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the digz

 
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CROSS COLOURS was originally a clothing brand launched in the late 80's by Carl Jones. What inspired Jessica Cross to take on the name as her DJ alias, aside from the obvious, is due to the mission of the brand itself. CROSS COLOURS was not merely selling clothes- it was pushing a message: "Clothing without prejudice". It is one thing to be a self promoting DJ, but CROSS COLOURS is all about the message behind the music in addition to the rhythm itself. A firm believer in the power of music, she is doing just that- allowing that power to flow through her and letting the music do its work. 

 

 

 

ORIGINATING FROM THE BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA, JESSICA CROSS AKA CROSS COLOURS, HAS BEEN MAKING HER MARK AROUND THE GLOBE SINCE SHE MADE HER WAY BACK TO THIS WORLD IN 1988.

 

BORN TO AN AFRICAN AMERICAN FATHER AND AN EQUALLY SOULFUL SO-CALLED WHITE MOTHER, CROSS' YOUTH WAS SURROUNDED BY MUSIC AND THE ARTS, INFLUENCES WHICH CHALLENGED HER TO SEEK A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF CULTURE AND IDENTITY.  HER FATHER, A SINGER AND RETIRED BANKER FROM ST. LOUIS MISSOURI AND HER CALI MOTHER, A PHOTOGRAPHER AND BUSINESS INNOVATOR; BOTH BELIEVE IN THE NOTION OF FOLLOWING DREAMS AND A PASSION FOR THE ARTS. 

 

A MUSICIAN HERSELF, CROSS' KNOWLEDGE OF MUSIC IS ROOTED IN BOTH THE BLESSING OF ARTS EDUCATION AND HER FAMILY VINYL COLLECTION. HER MUSICAL HOUSEHOLD PROVIDED A FOUNDATION OF SOUL, JAZZ, FUNK, DISCO AND R&B. HER FIRST MUSICAL MEMORY OF NOTE WAS DROPPING THE NEEDLE ON EARTH WIND AND FIRE THEN JUMPING FROM ONE COUCH TO ANOTHER IN RHYTHM.  A BLOSSOMING TEEN IN THE HEART OF THE HIP HOP AND NEO-SOUL MOVEMENT THESE BEATS ALSO RETAIN A DEFINING CHARACTERISTIC OF HER MUSIC COLLECTION. 

 

AS SHE TRAVELS THE WORLD CROSS' KNOWLEDGE OF MUSIC HAS GROW EXPONENTIALLY. HER FASCINATION FOR VINYL HAS FOUND HER DIGGING   IN LONDON, NEW YORK, AMSTERDAM, SAN FRANCISCO, LOS ANGELES, MIAMI, CHICAGO, ST LOUIS, PHILLY, KINGSTON AND CAPE TOWN; HER CURIOSITY FOLLOWS MUSICAL RABBIT HOLES FROM ONE RECORD STORE TO ANOTHER, DUSTING THROUGH CRATES, DIGESTING LINER NOTES AND BONDING WITH MUSICAL SOUL MATES WHO OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES FEATURED IN HER PRODUCTIONS.

 

CROSS COLOURS DEEP APPRECIATION FOR CULTURE- THAT THE SOUL OF EVERY CITY CAN BE ABSORBED THROUGH ITS PEOPLE AND THEIR CONNECTION TO ART AND MUSIC-LED HER TO FOUND THE NON-PROFIT SOUL CITY MOVEMENT (WWW.SOULCITYMOVEMENT.ORG) IN 2010 AFTER GRADUATING FROM OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE WITH A BA IN CRITICAL THEORY SOCIAL JUSTICEDOUBLE MINOR ETHNOMUSICOLOGY AND FINE ARTS.  THIS ORGANIZATION IS A MOVEMENT FOCUSED ON EMPOWERING ARTISTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO CREATE, COLLABORATE, MENTOR AND SHOWCASE THEIR WORK TO STRENGTHEN INDIVIDUALITY, CONNECTIVITY AND COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY.  

 

CROSS BELIEVES THAT WITHIN THE SOUL OF THE CITY THERE ARE SOUNDS THAT WEAVE A STORY OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. AS SHE MOVES FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, THESE NARRATIVES ARE COMPILED AND HONORED.CROSS COLOURS' ABILITY TO RE-TELL THESE STORIES IN HER SETS- TO CURATE A MUSICAL EXPERIENCE THAT INHABITS THE ENERGY OF EACH SPACE, PERSON, OR GROUP AND RELATES IT TO ANOTHER-IS HER HOMAGE TO THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF EXPRESSION. 

