When Jenny Kaminski, a.k.a. DJ J'Adore, learned she was on the Decadence NYE lineup, she couldn't contain her excitement. "Even though my name was so tiny at the very bottom, I couldn't believe it," she said. "It's my biggest gig to date for sure, hands down." Still, performing is only one part of J'Adore's young musical career -- she and her husband, DJ Walt White, own Global DJ Academy, where she teaches students from five year old beginners to established musicians honing their skills.
Kaminski keeps busy. She is the owner and creator of Tease dance studio next door to the DJ academy. And at home, the couple has a three year old. "I bring green tea to my DJ gigs," she says. "We may have more responsibilities than some DJs, but it's our life and we love living it like we are."
Kaminski became serious with her musical career less than a year ago, two years after she had her son. A few years before that she met White at a dance club and started her journey learning they way around the decks, which had been a lifelong dream of hers.
"I was ballet dancer growing up and just always around music. I remember DJing at first appealing to me when I was in my early 20s. It's forever been a goal on my mind," she says. "Walt is an amazing DJ, and I would go with him to different gigs. For a while I was just in awe, and loved watching it. And then, he started teaching me, and I just fell in love with it as an art form."
Kaminski's preferred way to play her gigs is with turn tables, because being confident with any equipment in front of her creates a sense of confidence in a field still dominated by men. "That was a big inspiration for me to learn on turn tables because I did feel a little judged and wanted to prove it wrong, so I let it fuel me more than anything," she says.
She was one of only two female DJs on the Decadence roster of over 60-artists. But that didn't phase her, and in most situations, it fuels her. "I normally don't even pay attention to it, I just go with what I feel, and I love listening to females play. I feel like they bring a really unique outlook and sound into the world of DJing, and so I hope that I do that too. But for me, it's all about connecting with my fans."
She started a series of female-only DJ shows, called the Femme Sessions. She also releases a weekly podcast, under the same name, which can be found here. Kaminski's mixes are versatile and always changing with different levels of influences from jazz to trap and house to hip-hop. "Dance has always been in my blood," she says. "And I try to incorporate dance principles into my DJ sets," which is why she is able to read the crowd well, she explains. During her Decadence set at the EDM.com Silent Disco fans would either have their headphones on her channel, or on the channel of the DJ next to her, which were different colors. When her fans changed their headset, she was able to change her set to fit the mood of the room. "I didn't know what to expect, I knew it was be in a big room with someone else so I didn't know if i was going to be able to block it out and focus, or how i was going to connect with the fans. But overall it went great!"
Her dance studio was her first experience of creating her own brand, and soon after, she built the DJ brand, changing her stage name from Jenny to J'Adore. "To the French, 'J'adore' means to adore or to love something," she says.
Kaminski contributes much of her early success to building up that personal brand, a lesson she learned from her early dance studio days. J'Adore's future is all about growing personally, professionally, and mostly as a mother. "The thing I love about being in this industry is it really gives me the flexibility to be with my child. I wouldn't want to give that up," she says. "My three year old will play around with the DJ sets and he kind of has a feel for it already, so I hope he grows up and loves it, and if not, that's okay, he will love something else."
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
- 50 Photos That Prove Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet
- Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver
- The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock
- 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.