As the daughter of a songwriter and a Jazz singer and niece to musicians who played with Frank Sinatra & Louis Prima, Raquel is an avid music lover and DJ. Growing up in New York City, she immersed herself in the best of pop culture. Her vinyl collection started at the age of 8 when her parents would buy her records of music she saw on Solid Gold or MTV, as well as those she ‘borrowed’ from their collection; from there it grew exponentially. She then began a career in entertainment as a TV & talent producer working at Nickelodeon, VH1, MTV, and launching TV Land, to eventually starting her own company Drive Entertainment Group which works with clients on the booking and management side, to produce and book shows, films and events, from Disney Holiday Specials & American Idol to Soul Train Awards & Logo New Now Next Awards.
As DJ Aviva she has spun at popular clubs since the 90s like Dollhouse, to parties for Gene Simmons Tongue Magazine Launch, to the NM70 shoe launch, and more. DJ Aviva has been featured in The NY Times Magazine, Much Music, Time Out Magazine, CBS2 News as well as other prominent media outlets. At the start of quarantine during the pandemic her want to share music with people began her Instagram Lives, and then to find her tribe on Twitch. DJ Aviva spins vinyl from House & Funk to New Wave & Punk weekly with specialty shows in between.
When she’s not running a business or live streaming on Twitch, she’s raising her two kids as an older mom (they are 5 and 19 months).
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I began my career in television at Nickelodeon & Nick at Nite as a freshmen in college as a part of the team that launched the ‘TV Land’ channel and was responsible for clearing all programming and retromercials for the network. Upon a promotion to Manager of Strategic Partnership Marketing, I served as liaison between Viacom partners such as UPN, Paramount and National Amusements, as well as the Museum of Television & Radio. My passion for the retro subject matter led me to spearhead television preservation efforts for TV Land with the Museum’s assistance. I knew that I wanted to try to get into MTV and as special events became my forte, took on the on site coordination of all talent for MTV Radio, MTV News, MTV Online, and various other departments for MTV’s big events; from MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, MTV’s Spring Break, MTV Icon, and Total Request Live.
In 2006 I launched Drive Entertainment Group to offer clients on the booking and management side unprecedented attention to detail, unparalleled forward movement of their careers and events and real understanding of their needs and circumstances.
As of 2023, Drive has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy, a People’s Choice Award and a Producers Guild of America Award, and a Directors Guild of America Award for four of our projects, Co-Executive Produced a Feeding America Fundraising Special for John Oates, booked “Cooking With Paris” on Netflix, booked and produced the Garry Marshall documentary special on ABC, produced inaugural PaleyWKND as well as the Herb Alpert documentary film and proudly became a member of Producers Guild of America and NARAS.
What is a day in the life like?
There is never a normal day and that is why I love what I do. I could be booking talent for Nick Cannon’s The Daily Cannon on Amp or strategizing talent on the red carpet for digital for MTV (who has not only my alma mater but a client for over 18 years since I left).
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Constantly managing expectations between talent and reps.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Follow women in your industry who you admire, take on any job you can where you can learn a skill, and get involved with as many guilds you can so you can meet many people in your field.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I’m worried that vinyl is now starting to get priced out and not allowing new collectors to enjoy the way that we have been able to. I hope that the industry can catch up with the demand (plants, pressing, etc).
Anything else you’d like to add; if not tell us what you’re listening to:
New Wave, Disco, Freestyle, House… From Funk to Punk!