Antonio Heard, DJ

Added on by Robert Willey.

Shawntiana Boyd

Antonio Heard

June 7, 2016

Phone Interview

 

What is their occupation?

 

DJ

 

How did they get started?

 As a kid Antonio would always listen to DJ’s such as Grandmaster Flash and Jam Master Jay hopeful to one day acquire the skills of such DJ’s.  At the age of 10 Antonio begged his mom and dad for his first set of equipment which was a Kaoss Pad. Christmas of 2000 Antonio received his first set of equipment which was not exactly a Kaoss Pad but it was close enough.  He would rehearse and rehearse for hours in his room to different songs he could play and what kind of persona he wanted to hold.  Antonio adds that, “Learning how to use my equipment did not come easy.  I read the instruction manual hundreds and hundreds of times and tried my best to master the arduous skill of DJ’ing.”  He always had a niche for the art of DJ’ing.

 

What services do they offer?

 Antonio offers his art to night clubs, private parties, events, anything you can think of.  Rates vary depending on the occasion, how many hours the event runs, and traveling expenses.

 

What are their clients typically looking for?

 Clients typically search for a DJ who is skilled in the art of Dj’ing.  “Customers want to be well aware that I can customize their event.  If they want a certain genre played can I play the most popular songs for that genre?  Can I keep the crowd dancing the whole event?  Am I able to handle song request from the guest?  Do I have back up equipment in case of a malfunction? These are just majority of the questions I receive when it comes to client bookings.  I understand why these would be common concerns of theirs.  You want a great DJ or your event can take the wrong turn.  I want to retain old customers and longevity.  I want my returning customers to spread word of my services to new customers.  I always make a great effort in making sure my customers are happy.  They are part of my success.”

 

What skills are required to do the job?

 “I would say skills you need for this job are a passion for DJ’ing first and foremost and staying tech savvy.  With these skills there is no doubt that you will survive in this business.  Passion will take you a long way, you cannot be in the business just for the money.  In my opinion you will not last long.  You have to also stay tech savvy and that goes as far as keeping up with technology and being well rounded.  You have to cater to your customer’s individual needs.  There is not one customer that is the same.”

 

What do they like about the business?

 Antonio finds the drive and energy he gets from others that are in the entertainment industry as the best part of the business.  It gives him constant motivation to perform at his ultimate level.  He has been in the business for six years and there has been times where he did not have the drive and passion because others around him did not have a drive and passion.  It was a time where he was surrounded by those who were only in the business for money and he truly had a passion for the art of DJ’ing and his niche was not enough.

 

What they find most challenging?

 “The most challenging thing is learning how to brand yourself.  It will not be a walk in the park when it comes to doing so.”

 

What’s the biggest change they’ve seen in the business in the last 5 years?

 “Biggest change I have seen in this business within the last five years is DJ’s slowly stepping over to producing as well.  Producing is something I have experience with as well but not so much.”

 

What are their plans for next year?

 “My plans for next year are to breakout nationally.  I am not going to speak on it much.  Actions speak louder than words and I am slowly getting my foot in the door nationally.”

 

What opportunities do they see in Indiana?

 “I see a vast amount of opportunities in Indiana today.  It all starts with networking and building your network.  Networking can take you a long way.  It can be something as small as a conversation with a server at your favorite restaurant.  That server can know somebody who may know somebody that’ll land you an opportunity you probably would have never landed if you would have not had that simple conversation.”  He makes it very known that networking is very important and the use of social media makes it 100 times easier to network today.  You can take advantage of any opportunity with networking.

 

Any advice to people considering going into the music and entertainment business?

 “Advice I have to those going into the business is surround yourself with like minded people, maintain a positive image, and respect everyone you come in contact with.  You want to surround yourself with those who have the same goals as you or goals bigger than your wildest dreams.  Always give yourself a challenge.  Maintaining a positive image is very important you do not want to be known as someone who is bad with business or is hard to work with due to your negative attitude.  I was raised to greet the janitor the same way I greet the CEO no matter your status in life we are all owed some form of respect.”