DJ D. Jones switched up his pay structure so he could continue to keep money in his employees’ pockets even when they weren’t at an event and continued to book for future events and spread the booking evenly amongst his staff so they knew that the future was looking up.
Who is DJ D. Jones?
DJ D. Jones is a father entrepreneur and full-time upscale events party rocker based in Chicago.
When did you first fall in love with the idea/desire to start DJ’ing?
I first fell in love with music as a child. As early as I can remember, I always listened and enjoyed sharing music with anyone who would listen. Throughout my childhood, I would go to sleep literally almost every night with the radio on. I started DJing on air at my high school during my Junior and Senior years on our school radio station. I later attended college and studied radio and television broadcasting. It wasn’t until 2008 that I began to take the art of DJing seriously.
As the founder of Spark Entertainment Group, can you tell us more about it?
I founded the Spark Entertainment group as a way to serve more clients and give them awesome entertainment experiences from some of the best DJs and live musicians in the business. Our team specializes in providing entertainment for upscale private, corporate, and wedding events. It’s also a prerequisite that each DJ on my team be a working club or bar DJ. We currently work with nationally and internationally known DJs that have each done some incredibly cool things career-wise. I also work with talented musicians that have included violinists, drummers, saxophone players, and guitarists. In addition to entertainers, we also have an audiovisual team to handle all of the technical needs of a private event for us.
Can you tell us how you managed to retain all his full-time staff, as well as keeping morals high when events were at a standstill, due to the pandemic shutting everything down?
We went into the pandemic with about 11 contracted team members, myself, and an office manager. Constant communication with everyone and moving to online platforms to stay relevant really helped keep the team together. I think when our entertainers saw clients rescheduling and new clients continuing to book future dates, that gave everyone the indication that we would eventually get back to normal. Coming out of the pandemic we only lost one team member and we’ve been able to add new talent and support personnel to our team. Another cool thing we did to keep morale up was full team streams where six DJs would play back-to-back on Twitch. Once this picked up, they split off and did their own streams a bit but it was fun to do full team sets.
You found a unique and effective way to keep things positive by investing in what could change things for the better of your team and yourself! Can you tell us more about that?
Coming out of the pandemic, it was important to me to have fresh offerings to clients while also having more efficient setups that allow us to move faster, look better, and just overall prepare ourselves for the future. I’ve invested in new speaker systems that are smaller and not only look great but also still sound incredible. I’ve invested in new photo booth technology that is 2-3 times more efficient for my team to set up but also packed with modern features that clients enjoy.
For those that may be interested in starting a career in the Entertainment industry, especially in DJ’ing, what advice would you give them?
Approach DJ like a business. Educate yourself on your marketplace and peers. Set up processes that will help you to manage. market and promote yourself and stick to those processes early on. Eliminate what doesn’t work immediately and improve on things that do work. Most important, be consistent.
What do see for the future of the entertainment industry, especially after the pandemic?
I think that the event business will be back and better than ever due to a pent-up demand to socialize and get back to normal.
How can people connect with you and everything you have going on?
Featured Image by Aubrey Navaro of Blur Foto