If you’re looking for a dope, female DJ, look no farther than DJ Millie. Hailing from Pasadena, California, the DJ and model truly loves creating happy vibes for everybody. She states, “I like to create good energy and good music for people to dance to, it’s really nothing.”
Boasting 153K followers on Instagram alone, Mille exudes both inner and outer beauty in all that she does, effortlessly reminding the masses that they too can follow their dreams and turn them into a reality. With her father being a legendary bassist touring for the likes of Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross, music has been a part of Millie’s life since she can remember.
In and out of the band throughout middle and high school, Millie played different instruments. After trying school but realizing it wasn’t her forte, Millie was always out and about and began meeting a ton of DJs. After high school, she took lessons at Astro in Burbank with a female battle DJ named Patty Clover. In getting the right equipment and dedicating her time to learning the ropes, she eventually quit her job and began spinning as a full-time career.
Real name Chelsea Miller has an aunt who named her Millie, a name she thought was cute because DJ Chelsea wasn’t it. When it comes to DJing events, her energy is simply unmatched. During quarantine, she ignited her Millie Monday Instagram Live series where she plays a full-blown set from the comfort of her own home, with all-star guests such as Ne-Yo and Miguel.
A true music-love and creative, Millie continues to excel and reach new heights. Her biggest accomplishments to date include spinning at Coachella, an appearance on HBO’s Insecure, and DJing The Light in Las Vegas. Flaunt caught up with DJ Millie in downtown Los Angeles to discuss how she got into DJing, spinning for Beyonce, favorite song to drop in a set, Millie Mondays, appearance on Insecure, favorite modeling campaigns, goals, and more!
Being from South Pasadena, what was the household like growing up?
It’s a really different vibe of what the hustle and bustle is of LA. I always visited and had family who lived in Westwood, Hollywood, all over. I was always in LA. South Pasadena’s really different, it’s suburbs. My parents were pretty strict. I grew up in a very musical household, my father plays bass guitar. He’s on tour most of my life. The switch moving from Pasadena to LA wasn’t anything crazy, felt like home either way.
Your father played for Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross, that’s amazing.
Luther Vandross is who he played for most of my life, it was fun. I was a little girl, I loved being on the stage. I liked meeting all the people. I remember meeting Toni Braxton because he’d gone on tour with her. They’d fight head to head. Luther was a very particular person, she’d come in there trying to change stuff. I love Toni Braxton. When they first went on tour, I’m like “uncle Luther, I want to meet Toni!” I hung out in the makeup area, putting on all the wigs. Toni Braxton walked in and I started crying, I lost it.
How old were you?
10 or 11, I was really young. I loved Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Anita Baker, real singers. Real musicians.
Where were you working before you started DJing?
I was a cocktail waitress at the time. I saved up for my turntables and told my manager “hey I can DJ here on Fridays or whenever you guys would like me.” They started having me DJ on Fridays, that’s how I would practice. A lot of important people would come in and out of there, it’s Hollywood right across the street from Capitol Records. A ton of people, I was getting gigs off that. I didn’t look back after that. I quit that place within a couple of months, then started working and deejaying full-time.
What have been your most proud accomplishments as a DJ?
DJing Vegas forsure, one of the things I always wanted to do. Honestly the reason why I really got into DJing was after going to Vegas and seeing Diplo, I wanted to be the female version of Diplo. I was trying to be in my EDM bag. I wanted to be in Vegas DJing with all that energy so I knew I had to work up to that. It literally happened last June, I DJed at The Light. It was insane, everything I ever wanted. Now that the pandemic’s here, I wish I was in Vegas. [laughs] That was amazing. I also DJed Coachella, definitely one of my biggest accomplishments. Also The WACO Gala is really big, Beyoncé‘s family puts it on so I was DJing for Beyoncé. Mick Jagger’s dancing in front of my booth, the craziest time.
Were you nervous?
The first time I was nervous a little bit, but I snapped out of it really fast. The second time, this is when Beyoncé had come out with The Lion King and Disney had put it on. This big production, it was crazy. There were giraffes, people on stilts walking around. It was crazy. I’d already done so many cool things so I was really confident. It’s always a good time.
