IN CONVERSATION WITH CHARLY JORDAN
Interview by Jana Letonja
Best known as one of the only female DJs with a Las Vegas Residency, Charly Jordan is currently headlining and opening for other major music artists such as Marshmello, Tiesto, Zedd, Louis The Child, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki and more. Charly became one of the first creators to actually make money from social media. Today, she is the CEO and Founder of two million dollar companies, as well as a successful model, DJ and content creator. Charly’s new single ‘No Longer Mine’ was released yesterday (February 3rd).
Charly, your career started with social media creation, before you then became a DJ. You were actually the first social media creator to make money from social media. What made you decide to become a creator?
What made me decide to become a creator was my true and genuine passion for creating photos and videos. So many people try to make a career on social media nowadays without having any interest in the media part and I think that leads to burn out. At the end of the day, I love producing and creating.
How did you go from being a social media creator to becoming a DJ? What made you interested in DJing?
I’ve always had a passion for music and being from Las Vegas I grew up around some of the best musicians in the world. When I attended EDC Las Vegas for the first time, that was really a turning point for me in my music career. I was very inspired. As I got older, I found ways to merge my two passions together and create music videos to go hand in hand with my music.
You’ve come full circle as one of the only female DJs to lock down a Las Vegas Residency. Thanks to yourresidency with Zouk Group Las Vegas, you are headlining and opening for major artists such as Tiesto, Zedd, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake and more. How does it feel to know not many women in the industry have accomplished this?
It’s honestly super surreal and I’m so grateful. Beyond grateful. I just try to make the best of every moment and enjoy the people and do my best. I’ve been a resident at Zouk for two years and I’m so excited to go into my third year.
Yesterday, you released your new single ‘No Longer Mine’. You shot this music video on your recent trip to Bali and in it you highlight your bisexuality for the first time in your music. First of all, tell us more about this single, its story and what inspired it?
Throughout my entire career I’ve always been paired up with men, because I was told that it’s ‘typically’ what people wanted to see. I don’t think the way you look should determine what people want to see from you. My sexuality has always been separate from my music, so I finally decided to show it off. I’m actually pansexual, so I see all humans as the same.
Why was highlighting your pansexuality in this music video so important to you? And why do you believe highlighting this topic is important for the whole society?
The focus isn’t supposed to be about my sexuality. The point is to show that a person is a person, regardless of gender. The montage of me kissing different men and then women should feel almost exactly the same, which I feel like we did really well.
Last year was a year of firsts for you. You played main stage show at Lollapalooza in Chicago, which was your first major festival. How would you compare playing at a festival to playing at a club?
Honestly, it’s a completely different experience. I do feel like clubs are a bit more intimate, but festivals give you an adrenaline rush that is unmatchable. You’re also playing with some of the best artists in the world, which is the amazing part about festivals. The culture that is created around it is very different from nightlife.
On the modeling side, you walked the runway in your first Miami Swim Week and New York Fashion Week.How was the experience of walking the runway? What does fashion represent to you?
I’m a very creative and expressive person in general, so fashion is such an incredible form of expression for me. I love being able to mess around with my own looks for my shows, but it’s so incredible to step into someone else’s masterpiece to walk in a show for Miami Swim Week or New York Fashion Week. For those things, I have no control over what I’m wearing and I get to represent somebody else. It was honestly such a blast and I would definitely do it again. Fashion, just like many creative outlets, is another extension of who we are.
You’re also the CEO and founder of two extremely successful companies, ‘Smoke Roses’ and ‘Beauty in Pain’. We would love to hear more about each of them, their story and what made you establish them?
‘Smoke Roses’ and ‘Beauty in Pain’ have been such a journey for me. ‘Smoke Roses’ was my first company, where I created organic rolling papers that range from rose petal papers to goji berry papers. ‘Beauty in Pain’ is my second brand, where I created beautiful, stainless steel jewelry based off my own tattoos that I drew myself. ‘Beauty in Pain’has evolved into other designs since we started and I hope to grow the brand past jewelry very soon.
Both brands are focused on mental health and work towards building communities where people can feel safe to share their story or ask for help. Both companies are amazing side projects to put my creativity into and to actually create products that represent what I feel.
What would you say makes your companies so unique?
Because I have so many other sources of income, I don’t rely on money to be the leading factor for my companies. While both are doing very well, we are definitely more based on creativity and the community, which I love, as well as all of the products being completely original and not white labeled, which is something I’m very proud of.
Is there anything that really surprised you about owning a business?
Owning a business is a lot more difficult than I anticipated, but honestly good things take time and I’ve learned a lot from running both companies.
Charly, what’s next for you in your career, in music and in business? Are you going to expand your career also to any new, exciting venues?
This year is gonna be very exciting working on releasing an album and playing more festivals. I can’t disclose all of the venues at the moment, but I can share that the first festival I’ll be playing this year is Pal Norte in Monterrey, Mexico.
photography JOEY PUCINO