Musical journey comes to end after KALX DJ Chelsea Dolan perishes in Oakland fire

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Chelsea Dolan, a DJ for campus radio station KALX, died while doing what she loved the most — performing music. She was 33 years old.

Dolan, who went by the moniker Cherushii, was identified as a victim of the Oakland warehouse fire, according to a press release issued by the city of Oakland Monday. Dolan volunteered at KALX as a DJ and had been with the station for nearly four years.

Dolan had always been musically inclined and could play a melody she had heard or a newly written song on any musical instrument of her choice, according to a Facebook post by her mother, Colleen Dolan. Dolan also deejayed at events around the Bay Area and released records, according to Sandra Wasson, KALX general manager.

On Friday night, Chelsea went to Oakland to perform with her friend Travis Hough at the “Ghost Ship” warehouse’s electronic music concert, according to Zain Syed, a local DJ. Syed met Chelsea around four years ago in the music library of KALX radio station. Soon after meeting her, he offered her a position as a guest artist on his radio show “Citizen Zain” and Dolan later went on to host her own show with the station.

“(Dolan) was a sweetheart, she really was the softest person … She did a lot of favors for me, in terms (of) covering for me and stepping (in) for my show,” Syed said. “She was super talented.”

Syed said his last memory with Chelsea was hanging out at her party called “Run the Length of Your Wildness” held in San Francisco just before Thanksgiving this year.

“Being around Chelsea made you feel cool about yourself,” Syed said.

Tessa Hulls met Dolan 14 years ago, when the two of them were working together at an ice cream shop. On special nights, Dolan and Hulls would decorate the parlor and would host “scoop disco night,” according to a comic Hulls made commemorating Dolan.

“Just being around (Dolan) made you feel like you were at home, and she had a deep need to make sure that you were always comfortable, fed, and entertained,” Hulls said in a Facebook message. “She wasn’t content to follow the beat of a different drummer, she had to literally make the music that she needed to pursue.”

According to Hull, Dolan made her feel safe by welcoming her into her life and the immense love she displayed made the world a better place.

“It’s a very tragic loss,” Syed said. “We lost a hero, but we gained a legend.”

Contact Parth Vohra at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @ParthVohra622.

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