We recently caught up with Jae Adranly–a.k.a climaxXx–the badass DJ behind the pink vinyls you may have seen at your local Bay Area function. Now you can find her spinning in the City of Angels.
As women who enter typically male dominated fields, we find ourselves having to learn the art of navigating through those spaces without comprising or losing ourselves along the way. Jae shares with us her story of survival within the industry as well as tips on how to thrive and be your best self.
Jae is truly a badass force to be reckoned with, and we cannot wait for you to fall in love with her like we did.
What do you love about your hometown?
I’m honestly not a huge fan of my hometown because I’m from the suburbs, but I love the Bay Area in its entirety. There’s no place I’d rather be from than the Yay. So much diversity, bomb ass food, so much life, so much heartache and so much art.
How would you describe your sound and what’s your favorite type of music to mix?
I’m an Aries, so my musical taste has no limits. I can literally find something in any genre that I could religiously slap. No, but seriously, I am just a lover of music period. When I’m out spinning at gigs, I’m a hip hop DJ. I love spinning trap and old claps too.
As for my mixes, those are my art. They usually have a huge R&B influence–and focus solely on production and beats. Because of how much I relate to the tracks on my mixes: they’re a true reflection of who I am. My outlet. They tell a story, my story.
Was there ever a moment in life when you knew DJing was your calling?
This is an interesting story actually. So, I had just moved out of my mom’s house- fresh at the baby age of 18. I was the assistant manager of Forever 21 (worst job of my life) and had just quit that shit because it was literal hell. So I’m sitting in my brand new apartment, just quit my job, and was at a point where I knew I could choose anything I wanted to do.
Also super random, but this was when Kreayshawn was blowing up and I thought to myself: ‘If this little girl can make it out of the Bay- why can’t I?’ So I applied to work in radio, got hired at 106 KMEL, and was there for about 5 years.
As a child, my mom would always catch me singing to myself and banging around on my light up piano, making up my own performances. I knew I always wanted to make music or do something in music, but I realized that I didn’t want to be the forefront. DJing is a way for me to perform in a way where I can still communicate with music and control the mood of a spot, yet not have the entire spotlight on me.
No limits-what is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal would be to make a living doing what I love–all day, every single day create. If I can get to a point where I can make a comfortable amount doing what I love and not have to work a 9-5 that would be my dream. Lastly, to fulfill my ultimate potential and leave this world a little bit better than I found it.
If you can go on tour with any artist, who would be the lucky artist?
The QUEEN BITCH, SUPREME BITCH, MURDA SCENE BITCH: Lil Kim, of course. She was a staple in a male dominated field and one of the first females to unapologetically emasculate any man without blinking twice. She was rappin’ about these boys like dudes have been rapping about “bitches” for years. There was no double standard with her. Same as fuck. A fucking icon. But let’s be real, that would have to be a throwback tour. Artists like Kamiyah, Missy, really any female in the game making noise would be cool too.
So, you tweeted: “It really is true that we as women have to work twice as hard & be three times as smart in this cold world.” So let’s talk barriers. Women have to work harder just to be considered a man’s equal-otherwise, some people may try to take away from our success by saying we only got to where we are based on our looks, etc. Which takes away from the hard work we–women–put in. How are you breaking down these stigmas?
I refuse to work with “dawgs” or people who objectify me, period. I don’t give a fuck how big they are or how far they can take me. I’ve unknowingly made mistakes and did business with people who only hired me just to try and holla, or asked for my number to “book me”, but never did, or stop booking me because I wouldn’t give them play.
Most people that take one look at me do not believe I’m a DJ, or if they do, they automatically think I’m not a good one. I take tremendous pride and time in what I do and I’ll be damned if any wack ass man or anybody will try and downplay that. So yes, it is a fact that we have to be twice as good to make it, to be noticed. The majority of these huge name DJs are complete trash. My advice to any female in a male dominated industry would be to never try and get by on your looks, because you’ll never solidify yourself that way.
Focus and master your craft, so no one can ever tell you anything. Always give yourself a leg to stand on and always give yourself something to fall back on: your talent.
A lot of millennials talk about how “adulting” is hard. You are one of the hardest working people I know. How do you balance: a corporate job, djing, and overall maintaining your life?
I’m probably the worst person to give advice about this because I never sleep. But in all honesty, I just chose a job that would have a schedule that works with my nightlife schedule, so I have nights and weekends off. During the day I’m corporate and by night I’m “xXx”. I did however have to make a huge decision a long time ago to leave a job that I made very good money at to pursue my music career. I knew that the more something was taking my time away that didn’t have to do with music: was not good for my overall plan. That was the best decision I could’ve ever made for myself.
What mantra would you want your future self to remember?
To have those conversations with myself about giving myself some fucking credit. To trust my journey and God.
Photos by: @shevahh