 

WHILE LIVING IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, CROSS COLOURS TEAMED UP WITH VETERAN DJ PIERRE-ESTIENNE TO PRODUCE VINYL DIGZ IN 2011A STRICTLY VINYL PARTY HOSTED AT VARIOUS UNDERGROUND LOCATIONS REPRESENTING THE SOUL OF THE CITY. THE PAIR SOUGHT TO ESTABLISH AN EVENT THAT WOULD UTILIZE THE ESSENCE OF VINYL CULTURE TO BRING NEW LIFE INTO THE CITY AND ACTIVELY WORKING TO BRIDGE SOCIAL GAPS IN SOUTH AFRICA WHILE STILL CELEBRATING AND CONNECTING OVER MUSIC. THEY CALL IT "PARTYING WITH A PURPOSE". 

 

CROSS COLOURS HAS AN EXTREMELY ECLECTIC MUSICAL TASTE; THERE IS NOT ONE GENRE THAT IS SPECIFIC TO HER SOUND. SHE EXPLAINS THAT HER MUSICAL TASTE CAN ONLY BE ABSORBED BY SOUL; WHICH HAS LONG BEEN DECLARED AS SOMETHING THAT IS HARD TO DEFINE. SHE DESCRIBES IT AS A 'UNIQUE CONNECTION BETWEEN HEARTS THAT MAKES BODIES SENSITIVE.' SHE WENT ON TO EXPLAIN THAT SHE GETS A PHYSICAL REACTION, A TINGLING SENSATION THROUGH HER BODY WHEN HER SOUL CONNECTS TO A CREATION. IT IS AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION.

 

"MY JOB IS TO PUT MYSELF OUT THERE, TO SHARE WITH OTHERS, TO BE INSPIRED, AND TO INSPIRE, THE ENERGY IN THE ROOM. IT IS A PROCESS OF LETTING GO, CONNECTING TO THE MUSIC AND CONNECTING TO THE CROWD AND THE SPACE AND THEN ALLOWING EVERYTHING TO CONNECT TO EACH OTHER." 

FROM OLD-SCHOOL TO NEW SCHOOL; KNOWN ARTIST AND PERHAPS UNKNOWN OR FORGOTTEN- CROSS COLOURS CAN BE EXPECTED TO PLAY NOTHING BUT MUSIC CREATED FROM THE HEART WITH A MESSAGE TO ABSORB, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

 

work experience

 

  • VINYL DIGZ (FOUNDER, RESIDENT DJ AND CURATOR); CAPE TOWN, SA 2011-PRESENT
  • RESIDENT AT BLAKES BAR AND LOUNGE, CAPE TOWN SA 2011-2012
  • FAT BACK SOUL, CAPE TOWN SA 2011-2012
  • RAGAZZI LIVE, CAPE TOWN SA 2011-2013
  • JULIP BAR, CAPE TOWN SA 2011-2015
  • ZULA BAR, CAPE TOWN SA 2011-2014
  • THE WAITING ROOM, CAPE TOWN SA 2011-PRESENT
  • KITCHENERS, JOHANNESBURG SA 2013
  • CROSS COLOURS WAS ALSO A FEATURED DJ AT SOME OF CAPE TOWN SIGNATURE EVENTS INCLUDING; COLD TURKEY, KOOL OUT LOUNGETHE TOFFEE FESTIVAL, LABIA NIGHT MARKET, AND THE PRESTIGIOUS AFRIKA BURN ARTS FESTIVAL IN THE KAROO DESERT 2011-PRESENT
  • TOURING DJ WITH SINGER/SONGWRITER ZAKI IBRAHIM, JOHANNESBURG SA 2012
  • ROOM 389 BAR, OAKLAND CA 2013-2014
  • STUDIO 151, NEW YORK CITY 2015-PRESENT
  • LEAD BELLY, NEW YORK CITY 2015-PRESENT

 

AND THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES...

testimonials

 

 

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vinyl digz

 

VINYL DIGZ BEGAN WITH A SHARED PASSION FOR ART AND MUSIC AND A DRIVE TO BUILD A SPACE WHERE PEOPLE COULD BE THEMSELVES. the event was first produced in 2011 by cross colours and partner pierre-estienne IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. Vinyl digz was established IN AN EFFORT TO CELEBRATE VINYL LIFESTYLE WHILE UTILIZING ITS MANY ARTISTIC ELEMENTS TO UNIFY URBAN CULTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA. WHEN YOU STEP INTO THE DIGZ, EVERYONE IS ON EQUAL FOOTING; THE ATMOSPHERE IS ALL ABOUT POSITIVE ENERGY AND A PASSION AND CURIOSITY FOR MUSIC.

Vinyl digz events are located in the soul of the city, featuring local and international dj's, collectors, musicians and artists. Whether hosting an art exhibition, live music, lyric, screening, fashion or all at once; vinyl digz is all about partying with a purpose: Promoting cross-cultural connections between people of all walks of like, coming together to celebrate the universal language of artistic expression supported by the warmth of vinyl. 

