Her name is Daphne Cloud but most know her as “DJ Unity”, a self-driven and well grounded humanitarian. With an appreciation of all genres of music and a keen ear for creative and innovative styles, DJ Unity believes that there is something to be said about the history of music. With inspiration from God and the support of loving parents she was able to pursue her passion for music. She gained extensive experience in the music marketing process from creation of viable products to marketing strategies and implementation. Next, she took advantage of learning video production from a major record label where she worked with several top names in the industry. And from all of that has blossomed a young woman looking to take control of her future by becoming a self-made entrepreneur in the one field she loved most…music. She has multiple budding businesses as well as her own radio show on the web that features the best in today and yesterday’s R&B, Hip Hop and Jazz. And most importantly, she supports and promotes unsigned talent on her show. So for those of you that are looking to be heard, it’s time for you to, “Unite with DJ Unity!”
Welcome DJ Unity and thank you for giving us your time.
DJU - You’re very welcome, thanks for having me!!
Give our readers some insight into how you came up. Where do you call home?
DJU - Wow, I came up n the hood ~LOL!!! Well, let me be honest because this is where my love for music began. I’ma 70’s kid… When Soul Train was born, so was DJ Unity. The first 10 years of my life I grew up in South Central LA, which for me, is where I learned my street smarts, n’ how to be a survivor! From South Central I moved to Pasadena, California… Pasadena is where I call “Home” because I became more grounded. I come from a Single family home, n’ was raised by the strongest woman I know… My mom!!! Watching her do her thing, made me want to do my thing that much harder. But both of my parents gave me the knowledge of music.
How did you get the name DJ Unity?
DJU - The name DJ Unity was inspired by the meaning of Unity itself. Positively speaking, as a people, we are all a unit to this world, and can make a difference in this world, and in our communities. Musically speaking when I’m on the air, I try to keep the notion of one people, one mind, one voice, one music. No matter what genre… That’s me, Unity!!!
Where did your love for music originate?
DJU - My love for music originated from those parties my mom n’ dad used to throw n’ the 70’s. You know, those parties that “us” kids had to go into the back and play, cause it’s “Grown Folks” time!! (LOL) I was that kid that needed “water” or had to go the “bathroom,” so I could see how the grown folks was getting’ they groove on. I always got my way with at least one dance at the party. My love for music originated also from the church. I sang in the choir, n’ have a testimony about being a self-taught drum player. Yes, I play the drums. I haven’t played n’ awhile, but the passion is still there.
And was it that love for music the reason you pursued a career in the music industry?
DJU - Most definitely!!!
Your resume is very impressive. Share with our readers the stops you have made along the way that propelled you to where you are today.
DJU - Life!!! My husband, my kids, my family... the passion of music, I love music!! I love what I do! If we don’t love what we do, how can we possibly be happy in life? And that’s with anything. We only get one shot at this thing we call life. I believe we should live life to the fullest, and I’m doing just that!!!
Were there any obstacles you had to over come being a woman in the industry?
DJU - Yes there were n’ still are obstacles that I have to endure being in the music industry, even now. Someone once told me, that I have two things against me… one was, that I’m a woman, the second being I’m a “black woman.” You gotta have thick skin in this business!!! Fortunately, women now are being recognized for our talent, ambitions, and knowledge. For instance, leading ladies like Debra L. Lee President and Chief Operating Officer of BET. Sylvia Rhone, President of Motown Records, as well as the Executive Vice President of Universal Records, and Queen Latifah, who has paved the way in all areas of entertainment. All of these women have proven that with determination and perseverance the playing field can be leveled.
What would you change about the industry if you were given the opportunity to do so?
DJU - I would try to bring back the feeling of music. If given the opportunity, I would definitely take it back to being more original. Originality was the foundation of the history of music. I’m not saying that what the music industry is now is not original to a certain degree… But think about it? Can we honestly say, that some of the music that’s out today, will be remembered like the music of yesterday? Music should be timeless!!!
Tell me about your good friend, mentor and “The Emperor of all videos” Jeff Panzer and what he has meant to your career.
DJU - Jeff Panzer gave me a chance!!! He noticed me in a room full of people, and out of all those people he called me out on a question. And at the time, I thought to myself… Why did this man pick me??? But, I’m glad he did, because by answering that question, gave me a boost in my confidence!! By answering that question, placed me in a position where I wanted to be… In the music industry, working with the best commissioner in the music business!! He taught me all I needed to know about video production.
