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Jade Croo | It's About Reading The Room, It's About Intuition

In Conversation with the New Head of Talent US at Les Filles

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Photo by Jared Kocka

“I was just in LA and it definitely gets cold. People don’t think that, but it does. I could be in a puffer right now out there,” Jade Croo – musician, DJ, model and the new Head of Talent US at Les Filles – says to me. We are exchanging pleasantries about the weather. Much like a recent conversation I had with my friends, how and why, are people so quick to shame the small talk? The parts that make us all human. The small sliver of the mundane that we all collectively experience – that we can all contribute to. The weather. I immediately find this to be a charming start, a refreshing and effortless dance into the unknowns of where a conversation can lead with a stranger. This charming start further expanded upon itself, as I continued to speak with Croo, I noticed how intuitive she is, how much wisdom she held within her, the way she was so quick to share. Naturally, I asked for her astrological sign. “Oh, I’m a Cancer!” She smiled big, brushing away my interjection and continuing to explain her personal process of performing. “As a DJ,” she resumes, “you have to be a little bit of a mastermind. It’s about reading the room, it’s about intuition.” And there it is. 

The DJ is somewhat of a designer darling, having played for the big boys like Chanel, Dior, and Stella McCartney. Croo also just recently curated the sound styling on all the Chrome Hearts stores throughout the world. So yeah. She’s pretty busy. When I asked her what her favorite part of performing is, I nearly fell over at her answer because it felt so relatable. So real, so..familiar? “I think selfishly the best part is playing music that you think is cool and good. I would say it's being passed the AUX essentially for a couple hours. I get to play what I want.” The transparency and the honesty were all indicative of a girl who has had a plethora of experiences. Who has perhaps lived many lives. Who believes in the going

Croo was born in Hong Kong, but raised in Brussels. I asked if she could take me all the way back to when she knew that music and the creative world was for her. Being walked through the music scene in a place like Brussels from a native themself felt fascinating, yet, to my surprise, Croo tells me it was pretty much nonexistent. “Funny enough my inspiration came from the fact that there was a lack of that, being from Belgium. My mom, she’s American – and I would spend our whole summers just going to visit her side of the family in the New Jersey and New York area. Since a young age I was exposed to the US. I couldn't help but compare the two cultures and the two situations.” Enter: Lizzie McGuire. The Cheetah Girls. High School Musical. Or, as my generation likes to fondly remember it as: The Golden Years of Disney Channel. Croo’s eyes lit up as she reminisced on these fond childhood memories, recalling where her affinity and love of music was really born from. “Going to America and being exposed to the culture there, I was like wow. I was so enamored. Belgium had none of that. America is where I discovered pop music. I drank that juice to the max.” Croo’s secret society, (Disney Channel) was kept close to her conscience, as she playfully explains she wanted to gate keep her newfound summer fling forever. That was until, of course, she saw an ad for High School Musical on TV. “I was like they’re gonna know! I want to keep it my secret! I thought it was the coolest thing ever.” 

Although molded early on and intensely thanks to those routine American summers, Croo admitted that as she grew into adolescence, her main focus was only ever music. “It was all I cared about,” she confessed. “I didn’t go to parties. I didn't date boys. Looking back it's funny but honestly I was so into it!” Credited to an environmental issue, – not the actual kind, but the no-one-else-is-doing-this-I-feel-sort-of-alone kind. Croo remembers this turning into creating a world for herself that could result in making this an actual career. As the glitz and glamor wore off, she found herself in New York City at 18 with a rush of ambition that was beyond the artificial. It started to feel real. It was the actual music that she loved, the actual production and the overall constant discovery. “Going to a music school and suddenly being surrounded by like-minded people was a huge type of culture shock. I remember the pros being that I can learn from these people, I can grow as an artist, I can collaborate.”

That collaborative, fervent spirit she possesses brings us directly to the present day. Croo can be seen around New York City – globally, really – DJing at various fashion parties, shows, anything of relation to the sort, in which she is all about. "I definitely gravitate towards being more in a fashion setting. There is a certain level of inspiration when you get to DJ because a brand has a whole ethos and visual story that adding the music is just another way of translating that,” she finishes her thought with another misty, introspective ode to her past, “I have loved fashion from such an early age, I just love beautiful things. Combining fashion and music was the perfect middle ground.” I comment on the chicness of it. It seems there is a sense of elegance attached to the sounds of fashion, which Croo wholeheartedly agrees – and even goes to note, “I am not a night owl or a party person, so being able to DJ in this more sophisticated capacity was perfect for me.” 

Croo’s newest creative endeavor is Head of Talent US at Les Filles where she will handle talent relations as well as scouting, alongside founder Bec Adams. Eager to push forward the ever-growing world of females in the sonic space, Croo shares that the days of the male-dominated world of DJing are long gone. And for the better. “I’m so used to seeing women behind the booth now. I think there has definitely been and there still is a demand for female DJ’s. The market was so saturated by men, and to see this shift is so amazing,” – as she continues, it is easy to feel her strong stance on this, resulting as perhaps the most earnest part of our conversation – “It's done. I think this is how it is now. And I hope more aspects of the industry and the creative industries in general keep having and welcoming women.” 

We shuffle into the aforementioned wisdom and wit that Croo exudes. When asked what a multi-hyphenate like herself would share with her respective fellow DJ’s, she presents this insight from such a matter-of-fact perspective, it is both fortifying and enthralling. “You have to have trust in the unknown. I think if you can find balance and can lead a more peaceful life that is important, it’s you and your golden bubble” - a term coined by Croo and her best friend – “it needs to be nourished, and taken care of. You have to work on it. But you have to keep going. It’s the going. It really is.”

Croo’s cool confidence, that of a girl that although not from here originally, has an air about her that confirms she is quite familiar with the experience of the human condition – living, and living and living. So how does Croo, amongst all of her living, and going, and seeing, and doing, give herself a breather? She smiles, “This week I’m on a Bob Marley train. Random, but all I can think about is Bob Marley. But usually I’m a big TV girl. I love Korean dramas. I was into that for quite some time,” I nod knowingly. Hey – if you know, you know. “As of late, I would say definitely spending time with family and friends. Nothing makes me happier than that.” 

The importance of being a woman and making your mark not only stick – but catapulting you into the creative ether with your female peers alike – that is part of Croo’s philosophy. Perhaps also providing us with the ultimate lesson in the process of immersing yourself, rooting yourself in what you have known since the very beginning: to simply keep going. 

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Jade Croo, It's About Reading The Room, It's About Intuition, People, Maria Kyriakos
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