Photo: Nocturnal Photography
What’s your name/Dj name?
Claya Jade (pronounced Clay-uh)
Where are you from originally?
Tell us about your DJ career?
I’ve been an open format nightclub DJ for six years; high energy venues like Deco Charleston and Social Columbia. My first residency was at SIP Charlotte in 2015, every Thursday for two years. These gigs are typically 4-5 hour straight sets, freestyle mixing hip hop, house, and other EDM genres. Since early 2017 I’ve been a resident at Social Bar & Lounge in Columbia; two of the four years, playing every Friday or Saturday night, for 5 hours (straight).
SIP, Social, and Grid Iron were my training grounds, where I learned the art of mixing all genres and eras of music by random selection, blending tracks in a cohesive manner, relying on my ability to read large crowds. I also learned the ends and outs of promotion, a super important piece of this business. I taught myself how to create my own flyers and how to promote marketing material properly. Music preparation and knowing your music is crazy necessary. I don’t mean creating a pre-recorded mix and pressing play. Having clean tracks, new music, and strong organization skills is key. From there; It’s all about “knowing your music” and feeling your crowd’s energy to create a seamless flow throughout the night.
In the midst of all this, I teamed up with Danny B and Mikey Tookie (SPENT) for two years and started playing larger EDM shows consistently. This is where I fell in love with dubstep and the heavier sounds of EDM. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time training with some of the heavy-hitters from Charlotte and Atlanta, learning production and Ableton. I’m finally releasing my dubstep alias, Demi Dub, and her first EPK before the end of Q2 – 2021, so stay tuned.
Any plans for 2021 minus Unicorns Vs. Pirates?
Neon Live (my bi-monthly live stream with Neon Black and Rab Lab) and the release of Demi Dub. (New Alias)
How has corona affected your profession, and how do you plan to combat it?
I feel for the people who have gone through many things, so I don’t want to sound apathetic, but it’s been a mindset for me. Without playing actual shows, I’ve had more time to focus on the next moves, the moves that dictate the future of my music career.
How do you feel about playing amid a pandemic?
Respect the rules. Don’t be an asshole. People have lost family. Lost jobs and homes. If you think it’s a joke, you’re part of the problem.
Any surprises for us at the Unicorns vs. Pirates show?
If I tell you now, there’s no surprise.
Photo: Justin Driscoll
Any piece of advice for aspiring artists?
Hmmm…. this one is probably a 3-part answer (laughs)
1: Be About Business. If you don’t treat this like a real profession, how can you (or anyone) take you seriously? Be professional. Deal only with professional people.
2: Build and Secure Your Brand. Like it or not, social media presence is required if you wanna get booked or sell tracks. Have to be real, relevant, and reliable. Develop a Social Media Marketing plan. Promote. Analyze your insights or hire someone to do it for you. There’s enough how-to information at our fingertips. “I don’t know how” doesn’t cut it.
3: Remember your Purpose. Ignore people who interject their unsolicited opinions. Never get wrapped up in toxicity. After parties are breeding grounds for bull shit, so stick to moderation. Save your energy and emotion for the music.
What would you like to say to 2020?
Go F yourself.
How do you plan on influencing other women through your music?
Hopefully, the music and leading by example will speak for itself. It feels really good to inspire young women to feel beautiful, strong, and independent. Females deserve to be reminded that they can be beautiful, sexy, edgy in their own skin, without seeking affirmation and attention through social media platforms and apps.
Shitty days happen…. when we wake up feeling lost like we don’t know who we are or where we are going. On those days, I get up, and I stay off of social media. Instead, I turn the music up as loud as possible. In my house, my car, I even keep headphones on everywhere else. Do you ever realize you can’t hear your thoughts when the music is loud? More often than not, that’s what we are running from. Music is the most powerful form of therapy that exists in this world. It’s my escape. And nobody can ever take that from me.
Claya Jade is not only an inspiration but a real joy to talk to. Her music is on point, high energy, and not for the faint of heart! I’m looking forward to meeting her and seeing her perform live and be in that moment! Do not for the love of God sleep on her music! You won’t regret it! She is a true inspiration to aspiring DJ’s and women alike! Be sure to catch her in Myrtle Beach on the 23rd; until then, I will catch you on the flip side!
Claya Photo: Justin Driscoll
Buy tickets to her upcoming show here!
Photo Credit: @nocturnalproductionsco
Connect with Claya:
Soundcloud: Claya Jade