do next? Well, Clifton tells us that her ultimate long-term goal is to own a company resembling that of an agency that can sign a number of talented female DJs and provide them with top-of-the-line opportunities. In an industry where female DJs are few and far between, this kind of business endeavor could be a game-changer for women who stand where Clifton once stood at the very beginning of her journey. Granted, it seems like quite the task. But a challenging factor has never been one to scare off Maria Clifton.
You can stay updated with DJ Ria on her Instagram www.instagram.com/riaria5
Crafting Excellence: Vidyut Xavier’s Journey from Assistant Choreographer to Dynamic Actor
A fresh new face has arisen in Hindi cinema, where extravagant performances frequently take center stage, mesmerizing viewers with his genuineness and adaptability. The definition of brilliance in the acting industry has been redefined by rising star Vidyut Xavier, who has had a remarkable career. From his humble beginnings as a choreographer’s assistant to his acting work, Xavier’s journey is inspiring.
The journey of Xavier began at the center of the Hindi film industry. He was already a part of the film industry because he was the son of renowned cameraman Thomas A. Xavier and had a mother named Swati Xavier, a well-known costume designer. He strongly connected to the filmmaking tradition, which fueled his desire to leave a lasting impression.
His ascent began with a role many wouldn’t consider glamorous: background dancer and assistant choreographer. Under the guidance of Rekha Prakash, Xavier has learned the art of movement and rhythm, setting the stage for his future success as an actor. This early exposure to performance nuances laid a strong foundation for the authenticity that would later become his hallmark.
His commitment to constant growth was a defining characteristic of Xavier’s development. He pursued a mass media degree to add intellectual rigor to his creative endeavors. His combination of intellect and creativity gave him a distinctive viewpoint that he would later apply to his acting roles.
Xavier’s entry into the television industry was made possible by the show “Dhadkan Zindaggi Kii.” He received praise for his natural acting technique in a field that is sometimes noted for its theatricality because his portrayal of Dr. Abhay Sathe struck a deep chord with the audience. The program allowed Xavier to emerge as an aspiring actor by displaying his aptitude for giving characters nuance and authenticity.
Xavier served as an assistant director in “Dabbang,” a seamless transition from television to movies from which he learned different aspects of what goes behind the screen. His ability to approach his profession in various ways demonstrated his commitment to participating in all facets of his endeavors.
With parts in shows like “Mahabharat” (TV) and “Pavitra Bhagya,” where he continually demonstrated his range as an actor, Xavier’s career continued to flourish. Notably, his music video “Jeene De” gave his artistic resume a new depth and demonstrated his adaptability outside the boundaries of conventional acting.
Vidyut Xavier stands out as a welcome example of an emerging talent who can change the way in a field dominated by well-known actors. His transformation from a dynamic performer to a choreographer’s assistant inspires struggling or upcoming artists by highlighting the value of sincerity, hard effort, and humility. He solidifies his reputation as a young actor who is skilled in acting, dancing, and performing his own stunts and brings a genuine charm to every job.
Xavier’s journey has begun, and he is gradually rising towards being extremely successful. He carries all the skills and talents it takes to be a star. He is ready to leave a lasting legacy based on excellence, authenticity, and the unrelenting pursuit of his dreams, thanks to his perseverance, passion, and dedication to his trade.
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