Mississauga’s DJ Rosegold talks touring, djing for Obama, producing & more
Over the past few years, the Canadian music industry has shifted from what most would characterize as a male dominated playing field into a space where we’ve started to witness a consistent rise and dominance of creative women across the entertainment sector.
Women such as WondaGurl, Rookz, JayemKayem, Serious Betty, Erin Ashley and HustleGRL, have positively impacted the tight knit hip-hop community here in the 6ix through their work and in turn have unknowingly opened up doors for other women who can follow their blueprint.
Dahlia Keisha Palmer, who is better known by her stage name DJ Rosegold, has been a consistent force since first emerging in the Toronto hip-hop scene. She’s gone on tour with Grammy-nominated artist Jessie Reyez and Universal Music’s own Savannah Ré, performed with Lil Berete (including a crazy performance at the Calgary Stampede), DJ’d Vancouver’s Winter Breakout Festival, performed on the SoundCloud Stage during Atlanta’s A3C Festival, popped up at SXSW’s Fader Fort, and the list goes on.
“Your network is your net worth. It’s very important to go out, network, make sure you’re meeting new people, make sure you’re building genuine relationships with these people.” – DJ Rosegold
Not to mention that Rosegold has also curated upwards of ten sold out indie events and the Mississauga star recently performed for 44th US President Barack Obama during his sold out speaking engagement at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
When Rosegold isn’t DJing, she’s a Canadian liaison for established artists and has worked with the likes of Jetsonmade, Lil Mosey, Jidenna, Swae Lee, Christian Combs and others.
I caught up with Rosegold to speak about her come up, music, touring and what’s next for this Mississauga powerhouse.
Q&A: DJ Rosegold
HipHopCanada: How did you get introduced to the djing world?
DJ Rosegold: I grew up in a very musical family. I was randomly downloading djing programs on my phone a couple of years ago, one day I was super bored and wanted to do something new. At the time I was in school and I was not having fun in my program, so I decided to go to the store buy some DJ equipment. That’s how my djing career took off.
HipHopCanada: Do you remember the first show you ever booked?
RG: It was actually for my brother Chillaa, the release party for his song “Bad Gal Like RiRi.” It’s funny because he had it at 70 Down, which was a popping club back then, so that’s the first club I’ve ever played at which was a huge deal and that’s when I just started djing.
HipHopCanada: How long did it take you to master it?
RG: To be honest, I don’t think I’ve mastered it because everyday I learn something new. I’d say the first year was still trial and error but I’d say 2018 was when I really got in my bag.
HipHopCanada: What has the come up been like for you so far?
RG: It’s been fun, it’s definitely been tiring because I’m blessed and able to travel a lot but it’s extremely tiring and extremely draining. Especially with the time differences and the actual fact of traveling is that it’s not the funnest thing to do. But other than that it’s been a lot of fun to be able to meet new people, be able to network and try new food, but there is definitely ups and down to it for for sure.
HipHopCanada: What was your most memorable show?
RG: One would definitely be when I went on tour with Jessie Reyez and Savannah Ré. I know it’s not one show and it was a tour but nothing has topped that experience so far. Then my next pick would be Winter Breakout which I just did in Vancouver last month. It was definitely the runner up to the Jessie tour because I was a headlining DJ in a huge stadium full of people.
HipHopCanada: What was it like being on tour with Jessie?
RG: It was honestly really awesome. I was traveling with Savannah Ré because I was her tour DJ. Savannah and Jessie’s teams were so welcoming, so fun and so cool. I had definitely heard tour horror stories and I didn’t have any experiences like that at all. It was just love and positivity the whole time.
HipHopCanada: What was your favourite stop on the tour? What was your favourite city?
RG: Thats a good question. I’m just saying this on a whim without really thinking about it… but the first city that comes to mind is Washington (D.C.). That one was really cool because I got to go to Howard University and check that out, I got to go to the White House and walk around… the food there was really really good and the crowd was sick too. They were an incredible crowd as well.
