Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Five Questions with ... DJ Rozay

Published:Friday | March 3, 2023 | 1:01 AMAaliyah Cunningham/Gleaner Writer
DJ Rozay
DJ Rozay
DJ Rozay launched her line of swim and street wear dubbed Bad Gyal LA.
DJ Rozay launched her line of swim and street wear dubbed Bad Gyal LA.
DJ Rozay at the controls.
DJ Rozay at the controls.

Growing up in Montego Bay Jamaica, DJ Rozay has always had a passion for music and fashion. She developed a deep love for the turntables when she was a teenager and has since dedicated her time to making her own music and even fashion videos, many of which have gone viral over the years, largely based on her aptitude in both arenas.

Influenced by the rich music culture that exists on the western end of the island, she has cultivated her own style of mixing which she describes as an ‘international sound’. Now residing in Los Angeles, USA, DJ Rozay whose given name is Leah-Camille Blacksher, is using her knowledge of music most of which she garnered from trial and error, as well as through her musically inclined parents, to spread Jamaican culture and ‘turn-up’ clubs and event spaces across the world.

DJ Rozay has established her career as an international music influencer through the creation of her own exclusive events in Los Angeles and tours throughout the US and Asia. Over the years, she has worked with a number of international companies and clients, bringing the Caribbean vibe that is craved across the globe. Some of her clients have included companies like HBO, Janelle Monae, Everyday People, ZGF Architects, Equinox Gyms, Kimpton Everly, Delicious Vinyl Sound, Amplify Africa, TheShadeRoom, Stanford in Entertainment, as well as being featured on radio shows like Clubhouse Global, Rise Radio NYC, and Rum & Bass MIA. She has also performed for international R&B singer, Janelle Monae.

During all of this she has not neglected her love for fashion. She launched her line of swim and street wear dubbed Bad Gyal LA through which she aims to help women feel confident in their bodies. This week DJ Rozay sits with Five Questions With.

1. Do you think female disc jockeys are held in the same regard and given the same respect as men in the business?

I definitely don’t think that female DJs are held in the same regard as men. Deejaying in general is an extremely male-dominated industry, and women in the last few years have had to push for a place to exist and shine in the business. At most parties, many times there is only one female DJ among a line-up of four/five male DJs, making it very competitive for women to build their careers in this space. This is why it really is exciting to see an all-female line-up sometimes and to see more female DJs shining and thriving in the industry.

2. What is it like working as a Jamaican disc jockey in LA and what have been some of the most striking things to you about the job and how would you describe the impact of the Jamaican culture where you are primarily based?

Being a Jamaican DJ in LA has been a beautiful experience for me. Sharing the culture with people from all over the world who have a love for Jamaican music is special, and the joy that dancehall and reggae brings people is really humbling & inspiring. No other music or culture impacts people in quite the same way. The community in LA is not as big as cities like NYC or Miami, but we are definitely growing and building, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

3. Who have been some of your influences in the business and how have they helped to shape you in your craft?

Artistes like Spice & Rvssian have impacted me, watching them grow and expand into other markets is inspiring. Watching them share the culture with the world, and not just with Jamaica or the Caribbean, is really impactful to me and has really made me want to do the same. Jamaican culture and music deserves to be shared. I hope to share the culture and inspire people around the world with the music and the vibes!

4. What aspect of Jamaican music do you think could be shown more appreciation and why?

I think that dancehall deserves more appreciation. The fact that there is no Grammy award for dancehall yet is sad to me. When you go to all parts of world they know dancehall, they love Vybz Kartel, they love the authentic culture. Dancehall deserves its flowers. Afrobeats has grown into a world phenomenon and it is heavily influenced by dancehall music, Reggateon is also a huge genre now and wouldn’t be possible without dancehall rhythms. We deserve our respect.

5. You have your own fashion brand, ‘Bad Gyal LA’, talk to us about it; what you would say makes someone a ‘bad gyal’?

A ‘bad gyal’ to me is a girl who is unapologetically herself, ambitious, smart, fashionable, and not afraid to be sexy. She stays on top of her game and embodies confidence and grace.