Member Spotlight: Justin
Humans: When did you decide to start your career as a DJ? Who were your early passions and influences?
Justin: I decided to take myself as a DJ seriously 8 years ago. I always had a big connection to music in my life and things really blossomed for me in college. I have a few EDM artists that were impressing me early but I really started getting into 3LAU and Kap Slap productions. Then I started getting into the darker, more raw sounds of dubstep and trap. When I came across Skrillex, the music touched me and resonated with the sounds I like.
Humans: Do you remember your first set-up? How was it?
Justin: Wow, yes I remember my first set up to be very durable, but rough around the edges. Looking back at it now – the set up was terrible. All I had was two 12’ passive speakers, an amplifier, a Hercules mini controller, and a wooden table.
Humans: For you, what is the most appealing thing in your profession?
Justin: I find so many things appealing about being a DJ. Through DJing, you can take the crowd on a journey creating the perfect moment. Just by picking excellent songs and letting them play the way you interpret them. Even the rush you get from performing in front of hundreds of people and the crowd is feeling and reacting to every song you play.
Humans: What were some of the main challenges and goals when starting out as a DJ and how have they changed over time?
Justin: My first challenge was getting the money to purchase professional DJ equipment which is very expensive. Then after earning all that money my next challenge was getting my name out there and making a return on the investment I made in myself. Next, I was searching for open DJ residencies in my area that I could work at. Soon after finding a residency my next challenge was transitioning from just being just a DJ to being a producer/artist which made me uncomfortable. I had to build up the confidence to use the skills as a producer that I never thought was good enough. Once that happened, I could express myself more openly through my sets. Instead of always worrying how to please the crowd I started pleasing myself. This is what led to me expressing my personality through my sets I played. Not only did I start enjoying DJing more, but people started enjoying my sets more.
Humans: How important is building a relationship with clients in your work?
Justin: In DJing building relationships is essential. Your goal when your network is simply to meet people, make friends, and make connections. Everyone is important. Everyone is a potential client. Word of mouth is the most powerful networking tool. Some find out about you through friends, former clients, and even other avenues that could sell you. No matter what realm of DJing you’re aiming at, the goal in networking is to build connections and trade benefit to one another. You have to become someone clients like. Get to know them. Get them on your side. They will not only hook you up with the people you need to get to, but they’ll also support you and promote for you.
Humans: Do you have an established work approach?
Justin: Plan your work! Give yourself deadlines to finish work! Practice! Practice! Practice!
Humans: Have you ever felt that your music has an impact on someone’s life?
Justin: During the summer I host DJ camps where I create the perfect environment to teach and inspire the next generation through music and the art of DJing. In these DJ camps, I taught kids and teens basic and advanced DJ skills. Each week is different from the last and I always challenged them and they learned something new. I would love to believe somewhere down the line I impacted someone’s life positively through music.
Humans: Do you see your job as a transformative force in people’s lives?
Justin: The DJ has the tremendous power to affect people’s state of mind. The DJ provides a therapeutic escape for people every night, every club, and festival.
Humans: A piece of advice for anyone considering to take your career path
Justin: Always take risks when you DJ. No matter what the risk, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone leads you to perform to your true potential which also applies to our everyday lives.
To learn more about Justin, visit his profile:
Visit his SoundCloud to check out his work:
Stay tuned for more spotlights on skilled members of our diverse Humans.net community.