Wavy Women highlights various industry professionals currently leading the game with their brazen creativity and forward-thinking style.
Often cited as being Australia’s thriving cultural epicenter, Melbourne is a city thriving in fashion, art and music. Bringing all of that together on a regular basis is DJ Jade Zoe, co-founder of the Melbourne party platform CRXZY SXXY CXXL.
Since 2015, Jade’s passion for hip-hop, pop culture and creating nights where like-minded people can find spaces to be "crazy, sexy and cool" has helped to redefine Melbourne’s soundtrack, and in the process has led to her supporting Danny Brown and collaborating with PUMA.
As the latest name in our ongoing Wavy Women series, regular Highsnobiety contributor Lester Jones caught up with Jade to talk all things music, current inspirations and more.
Why and how did music become such an important part of your life?
Music has always been a part of my life. From being raised on my mother's Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson cassette tapes to learning the piano and drums during high school while attending underage gigs every single weekend.
I'm amazed by how music can change your mood. How it can stir up so much emotion and take you to another universe or brighten up a sad mood. UB40's "Here I Am" never fails to make me smile. Musicians are magical creators and I respect and admire how talented they can be and their impact towards me.
What inspired you to DJ?
I kind of fell into being a DJ! I was the door girl for a monthly party in Melbourne called Favela Rock. I took on the opening slot with a friend purely for fun. Since then it became a sudden realization that I enjoyed it more than I would have known. Fast forward six years, many hours and days of practicing and I still enjoy it passionately.
How did CRXZY SXXY CXXL come about, and what does it add to Melbourne’s scene?
Living in London for two years has exposed me to various music scenes and parties which motivated me to create something back home. Throwing parties is the next natural step from DJing. After bumping into a fellow DJ, Mimi, in my city at countless gigs, I approached her to be my partner in crime to throw parties together.
We connected immediately and have formed a creative relationship and friendship. It's not often that you come across someone who is an incredible DJ and person. And who is on the same wavelength when it comes to work ethic, brainstorming and bringing ideas to reality.
I love Melbourne and its diverse scene. I'm extremely thankful to be a part of it and see every person come through our parties. CRXZY SXXY CXXL adds a different experience to the scene here. You don't really know what to expect, as we are always changing up the venues and how we use and dress the space. For example, at our "Rock the Boat" party, we hired a mermaid on stage brushing her hair. Then at our "Goddess" party we had our friend, Briar, covered in gold dancing with everyone and she is literally the real-life goddess amongst us.
We play a lot of new music from hip-hop and R&B to trap, dancehall and grime, just to name a few. It's refreshing for DJs to have that freedom to play what you're really into with a responsive crowd.
What was your first big gig?
Dimensions Festival. It was my first big festival gig. It was surreal and amazing because I got to play in Croatia and it is so beautiful! I also got to be support DJ for my friend and singer Lea Lea.
What is an average day for you?
A day in the life of Jade consists of university, searching for new music releases, working on videos for Complex AU, walking my fat nugget of a dog, eating pho and procrastinating by sneaker shopping online.
If you weren’t doing what you are now, where would you work?
I'd probably still be at uni or overseas working some random job to fund my trips through South America and the Caribbean.
Describe your current style.
Cosy, Sporty Spice-meets-Aaliyah with a touch of Chun-Li.
Who or what are you currently inspired by?
I’m constantly inspired by the strength and beauty of women. I'm inspired by the women around me going after their dreams while supporting each other. My mama is the most inspiring due to her raising my sister and I on her own. She inspires me to be the best person I can be.
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life so far?
This is a really hard question! Perhaps living in London for two years. That experience had its struggles but it was absolutely rewarding. A second accomplishment would be flying over to New York to interview Alicia Keys, which was crazy and unexpected! A DJ accomplishment would be closing the Swamp Stage at a boutique electronic New Year's Day festival called "Let Them Eat Cake" for the past two years.
What is your most treasured item of clothing and why?
My Bruce Lee T-shirt. I just love the man so much, so being able to wear my hero on a T-shirt brings me so much happiness. I've had to stop wearing him due to too many T-shirt repeats!
Where do you want to be in the next five years?
In the next five years I'd like to find myself being a proud tropical island owner while consuming mojitos mixed with my own white rum! Oh and working away in an outdoor studio.
Dream collaboration? (With whom and what would you create?)
The opportunity to collaborate with Nike or PUMA to design my very own sneaker. I love trainers so creating my own silhouette in multiple colorways and materials in crazy packaging would be a significant milestone. Imagine being able to have creative control over the marketing campaign and event!
Also check out Gienelle Usi, the star of our latest Meet the Muse series.