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cocoa chanelle – opening music’s doors

A lot has changed in music, television and radio in recent years. However, for New Yorkers, there has been at least one constant on the airwaves. For the past 12 years, DJ Cocoa Chanelle has held it down at one of NYC’s staple stations, Hot 97; prior to that, she served as a resident DJ on BET’s “Teen Summit” program. Not to mention the fact that she has also made a name for herself as one of music’s hottest female producers. 
While the soft-spoken vet makes it all seem easy, she admits that it hasn’t always been so easy for female DJs or producers to gain the respect of their peers. “When I first came up, it was harder because there were only a [few] female DJs like Jazzy Joyce and Spinderella, [so] you really had to prove [yourself]. Now it’s like the doors have definitely been opened a bit more,” she says. 

In addition to witnessing the industry’s increasing acceptance of female DJs and producers, Chanelle says she has also noticed a shift in the world of radio overall. “There’s been a lot of change as far as music … back in the day, you’d only hear hip-hop on the weekends, but now, it’s on every day,” she says. 

For aspiring female DJs and music producers, Chanelle offers this suggestion: “My first advice is to get some turntables and practice your craft. The doors have definitely been opened a lot more,” she proffers. “Now it’s a lot easier to come in.”