Who’s That Rad Little Kid Who DJed in Dolores Park on Saturday?

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DJ Rillion got the post-election party started at Dolores Park on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. (Rae Alexandra)

On Saturday afternoon, as the news of President-elect Joe Biden’s win spread across San Francisco, so did the chorus of car horns, singing and pop-up street parties. In the Mission District, people swarmed into Dolores Park looking to celebrate with their neighbors.

As the day went on, more and more of them gravitated to the center of the park, drawn by the good vibes emanating from a DJ table. The mix was non-stop feel-good ’90s R&B and hip-hop. And the person behind the decks was, it turns out, a 10-year-old.

DJ Rillion didn’t just provide the soundtrack to the post-election party. For many who were there, he was the party.

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By mid-afternoon, he’d even attracted an appropriately pint-sized dancer to hang with him behind the decks.

DJ Rillion kept this little corner of Dolores dancing for hours. Occasionally he’d ask how everyone was doing—the crowd hollered back. Now and again, he’d ask dancers to wave their hands in the air—and they complied every time. I had to find out more about this DJ wunderkind, so naturally ... I asked his dad.

DJ Rillion’s proud papa, Ron, was easy to spot—he and his son were wearing matching bomber jackets and jeans. The born-and-raised San Franciscan informed me that his son—real name Rylan—has only been developing his skills behind the decks for one month. (One!)

Recognizing Rylan’s passion for tunes (favorite genres include R&B, hip-hop and trap music), and trying to keep the 10-year-old amused as they sheltered in place in the Outer Richmond, Ron passed on his mixing skills. (Ron DJed at parties and gatherings in high school and thought Rylan might enjoy it too.) Rylan picked it up so fast that within weeks, DJ Rillion was born.

The election result party in Dolores Park was DJ Rillion’s most successful public engagement to date, having previously popped up at Ocean Beach and a Sacramento Haunted House. You can follow his progress and find out about his upcoming appearances via Instagram and TikTok.