“In every single situation, I’d get my hopes up and things would seem to be heading somewhere and then it would suddenly fall apart because of one reason or another which was a really harsh reality to accept”. – Jodie Weston (DJ & Radio Presenter)
Jodie Weston has wanted to be a performer as far back as she can remember. Openly admitting that she wasn’t sure where to begin when she first set out to being a DJ superstar. She highlights how with no access to family or friends’ connections, she grafted and persevered through hundreds of auditions to simply get a foot on the very bottom of the ladder. Her story begins when she moved to London from the Midlands in 2010. Her mission to be either a performer or model, and very quickly the realization set in of hard she would need to fight for her dream.
Having featured on a couple of heavy tech house songs within the first couple years of living in London, Jodie took the step to make a few demo tracks herself, which she sent off to various management companies. “I auditioned for girl groups; was in one for a short period of time and had a few different music managers who promised me the world but nothing ever came of it”. Following a break during which time she launched her first business, Weston felt there was something always missing , and in early 2014 took the decision to transition into reality TV. In doing so, this allowed the artist to redirect her attention back to music which she has been engaged with constantly for the past three years. Her music defined as a fusion of future house, deep and minimal genres.
Give A Little Love
Weston is particularly proud of her new song “Give A Little Love” which is due for release following the end of lockdown. What makes these lyrics so special to the artist is the catchy lyrics and strong presence of a deep house beat. “I know if everything reopens next year, it will definitely get people up on their feet and dancing around!” Weston is keen to take people on a musical journey through her music. With specific reference to listeners feeling every emotion possible [happy, reflective, excitement, energized, hyper] over a 1 – 2 hour live set piece.
“I like to take people on a musical journey, I want everyone who listens to my DJ sets on radio or in a club, to feel every emotion possible throughout the 1-2 hours I’m live. Whether that be happy, reflective, excited, energetic or hyper“. Weston’s explains how her inspiration is very much instilled within her DNA, with special mention to her parents who showed her the value of hard graft, and the rewards that circle back round.
Weston explains how she has always been the underdog and the dark horse. She points to the very fact of being written off a lot throughout her life going all the way back to school days, has left her with an inner hunger to prove people wrong and a determination to have the last laugh! “One of my main motivations to reach the stars is that I want to be the ultimate Phoenix who always rises from the ashes no matter what obstacle I am faced with”. She highlights her resilience and the importance of turning every bad experience into a positive learning curve.
The artist opens up about suffering from bad anxiety since the age of 14. It just came over me all of a sudden one summer and it took me years and years to get to the bottom of what was wrong with me. Having found herself transition from a carefree tomboy who could happily stand on a stage in front of hundreds of people for school events, to a shadow of her former self who couldn’t face any kind of public speaking. She explains how it has taken a long time to get all of her anxieties and fears under control. Pointing to her resilience and viewing everything as a challenge and not a road block which has helped see her through.
Social Media – The Juggernaut
Social media has been vital with breaking into the industry, Weston explains. Instagram has enabled the artist to keep momentum and build interest, non more so than in the downtime where you haven’t got many gigs or appearances (such as during the pandemic). Weston highlights throughout lockdown how the only opportunities she has kept up have all come through her Instagram DM. “Having a great profile helps you connect and collaborate with similar brands. One of my recent song collabs came purely from the producers seeing my profile and wanting to get involved”. She recommends keeping your Instagram/Tik Tok/Facebook Page looking tip top as the DJ believes this is medium which people in this day and age will initially go to. “If your profile looks sloppy or that not much effort has been put in then people may prejudge you for that, and at the same time if your pages look sleek and sharp with great quality images or videos, it will leave a lasting impression on the viewer!”
Weston points out the importance of meeting your peers and producers; who are on the same page as you when developing your sound. She explains how the process itself took years as you will find yourself meeting plenty of “dream sellers”. Noting how if you don’t come from a music background or a music course at university, it’s very difficult to initially find your equals! Thus the importance of utilizing your network and all the people you’ve met along the way, as when your course is finished, Weston points out that you are all going to be in the same boat. Herein lies the importance of collaborating and making the most of each other’s talents! Weston highlights how there are lots of uncertainties that come with exploring working within the music industry, humbly noting the fact that for those finding their feet, there is not really such a thing as a steady job in the perseverence of your dream.
“You have to constantly be on the hunt for your next gig or opportunity, which for me is exciting and keeps things fresh but it can of course put a huge amount of pressure on you, so it may be a good idea to have a part time job as well, which gives you a stream of steady income and also enough time on your hands to go to auditions and work on your music”.
Weston recommends going to smaller auditions to build your confidence and experience. To then aim for the bigger auditions with management companies, record labels etc. “You only have one shot to impress people and don’t want to burn through your connections too early in your career!”
Weston’s biggest challenge to date has been sifting through the dream sellers and ignoring the “dream crushers”! She highlights how the music/entertainment industry is full of people who will promise you the moon, the stars and everything in between and you end up totally disheartened or just a number in a very long queue of aspiring performers or media personalities! Her advice is that no one will ever go as hard for you as you will for yourself, so keep that in mind! To remember that you are your own biggest fan and you need to be because if you don’t believe in yourself or aren’t willing to put the effort into your own career then no one else will do that for you!
Currently, Jodie Weston is very involved in updating her DJ mixes on her website www.jodieweston.com , in addition to hosting her radio show every Monday 12-2pm on FlexFM (101.4FM for Londoners). Also available at flexfm.co.uk or via the TuneIn App.