DJ Cocoa Chanelle is a Black Girls Rock recipient, and award-winning Deejay / On-Air personality with over 16+ years of radio experience in the #1 market in the United States, New York City's HOT 97 of Emmis Communications and 7 years on-air experience with BET Networks as the Deejay for their popular talk show Teen Summit, Making Cocoa the first woman in history hired as an in-house deejay for a television network.
in 2019, Cocoa went on a 53 City Live Nation arena tour with New Kids On The Block, sharing the stage with Hip Hop legends Salt N Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Debbie Gibson, and Tiffany.
Many of Cocoa’s admirers include celebrities and industry insiders such as Hip Hop Legend LL Cool J, Grammy Award-winning DJ/producer Mark Ronson and Emmy award-winning Actor/Comedian Chris Rock... "Cocoa is Radio Royalty," said Chris at his latest movie premiere. “Salute to the Legendary DJ Cocoa Chanelle,” says Grammy Award Winning Recording Artist Missy Elliott after watching a recent viral video of Cocoa on the turntables.
Footage of Cocoa doing turntable tricks began to spread online gaining over 200,000 views on Facebook in less than 24 hours. The video went on to capture the attention of many celebrities including Chuck D of Public Enemy, Sway Calloway of MTV and many others whom all posted the video on the social media.
She is best known for her 16 years as an on-air mix DJ and Personality on Emmis Communications New York based radio station HOT 97, which began after making several guest mixing appearances on Hot 97's "Morning Show", hosted by Ed Lover, she was recommended to the stations program director and as a result, the morning show producer created the idea for "Ladies Night," which consisted of Angie Martinez, DJ Jazzy Joyce & Chanelle
in 2012, as a new addition to 98.7 KISS, Cocoa accomplished making her own show #1 on Saturday Nights in the 8 to 10 pm timeslot.
Vibe Magazine listed Cocoa Chanelle as one of the TOP 17 DJ’s in the country. She’s also recognized as a music producer and Lyricist having produced and recorded vocally with several Legendary Hip Hop artist including Rakim, Ghostface Killah, Styles P, and one of her remixes featuring Da Brat & Lil Mo landed in Tyler Perry’s Oscar award-winning film “Precious”.
Cocoa spent 7 years on B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Network) as the first DJ ( male or female) ever hired to work for the network as a resident DJ for their popular talk show Teen Summit. She has been honored with several awards including the prestigious Black Girls Rock award and honored by B.E.T for Black History Month for her many accomplishments in the music industry over the years. Vibe Magazine listed DJ Cocoa Chanelle as one of the TOP 17 DJ’saward winning film “ Precious”.
Throughout her career, Cocoa opened doors and broke down barriers as the first Deejay to work for BET (male or female). She was the first female DJ to land a feature DJ spot on MTV's highest-rated show Spring Break, which resulted in a return invitation from MTV to appear in several of their specialty shows.
Chanelle was born in Brooklyn New York. At age 7 she was raised by her Grandmother in West Virginia following the death of both parents to alcoholism.
She started as an MC at the age of 12, entering local talent shows and rap battles. "Any time I was having a bad day, I would create lyrics about it... it was my therapy". says Cocoa. "I also used it for school, when I needed to study for a test, I would turn the answers into rap so I could remember it". She continued.
Cocoa was put on the DJing and turntables by age 13 by her older brother Andre who was shot and killed three months before Cocoa was hired as a DJ on HOT 97.
Immediately following high school graduation, Cocoa began her DJ career on a professional level at the age 18 after a chance meeting on the New York subway with her brother and a young 16 yr old female rapper named MC Peaches who was signed to the same label as MC LYTE.
Peaches brought Cocoa to the attention of First Priority Music, home to MC Lyte, Positive K and Audio Two. Executives from the label were in search of a DJ for their new group, hip-hop duo Kings of Swing. Cocoa became their official DJ and was featured scratching and rapping on their debut album.
Her big break came when she landed a weekly spot on BET's popular teen talk show Teen Summit as the first-ever BET resident DJ, a spot she held for over six years.
Cocoa is known for doing turntable tricks at shows... In the club, she has a versatile playing style that includes Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, House, Classics, Old School & Top 40’s. She is respected worldwide and has traveled to DeeJay around the world to places that include Africa, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, Greece & Germany (to name a few) as well as spinning LIVE for over 20,000 people at the world’s most iconic arena, Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks halftime show.
Cocoa continues to grow, not only as an entertainer but as an international humanitarian. In 2018, While visiting South Africa to perform at the Times Square Arena, Cocoa used her time in Africa to fulfill her true life purpose of philanthropy by providing food and shoes for children and families living in poor villages of Soweto.
"Visiting Soweto was the real highlight of my trip", says Cocoa, " spending quality time with the families there changed my life and made me even more appreciative of what I have. The kids there had no shoes, no money, and no electricity, but they were rich in love". she continued.
In the United States, Cocoa has been actively involved in prison reform. In 2018, she helped secure the freedom of one incarcerated man who spent 26 years in prison, with 22 of those years in solitary confinement starting at age 16. "having a child in solitary confinement is now outlawed because studies show how it damages the brain". said Cocoa. Soon after his release, she began working to secure freedom for two others.
"A lot of men in prison who come from the street have an influence on kids at a level that even someone like Barak Obama doesn't have. The kids follow what they say. The men I have chosen to help have made a commitment to use their influence to make a positive difference in our communities".
When asked about being a Black Girls Rock award recipient and her involvement with mentoring young women and girls she replied: "I love working with young girls and women. I learned how important it is to lead by example. I do my best to let young girls know that it's ok to be yourself, and although bad behavior is the cool trend now... being a "good girl" is something for them to be proud of.