By Michael Ray Cantrell
An entrepreneur, an artist and an avid activist for local charitable organizations, DJ Jane Dupree spends her every waking moment devoted to the art of music. She thrives to put the unity in community by using her music for a greater good and supporting local nonprofit organizations.
DJ Jane is always striving, surviving and thriving in every aspect of her life and career. That tenacity and intrigue is what led me to learn more about who she is, where she came from, where she’s going and what it takes for her to wake up every day, smile and bring the community together one turntable at a time.
When did you begin DJing? The summer after my freshman year of college, I wound up going to The Connection. I just fell in love with what the DJ was playing and the music. I started buying records from Tower Records. When school started back, DJ Silence showed me the basics of how to use a mixer. That semester, I was also in a bowling class with Pimpdaddysupreme who told me about college radio. At the end of the fall semester, l submitted to be involved with the college radio station. In the winter semester, I began my short internship. After interning, I submitted a show proposal and was approved to launch the show HouseNation. I started the show barely knowing how to use turntables.
What is your favorite type of music to play? I love to play house music.
You mentioned the help you had launching your career. What organizations do you gave back to in an effort to pay it forward? I currently support a variety of charitable organizations. I believe everyone needs a hand at some point. Over the years I have supported Nashville Cares, The Martha Bryan Center, Souls United, Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, Bianca Page Day, JustUs (Oasis Center), Nashville Oversight Committee, Hope Center, and the Hug project.
Being involved with a lot of those groups I am sure you have seen people dealing with “real life”. What are some of the challenges you have faced dealing with “real life” and how did you overcome them? I have endured many obstacles over the years. Playing dance music in the home of country music has had its ups and downs. I have faced racism and sexism. I just didn’t take no for an answer and created my own opportunities.
What would you tell someone looking to you for advice on how to create their own opportunities? To be yourself and follow your dreams.
Having overcome many obstacles to become successful as an individual, what would you say is your vision for the community? I would like to see more unity.
How can music help us achieve unity? Music is the one thing everyone can relate to at every level of life and it will never judge you. Music is a release and an expression of freedom.
You have worked hard and put in a lot of work to get where you are today. What are some of your greatest achievements? I had the honor of competing at the world’s largest lesbian music event, Dinah Shore Weekend. I collaborated with Third Man Records to host an event. I got to work with Robin Williams. I’ve turned down record deals. I was featured on Diplo’s Mad Decent blog and have also been in several music videos.
Where can you be found spinning now? You can catch me at Canvas Lounge, Trax, and various parties across the country. I’m launching a new monthly residency in Denver late March and hosting an after-hours party in Palm Springs early April.
Is there anything you’d like to add that our readers should know? I have lots of new music coming out soon. It will be available at all online retailers. Make sure to follow my website for show dates and news www.djjanedupree.com