A stage name is more than just an alias for creatives; it’s a reflection of an artist’s style and personality.  

To Jia Meneses, her stage name “Jia The Menace” carries a distinctive charm –– one that leaves a raucous, (somewhat) chaotic, but unique impression on anyone that hears it. It’s playful in all the right ways, and it sets Jia apart from other DJs with more traditional stage names. But what exactly does the ‘Menace’ in the name mean to Jia herself?

“Honestly, it looked and sounded cool upon reading it on gig posters, so I just went with it,” says Jia. “My original stage name was Jia Menaces –– and the suggestion to change it to Jia The Menace, similar to “Dennis The Menace” came from yung friend ko, si [my friend] Meme Gomez.”

Liking the name was one thing, but sticking to it showcased a whole new level of commitment to the bit. “From that name, I thought that it could have a meaning na parang ‘menace sa deck,’ para kakaiba sa pandinig ng tao [so that it’s different to people’s ear]. It suits the work I’ve done at Bad Decisions [an events organizer in the local club scene], because it has a ratchet and messy name that fits right in with the menace name, so tugma siya [it matches].”

“At first, to people who don’t really know me, pag napapakilala ako [when I introduce myself], they recognize me as ‘The Menace,’ so the name really sticks to them and nakakaaliw yan [it’s exciting] for me,” she adds. 

Unexpected Beginnings

Jia’s path towards music was something she didn’t necessarily plan but instead, came as the result of a love affair with music that began at an early age. 

Raised in a family where music was a constant presence, Jia’s own passion for collecting and curating music ignited her love for the art. “I also used to collect CDs before the age of Spotify, even burning my own playlists into CDs from the computer shop, and I would store them in those thick CD booklets. That’s how it all began.”

However, it was a seemingly accidental dare that propelled her into the world of DJing. “One of my college classmates dared me to join one of those DJ competitions at school, just for fun. I joined, and luckily, I won that competition. From that moment, my DJ career started,” she remembers fondly. She, along with her competitors, formed a group called “I RAVE,” which quickly gained momentum and opened the doors to her budding musical career.

Jia The Menace DJ


Rising Above Challenges

That isn’t to say that things came quite easy for Jia, though. Every artist’s journey comes with its own challenges, and in Jia’s early days, acquiring her own gear was a significant hurdle. “When I was starting out, wala akong gamit nun [I didn’t have gear then]. I looked for music at home, I just put it in a USB drive, tapos nakikigamit ako ng [then I borrowed] stuff from my group.” 

Jia adds, “I learned a lot of things from that, such as really starting from the bottom. Eventually I was able to buy my own stuff. It was really a challenge when I was starting, but what got me through it was just learning from the experience and taking inspiration from anyone and everything around me.” 

Whether it was her fellow DJ peers or other musical artists from a wide variety of genres that she got to meet, Jia credits each of them for inspiring her to overcome her initial doubts and hindrances. “Whether you’re a producer, singer, or rapper, I always managed to find inspiration in the artists I met.” One pivotal figure who Jia mentions to have influenced her journey is DB from Baryo Berde, a rapper who introduced her to a network of musical creatives, DJs, and artists. 

To Jia, she credits the support of the right people to have played a crucial role in her growth. “You have to be with the right people and crowd to help you grow,” she emphasizes. Through these connections and support that she garnered, Jia’s passion for music grew, and her performances became the unique blend of influences and creativity that it is today.

The Menace’s Musical Way

As a DJ, Jia is renowned for her energetic and dance-focused musical sets. While she primarily plays dance music, she refuses to limit herself to a single genre. “I aim to offer something different from the usual house music. I also want to cater to women by incorporating genres like dancehall and other dance-y styles,” she explains. “I’m honestly all for women empowerment, behind the deck and on the dance floor.”

In her early days working with Bad Decisions, she was known for incorporating trap and rap music, often featuring female artists like Nicki Minaj. Today, Jia is passionate about using her music to empower women to dance and enjoy themselves. “If I make people dance, I know I’m doing my job right.”

Jia The Menace DJ


Throughout her career, Jia has soundtracked various events and venues across the country, from the bustling scene of bigger parties to some of her most cherished experiences — which includes her first out-of-town gig in Iloilo for the Dinagyang Festival. “It was super fun because it was a Bad Decisions event. I got to play for different crowds outside of the Manila scene, and it was very fulfilling,” she recalls.

For Jia though, what stands out most are the small and intimate gigs that hold a special place in her heart. “I prefer to interact with the crowd, converse with them, and join them in dancing. I vibe with the crowd and get inspired by them,” she says. 

A Multifaceted Creative

But beyond her DJ career, Jia adorns multiple hats and responsibilities. By day, she’s an architectural designer (on the way to becoming an architect) and an event producer. Her work in these fields provides an additional outlet for her creativity and allows her to explore various facets of her artistry. “I like to keep different outlets to prevent burnout,” she shares. “It’s important to keep learning and finding inspiration in various areas.”

As all these things put together, Jia finds herself constantly excited about whatever she can set her mind to, even though alloting time itself can be a challenge. Her multifaceted approach to creativity allows her to maintain a fresh perspective and avoid getting burnt out in any specific area. “Minsan, nagugulat ako sa sarili ko. Parang I want to tell myself na ‘tama na, oh my god’ [Sometimes, I surprise myself. Like, I want to tell myself, ‘stop, oh my god’],” she shares with a laugh.

The Thriving Electronic Scene And Beyond

With the growing popularity of the vibrant music scene in the Philippines, Jia believes that the future of the club scene holds a lot of promise. “People [today] are open to different genres, and they’re evolving their tastes,” she explains. “Genres like drum & bass and techno are gaining popularity, but ultimately, the main job of a DJ is to read the crowd and adapt to their preferences.”

In a musical landscape that is constantly evolving, she mentions how important it is to stay committed in staying true to your own style and reading the audience’s vibes. Offering some valuable advice to those looking to break into the scene, she shares: “Find the music that you want to play. It takes time to discover your sound,” she emphasizes. “Surround yourself with the right people and learn about yourself and the audience. Dapat alam mo [You should know] when to trust yourself and stay open to learning.”

Future Forward

Looking ahead, there are still a lot of big plans that Jia has in store for the future. “We’re planning on doing international gigs, probably like a tour –– hopefully we’ll start with Singapore, Thailand, and other countries with great nightlife for our out-of-the-country tour,” she mentions.

In addition to that, Jia also has her mind set on getting into music production, if time is on her side. “It’s been on my bucket list for a while, but I’ve always wanted to produce music. Perhaps I can start with edits here and there as I make my way into it.”

There’s also a lot to look forward to on the scene, as she mentions the tenth anniversary of Bad Decisions coming up this December. “There’s a lot of talented musicians and DJs who are going to perform there, so expect that we’ll make it big and chaotic for sure,” Jia adds.

Jia The Menace DJ


As Jia The Menace continues to make a splash on the Philippines’ electronic dance music scene, her unique style, dedication to her craft, and multifaceted creativity are sure to leave an indelible mark. Like a rebirth for her own identity, she takes the ‘Menace’ moniker and wields it unapologetically –– staying true to her tastes, and unique identity that’s tough to come by.

With her distinctive sound and infectious energy behind the decks and on the dance floor, she’s a rising star to watch –– one whose future looks brighter than ever.