DJ Rosegold Talks Djing for Obama, Cardi B & Advice on Being an Entrepreneur
DJ Rosegold x The Zeal Life
DJ Rosegold is a creative curator, entrepreneur and role model–based out of Mississauga, Canada. She is using her art and influence to enlighten her generation and the next, through music and creative empowerment. We got to speak with the brilliant mind to learn how she got where she is today and what her plans are in the future. Plug in and be inspired.
TZL: We Always like to start with getting to know your background. Tell us a little of your story, what was your upbringing like?
ROSEGOLD: I was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario (right outside of Toronto) and since I was young, been around [the music industry]. My dad is a Reggae-Dancehall artist so while growing up I was in and out of studios and sessions in Jamaica and in Toronto. From this, I guess you can imagine that I didn’t have traditional parents or a traditional family life.
TZL: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
ROSEGOLD: Since I was in Kindergarden –I literally have a book I would write in since, so I have the proof [laughs] – I wanted to be a teacher.
TZL: How and at what point did you decide you were going to pursue Djing as a career?
ROSEGOLD: I was in school to be a French teacher when I decided out of the blue one day to go buy a DJ controller after using DJ programs on my laptop and phone for months. The turning point was when I started traveling a lot because I was booked for international shows, [and] missing school, I stopped being interested in my courses and failing them, [so] I decided to take a break from school to focus on DJing. That was in 2017 and I haven’t looked back.
TZL: Tell us how you got the name DJ Rosegold?
ROSEGOLD: The name Rosegold came from my mom and I sitting in my room brainstorming DJ names. We tried DJ in front of names of items that were in my room like DJ Wall, DJ Closet [laughs]. Then she saw my Rose Gold headphones and Rose Gold iPhone and said, “How about DJ Rose Gold”. I didn’t like it at first but here we are [laughs]! I also just prefer the way DJ Rosegold looked rather than, DJ Rose Gold so that’s why the writing of my name is a bit different.
TZL: You are a woman in a predominantly male industry, what are some ways you’ve overcome those barriers?
ROSEGOLD: Pretty simple, I don’t look at it as a barrier. When you have confidence or even pretend to be confident in certain situations where maybe you aren’t actually confident because you’re surrounded by males, the barrier isn’t really there because your talent will show for itself. You have to roll with the punches and fit in as if you’re all the same. No one gender is more superior than the other in any occupation and the music industry is no different in my eyes.
TZL: Building a brand and being an Entrepreneur is not easy, what advice would you give to someone who wants to be an Entrepreneur, but doesn’t know where to start?
ROSEGOLD: I would say to seek out mentors and do research on entrepreneurs that you look up to because that is how I got to be where I am today. I wasn’t afraid to ask for help when help was needed. Another big thing is, be prepared to invest in yourself. That investment is not only money but also time. Being an entrepreneur truly is a full time job so be prepared for days that you will be burned out. But, if you are not investing in yourself, you can never expect someone else to want to invest in you and that’s a piece of advice that I share everywhere I go.
TZL: What do you know now about Entrepreneurship, that you wish you knew when you first started?
ROSEGOLD: I wish I knew how exhausting it would be and how many times you have to fall and get back up. We look at entrepreneurship and assume that it means loads of money will be coming in but sometimes it takes years to even recoup some of what you spent.
TZL: You have grown your Instagram to connect and share your work and ventures, how do you stop from comparing yourself to others ?
ROSEGOLD: I stop myself from comparing myself to others by reminding myself that people only show what they want to show you online. Not everything that you see is a reality and not everyone who is making moves are actually making moves. We tend to compare ourselves to people who seem to be richer than us, happier than us, getting more jobs than us, living their best life but we really don’t know what is happening on the back-end and if what they are communicating is in fact, true. Once I realized this, I stopped comparing myself to other people who I thought were doing better and simply tried to be the best that I could behind the scenes.
TZL: What do you believe is your purpose as an artist?
ROSEGOLD: I think my purpose as an artist and entrepreneur as a whole is to enlighten people. Whether that be making them feel something and move through the music I play or produce, or by granting opportunities by being a dot connector, whatever it may be, my purpose is to enlighten people. In addition, I try my best to be a positive role model to those who seek guidance and help [them]. I want to be known as someone who isn’t frugal with helping and paying it forward to the younger generation and even those in my own generation who are still seeking their path.
TZL: You recently Dj’d for Barack Obama, that is amazing! Tell us how you were connected and what that experience was like?
