DJ Chela is the DJ for the next generation, representing her values and music with passion. Since her beginnings in 2002, she has performed on three continents, branding her name in everything from radio, clubs, mixtapes, battles and live shows to political activism. Out of her legwork she has birthed a movement all her own: the New Girl Order, embracing the new possibilities for our world when Women’s voices have an undeniable and respected presence in Hip Hop and society as a whole.
Spending her formative years between Durham, NC and Nicaragua, Chela saw a lot of the world and from a young age dedicated her life to a global movement for social justice. During this time she also became impassioned by music and in ‘93 learned to play the guitar, writing and performing original songs. In 1998, living in Oberlin, Ohio, she fell in love with DJing and after several years gathered the experience and courage to take it on. Later in Durham she worked alongside the Reggae sound system TNT Sound and turntablism pioneer DJ Soundmachine, honing her skills.
Today, her live sets are a dynamic synthesis of Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae, Latin rhythms, Rock and Pop to classic funk and soul, and have secured her gigs everywhere from New York, Miami, DC, Philadelphia, to Caracas, Venezuela. Chela’s recent mixtape releases “Chela for President,” “Embedded Reporter: Live from the Front Line,” and “High Treason” have helped her to establish a unique style all her own in mixtapes: revolutionary themes combined with scratch production, mixing and original blends, with a focus on showcasing emerging artists.
In 2005 she earned the nomination for “Best Female Mixtape DJ” at the Justo’s Mixtape Awards, as well as the prestigious induction into both Justo Faison’s Justo’s Mixtape Allstars and the elite all-female Hip Hop movement the Murda Mamis. DJ Chela hosts and mixes the weekly radio program “New Girl Order Radio” at Duke University’s WXDU, and was recently selected as one of the “Top 10 most influential College DJs” by Urban Network Magazine. She has been featured in The Source, Mixtape Magazine, Ozone Magazine, Down Magazine, and graced the front page of her hometown papers numerous times. Chela has worked alongside revolutionary MC Immortal Technique as his DJ, and has opened up for such artists as Remy Martin, Rah Digga, Talib Kweli, dead prez, Saigon, and KRS ONE, also sharing the turntables with legends Luv Bug Starski, DJ Showtime, DJ Envy, and many others.
Beyond the realm of DJing, Chela is also a singer/songwriter, visual artist, Reiki master and aspiring fashion designer, possessing an artillery of hidden talents she promises the world will bear witness to in time. With a style and charisma that rivals her DJ skills, backed with a passionate commitment to social justice, Chela is emerging as an unstoppable young star with authenticity, originality and depth. In 2006 and beyond, as she continues to drop mixtapes, travel, perform and speak, the New Girl Order is on its way.
What others are saying about DJ Chela:
“Chela is a true conduit of information and definitely a stop on the Underground Railroad.”
– M1 of dead prez
“Chela is as essential to Hip Hop’s Political scene as some of the dope records she spins that are found in her crates. Chela redefines beef by not battling other emcees and deejays, but instead she stays bringing crazy heat to this oppressive system.”
– Davey D, www.daveyd.com
“Chela is the hottest female DJ in the country.”
“When I heard her muppet/chop combos, I knew Chela was no joke.”
– DJ Soundmachine