Alright readers. It’s the end of the year and you know what that means- celebration, celebration, celebration. And you know what celebrations mean? Food, music, entertainment, fashion, and networking. So, the interviews you read this month will be from entrepreneurs who know a lot a bit about what tends to go down as we begin to wrap up this year and bring in the new year.
First up this month is Philadelphia's own, DJ Ignite. He’s a man of few words and many beats. He’s been a full time DJ in the greater Philadelphia area since 2005 and he’s done everything from the block party to the wedding everyone on the block is talking about, from the ducky spot bar to the familiar spot we all know and have grown to love.
When I asked for the interview he had no problem talking with me. When I asked what would be a good time to talk he said “Now.” He’s definitely down to earth and about his business, and his business is playing music that promises you will have a great time.
Phreedum: So, how did you get started as a DJ?
DJI: My brother and I would go to different parties. We’d have a good time but we were always interested in who and how the party kept going. It was pretty easy to see that it was the DJ. The DJ is the party. So my brother bought a turntable and I dabbled with it. I wasn’t too good at first. But I kept going to parties, experimenting with the turntables, buying more equipment, and talking to other DJ’s that I liked and knew.
Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
DJI: Sociable, friendly, outspoken, energetic, blue- collar
Phreedum: What has been your greatest success so far as a DJ?
DJI: Having a following. To plan events that people come to and enjoy themselves so much that they keep coming back to other events I plan or DJ has definitely been a success for me.
Phreedum: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
DJI: Sometimes to achieve the success you want you sort of have to start again. It’s important to me to have a diverse following. So sometimes that means I play at new spots and it feel s like starting again. I have to learn the crowd and the culture that particular venue draws. But, in the end as I expand I gain access to a new clientele and grow my following. So it pays off.
Phreedum: Who has been the most influential person in allowing you to phreely pursue your work as a DJ?
DJI: Two DJs I know- Kevin and Dolly. When I was just starting out they were the ones that let me attend events they were working. Kevin taught me a lot about mixing music and Dolly taught me a lot about being prepared and thinking ahead about what to play next.
Phreedum: I’ve been to several of your events and you interact with the crowd a good bit. Who taught you that?
DJI: That’s all me. I like doing that. The interaction provides feedback and the feedback helps me to be a better DJ. It’s a good time and that’s what I’m about.
Phreedum: How does you work as a DJ change the lives of others?
DJI: I think it provides people with happiness and my events give people something good to look forward to. When they come to an event I am playing at they know they are going to have a great time. No matter how their day went or what they may have to do the next day, they know when DJ Ignite is in charge of the music I’m in charge of guaranteed pleasure. Everyone deserves to be happy right?
Phreedum: I sure do. So I am sure part of being happy is doing what you love, providing a good time, and growing your following, but what else has been rewarding for you as a DJ?
DJI: The pay is pretty rewarding, and the experience. Each experience not only prepares me for the next but it keeps me hype and motivated. The experience helps me think about other markets I want to get into, new music mixes, and reminds me of how important it is to stay current. It helps me to just keep doing what I enjoy doing. I’ve been doing this full time since 2005 and I don’t wake up regretting this decision. Yeah it’s hectic sometimes and stressful, but it’s still very rewarding.
Phreedum: Speaking of stress, how do you de- stress and stay motivated?
DJI: I would say I am pretty self motivated. It doesn’t take a lot to get and keep me going. Plus I am really curious. I am constantly looking up something, reading something, or attending some event so I can stay current and expand my following. Now as far as de- stressing, staying organized is really helpful. If I am not organized that stresses me out. And then there is the time with family, video games with my son, and sleep. That helps too.
Phreedum: Are there particular events you like to host or DJ?
DJI: I prefer the 21 and older crowd. I think I get to have a lot more freedom with the music I play and that crowd generally likes to dance. I like to play for dancers not just listeners. Under 21 I have to play a lot of the edited version music and it can take them a while to actually go from standing on the walls and nodding their heads to getting out on the dance floor. I mean I guess that’s normal for your late adolescents, but as a DJ it doesn’t feel normal. Normal for me is masses on the dance floor and people still dancing and talking after I’ve shut it down for the night and they are headed home.
Phreedum: So 2011 is about to wrap up. It sounds like it’s been a pretty good year for you and I imagine with holiday parties and events you will get a few more great nights in. But as you look toward the new year, is there any particular area as an entrepreneur you hope to grow in?
DJI: I think to continue to build my following and just be more popular in and outside of Philadelphia. As a DJ I think you rely heavily on word of mouth for your business. I want to continue to diversify the venues where I play and host events so that I can build that following and keep giving people a good time.
Phreedum: So what advice would you give to other young DJ’s?
DJI: Starting out, look at it as a job at McDonalds-full time work and part time pay. You put in a lot, or you should put in a lot, but the initial tangible reward, the pay, doesn’t always add up to what you put in. Now, with that said, don’t underestimate the exposure and experience you gain starting out. That is priceless.
To phind out more about DJ Ignite please visit http://
www.ib-Entertainment. com or look him up on Facebook as DJ Ignite Philly.