By Sydni Gibbs
Marcus Sullivan, D.J. Superstar, and D.J. Shante spoke about the good, the bad and the ugly of a radio career at the School of Communication’s annual Communication Week conference.
The three D.J.’s explained their unique individual stories, expressing the trials and tribulations they had to go through to reach their ambitious goals.
Sullivan said radio is competitive and only the best of the best will succeed.
“My motto that I tend to tell everybody is be very versatile,” Sullivan said. “Everyone wants to be on the camera; everyone wants to be on the mic. Educate yourself on every aspect of a job.”
Sullivan added that in this industry, it is crucial that aspiring radio professionals set themselves apart from the crowd by exploring and showing off their talent in their own unique way.
“For me, I pattern my whole career off of being different. My thing was, to let me be different, and let me find my own HOV lane,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan encouraged the student audience to use technology as a tool to develop a brand.
“Create your own. You’ve got all of these platforms, start using them to create who you are and people will follow your uniqueness. If you make enough noise, they’ll call you,” Sullivan said.
DJ Superstar also talked about how separating yourself from the normal crowd is imperative and that yes, mistakes do happen, but it is what you do after the mistake that determines one’s future.
“Being a creative person, you cannot be scared to try anything. Most of your success will come from failures,” Superstar said.
D.J. Superstar told students to learn the art of networking. She said contacts can make and break a career.
“Keep your relationships, build your relationships,” said Superstar. “Sometimes in this business, it is not about what you have, it is about who you know or who knows you.”
D.J. Shante told students that radio is a business and they must always wear that business hat. She said equity is critical in this competitive field.
“If you don’t want to pay me what I’m worth, I’m not doing it,” said D.J. Shante. “I don’t have no problem turning it down.”
D.J. Shante told students to be pro-active about careers and set goals.
“One habit that I made is whatever goal I set, I write it down and I post it everywhere in my house,” she said. “I have to see it in front of me just to keep my mind focused on that goal.”
The radio industry may have the appearance that it is all fun and games; however, these Houston based DJs gave students a taste of what it’s like in the real world.