Return to site

Ep. 31: DJ Jolene Crafts Her Dream Career By Making People Dance

"When I started out, I tried to deny my female side a lot. I was trying to run with the boys too much and I wish that I would have really celebrated and advertised my femaleness being a plus rather than a minus early on in my career."

In this episode, DJ Jolene shares her fascinating life story and career. From a religious upbringing in which her school forbid dancing, to studying religion and philosophy at Oxford, to embracing her true passion -- making people dance -- Jolene's path will inspire you to do what you love.

We talk with Jolene on her interesting career path, quitting her job to follow her dream, dealing with gender bias and ageism, balancing career and motherhood, and more!

"I reached a point in my career where I knew that if I were to get promoted, I would never do what I really wanted to do in life and that really scared me...I knew I had to do it. It was kind of a now or never moment...this life can be quite short sometimes, so you have to follow your passions now in the moment instead of waiting."

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Jolene is the founder of a house channel for an internet radio station.
  • She also teaches at New York's Scratch DJ Academy.
  • Jolene was brought up in a very religious family where dancing was forbidden at school.
  • Jolene went in the opposite direction and fell in love with music.
  • She completed a degree in religion and philosophy at Oxford, UK.
  • While at college Jolene fell in love with DJ-ing.
  • When Jolene moved to New York she started a job in fashion.
  • She quit her job and jumped into DJ-ing full time.
  • Jolene supplemented her income by teaching at Scratch.
  • Jolene has a podcast where she releases uninterrupted tracks themed by music.
  • Her career highlight so far has been a gig in Tahiti where no one spoke English so they had to communicate through the music.
  • Scratch DJ Academy was launched by a DJ from Run DMC who specialized in hip-hop, so Jolene guest teaches in house music.
  • Jolene works on her music while her children are at school.
  • Jolene won’t play music that’s derogatory towards women.


  • Just jump in.
  • It’s good to show your kids that it’s possible to follow your dreams.
  • Get the girls on the dance floor to get the men to dance.
  • To be a female DJ you have to convince people that you’re skilled and not just a DJ who looks good.

Learn more:

  • Jolene's Podcast - Colour Splash Mixes - iTunes or Mixcloud