top of page
  • Niema Jordan

Q&A w/ Carmena Woodward aka DJ Red Corvette

By Niema Jordan

(This conversation as been edited for length and clarity).

Carmena Woodward is a woman of many talents. She has a special knack for community-building and creating opportunities for others. Throughout the years, we’ve seen her co-create spaces for women in music to thrive. Whether through platforms like Women Sound Off or her latest event, Studio Red’s DJ Groove Lab, Woodward aka DJ Red Corvette is committed to making the path to longevity entertainment the norm for herself and others.

We caught up with Woodward, a recipient of Black On Both Sides’ Black Arts Grant, to talk about her career, upcoming program, and the importance of community.

Tell us about Studio Red’s DJ Groove Lab.

Carmena Woodward: It’s a workshop symposium that I created to promote celebration through music, creativity, and community in the DJ space. A lot of people who want to DJ don’t know how to get started. The lab will give people access to create and build community amongst the other DJs that are in the Bay Area.

They’ll hear from some of the leading talent in the Bay Area about how their experience started and where they are with DJing and even give any kind of tips and tricks through marketing and branding for their DJ career. There are people making a business out of this and that’s how you sustain yourself in your career. It’s important to hear directly from the people who are making it happen.

Coming up in the industry, I didn’t always feel comfortable talking to people who were leading in their careers. I just want to give people, share a space and open up a space that I wish I’ve always had.

Is this workshop informed by the work that you’ve done in terms of women sound off and the space that you created there?

Carmena: I didn’t know that I had a passion for education and community or being a vessel for that until I started doing Women’s Sound off. I think when I started Women’s Sound Off, me and Vang (Evangeline Elder) started with just celebrating women in music. A lot of the time I feel like things are overlooked and especially for Black women and I don’t want to always be the only Black woman in the room doing this thing. And so it’s the same thing with this.

Once I found that I really was passionate about just building community or connecting the dots with people or just giving game freely, I just have been still in that space. I still want to serve. It was tough to put together a festival, but I always felt joy just knowing that thousands of women are going to walk away with so much more to expand their career. I knew there would be more of us in the room because of Women Sound Off. I feel like that’s been my purpose…just being able to create experiences where people can find community. Whether it be me bringing people together on a dance floor or bringing them together through a workshop to help them expand their career.

Why is it important for creatives to tap into community?

Carmena: A lot of people are connected, especially in the creative space. A lot of people are connected in so many different ways and they don’t know how to really use their access. They don’t know how to build community out here and that shit is very important when it comes to moving up. We can’t do this by ourselves. We can’t do this on our own. We think we can, but it would be so much better if we just use the people that we have in a respectful way. But just to help us get a little bit further and share the knowledge and not look at it as competition and give people, I don’t know, just help just people build community amongst whatever group that they are and help them. Everybody just pound together and go forward with it.

Who are you looking to right now to keep you energized in the DJ space?

Carmena: I’m looking at people who are still finding joy and doing the thing that they’ve always been in love with and passionate about. Society says that we’re too old at a certain point to do certain things. We ain’t never too old to do anything that we want, and I don’t want to ever feel like I’m too old or too young to do anything that I want. It is always cool to just see people that are older than me keep going in their career. It reminds me not to limit myself or think that I’m too old to figure it out. I want to be present in what it is for me, what this experience looks to me right now.

As somebody from San Francisco, why is it it important for folks to invest in and support Black creativity within San Francisco?

Carmena: I wish people weren’t pushed out and I wish that it was just booming how it used to be. I remember growing up and just being a part of so many different things, which fueled my creativity. A program like this helps other Black creatives that are from San Francisco to just keep creating. Having conversations with the people in the cohort from San Francisco…it is pretty cool to just hear the things that they’re doing and then be excited about doing something for the city again. This program literally is going to continue to help rebuild. I’m hoping there’s a Black renaissance in San Francisco through having programs like this.

Join Carmena Woodward aka DJ Red Corvette, Shellheart, Umami, and DJ Darling Cool, Bitesize, and Ebonie Marie at the Ruth Williams Bayview Opera House on March 30, 2024 from 12pm to 5pm. Tickets to the event are available here.

Niema Jordan is a writer, speaker, and an award-winning filmmaker from Oakland, CA. She has a passion for character-driven stories and harnessing the power of media for positive community impact.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page