We have talked a lot about the technical aspects of music, how to present yourself, and how to produce. One thing very few people talk about is the actual business and how it can one minute elevate you till you’re floating on cloud nine, then drop you and crush your soul till you wanna die. Dramatic? Maybe. Still, it has been all these things and more for me.
It always helps me when I read about other artists going through the same thing, somehow giving me the strength to go on when things are bad; it shows we are not alone. The truth is, apart from acting, you have chosen the hardest profession in the world, where you’ll live the life of a starvingartiste. The slot is filled for DJ superstars. To join the ranks, you’ll need to produce 20 hits in a row and sell more tickets than the Beatles. Yes, I’m DJ Rap, but if you think it’s all rosy for me, you couldn’t be more wrong.
It’s all about mental toughness. I believe that victory is for believers and those who believe long enough. The question will always be: How long can we hold out before we win, before we starve, before we have to get a day job at McDonalds or Burger King, or even better, Fry’s!
Yep, I make light. What else can I do? Music is all I have done my whole life.
Lesson one is: Have a backup plan. When you learn to produce, this will be a valuable skill and you will always find work in the editing/production world of music and film, as well as any studio—be it Record Plant, Conway, or the like. When times are tough, and they will be, you’ll be glad you have that skill, believe me. I have my own music school now; it’s the gift that keeps giving.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t question my sanity for choosing this path, or leap at the joys of it—as it’s so damn stressful but also so damn amazing. I have given everything up for this and never regretted it.
The struggle to make a great living doing what you love is truly only for the hardcore; that’s what makes the great, great. Look at Oprah, Mohammed Ali, Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, our mothers and grandmothers—all people who taught us life is hard but also can be glorious.