Since opening its doors to the public for the first time in 2007, Woei has left its mark on the international sneaker and streetwear community with several collaborations including Asics, Patta, and Stüssy along the way.
But the interests and passions of the Woei crew reach far beyond just shoes and apparel. Besides providing the streets with the latest from Nike, Adidas, and Co., music has always been at the heart of the store. Considering the highly curated playlists and mixes that can be heard in the store and hosting some of Rotterdam's most notorious parties, the belief that music unites is deeply ingrained in the Woei DNA.
Based on this deep connection, we want to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite local musicians to talk about what sparked their passion for music and hear their take on common dilemmas in the music industry.
For WOEI FM episode #23, we caught up with Ezri Jade to talk about her early music influences, favorite areas in Rotterdam, and of course, her start as a DJ.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am Ezri Jade, 26 years old. I work in Social Design, but I'm mainly busy with music. I’ve got a podcast on the side, as well. I wouldn’t say I’m from Rotterdam, but I certainly did grow up here and it’s shaped me into who I am today.
How did you come up with your DJ name?
My DJ name ‘Ezri Jade’ is my actual name. My second name, Jade, stands for the actual mineral/gemstone. Everything about my DJ career so far has progressed pretty naturally, so I also wanted to stay true to that and use my own name as my DJ name.
What do you spin, exactly?
I spin a lot of electronic music with heavy bass and African and Portuguese influences. I've gone through a lot of different genres over the past few periods, and I've tried everything. Now I’m content with the music I spin, that resulted from this experimental time.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
There are two things that I try to do every day: I like to start my day with Yoga and end the day by reflecting on the highlights of that particular day. What happens between these two plans always differs, but I do spend a lot of time in the studio, working on music.
Where are we currently, and what does this spot mean to you?
We are now at the Kralingse Plas, where my old high school’s location is close-by. Back then when it was warm outside, I would go here after school, and it still has a place in my heart. When the weather is warmer, I still like to come here from time to time.
"Everything about my DJ career so far has progressed pretty naturally, so I also wanted to stay true to that and use my own name as my DJ name"
What does Rotterdam, as a city, mean to you?
Everyone in Rotterdam is themselves. Returning here gives me that "coming home" feeling. It has this raw coolness to it.
What are your favorite spots in Rotterdam?
COCO on the Hoogstraat was where I really enjoyed eating but unfortunately, they’ve closed their doors. Some areas that are close to my heart are Westblaak and West-Kruiskade. These are both places where I spent a lot of time growing up and still love, despite the many changes over the past decades.
West-Kruiskade in particular is still one of the most special, dynamic, and culturally-dense places in Rotterdam! From the hair shops to being home to some of my favorite places to grab a bite, like De Kade and Set.
When did you realize music was going to be a big part of your life?
That came very naturally. At home, there was always music playing, in different genres as well. It went from Nirvana to Lauryn Hill, you’d hear everything. You can say I’ve been exposed to a lot of music from a very young age.
How did you decide that you wanted to become a DJ, and for how long have you been one?
My partner, who is also a DJ, told me that I'm so much into music that it’s only natural that I would learn how to spin. And I thought to myself, why not? It was during Covid-19 when I started, and then started working towards a goal, which was spinning on my own birthday! From that moment onwards, my DJ’ing has been developing more and more.
What was your first performance? And how was it?
‘Concentric Circles’ at Operator Radio was my first real performance. I was very nervous because it was also the day before I was going to move to Amsterdam, but I really liked it because it didn't have the same pressure as a festival. I could very much do my own thing at that moment.
Digital or Vinyl?
Is there something weird that happened while you were spinning?
Nothing weird has happened so far while I was spinning. There was this one thing that happened when I was at a big illegal party myself. I was dancing and then ended up hitting my foot against the electrical socket, which caused everything to power off. No one has ever known this, ‘till now!
How do you select your music for upcoming events or mixes?
My library is very broad because I spin at many different events. I mostly select music based on where I’ll be spinning, and what kind of vibe I want to create. I like listening to music pretty much all day long and am always looking for songs to use.
Do you have certain routines you follow that you’ve taught yourself before spinning?
When I spin, I always carry a crystal with me. Usually a Rose Quartz and Citrine. I like to take incense with me occasionally, as well.
Club nights or Festivals?
Festivals, because people really do their absolute best. They are always in the mood, and their outfits are on point. Club nights are always there, and always will be.
At which Club/event would you like to spin?
I would like to spin at Nyege Nyege Festival in Uganda. I have already spun at the edition in Amsterdam, but the edition in Uganda is the dream.
In which city would you still like to spin?
Lisbon, this city has a lot of influence on my sets.
"At home, there was always music playing, in different genres as well. It went from Nirvana to Lauryn Hill, you’d hear everything. "
Do you currently have a favorite song you’d like to share with the audience?
When You Feel Lonely – Mavado.
This song is in my head all day every day. And it's my go-to yell-along in the car song right now. Romantic and slow dancehall never goes out of fashion in my world.
Opening or Closing set?
Closing set. Everyone is already in the vibe. If you’re at a good party, it’s nice to be able to end on a good note!
Is there something on your planning you want/can share?
Friday, 2nd of December I’ll be at Parallel Ondrogron together on the lineup with DJ Assault, I’m very excited about that. Then immediately the Saturday after that I'm at Cloud 8. I can't wait to spin at both of these.
What are your top 3 parties of all time?
1. Moonshine, Lisbon. a personal life-changer.
2. CHIPS in BAR. I used to go there every Thursday, and it really had an impact on me.
3. Nyege Nyege Festival, Amsterdam. That was the best party I've been to in Amsterdam.
What can we expect from your set at Operator?
I am going to stay close to myself, so probably electronic. And of course, root influences.
Any last words?
What you focus on grows, always!