Eats and Beats: Moonlighting Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans Doubles as a DJ

Apr 13, 2018

It’s not unusual for local elected officials to have second jobs. But they’re not all as cool as Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans’ moonlighting gig as a DJ. Every Friday night for the last few years Evans, also known as DJ Baby Shady, has been spinning tunes at the Arizona Roadhouse in east Flagstaff. In the latest installment of KNAU’s series Eats and Beats, Mayor Evans queues up some of her favorite songs in the DJ booth.

Coral Evans in her DJ booth at the Arizona Roadhouse. She's a huge country fan, but loves all style of music from hip-hop to hard rock to '80s pop.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

Coral Evans: Probably 75 to 80 percent of those people at the bar don’t know I’m the mayor. So I’m here every single Friday night: DJ Baby Shady, a.k.a. Coral, OK. So definitely I have a DJ name, it’s DJ Baby Shady.

Dancers boogie to tunes queued up by Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans at the Arizona Roadhouse. She presides over the DJ booth every Friday as DJ Baby Shady.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

CE: And I love music in general, just love every type of music. Our mix is just everybody’s music. We’re going to play country, you’re going to hear some dance, some soul, you’re going to hear some cumbias all mixed in with that.

CE: Growing up I was not allowed to watch TV. My mom was really strict–me and my brother—there was no TV going on. So we listened to a lot of music and we read a lot of books. You can literally go anywhere with a book, and you can go anywhere with a song. It’s like, hey, where do I want to go today? So, I think that’s probably how I got into music.

CE: I love country music. That’s like my music. I’m one of those that defaults instantly to country. It’s fun, just the magic that music has. If things are getting a little bit rowdy, you’re going to put on some country music and that literally settles everybody down—a little bit of George Straight, a little bit of “Tennessee Whiskey.”

CE: I like heavy metal. I went through my heavy metal phase, so we’re looking at Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, AC/DC. Oingo Boingo, that’s more of the punk side, right? You’re going to put a little Tupac in there and people are going to go crazy over that. You just keep it rolling. And I truly believe that people like that. We as people like diversity, we like things that are different. And that’s the way I grew up.

CE: I got to earn a living like everyone else! I think that you have mayors that do a bunch of different things. Definitely here in the City of Flagstaff, the mayor’s job is not the only job any mayor I guess has ever really had. You DJ from 9 o’clock at night, 9:30-ish, to 2 o’clock in the morning. What else is everybody doing? They’re not sending e-mails, they’re not trying to have a meeting. There’s none of that going on. The rest of the world is stopped, right? Is it not the perfect time? This job I can fit in because I have nothing else going on at that time of night!

CE: I think that people don’t understand how hard it is to be a DJ. You see us up here looking cool mixing stuff, but I think it’s a skill you have to learn because you have to read who’s in the bar, what’s happening on the dancefloor.

CE: We always end with this song—always. People know when they hear this song it’s time to start finishing up their drinks, calling cabs. You cannot go wrong with Prince. I mean come on!

CE: It’s a really cool gig. And it’s a fascinating gig and the people that you interact with, the people that you talk to, the people that are requesting music, it’s just cool!