Are your sets more R&B and hip-hop, or still more EDM?
I’m an open format, so I’m a bit of everything. I’m a very versatile DJ. I do a show on Mondays called Millie Mondays, I switch it up every week. This week I did Afrobeats, last week I did R&B. Some days I’ll do house, a bit of everything. I touch on how I grew up. I grew up on so many different types of music, I love all types of music. I’ve always tapped into each area. I definitely don’t discriminate when it comes to genres, I try to keep it very different.
Where did your love for EDM come from? Was it from Diplo?
Not even from Diplo but from being out at raves, EDC. I grew up in South Pasadena so those kids were fucking crazy. I’ve always been around it.
Talk about Millie Mondays, via your Instagram Live.
Millie Mondays was a party I started a couple summers ago, a day party where I had all of my friends come. I started it too far into summer, it didn’t end up going long enough. During this time, everyone’s trying to figure It out. I was going Live on different brands’ pages, I figured ”oh, I might as well go Live.” I started going Live, someone in the chat said Millie Mondays. In the beginning of quarantine, the Lives were crazy. Everybody’s at home watching, now everyone’s kind of back out. Whoever comes in, they come in. That’s cool. Having a day where they know I’m going Live, people look forward to it. It’s been a minute, I’ve been very consistent. I had Ne-Yo and Miguel on.
So how does it work, they go Live with you?
I’ll go Live and play a set. With Ne-Yo, I played his music for 30 minutes then he came on. We talked, I asked a couple of questions. We jammed out, played some new stuff, then I go on with my set. I plan on doing it with a couple more artists, seeing where it goes. I’ll have 6lack coming on the 30th with Patron, we’re doing a toast together.
Talk about relationships and being able to get people like Ne-Yo and Miguel.
It’s funny with Ne-Yo, he’d asked me to come on his Live because he has a Live as well. I said “ooh, come on my Live.” He said “yeah fasho.” He was having DJs on his Live, that was cool. It was even more cool for him to be down to come on mine. People have their own Lives. I get it, it's not for everybody, but I’ve found my pocket of people. It’s a family, people will text each other and say “Millie brought us together.” Now, I have an impact on somebody. DJing for people, you don’t know until you run into them later and they say “oh I really love that set.” DJing in person, I’m there then I leave. On Instagram, it’s different because people can hit you directly. “Wow, that set helped me get through my workday.” Alright, I’m fasho going Live every Monday. It’s no question.
Do you go Live in your crib?
Yeah, go from the crib. I have my setup, I would’ve been there practicing anyway so why wouldn’t I turn on the camera? At first, my equipment was a little janky. D-Nice got on me like “you need a mic.” Serato had sent me an interface for my Lives that I never used. He said “I don’t know why you’re over there screaming into the camera?” Now that I’ve upgraded my sound, I have a mic, we can really get to It. The opportunities are endless.
Talk about your friendship with D-Nice, he really brought out the virtual DJ set during quarantine.
He did! I met D-Nice in 2015, we had a gig together. He hit me up like “hey, I want you to open for me at the BET Awards.” He started getting me gigs here and there, turned into a mentor. He was very helpful and nice all the time, we became really close friends. We had a conversation before the pandemic, he said “I’m trying to retire Chels. I’m doing one last tour, retire and live my life.” I said “okay D, I don’t know something’s going to happen.” Now it’s so funny because the conversation now: “I’m definitely not going to retire, I’m nowhere near finished.” A lot of people will have thoughts like “I’m done.” You think your time’s over, you might want to move on to something else. Actually, no. Something will happen and wake you up. He’s the one who told me “go Live, it’s fun.” I started going off his page, we curated an all-women takeover on his page. He said “anyway I can help.”
How does that work?
I literally tapped into his Live, didn’t even realize how crazy he was going. Wait, he has 100K people? I literally texted him like “D, what’s going on?” [laughs] He’s like “I don’t even know, this is crazy.” Live is lit, every DJ went Live after that. That’s cool he could be the inspiration, it was a moment.
Favorite songs to drop in a set?
