Today we’d like to introduce you to Cali Miles.
Cali, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always knew that I wanted to do music. I started writing songs when I was nine and studied musical theater through high school and college. I dropped out of college to focus on being a recording artist. My best writing always came from passion and heartbreak, so I gravitated towards R&B and Hip-Hop. The music industry was so different then. In the early 2000’s. Being a female in a male-dominated industry, without really having any positive male role models was really difficult for me. I released records and mixtapes, got some radio play and jumped on some tour dates with Bizzy Bone from Bones Thugs n Harmony and performed at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. I worked so hard. I got some backlash being so confident and provocative in the conservative Midwest and my dream was to move to Los Angeles. I performed in LA a few times while visiting friends and really felt at home here, but like lots of people I got into relationships that kept me there and gave me and excuse to stay ‘safe’. Taking risks was never my thing. I wasn’t the type to just move to LA, it literally took me 14 years of performing, recording, hosting a radio show, promoting parties, running my own business training and mentoring female talent. Creating jobs and opportunities for women was always important to me, sometimes more than taking the opportunities for myself. The death of my father in 2015 changed everything. I hadn’t seen him in 17 years and had a lot of guilt about it.
At the time, I was falling in love with a women for the first time, ending my seven year relationship to my fiancé when she said the magic words “I’ll move to LA with you.” The loss of my father made me realize my mortality and that I needed to make the move, make changes, take the opportunities I deserved to realize my dreams. I moved to LA in fall 2015 and it’s been a roller coaster since then. The death of my dog two days after arriving, arrest and disappearance of my ex and then finding out I’d been set up as well. Just when things were getting good for me in LA, it seemed like they could all be taken away. But it all turned out to be a blessing. Just like losing my father motivated me to finally make the move to LA, the chance of losing my freedom, motivated me to make my dreams come true. I spent a year awaiting my sentencing. My girlfriend, an actress, had broken up with me because it was a bad look for her career. My friends told I needed to find a new place to live. That was the darkest and loneliest and scariest time of my life. I got sentenced to 6 months house arrest and used that time to accomplish something I’d always wanted to do. DJ. I had told myself for so many years that I couldn’t do it, but overcoming and facing my shadows made it possible for me to really see the light, BE the light, and gave me confidence to try. It made me humble enough to be okay with trying and failing because for so long, I was only doing what I knew how to do. I fell in love with Djing, and I was good at it.
As soon as I was free again, I started doing gigs all over LA at LGBT parties, vegan festivals, and private events. I am so grateful that the universe placed some amazing people in my life in that time, and the forced time alone really gave me an opportunity to learn something that I may have otherwise always been too busy to learn. I started a YouTube channel Addicted to Love at the same time and just as I felt my career was starting to take off, my partner on the channel lost her battle with depression and committed suicide. Nothing can prepare you for that type of devastation, but I was no stranger to being completely blind-sided by loss, and through all of the shock, grief and judgment from a large social media audience, I kept going. Music is my calling. Playing music is healing for me and I appreciate every opportunity I am given because of everything I’ve been through.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not a smooth road but some beautiful scenery and memories! My biggest personal struggles have been linked to my self-worth. I tend to be a people pleaser and want to be liked. Not creating healthy boundaries for myself has created a lot of struggles. It’s also been hard to be in the public eye so much. It’s hard to be vulnerable and out yourself out there and know there are people that just get off on trolling you or putting you down. I can also be afraid to take risks unless I’m forced to, I’ve had to learn to trust in myself and the universe.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m an Artist and Performer. DJing is my main gig right now but I also model and host and am learning to produce music. I DJ and EMCEE all types of events, I love to play music that makes people feel empowered, sexy and a little bit gangster. I’m great on the mic and am great at reading a room. I’m known for my bold style, positive outlook and great laugh.
I’m most proud of my perseverance. I’m proud that when things got tough for me I chose love. I chose happiness. I chose hard work. I chose to believe in myself and trust in my journey.
My honesty and authenticity sets me apart. I’m not interested in creating an image. I’m interested in living my truth and creating beautiful experiences for people.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mom has been my biggest cheerleader. Her strength got me through my hardest times. I have some incredible friends that I consider family that have really stuck it out with me and remind me of my strength when I need it. There have been some angels that have stepped in at exactly the right moment that I will forever be grateful. My mentor at Special Event Djz has taught me so much and been that positive male role model and friend that I never had. My partner Mel is the icing on the cake and really has my back.
- Website: www.soundcloud.com/cali-miles
- Phone: 310-991-6156
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/calimiles
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/calimiles
- Twitter: twitter.com/calimiles
- Other: www.patreon.com/calimiles
Maxine Bowen, Avellano Photo, Vague Feel