DJ COCOA CHANELLE

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DJ COCOA CHANELLE

Ask some industry insiders to name the top 3 most skillful DJ’s on New York radio and it’s guaranteed you will hear praises from many on one particular DJ some call “The Best Kept Secret” DJ Cocoa Chanelle. “She’s the best DJ on New York radio” comments DJ Scratch who is legendary for his showmanship with Jay Z & EPMD.

Cocoa is in her 10th year on New Yorks most popular hip hop radio station HOT 97. In a male dominated field such as hip hop its not easy for women to get respect for their talent from their male peers, “I have great respect for her” brags DJ Clark Kent “i’ve watched Cocoa grow into one of the best all around DJ’s male or female that I’ve ever heard” he adds.

 

“She has a unique style that puts her in a class by herself.” Comments Grammy award winner Rocwilder.

  Cocoa is considered to be what many call a “Triple Threat” she’s not only praised for her skills as a Dj, Lately it seems she is a Jack of all trades. Those who are aware of her other talents equally praise her as a Producer and Lyricist, some even predict her to be the future “female version of Dr Dre”.

First introduce to Djing at a young age by her brother, Andre. “Believe it or not I was a MC entering local talent shows & battles before i was a DJ” explains Cocoa. “I started as a MC and became a DJ later” she explains “my brother use to rap and dj, I wanted to do everything he did. He got me in this game, he was shot and killed 3 months before I got on HOT 97” Cocoa is no stranger to adversity being born in Brooklyn, orphaned at a young age and raised by her grandmother in Bluefield West Virginia. “when I tell people I lived in bluefield W.Va they usually laugh or say huh? Where’s that?” she explains (laughing). “It’s a small town most people never heard of where you couldn’t hear hip hop or r&b on the radio but that’s where it started for me. I used to practice for hours in the basement, my grandmother called it The dungeon…I was a hip hop fanatic,”I was the kid in class making beats on my books instead of reading them” she’s confesses (smiling).

Perhaps Cocoa is best recognized for the 6 years she spent as B.E.T’s first ever resident Dj. She was hired to spin weekly on the teen talk show Teen Summit. “they was lookin for a dj so I went to DC and auditioned for it, that was a turning point for my career, it led to other opportunities.” In fact it was TV exposure that gave her the chance to be a guest DJ several times on HOT 97’s morning show.

Ed Lover who at that time was the shows host was so impressed with Cocoa’s skills he recommended her to the stationsprogram director and as a result, the morning show producer created the idea for Ladies Night which consisted of Angie Martinez, Jazzy Joyce & Cocoa.

She Continues to open doors and break down barriers, being the first female ever to land a feature DJ spot on MTV’s highest rated show spring break, which resulted in a return invitation from MTV to appear in several of their specialty shows. She also made several guest appearances on B.E.T’s rap City.     

IShe proudly notes being listed in Vibe magazine as one of the top 17 dj’s in the country and recently mentioned in the Source Magazine as being one of the producers to watch for. Recently Cocoa was honored at the industry’s biggest event for Radio Mixshow DJ’s “Mixshow Power Summit” conference. She received the award for Best female mixshow DJ of the year.

When asked what’s the next career move “production & making records” she explains. “she’s more than just a DJ she’s a producer and a smart business woman” says SRC/Universal executive Tye Dash. Cocoa is the CEO of her own production company called 5th House Entertainment. She first gained attention producing a remix for 50 Cent “In Da Club” although unofficial, her remix gained an impressive amount of radio adds across the country. “back then I gave 50 a beat CD when he was working on his first album, he picked a track from me, nothing ever came of it but I know him and Sha Money was feeling my beats” she adds. “she has a serious future as a producer. Her drums have a lot of feelin… s**t made me go home and make a beat” says Tone of Track Masters after Cocoa came to Sony studio’s one night to play beats for Universal recording artist Red Café. Her production really started raising eyebrows when she began doing production for one of the Hottest rap camps in New York D-Block.

First working with sheek louch to produce the 1st single off his solo album entitled OK and tracks on his 2nd LP as well, then going on to work with group member Styles P on his sophmore album “Time is money” “being a female producer and getting respect is not easy, doing tracks for D-block gave my production more credibility on a street level”. Cocoa then went on to produce the 1st official Single for Alantic Records recording artist Saigon. “he’s one of the Most anticipated new artist coming out of New York, it’s a good look to get his 1st single” says cocoa. Things went a step further when mixtapes featuring Cocoa dropping verses alongside of D-Block came out, surprising Those who didn’t know she was a MC.

She then teamed up with The Brat and lil Mo to do the All Female remix to Ghostface “back Like That” “we came at the dudes kind of hard on that one” she says laughing “my verse was a true story, it was like therapy for me when I layed it down” she says. “the rapping version of Mary J Belige” is how TVT’s director of A&R James Eichelberger describes Cocoa. Production is a Male dominated field. “I had to prove myself as a DJ, it’s no different with production, I have to prove to people I can actually make beats and produce” I do pre-production in my house, I have a Mac G5 wih dual screens , G4 laptop, protools digi 002, MPC 2000, triton, Avalon pre-amp, Neumann mic & 2 turn tables, im very serious about it.” and a few other toys She explains. The future is never certain, but it’s my guess that “The Best kept Secret” is about to be revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

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