Billboard Lounge: MICKFeb 28, 2017
Billboard Lounge - February 28 2017
Q: What do you see for yourself down the road with both your music and career?
A: Great question. I see my career continuing to grow. I really focus my career on working with really exciting brands that I believe in, and so I’m fortunate that I get to partner with a bunch of people, both musically and in other aspects. My career is very multi-faceted in that way. So, I’m very fortunate in that way. Beyond DJ-ing, I’m working on a bunch of things, actually. I’m actually going to a lot of brands and colleges now and speaking about creativity and culture, and just kind of forging an entrepreneurial path, which is something that’s a huge passion of mine, and it’s an off-shoot kind of like my career, because my DJ career if very entrepreneurial. I’m all self-managed, I like to figure everything out on my own, so I’m able to take that knowledge and share it with big companies, small companies, students, and just kind of help people have confidence in what they’re doing based on my path, and it’s pretty fun. It’s something I just started in the last six months.
Q: I was going to ask, when did you start this?
A: I just started it like a couple months ago. I just talked to people, like, ‘If you’re going to pay me to DJ, I want to talk.’ And now I need to find somebody to help me build that out, because it’s awesome, I could do this for the rest of my life. Music was what I loved, and I have a business background, so I combined the both to run my life. But I realized a few years ago that my talent isn’t DJ-ing, it’s my talents running my career in putting the pieces together, I just happened to not suck at DJ-ing also. But I’m like, way better at putting together my life than I am as a DJ.
Q: Would you ever think of handling talent?
A: No, I don’t like talent. I like dealing with talent that’s me because I’m easy, I’m the easiest talent anybody’s ever going to deal with. I like more of the brand side; I can see myself working at an ad agency, or, like, I do a lot of angel investing in startups, I can see myself helping young companies grow. That’s the kind of stuff I love. Not a normal answer for a DJ. And of course, being an amazing father to my son Myles.
Q: What is your most memorable experience as a DJ?
A: A year ago, I got to DJ at an event with Michelle Obama, which was fantastic and she was super nice and she smelled great and gave great hugs, and I held the hug a little too long, because why wouldn’t you? And I would do it again. It’s even more special now because our country is a complete disaster.
Q: What artists have inspired your work? Name a top-three.
A: The Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. And James Brown, I’ll just put four.
Q: What is your go-to food at Barclays Center?
A: My go-to food, probably Cafe Habana. I eat there all the time in real life, like right up the street.
Q: Who has been the greatest supporter of your career?
A: My wife, Rana. She’s not coming tonight.
Q: What is the most inspiring musical performance you’ve ever seen?
A: When I first moved to New York years ago, I got invited to a show, like a private show, from a friend of mine, and he wouldn’t tell me who it was or what it was, and he was like ‘just come,’ and I was like ‘alright, that’s cool,’ and I showed up, and it was at the rooftop of this hotel. It was a private show with Prince with just like 100 people in the audience, and he took an interlude…it was either interlude or the beginning, because I don’t remember if he was late, and Dave Chappelle was there, and this was like when he was on his hiatus and no one knew where he was, and he got on stage and started telling jokes to kill time. And I was like, this is why I moved to New York.
Q: When was the concert?
A: Like 10 years ago.
Q: What is your favorite place in Brooklyn to go to for inspiration or peace of mind?
A: I like the monument at Fort Greene Park. I go run the steps at Fort Greene Park, and I’ll just chill outside that monument at the top of the steps. It’s the best place ever, best place.
Q: What advice would you give to young artists like yourself pursuing their dreams?
A: Treat everybody amazingly because you never know where people are going to end up, plus it’s just the right thing to do. Be as creative as you can because you want to contribute something to the art form, you just don’t want to bleed everything from it. And also be about your business, because nobody is going to be a better representative of your brand than you.