There are titles people earn such as “multi-talented” and “triple-threat performer,” but exactly would you call a girl who is: a DJ, film producer, dancer, choreographer, model, management consultant and so much more? We’d like to call her “one who must not sleep!”
Jessica Dhillon is easily one of the hardest working young talents in the entertainment industry. She has international fame with a huge support from Canada, India and the US, and her horizons only seem to broaden more and more each day. Her roots lay in the Lower Mainland as she calls Surrey, BC her home. Her great charisma and immense talent is not to overshadow one of her greatest qualities: her amazing personality. Jessica or “DJ Goddess” is the epitome of a humble, kind and genuinely caring role model for her peers and young women around the world. She stands for women empowerment, increasing the public’s self-esteem, providing music as an outlet and so much more.
DJ Goddess has a “hollywood fairy tale” type story about being passionate about the entertainment industry from since before she knew how to read! Her journey getting there, however, is nothing close to ordinary. Learn about the girl who has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, is the founder of the female empowerment organization “Crown That Goddess” and taking the entertainment industry by full force—and looking like a goddess doing it!
You started in the entertainment industry quite young but you also did decide to complete a Biology Degree with a major in Business. Is this industry something you’ve always wanted to do or did the idea come later in life?
I would say I was in university when I decided to take on the industry at full force so in that sense, yes, I decided it later in life. However, from as far back as I can remember, I have always been into the arts: from the moment I was walking I was dancing as well! I was probably around four years old when that passion came to light. So I always had that artsy side to me like especially when it came to dance. From there, I went on to acting the second year of university. It’s interesting though because I did it because I felt I was very introverted. I was very studious throughout high school and university and I was very shy (despite I guess what people would think today)! People think I am extroverted and outgoing now but I wasn’t always that way. I was very, very shy and timid—unless it came down to dancing and that was the one expression I could do publicly and do with confidence. So with acting, that was during my second year of university, and I decided to pursue it after university. So I was studying as if I was going to med school and then after university I decided to pursue acting because I fell in love with the challenge of it. From acting I went into production, then after production I went into film production, and then from film production I went into DJ’ing. So it kind of flowed. I never ever expected myself ever to be a DJ. If you had asked me in first or second year university, I would have confidently said I am becoming a doctor or getting my PhD of some sort! So it’s not something I expected myself to do but when I decided it, I took it on with full force and, well, here I am today!
What is the toughest job out of the four: DJ, film producer, choreographer or model?
With the modelling, it sort of comes with the territory because I am doing interviews and that sort of thing, so pictures have to be taken. Modelling is very fun for me and I would say that aspect of my career came about because I am a DJ or film producer. I wouldn’t consider myself a professional model by any means but I do definitely enjoy doing it.
With choreography, I have been dancing for so long that it is something that comes more naturally to me. So I would say that it’s easier because I have been dancing from such a young age and Bollywood is becoming such a trend recently and I have been dancing Bollywood all my life.
So to answer your question, I would say being a DJ and film producer are equivalent in how tough they are and the reason being that the entertainment industry is definitely a tough industry to try and get into and it being male dominated which makes it a lot tougher.
What made you want to start DJ’ing?
I worked for Hollywood Special Effects Studio (physical effects for Hollywood films) called Kerner Studios for about four or five years which was based in San Francisco. I started off as an intern and then became a production associate. From there I became a producer and then I was a management consultant between Hollywood and Bollywood. So I definitely worked my way up in that regard and learned so much on set at this studio. Because of the nature of the industry, I had little bit of downtime and had many hours to myself. I didn’t have too many friends so I wouldn’t go out on the weekends but I had one DJ friend who I spent time with. I would basically hover over him and then decided I wanted to learn his craft. I came back home to Vancouver and learned how to spin from another female DJ named Lisa Deluxe and fell in love with it ever since.
It’s rare to see a female DJ especially within the Indo-Canadian community. What are your thoughts on the male-dominated DJ industry?