 
 
VINYL DIGZ IS AN EVENT BEST DESCRIBED AS THE LOVE FOR THE LOVE OF VINYL.
— CAPE TIMES FEBRUARY 2012 'VINYL DIGZ' ROOFTOP BASH' BY ANDRE ADOLF MANUEL
VINYL ART IS A BIG PART OF THE EVENT AND IS CLEVERLY USED AS PART OF THE PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN. GIANT ARTWORKS OF CLASSIC ALBUM COVERS ARE PLACED ALL OVER THE CITY CENTRE.
— CAPE TIMES FEBRUARY 2012 'VINYL DIGZ' ROOFTOP BASH BY ANDRE ADOLF MANUEL
SELECTORS WAXING AN EARFUL OF SUNDRY SOUNDS; SANCTIFYING SOULS OF STRANGE SOLDIERS WHILE SOLIDIFYING NEW AND OLD RELATIONSHIPS.
— PULSE FEBRUARY 2015
...A PLACE TO GATHER WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE AND LISTEN TO EXTENSIVE COLLECTIONS FEATURING A WIDE RANGE OF GENRES...THE SELECTORS COULD BE PRETTY MUCH ANYONE WITH A PILE OF RECORDS, AND EACH EVENT FEATURES A HAND-PICKED PLAYLIST OF DANCEABLE GROOVES FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT.
— CAPE TOWN MAGAZINE 'TALK ABOUT A VINYL REVOLUTION' BY TSHEGO LETSOALO
VINYL DIGZ IS THE SPACE THE UNCLE YOU GENERALLY DESPISE IS WELCOME AND WHERE CAPE TOWN WOULD BE PERCEIVED AS THE MOST RACIALLY INCLUSIVE CITY.
— PULSE FEBRUARY 2015
THE EVENT SEEMED TO ATTRACT A PARTICULAR BREED OF CAPETONIAN - NOT THAT IT WAS EXCLUSIVE, BUT RATHER THAT IT CELEBRATED INDIVIDUALITY.

THE CROWD WAS SPECTACULAR, FROM THE MAGICALLY RICH-SKINNED AFRICAN MUST-BE-A-MODEL TYPES TO THE BAREFOOT CARAMEL BEAUTIES SHOWING OFF THEIR ETHNICITY WITH CHUNKY BEADS AND COLOURFUL TURBANS ENSHROUDING RUNAWAY CURLS. YOU COULD BE ANYONE, AS LONG AS YOU WERE WILLING TO ACCEPT EVERYONE.
— UCT STUDENT NEWS FEBRUARY 2012 'NIGHT UNDER THE STARS' BY ANADE SITUMA
THE EVENT HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING ONE OF THE FEW INCLUSIVE PARTY EVENTS, BRINGING TOGETHER VISITORS OF VARIOUS BACKGROUNDS AND IDENTIFICATIONS. ‘HAVING A PLATFORM LIKE VINYL DIGZ OPENS US UP TO COLLABORATION. THIS CITY IS FULL OF CREATIVE PEOPLE WHO ARE READY TO COLLABORATE. THE MORE WE REVEAL THE POWER OF COLLABORATION, THE MORE WE ARE PUSHING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.’
— CAPE TIMES APRIL 2014 'A GROOVY KIND OF UNITY' BY GENNE GARDINI
A REFRESHING FEATURE OF THE VENUE IS THAT IT IS NOT AN ESTABLISHED CLUB VENUE.

THE VENUE OVERLOOKS THE BUSTLING INNER CITY AND RUNNING FROM 1PM-1AM. A BRING AND BRAAI AREA AND THE JUICE PRESS, A STEVIE WONDER-THEMED JUICE BAR, ROUNDS OFF THE VERY HOMELY AND WARM ATMOSPHERE AND TAKES THE MUSIC FAR AWAY FROM THE TRAPPINGS OF THE RIGID CLUB SCENE. THE BUILDING HOUSES A BACKPACKERS AND THEREFORE ATTRACTS A DIVERSE RANGE OF PEOPLE, BOTH FOREIGN AND LOCAL.
— CAPE TIMES FEBRUARY 2012 'VINYL DIGZ' ROOFTOP BASH' BY ANDRE ADOLF MANUEL
 
 

'analog girl living in a digital world'

- e.badu

 
 
 
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DIGZ AND GIGS

 

News & Updates

* Spinning for Soul City Movement Photo Exhibition at the African American Arts and Culture Complex in San Francisco. Thursday, February 4th. Pull through! x

* Spinning for the MADE NYC Fashion week after party, Saturday, February 13 at MILK Studios in New York. Pull through! x

* Spinning at the Studio 55 party in Lower East Side NYC Friday, February 12th. Pull through! x

* Spinning at the Design Indaba with the Vinyl Digz crew: Pierre-Estienne and DJ Mighty Friday, February 19th in Cape Town, South Africa. Pull through! x

* Spinning at the Armory NYC Friday, March 4th. The focus of the show will be African Perspectives- Spotlighting Artistic Practices of Global Contemporaries. Pull through! x

 

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