Teelynn 101: The Hustle is Sold Separately

Brrrring! The sound sending every kid in America scurrying to class like a conditioned response to its high pitched vibration. School is in session. Don’t be late. Welcome to Teelynn 101.


It’s the beginning of just another workday for Trish Naval (aka Teelynn). Second graders from all over one of San Diego’s predominantly Filipino and Latino neighborhoods arrive eager to learn from their favorite teacher.

“It’s the hood where I grew up,” Teelynn said about the location of the school she teaches at. Paradise Hills, a suburb in San Diego, CA, with a crime index just slightly below the U.S. national average (, 2011), is also home to Teelynn. In an attempt to protect and shield Teelynn from the surrounding gang activity, her grade school education was received via a private Catholic school. The harsh reality of the unspoken yet known “pursuits” that come with living in a rough area, created a cautious nature in Teelynn. However, it also provided a realization of what she could be and what she could rise above. Being a public school teacher for the hood she grew up in is her way of giving back to the community and fulfilling her God-given talent in finding the potential in other people and nurturing that.

“Motherly” is how I would describe Teelynn, and how she describes herself as well. In fact, when I showed up to conduct my interview with her, she welcomed me into her home and offered me adobo and wine. My stomach and I are not capable of turning down great company and great food. Our discussion continued for hours after our interview was complete as her motherly nature advised me on a few things in my own personal life and her awesome character provided quite a few great laughs combined with alcohol.

Her love for nurturing the potential in others exceeds past her normal workday as a 2nd grade teacher. Teelynn and her husband, Chris, also conduct ministry at church. They direct choir and teach the kids how to play instruments.

“I like working with kids more than I like working with adults I think. They’re honest! They’re shorter than me!” Teelynn explained.

Don’t get it twisted. This teacher by day and church Choir Director is also known for being a BEAST on the bass guitar, the piano, and the turntables.

“I am a musician first.” (Naval, 2015)

Whether she’s all-up-in your face with a bass guitar, soothing your soul with her heart wrenching lyrics and her piano tunes, or playing your favorite songs on the turntables at an event near you, Teelynn proves over and over again that there is nothing this teacher by day can’t do. A self-taught musician and DJ, entertaining the masses is the drug running through her veins with crowd response being the ultimate high.

“My bread and butter is teaching. That’s my heart right there,” explained Teelynn. “My inspiration [for music and DJing] is the love of hearing good music and seeing people have a good time.”

Teelynn plays bass guitar in the band 321 Stereo. The band’s manager, Fale Luis, possessed a dream to create a variety show in San Diego called “Tonight in San Diego”. As everything began falling into place, one of the components he needed to complete his vision, was a female DJ for the show. In October 2013, Fale requested for Teelynn to DJ the Tonight in San Diego show.

Teelynn was reluctant at first until she started reading up on DJing. With less than a couple months before the first episode was scheduled to air, she spent many nights staying up until the wee hours studying and practicing.

Hard work and dedication paid off. The Tonight in San Diego show is taped live on Monday nights at The Horton Grand Theatre from 7:30pm-9:00pm. And yes, you can find Teelynn on each live taping, getting down on the turntables.


Her father being one of the most influential figures in her life taught her the importance of a solid work ethic, not just through words, but through his own sacrifices. During our interview, Teelynn described a picture of her Dad and Grandma that one-hundred percent exemplifies “sacrifice”. Teelynn imitated exactly how her father and grandmother were photographed by extending her right arm back, while in forward motion, (as if someone was trying to hold her hand and prevent her from leaving), and her left hand over her eyes with her face down to show me her father’s reluctance to get on the bus to be recruited. I didn’t get to see the actual picture, but I didn’t need to, to feel and understand the true sacrifice made there for family. He came to the United States not knowing much at 18 and Teelynn’s mother arrived with only $20. 18 years after their arrival, they moved a then 11-year old Teelynn out the hood and into Rancho del Rey in Chula Vista, CA.

A hardworking perfectionist in everything she does. “A get right or get left” type of confidence and attitude. All instilled by parents who came to the States with nothing but a dream. Teelynn never forgets where she came from.

“Having the roots of being from over there [Paradise Hills] it kinda grounded me,” said Teelynn. “I don’t feel that I was too spoon fed and I don’t feel that I was in danger all the time.”

321 Stereo’s new record, “Fatal”, is set to release soon. Tickets to attend the Tonight in San Diego show can be purchased here. You can also catch Teelynn DJing at a lounge near you.

When Teelynn is not working, doing music, or DJing you might find her reading a how to informational book or about the history of something. She credits DJ Roman Empire for reminding her to be confident in her skills, DJ Mancat for teaching her the small little tid bits of what’s important or DJ common knowledge, and DJ Bugz for showing her the secret to taking requests without being thrown off in the middle of a set.

How does she excel at being a teacher, directing church choir, being a musician and a DJ? Two words, my friends; Work Ethic.

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.

To get more 411 or to see the full transcript of my personal interview with Teelynn, click here.

Teelynn Links

DJ Teelynn

321 Stereo

Tonight in San Diego

Book DJ Teelynn (Enter "Teelynn" in the additional info field to guarantee this artist)


Naval, T. (2015, March 30). Interview with Trish Naval [Wave file]. Interview by Jessica Imperial. "Paradise Hills Neighborhood in San Diego, CA, 92139, detailed profile." Advameg, Inc, n.d. Web. 16 Apr 2015. Retrieved from

Author Note

Jessica Imperial is compensated to conduct research and personal one-on-one interviews, to write and edit feature articles for Rezident Management Group. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jessica Imperial, Department of Human Resources, Rezident Management Group, San Diego, CA 92075. Contact:

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