“Back That Azz Up” because the girls don’t know how to act. That’s what I live for, I love when I see people wild out immediately. It’s “Back That Azz” up for me because I want to see you back that azz up! My goal as a female DJ is to have every girl shaking their ass, period.
How was DJing for The Basement with G Herbo and Kaash Paige?
It was fun, really cool because I learned a lot about the propositions. We had a whole panel discussion. They had a bunch of really cool artists, Ambre was one. G Herbo was really so cool, it surprised me how much he’s doing for his community. Giving back, it's so cool. Such an amazing venue, a really cool experience being able to DJ for a cause.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
It’s definitely bold, whatever my mood is. I’ve been really into leather pants recently. I've bought so many pairs of leather pants and colors. I sometimes like overmatching, sometimes I’m disgusted by overmatching. It really depends on the day, my style’s always changing. It’s always sexy boy-ish, sexy sporty.
What are your favorite campaigns you’ve done?
Morphe is one of my favorite campaigns because I was literally DJing, I brought my turntables. I have one coming out with Jordan I really like a lot, for their women's apparel. They have women’s apparel and shoes, their winter campaign. I also have one coming out with Smashbox Cosmetics I'm obsessed with, this one’s going to be really dope.
Do you have a love for beauty as well?
I love beauty. I love shooting beauty. Beauty was one of the first types of modeling I’ve ever done. I had a campaign with Milani Cosmetics when I was 15, then stopped modeling after that. A pretty huge campaign, I was everywhere. I was a child all over Target, it was insane. Once I started back I got Urban Decay, Kylie Cosmetics, Rimmel London, a lot of them. My goal’s Chanel Beauty, YSL Beauty, high-end beauty because I know I can. It’s a matter of doing it.
How was your experience on Insecure?
Insecure was crazy because they hit me like “oh, they need a DJ. They’re looking at DJs.” Okay well I’m down, let me know. They said “Issa selected you, she’s seen you DJ before.” I DJed at this party Fashion Week, I met her and it was so fun. They said “Issa wants you.” I went down to Palm Springs, it’s the Coachella episode. It was crazy because I had DJed the week before that, the week after Coachella they started filming. The week before, I was DJing this event for Revolve at the same exact place they filmed that episode. Insane. They said “send us your logo,” I get there and it’s this big Millie booth. Really cool because I wasn’t expecting it to be all that, I thought I was going to be the DJ in the background. They really branded me and made sure I was good, really fun. I love Insecure.
Goals for yourself?
The digital market, the opportunities are endless. I want to keep it going with Millie Mondays, it can be really big and we could do some type of show. I really want to incorporate music videos. I love music videos. Music videos don’t get enough love now because Instagram’s 15 seconds, then you’re done with it. I’d love to bring back some TRL, 106 & Park vibes with Millie Mondays. Keep having people on, letting it go where it naturally goes. Naturally, I got Ne-Yo on there. I wasn’t thinking about bringing guests on. I got thrown into this hosting thing for a minute so why not? I’m also producing music, putting a remix out.
Remix of what?
One of my best friends Chuck Inglish, we’ve both been on this journey together. He started teaching me a little bit how to produce, I got into It. We started cooking up, making remixes together. We figured let’s have our little DJ thing, so we’d go back to back. We did that at Art Basel in Miami at 4 different parties, it was a vibe. Let’s call ourselves Slow Dance DJs because we’d play slow dance music, then ratchet music. Our remixes are my vibe and his together, it’s literally perfect. We remixed Meg Thee Stallion’s “Big Ole Freak,” that one’s out now on SoundCloud. We have another one called “Hold On” with the Internet.
Anything else you’d like to let us know?
Follow me @DjMillie, tune into Millie Mondays. It’s always a vibe. It’s friendly in there, never anything negative. You turn up, want to dance. Look out for new music, more campaigns.
What time on Mondays?
I don’t have a specific time. Every Monday, I decide in the morning “oh, I wanna go Live at 4.” I’ll get the flyer made and post it. I usually go Live around 4pm or 4:30pm. It’s never later unless I do the cookout, which I”ll do at 1pm. You can’t start a cookout later than that.