Born and raised in Las Vegas, Charly Jordan has come full circle as one of the only female DJs to lock down a Las Vegas Residency.
Thanks to her affiliation with Zouk Group Las Vegas, Charly is now opening for major artists such as Tiesto, Zedd, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake, and is set to go on tour with Cheat Codes in 2022.
But her journey to stardom is a far more impressive story.
As many of her followers know, Charly became homeless at a young age after moving away from her hometown and breaking away from her Mormon religion.
At the time, she was ranked #6 in the nation for hurdles with a track scholarship to college but courageously left it behind to pursue her true passions.
With nothing but her cell phone and a car, decided to travel the world and began vlogging her experience. She was finally in the driver's seat of her life.
Fast forward, the 22-year-old is now the CEO and Founder of her two companies, Smoke Roses and Beauty In Pain, as well as a successful model, DJ, and content creator.
With over 12.5 Million Followers across her social media channels, Charly is a resilient, determined, and business-minded creative that is often underestimated.
As for the future, Charly plans to incorporate more of her own singing into her music tracks with new releases coming in early 2022.
We sat down with Charly to discuss her unconventional path to fame, the courage it takes to abandon your community, and how she will continue to push the boundaries of the industry for years to come.
What sets you apart from other female DJs in the entertainment space?
What sets me apart from other female DJs is my ability to mix, which has taken a very long time to learn and master. In the past, many female DJs have played recorded sets or gotten jobs unfairly and for the wrong reasons. It's been a really difficult stigma to break, but that's what my work aims to do! I also sing on my own songs, which is something that differentiates me from most DJs. I'm super excited to showcase this on my new music release next year!
As one of the only female DJs to lock down a Las Vegas Residency, what does it take to be a trailblazer in the industry?
I can definitely say it’s not as easy as it looks. Obviously, the shows are a lot of fun, but there is a lot of politics involved in the music industry. Being professional, being flexible, and working hard consistently is all very important. It’s hyper-competitive out there and keeping that professional attitude, especially in a space that’s dominated by men, is very important.
What prompted your decision to leave the Mormon religion?
It really came down to personal preference. I have no qualms with the church, it just wasn’t for me. I knew I wanted to live a "large life," so being a part of any organized religion was not going to be suitable for my career goals. At the end of the day, I believe that being a good person is the most important thing in this life. Treat others how you want to be treated.
How has leaving your community shaped you into the internet superstar you are today?
As you can imagine, leaving my community was incredibly difficult. The people in the church can be very close-minded, so I essentially had to completely start from scratch with friends and my community. It was really tough, I learned a lot of lessons the hard way since I came from such a sheltered upbringing. But, this tumultuous journey has made me a very good judge of character, because I threw myself into the unknown and was so excited to experience everything. I’m the most confident and happy I’ve ever been in my life, and I probably wouldn't have reached this point if I continued to be blissfully ignorant. Knowledge is power.
Your entire career would be seen as permissive in the Mormon religion. Do you ever feel a disconnect or a moral conflict between your past and present self?
I oftentimes feel like my life currently is a second life compared to what I was raised with. They genuinely feel so drastically different. There is such a big disconnect between my past and current life, but I don't regret any of the decisions I made. I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin, and just understand myself to a level I never thought I would. The disconnect is there, but I’ve been working really hard to combine the two, rather than trying to run from my past. Some strategies I've employed are going to therapy, learning to open back up to people, and surrounding myself with good friends who understand my past and present.
You are one of the first creators to make money on social media. How did your hobby and love for social media transform into a sustainable career?
I feel so lucky to have started in an era of social media that wasn't all about the money. So many people were genuinely creating content simply because they were passionate about it. This was a time before you could make money off of creative platforms since they weren't yet considered to be gateways to real professions. I abandoned a guaranteed life with a full-ride track scholarship to do what I’m doing now, which was a huge gamble. It has been so incredible to see the passions and the goals that I set for myself years ago become a sustainable life, which is now regarded as a more sought-after career. From haters telling me I’m crazy and I’m never going to make it, to my fans now literally begging me to share my secrets, my path to success has been pretty crazy, to say the least.
Your wildly successful companies are built around topics of cleaner smoking, mental, and physical health. How do your brands fight the stigma surrounding these taboos?
My companies, and the message that I’ve chosen to put out through my personal brand, have been those focused on mental health, physical health, and alternative ways to help with anxiety and depression. I believe there are ways to speak about mental illness and “negative” situations in a positive light that’s helpful and beneficial to somebody on the receiving end. There was no angle or with any of this. I genuinely was just sharing my own story, and with that authenticity, came people relating to me and my journey. It’s not uncomfortable for me to talk about these topics, because I've experienced them all firsthand. I want to be an example for people who struggle with mental illness. I am living proof that these challenges don't need to be debilitating, but can actually be motivating and empowering. The products I create are meant to better the lives of the people that consume it/ wear them by connecting like-minded people with a product that embodies and carries out a cohesive message.
What is one thing you wish you knew at 10 years old?
I wish I knew to stand up for myself more. I was such a shy kid with the fear of disappointing anyone. There’s a lot of power in words and I wish I would’ve known that.
What advice would you give young women who are scared to go against their pre-determined path?
Always listen to your gut instinct. As a female, a lot of people are going to try to tell you what to do, and what's best for you, your body, and your life. Carry your feminine energy with you and be a light to others, but know when to put your foot down and how to protect yourself, so you can continue to carry that light and not have others put it out. Your energy is precious, and you should be selective with where you put it, yourself being the most important thing.
How will you continue to disrupt the status quo in years to come?
I am notorious for going against the grain and continuing to push the envelope of people's perceptions of what I do. I love doing things people have never done before, exploring the path less taken, and showing that women can do anything they put their minds to. I do all of this for myself and my family, so I have no expectation besides respect and happiness for all on this journey. My job is incredible but who I am as a person is more important to me and that goes for the people I choose to surround myself with as well. I’m very grateful for all of the people who have helped me along the way and the newfound family I have grown.
Photography by: Courtesy Charly Jordan