DJ Heathen is an accomplished entertainment professional from right here in Milwaukee, WI. He has about ten plus years under his belt and has mastered the arenas of club management, party promoting, & deejaying. His biography and a highlight of his accomplishments over the years can be found via his official website. He took a break from his current “Social Blends” internet campaign to chop it up with Life + Music = for a brief yet enriching interview. Check it out after the break.
Life + Music =: After years of being in the music industry where do u find your drive?
DJ Heathen: After spending the past 13 years surrounded by the music industry through one medium or another, I won’t lie, my drive is not where it was 12 years ago. It could be the city or the surroundings or lack of opportunity, but the fire I once had is now dimly lit. That’s not to say I can’t get it back, but I would need the right motivation. The music scene has become a business of button pressers, one hit wonders, gimmicks, greed, and minimal creativity. To get my drive back, I would need to meet and work with someone who wants to create something new, not copy what’s already old.
L+M=: How do you feel about this new generation of artists?
DJ Heathen: This new generation will never have the opportunity to be what music was 10 years ago. Music now is too disposable and too easily accessible. The internet and piracy took away that excitement of music. There was a point where you invested $12 – $25 to buy a CD that you may have never heard or heard one song on, you were taking a gamble to see what this album was about. Now you can listen to a whole album on Spotify and never make a purchase. File sharing wounded music and streaming killed it, these artists today are just here in the moment and occasionally we get a glimpse at someone great.
L+M=: Where do you think music will be in five years?
DJ Heathen: In five years music will be even more digital based, probably to the point that artists are signing deals for albums that will only be released digitally. The state of music is in a bad place because it is no longer a cash cow, so now labels are pushing singles instead of artists and gimmicks instead of stories. In five years we ill have a bunch of gimmick rappers, half dead labels, and uneducated listeners.
L+M=: How do you think you impact music?
DJ Heathen: There was point where I know I was changing the landscape on local music, there was a point where I was getting booked for mixtapes regularly because I was producing quality thought out work. I was getting booked for events and having conversations with people, that people couldn’t have, but all of that work never culminated into anything tangible. So over time I redirected my attention to other things. So now I think the only real impact I have on music is the creativity that I try to put into my mixes whether it be on national radio or a private project. My creativity and attention to detail are my impact now.
L+M=: What does Life + music = mean to you?
DJ Heathen: Life + Music to me equals opportunity. If you are passionate about music and you dedicate your time to it, you will be provided opportunities. It may not be the opportunities you want and it may not lead to the payday you hoped for, but I know when it’s all said and done, music gave me stories that I would never have gotten otherwise.
Life + Music = DJ Heathen
Interesting discussion! However with all due respect, we differ on the “state of music” in five years. I’d like to first ask your age? The reason being is I’m a songwriter/producer in my 50’s… and I’ve been involved in the local scene for quite some time. In fact let’s go on step further, anyone who has signed a major record deal from 1989 – 1999, in this city I not only know, but have probably been in their camp at one point or another. Remember: history repeats itself. Singles being pushed is not new, the things going on now were going on in the 1960’s. The medium is different “digital”, but the marketing aspects… not new! Pay attention to what happened then, if you want a glimpse of what will happen in the future! I’d like to add to your formula: Hard work + preparation = opportunities! In today’s climate you don’t have to WAIT for an opportunity, you can create your own! I wish you and your followers peace and love and opportunities in the coming new year! – James