I think I may be the one other Indian female DJ in Vancouver at the moment but like other than that I definitely agree that the industry is very male-dominated. I am friends with a lot of them which is really nice and they’re so supportive but then I think you get the odd end where it is tough to be female because I think you are judged on the stereotype of being a female DJ. You get people assuming you make it based on looks, or things to that effect which are simply untrue. If you’re female DJ you almost need to work twice as hard on your skill set to prove yourself as a female DJ. It is going to be a constant struggle to always have to prove myself until you gain that respect from fellow DJs. It’s a challenge I’m willing to take because women have so much to offer the DJ’ing the world.
I spun for Ginger 62 quite a bit; it was one of my playgrounds. I spun with DJ Reminisce and DJ Legit and they are two male DJs that honestly have been so supportive during my time at Ginger 62. They saw me grow and encouraged me on my endeavors to going international. I still have the support of some key people who made the transition a lot smoother.
What two personality traits do you think best prepares you for this industry?
Ambition: you need to be super ambitious to make it in this industry, you need to believe in yourself and you need to really push hard. Along with that, I am very driven. You need that driving force to push you forward, executing for what you want to achieve and you need a game plan.
If you had to choose one out of the 4 professions which would it be and why?
If I had to choose, I would say DJ. The reason being that with DJ’ing, you kind of get the best of all the four worlds! I get modelling contracts, or designers will ask me to support their products or outfits through my DJ’ing, and I still get to dance while DJ’ing on location and in terms of film production, there’s always the opportunity to add music videos in there as well and produce them. DJ’ing is such a phenomenal occupation in the sense that I can hone all these skills and experiences from all walks of my life into one avenue.
How did your parents respond to your choice of pursuing a career in these fields?
At first my parents were very weary with my career choice and didn’t think I would stick with my choice of being a DJ. After I got my degree they were like, “okay you can take a year or two years off and explore” and I know a part of them was hoping I would go back and complete med school. But what ended up happening was I decided to stick with my career choice but now they are very supportive of it. They even give me advice from time to time on how to better myself in being a DJ or better film producer! I am very thankful for having such loving and supportive parents behind me.
You have proclaimed yourself as a sort of a “geek” and a “tomboy” when you were younger. In what ways (if any) has that impacted who you are today (as a model, DJ, movie producer, etc.)
I think that it has kept me grounded in a way because you don’t tend to judge people more quickly. I am not so caught up on the superficial aspect of the industry because I have been so nerdy. I know what it feels like to not be like the popular one or to feel so nerdy compared to the rest of the kids, but now I appreciate it so much more. I have that balance that I can be comfortable in sweat pants and I can be comfortable when I am dolled up. I would still say I am a geek and a tomboy; I rock my sneakers with my dresses all the time! (Laughs).
Who do you look up to the most in this industry and why?
It is a family friend of mine, her name is Hannah Simone. She is a dear friend of mine and I really respect and adore her. She deserves so much, worked so hard and she has had the greatest morals and standards a woman can have. She has also done so much charitable work. She is like a big sister to me, I always ask her for advice for whatever it may be. Hannah is like a lifeline so it is really nice to have that. My big sister as well, she is like my manager. It is nice to have two sisters watching over me. I am very blessed.
What advice do you have to young kids who hope to make it in the entertainment industry?
Make sure you persevere: this industry is a tough one and it is full of rejection and the odds of making it in the entertainment industry can seem very low so you need to have a strong sense of self and don’t take no for an answer. If one door closes, find another door, there are always different avenues to still make it.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I started a female empowerment movement called Crown that Goddess. I built it to work on women self-worth and recognize different women. Because I feel like women normally tend to compete against other women. I want to break that barrier, I want women to support other women in the industry and really focus on weaknesses we have such as we don’t pursue the entertainment industry or unconventional careers, built to motivate and help people that want to achieve those dreams. And I have started a Women Entrepreneurial fund through that and I sell goddess bracelets and 10% goes to setting up that Women Entrepreneurial Fund. I want to build a brand that I am hoping in that five years it is even bigger than my brand as DJ Goddess. I wanted to eliminate the cattiness between the females; we need to break those barriers. I believe in collaborating with different artists, which is the only way we are going to advance as women.
The entertainment industry has definitely “Crowned that Goddess” with Jessica Dhillon reigning in all aspects of her career.