Neon Daz-e and Isla Nueve™
"So tell me a little about yourself," I begin the interview.
Jeanette answers. "I'm bad-ass," she follows with slight laughter. Then she adds a bit about her life aside from DJ'ing and webbing ideas for Isla Nueve®.
Jeanette graduated from the University of AZ with a Bachelors in Mexican American studies in 2007. She has been giving back to her community, specifically to youth, for the past decade. Her passion for helping others has led her to find her other passions in music and art. She started DJ'ing that same year. But she desired to be more than just a DJ. She knew there was more that she could do with turning tables, so she then created Isla Nueve®. A concept that inspires and motivates people to find their own passion through music and art.
At age 21 she started as DJ Chica, desiring something short and simple that captured peoples attention but also represented her cultural background. "Chica means a cool, hip woman in Spanish," she explains. At the time, this name best fit her vision. Seven years later, Chica then evolved to Neon Daz-e. The name change sparked when she attended EDC (the Electric Daisy Carnival). "A very inspiring, magical environment," she says, "At that time I was reflecting a lot about my changes as a DJ and Neon Daz-e popped into my mind because One: I was into neon colors at that time and two: Daz-e just sounded like a perfect fit."
When Jeanette first started as a DJ she was all about old school hip-hop. "My love for DJ'ing started with old school hip-hop because it captures the roots and the soul of where hip-hop came from. It has a history and old school hip-hop shares a story. Throughout the years it evolved. In my point of view its deteriorated because of the mainstream industry."
Her transition of a name also came with a transition in music. From hip-hop to electronic, she explains it's (electronic music) what's most popular right now. "If you want to get energy and excitement in the club it's going to be electronic."
"That doesn't mean I limit myself to one genre of music. It (the music) changes from time to time just like the seasons change. It all depends on my mood, who I am playing for. Right now its mainly electronic but Im open to any format because I'm very big on creativity. If you pay attention to genres its mixing a lot. Other genres are starting to incorporate electronic beats: electronic & hip-hop, country & electronic, jazz & hip-hop."
Advice on becoming a DJ.
"Know your music and know what you want to do with your music," she states. "To start off it comes down to what type of music you want to play and how much of music you know. Some DJ's stick to one genre, they stay as a resident DJ for one club. Then there's DJ's that DJ at clubs but also have their side gigs such as weddings and quiceaneras. As a starter experiment with different software's online. One of them is Virtual DJ, you can mix different songs, mess around with beats. If you want to go the producing path there's Logic or Ableton. You just have to love music. It's not for everyone."
Jeanette started DJ'ing with one of her friends who was a DJ at the time. She introduced her to the DJ world and she then started experimenting with her equipment. "It was like love at first site," she confesses, "It was a passion that I didn't know I would have. It hit me and I wanted to stay with it."
Jeanette just wants to inspire people. "I thought I was just going to be a club DJ but I felt there was a missing piece. That missing piece was Isla Nueve®. There's a lot you can do with music. I'll probably end up DJ'ing often in the future but right now I'm trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to incorporate my love for art and creativity. Just being an entrepreneur there's just so many different routes I can take at this time. I'm taking my own time to reflect on those different talents that I have and then take it from there. I'm just focusing on Isla Nueve®," she explains.
Do you have a favorite DJ?
"I don't have a favorite DJ. Every DJ has a different ear and different taste. My favorites right now are the ones that are producing. I give more respect to the DJ's that are not only producing their own beats from scratch but mixing different genres. (Tiesto, Daft Punk, Cascade, Dada Life, Morgan Page, Maxwell). The more a DJ can do with his/her music the more respect I have."
Are you a producing DJ?
"It's a skill that takes a lot of commitment that I can't offer myself at this time. A commitment I would want to put 100% of my focus and I'll probably let that happen later in the future but not right now."
So what does music mean to you?
"Music is like a lifelong love affair and when I say that it strikes a lot of memories. It has been there through a lot of my hard times and a lot of my happy times. Music brings people together. It's a universal language."
First time she DJ'd was in Scottsdale, AZ. One of her friends was a DJ for a club there and offered Jeanette an opening act and be a guest DJ one night for an event. "It will be a memory that I will never forget because it was a lot of fun and I just didn't know what to expect. The moment that I got to use my own equipment, my own turntable for the very first time in front of a crowd it was a very exciting moment. I knew from that moment on I was going to gain attention and just put myself out there."
"I was walking on a beach and all of a sudden I saw an island far off that beach. The only person who noticed the island was me. It was literally glowing. I decided to swim to the island because I knew there was something to discover in that island. Unfortunately when I was swimming towards the island my alarm woke me up. I still felt excited, I felt a sense of happiness and it felt like I had discovered a treasure even though I didn't make it to the island. I couldn't understand why I had such a dream but I knew at that moment in time it represented something big in my life. I was going through a phase where I was trying to discover where my path was going and what I wanted to do with my music. I knew there was something big coming up in my life. To me that dream represented a treasure, it represented something I had discovered. I'm still even now... I'm still discovering that treasure," she explained.
Isla Nueve®- (Island Nine in English). Island was in her dream and the number nine has been her favorite number since she was little. Isla Nueve® is a concept where right now she uses her music and her love for creativity and art to inspire other people. She is still experimenting with the concept. But along the way she has already attracted people and friends in her life who feel that Isla Nueve® is going to evolve into something bigger. She comments, "that itself motivates me to keep going because if other people are already feeling inspired than that itself says a lot about my concept and my ideas. I feel that this year will be a good year for Isla Nueve®." Her goal is to build a solid foundation and have a team. "It's the dream, the passion, and the emotions and the faith that my friends and the people in the community give to me."
How can someone get involved with Isla Nueve®?
"Right now I'm looking for a solid team that will help me go further with the concept and will help me build the business... dedicated individuals and have a passion in being creative and innovative. The first step is to understand what it means to me. Visit my FB page, Twitter, or my website. I have yet to update those because it's evolving. Once I get a team I'll have a more clear idea to how one can get involved. If it catches your attention, email me." (All her contact information can be found at the end of this article)
"Continue to challenge yourself and never get too comfortable. If you get too comfortable with where you're at in life then it's going to be really hard to move forward. If you're not moving forward then you're not really enjoying life. You're not pushing yourself to understand your purpose in life."
Jeanette's Biggest Lesson:
"To not rush into your purpose. It's important to let it process naturally. Value and patience. Slow progress is progress itself."
"Anything else you'd like to add?" I asked.
Pause. Moment of brief silence.
"Isla Nueve®:.. it's going to impact a lot of people in the future. I am honored to recognize my ability to accept failure and disappointment, it wasn't easy at first because sometimes I want to make things happen very very quickly. I observe life, people, their struggles. I try to understand why certain paths or certain things don't turn out the way they do. I've learned how to inspire people and how to give value to my ideas and people. You have to be thankful for that process. It's all about the people and helping others. Help others with your passion and that will go long ways as far as success goes."