HipHopCanada: I see that you have your first produced record coming out soon. What was that experience like?
RG: So I produced the track alongside my brother Chillaa. We actually produced it in our basement because we have a studio at our house. We’ve actually have had that track for a couple of months and are looking for cool people to remix the song. It was cool, my brother and I have produced a bunch of beats together but this is the first one we’re putting out together. So it’s cool to be able to do that with my brother.
HipHopCanada: Are there any challenges working with family?
RG: No, to be honest. There’s definitely been times when we don’t agree on what the other person is thinking, saying or wants to do but at the end of the day, it’s very evident that we all want what’s best for each other. It’s been more positivity and collaborations than anything and I don’t have to worry if they are doing things in my best interest or if they’re being selfish. I don’t have those kind of thoughts because they’re my family and I already know they want the best for me, my brother and all of us.
HipHopCanada: What artist has been your favourite in terms of getting in the studio with, being around or djing for?
RG: I’ve been in the studio with a couple of artists but not necessarily working with them but to answer your other side of the question, I would say Savannah Ré. She and I became really good friends on tour and I do have a song that she is on. It hasn’t come out yet but that was another easy experience. She’s very flexible and is very talented, so I’d say Savannah Ré for sure.
HipHopCanada: What was it like djing for Obama?
RG: I’m still processing it to be honest, it hasn’t really hit me that it was Obama. It’s funny because in the last interview I did I said the same thing but a week later it still hasn’t really hit me. It was definitely really fun. I liked that it was a corporate event but I was still able to play my dancehall and my afrobeats. It was also really cool to meet new people because there’s a lot of different corporations there. I also got to invite out my family as well as people from businesses and brands that I want to work with. The entire experience was amazing.
HipHopCanada: How did that opportunity come about?
RG: I was contacted by the economic club of Canada to DJ but on the back end I was referred to them by Rookz Kianna Eastman. She kind of put my name forward. she’s been a huge driving factor in my career as well.
HipHopCanada: That’s dope. Let’s talk about the relationship with her, how did you two meet?
RG: I met Rookz at SXSW in 2018. We knew of each other but that was pretty much it. And without talking about her for an hour I’ll just say, she has just been one of my biggest supporters outside of my family. She’s always looking out for me, any opportunity she gets she automatically tries to bring me on, literally like her sidekick. She’s been so supportive. I’m always able to go to her for advice, she’s been so awesome and such a big help. Definitely like a big sister to me in the industry.
HipHopCanada: One of my last questions for you is, what is one piece of advice that you could give to any upcoming DJs or creatives that will read this interview?
RG: I do say this a lot, and I hate to be repetitive, but the first thing that always comes to my mind is that your network is your net worth. It’s very important to go out, network, make sure you’re meeting new people, and make sure you’re building genuine relationships with these people. Because at the end of the day, as a DJ, yes, you have to be talented but its inevitable that a lot of DJs get booked because of their branding or their social media, or who they know. So it’s very important to be up on the times with that and know that that’s a factor. Even though it’s not always fair, it is definitely a factor. So I would say to go out and network and build relationships with people because it’ll help you go a long way as a DJ.
HipHopCanada: What can the music community here in Canada and abroad expect from you in the near future?
RG: So, without giving away too much… I’ll definitely be expanding my media agency, The House Of Milo, which you can find out more about what we do on our Instagram. We’ll be expanding there and working with more A to B list talent. As a DJ I’ll definitely be doing bigger stages, more festivals in the States and will be doing some more outreach in the community and GTA as well.
HipHopCanada: Any shout outs?
RG: To avoid missing people, I will just say shout out to my family, they’ve been the most awesome set of people that I ever could’ve asked for. Without them my career wouldn’t be anywhere close to where it is today. Also shout out to my best friend, she knows who she is!
You can follow @DJRosegold on Instagram.
Written by Remi Louis Harris for HipHopCanada
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