ROSEGOLD: DJing for Obama still feels like a dream to be honest! The Economic Club of Canada hosted an event where he was the special guest and one of my very close friends, Kiana “Rookz” Eastmond referred me to the organization to DJ and that is how that came about! The experience was amazing not only because it was Obama but because there were approx. 6000 people in the audience, mostly young black people who I got to DJ for and it was so rewarding being able to DJ not only for Obama but for a predominantly black audience in my own city.
TZL: You’ve also worked with Cardi B, played for NBA All Star Weekend how do you determine how you will mix when Djing for musicians and large events?
ROSEGOLD: One of my first big gigs as a DJ was a party hosted by Cardi B in Toronto in 2017 and I will always list that as one of the best gigs of my career. In relation to switching up my mix based on the event, it’s a lot about reading the room and seeing what kind of crowd you are playing for. For club events, you want to play the bangers that will get people banging on the walls and for events like All Star Weekend where you might be playing a corporate gig, I might play more clean music. For me, I like to play music that will get people moving in unconventional spaces. For instance, I played at the Nike Store in Chicago for All Star Weekend and typically people come in the store to just shop and get out, but at one point a dance floor formed in front of my DJ booth!
TZL: Can you tell us about a time you were under pressure at an event and had to problem solve on the spot?
ROSEGOLD: When I first started DJ’ing and wasn’t entirely familiar with the equipment, sometimes I would arrive at venues to DJ and couldn’t figure out how to set up the equipment or why my laptop wouldn’t configure. This is why I say you need to have mentors and people you can go to for help! The amount of times I had to Facetime my DJ friends like DJ Gallis, DJ Bubba, DJ Giovanni and have them walk me through how to set up certain things. To be honest, that stuff can still happen to this day and I problem solve by calling every possible person I can to help me!
TZL: Djing is an art form that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in this generation of music, how do we work toward supporting DJs and bring it back to mainstream Hip Hop?
ROSEGOLD: I think artists specifically need to realize the power of a DJ and build relationships with them. As an artist or music manager, your goal should be to get your tracks in the hands of the hottest DJs who are playing on the radio, in the clubs etc. Yes, your songs can get hundreds of thousands of streams, but if it’s not being played when people go out and are in their cars, it won’t live in their heads and probably won’t have that long of a shelf life– all of that starts with the DJs. People need to support DJs by building those relationships and understanding that we still are the gatekeepers in the music industry. And as new DJs– we need to recognize the DJs that are now known as the leaders who broke-in artists back in the day and not only play mainstream music and start spinning new artists who we think are dope.
TZL: You own a media agency The House of Milo, what all does it entail, can you tell us how you got started with it?
ROSEGOLD: The House of Milo started when I would throw events in Toronto and then had brands and other artists ask me to do the same for them. I realized that I started becoming more than just a DJ and was capable of doing so much more having a decent following and support system. I decided to make a company where I now do creative event curation, branding and I’m also an artist liaison.
TZL: Who are some of the artists you’d hope to work with in the future?
ROSEGOLD: Some of these artists I’ve already worked with/alongside in some capacity but I would like to truly work with Roddy Ricch, Kranium, Billie Eilish, Ye Ali, Summer Walker, dvsn and Cardi B.
TZL: What are the records that never fail you, when you want the party lit?
ROSEGOLD: Anything by Pop Smoke for sure. Faneto by Chief Keef will never die [laughs].
TZL: What are your top three most guilty pleasures?
ROSEGOLD: My first guilty pleasure is Beyoncé Homecoming. Is that really guilty though? [Laughs]. I’ve probably watched it about 75 times to be honest. I also love blue cheese and blue cheese dressing and will literally eat it with a spoon. Also, one of my recent guilty pleasures is binge watching Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den. I can’t sleep without watching an episode.
TZL: What is your self care routine?
ROSEGOLD: I recently bought a nail kit to do my own pedicures and manicures with the shellac, so I’ve added that to my self care routine. I use a lot of face masks specifically from Stevie Fox Beauty and recently discovered a new brand called The Glow Formula, and I like to use their products when I wind down from a long day. Part of my self care routine is also making sure I’m eating food that I love because to me, that is the key to self care.
TZL: Can you discuss upcoming projects, events or collaborations?
ROSEGOLD: I have a super exciting project that I am working on musically that you’ll all see very soon and that I’ve been working tirelessly on. Recently, I got a new LA-based team and officially have my first entertainment lawyer, which I’m super excited about. Stay posted on my instagram for new developments, I promise it will be worth it!
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