DJ Jada Chambers doesn’t need a male opinion on her set list
Believe it or not, but before Jada Chambers was a professional DJ, she came this close to getting a degree in psychology and becoming a nurse. Growing up, she’d always been passionate about taking care of people and thought that was her purpose in life, until she started DJing, which made her out of this world happy. DJing quickly became an obsession and so Jada decided that she owed it to herself to put her nursing career on hold to really give the DJ life a try.
And now she’s making a name for herself and mixing her way to the top.
How did you decide to go after what you want rather than making a career out of something safe like accounting or medicine?
It’s ironic because I’m only a year way from finishing my psychology degree and was actually about to enter into the nursing program two years ago. That was when I decided I wanted to put my education second because I wanted to take my career as a DJ more seriously. I’ve been passionate about helping people my whole life and have been taking care of people since I was little. I thought that was my purpose in life, but once I found something that made me super happy, it became addicting. I wanted to spend all my time getting better at DJing, networking, and playing more gigs.
How has art inspired your life?
Music is art to me. It’s how I’ve always expressed myself. In middle school, that’s how I made friends because I was so shy, and it was the only thing I really felt confident speaking about. I would show friends my new and old music playlists. That became one of my hobbies: sharing my playlists on my big ass iPod until high school.
What kind of music do you like mixing?
I love spinning all new hip-hop and R&B, but on the other hand, I love when I can showcase my music knowledge, which can date back past the 60s. That’s what really makes me smile, being able to bring back memories to people. I have my big ass family to thank for that! My Nana listened strictly to oldies. Some of my aunts listened to old school like Evelyn Champagne, and others listened to rock like the Eagles and Nine Inch Nails. My music knowledge is what has also been creating a small buzz for me. So I always try to incorporate throwbacks in my set whether it’s hip-hop, alt-rock, or R&B.
How have you been able to make a name for yourself, especially being a female musician in a very male-dominated industry?
Being prepared, doing my research, and putting in hours of work. It sucks but to be able to get respect from the boys, you have to try and “hang” with them. Most guys look at me crazy before a gig because they think I’m going to put on some Spice Girls. And shit, maybe I will. So what? I always aim to show the boys that I don’t need their help with setting up, getting the crowd going, or even getting their input on my song selections. Thankfully, the turn out has always been good, and they end up dapping me up like I’ve earned their respect.
You mentioned wanting to separate your name/identity from being an artist’s girlfriend. How have you been able to do so?
My boyfriend [@superdupermaxx] is heavily involved in the music world, and that’s another fighting point for myself because I have to prove that my boyfriend didn’t have to pull all these crazy strings for me. He helped me, but for the most part I’ve done all of this on my own. He’s very proud of me and is one of my biggest supporters. I know I’m not supposed to care what people think, but when you’re putting in hard work, best believe I don’t want people to twist how I’ve gotten to work with brands that I have. Most of the brands I’ve worked with don’t even know who my boyfriend is prior to meeting me, and that makes me so happy because I know they like me because of my work.
Is it tough fighting to be seen as your own person rather than be in connection to anyone else?
Yes, because of who I am dating, but it’s okay people will soon enough get the picture that I’m my own person. I have been dating him for eight years, so even without all this music stuff, we would still be grouped together.
How do you stay humble and connected to your roots despite being pretty popular?
I stay connected to my roots and humble because of how I was raised. I was raised by a lot of strong, independent Chicana women. Not going to even lie, they raised me like a man. Some of their teachings were to take care of my family, remain humble, and don’t let no one, not even a man, fuck with you. I, of course, am also connected with the man above everything, God.