Give me a few names of the artists that you have worked on their music video.
DJU - Some of the artist that I have had the pleasure of working with were Sean Paul, Juvenile, Heavy D, Lil’ Kim and Brian Mc Knight… just to name a few.
What was it like working with these artists…and be honest.
DJU - Working with Heavy D was cool, he’s way down to earth, loves good food… He was just real!! Each job was different, n’ lot’s of work n’ straight business!!!
Now that we have laid the foundation, we can find out more about DJ Unity the entrepreneur. Tell me what Unitymusik Productions is all about.
DJU - Unitymusik Productions is about the Independent Artist!! Artist that are not heard on the mainstream, but are apart of the stream. Unitymusik Productions is a vehicle for the independent artist, a poet, a comedian, a dancer. Trying’ to be heard, listened too!!!!
Next is Organic Enterprises, Inc., give us the 411.
DJU - Organic Enterprises Inc. is a business that is still growing right now. Organic Soul Enterprises is in the beginning phases, we have a lot of project that are in the works, and I really don’t want to tell all… But, I can let you know, that some of the projects are unique concepts that are very catchy. I will definitely keep you updated.
You are also a producer/on-air personality on KCLAFM.com which airs your very own live show called “Organic Soul”. Talk to me about your show and when the readers can catch it.
How did you get the gig?
DJU - I auditioned for a company called American Radio Network here in California, and the rest is history.
How long has your show been on air and what has the response been like?
DJU - The show has been on the air for seven years with a lot of positive feed back. I have to say that I’ve really seen an increase in listeners due to Myspace. It has helped with the promotion of Organic Soul to reach all around the world.
Now, as if all of that isn’t enough, there’s one more endeavor you must touch on. I understand that you have a mobile DJ service too. You really put the “H” in Hustler. Let the readers know more about it.
DJU - The Mobile DJ Service is the base of Unity Musik Productions. I do lot’s of wedding receptions, clubs, backyard boogies, special events…. There’s nothing like having to do music spontaneously with a live crowd. It’s a challenge that I really thrive on.
Have you rocked the house for any high profile clients?
DJU - No, not yet… but I’m working on it!! All of the clients that I work for are high profile. They might not be your household star names, but they are definitely high profile in my eyes.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to tell the ladies about the hair care products you distribute.
DJU - Well you know I gotta represent us ladies, I’m really big on my hair. I always have been since I could remember. I’ve been fortunate enough to come in contact with a local company based here in Los Angeles, called Vonte. I’ve really had some success with their product. Vonte is a product that has taken the essence of hair, to a higher level. Check it out at www.vonteproducts.com and see what you think.
Now with such a busy schedule, how does DJ Unity like to unwind?
DJU - A Bubble Bath surrounded by candlelight, with comfortable music and a Dirty Martini. (Smile)
What has been the high point of your career thus far?
DJU - I’m just happy to have the chance to do what I do… That’s high enough for me!!!
What was the low point?
DJU - If you think low, you’ll be low… I’m not trying to go low!!! It’s mind over matter baby!!! If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, you pick up and start again… Keep it pushin’!!
Are there any hobbies you enjoy?
DJU - From the looks of It, my life is a living hobby.
I know you love all genres of music but give me your Top 5 list that you enjoy grooving to.
DJU - Wow… I love old school music in a major way!!! Lately I’ve been listening to Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, R. Kelly, and Liv Warfield.
What advice would you give to our readers that may want to follow in your footsteps?
DJU - Put GOD first, follow your heart, and be you.
Is there anything that we left out that you would like to add at this time?
DJU - I think you’ve highlighted everything. ;)
Do you have a Myspace address for our readers to hit you up at?
DJU – Yes, they can reach me at www.myspace.com/bombqueen
It has been a pleasure interviewing you. You are a dynamic woman that can serve as a positive role model for women and men of all ages. We love what you stand for because we stand for the same thing which is giving up-and-coming talent a voice. I wish you nothing but success in the future and let’s keep supporting unsigned talent everywhere. Do you have any final words for our readers?
DJU - Thank you, it was my pleasure!! “Plan your work, and work your plan.” God Bless!!
Special thanks to photographer Paul Gregory for providing his fine work to us for this article. Make sure you check out more of his works at paulgregoryphotography.com if you are REALLY looking to get your portfolio done by a true professional.