DJ Chelsea Leyland
DJ Chelsea Leyland
DJ Chelsea Leyland
DJ Chelsea Leyland
DJ Chelsea Leyland
DJ Chelsea Leyland
DJ Chelsea Leyland

Features

ELECTRIC LEYLAND

A Conversation with DJ Chelsea Leyland

By Tyler Malone

October 2011

DJ Chelsea Leyland has taken the fashion industry by storm. She’s the new “it” DJ at the hottest fashion events around town. It would be easy to just chalk up her success to her stunning good looks. She’s beautiful–a natural yet chic beauty who has girls throughout the city already trying to emulate her style.

But she’s not just a pretty face. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but a great DJ is judged on more than just their looks, a DJ has to wow us aurally. What’s a pretty face gonna do for you behind some turntables if the music they’re playing sucks?

DJ Chelsea Leyland provides aural pleasure in droves, which is why just about everybody involved in last month’s Fashion Week was knocking at her door, begging her to spin at their show/party/event.

I caught up with the lovely Miss Chelsea Leyland just after she finished the craziness that was Fashion Week.

Tyler Malone: When did you realize that you wanted to be a DJ and how did your career come about?

Chelsea Leyland: I kind of fell into DJing as I was recommending a friend of mine who was a female DJ to people I knew in the fashion world and then one day I thought maybe I should be doing this. One of my best friends who worked in fashion kept telling me to learn so that she could start hiring me…so I did.

TM: And now everyone in the fashion industry wants you! What did your Fashion Week looking like? I imagine loaded with interesting events? Is there a specific one that stands out?

CL: Fashion Week was crazy for me. I worked nearly every night. I think the best event had to have been The Lovecat magazine party with Bleach London and Jam sessions in the basement of Milk studios. I loved it because although it was mostly a fashion crowd, it was really all about the music, and a bunch of people coming together to listen to new bands. I also DJed a great event that Ellie Goulding performed at, which was cool, as she’s obviously a fellow Brit with a really unique style and a lot of talent. I also loved DJing with Paper magazine for the Karen Elson event. I’m a big fan of Paper and everything they do .

TM: So you are primarily what is called a “fashion DJ,” and I’m wondering how you see the relationship between fashion and music?

CL: For me fashion and music go hand-in-hand, they are both very much part of the artistic world and obviously with what I do they often need each other to survive. My personal style is also very reflective of my music style.

TM: So, with you fashion and music go hand-in-hand, but on the fashion side of things, I’m curios who are some of your all-time favorite designers?

CL: Katie Gallagher, Charlotte Olympia, Dominique Jones, and Chanel.

TM: And on the music side, who are some of your all-time favorite musicians?

CL: The Clash, Danzig, David Bowie, Slayer, Biggie, Albert King, The Cramps, Iggy Pop, Prince, Elvis, Jimmy Reed, Damien Marley. I could go on and on. There are too many.

TM: And, as opposed to all-time favs, I’m curious who you have currently playing in your ipod?

CL: Right now I am listening to Otis Rush, Garry Clark Jr., She Wants Revenge, and Jay Z and Kanye West’s new album.

TM: Is there one song that you know always kills it?

CL: “Show Me Love” by Robin S.

TM: So true. That is one of my favorites. If you weren’t a DJ, what do you think you’d be?

CL: An actress.

TM: Currently, I’ve heard, you’re going to be featured in a special on MTV, can you tell us a little about what we can expect?

CL: It’s a documentary on three female DJs who all work in different fields. I’m the fashion DJ. Then there is DJ Diamond Kuts who’s an amazing DJ from Philly, she’s Nicki Minaj’s DJ, and she also raps and makes her own music. And the third is DJ Jessica Who who’s a great DJ from Miami. We are all totally different and it will let people see what we are all about.

TM: Can you put in a word with MTV that it needs to go back to playing music videos? On that note, was MTV a bug part of your childhood like it was in mine? Do you have any specific music video memories?

CL: I have already told MTV that! In fact, it was the first thing I mentioned to them when I started working with them. Luckily, the British know that that was one of the best parts of music so we still show music videos on all the channels in the UK. MTV was a huge part of my childhood and I have so many music videos I absolutely love. A few of them that spring to mind are Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In the Name of,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Run DMC’s  “It’s Like That,” Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “I Like Big Buts,” Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.”

TM: Besides your upcoming MTV special, what’s in the future for you?

CL: I want to design my own lingerie, continue with my photography and start doing more acting.

DJ Chelsea Leyland is a DJ who spins at some of the best fashion events in the world.

LINKS:

DJ Chelsea Leyland’s Official Site

DJ Chelsea Leyland interviewed by Tyler Malone

Written and Edited by Tyler Malone

Photography by Hadar Pitchon

Design by Jillian Mercado

Captions:

Cover/Page 1:

DJ Chelsea Leyland, St. Marks Street, New York, NYC, Photography by Hadar Pitchon

Page 2-7:

DJ Chelsea Leyland, St. Marks Street, New York, NYC, Photography by Hadar Pitchon

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