First and foremost who is DJ Z?
DJ Z is the co-owner, VP, and Editor-in-Chief of the DJBooth, LLC. Basically, I am all things DJBooth-related.
DJBooth.net is one of the most interactive hip-hop sites ever. Did you envision that it would be as popular as it is today?
If I said yes, that we did envision the site becoming the interactive destination for new urban music that it has become, I'd be lying. We always hoped that it would continue to grow and prosper, but once you set the table you still have to wait for people to sit down and eat dinner (so to speak). I must say, however, I am thrilled as a result (laughs).
I like the site because it exposes the audience to new artists. I also believe that DJBooth.net has replaced A and R's in regards to breaking new artists. Do you believe that Dj Booth breaks new artists?
Yes, DJBooth.net does in fact break new artists. Two of our largest success stories (and I am not claiming that we single-handled broke these artists) are Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf. Last year, we released K.R.I.T.'s K.R.I.T. Wuz Here and Yela's Trunk Muzik. Within 4 months of each release both artists were signed to major label deals with Def Jam and Interscope (Shady) respectively. Hosting projects for download for artists without other major industry co-signs is what we do. If we believe in an artist, we press GO.
What motivates you as a business person?
I believe I am self-motivated. I saw my father work his ass off when I was growing up and I knew that I wanted to become successful to make him (and my mother) proud. Nobody has to remind you to try hard or keep pushing when you are self-employed.
I have encountered people who are slaves to schedules and routines. How does DJ Z avoid the monotony of daily routines and schedules?
It's very very hard. Running the site requires 70-80 hours of my time over a 7-day work week. I am sure a few bloggers who just read that last line threw up a little in their mouths. I try to avoid the Groundhog's Day feeling (shout out to Bill Murray), but at times it's unavoidable. I love what I do, though, so the day-to-day business isn't hard to deal with.
A business plan is integral to the longevity of a company. An effective business plan has benefited DJBooth in what ways?
Everything we have done (the DJBooth.net Freestyle Series, mixtape hosting for artists, DJBoothTV, etc...) has been the end result of several meetings, conference calls and months of planning. Every few months we have team meetings with our entire staff and we plan out the next quarter of the year. Flying by the seat of ones pants is never a good idea and something we learned very very early on.
When you are exposed to new music, what usually catches your attention?
Individuality, creativity, uniqueness, pride. Oh, and dope ass production work (laughs).
What are some of your interests outside of music?
Spending time with my family and friends, attending sporting events, or maybe reading a good book. I barely have the time, though, so these interests waver quite often. Family, though, I always make time for - always.
What advice do you have for artists that would like to submit music to DJBooth?
Follow the submission instructions in the ABOUT US section of the site and make the lives of myself, and both of my submission staffers, much much easier. If you follow the instructions I promise your material will at the very minimum be heard.
Do you have any pet peeves that you encounter on a regular basis in regards to music submissions?
Yes, people do not read the instructions carefully, or they simply don't read them at all. I also hate when artists send the e-mail and refer to themselves in third person. Stop that!
Do you have any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for wanting to interview me and for helping to shine additional light on what we are doing at DJBooth.net. The support is truly appreciated. Thank you.
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