One thing we know about musician and entrepreneur DJ Paul is that he knows what he’s doing in the entertainment industry. Having a Grammy as well as multiple businesses, he is a force in the Hip-Hop culture that will always be looked up to.
Now a days, you can catch the Memphis native running his BBQ and cooking business with his own mixes of sauces and branded flavors he made himself. He is also popular in the club and event scene with his college tours and many appearances around the world.
We at Skilly Magazine got a chance to dive into his world of music and money making tactics, and got to ask him for some advice and major updates in his life.
“One of the biggest mistakes is when you try to sell your demo to big artists. There are a million rappers on the street that are trying to sell their CD’s. And another thing is that these artists are trying to sound like the next hottest artist out right now. You just sit your ass and come up with your own sound…”
SKILLY: Can you give me an update on what you’ve been doing since the last three years?
DJ PAUL: Tour. I tour like crazy. I do this college tour every year. DJ Paul Fireball frat house tour is what we just got home from doing. I do a tour every year with ITP and I brought out an album, a few mixtapes, the Mafia 6 project and now just working on my new CD.
How did you put together your own group, Mafia 6, like how did that come about and a little history?
Basically, it was really nothing but I was trying to make a group out of it. It was more like a side project to help everybody out. You know, all the old members and my brother. I wanted to put together a project to help them out. We did four tours and that’s basically it. Just bringing back time and kicking it while we do music.
Also the last time we talked, you mentioned about your BBQ sauce business. Can you give me a quick update on what you’re doing with the food and the BBQ right now?
Yeah, we’re still selling the hell of the DJ Fireball BBQ sauce. It’s an all purpose seasoning. I have two new seasonings that are coming out in a month; a Cajun seasoning and a whiskey mesquite seasoning.
Right, congratulations on that. Also, are you gonna work with Juicy J on anything new?
I don’t know. You never know. I just got to do stuff and stick around to see.
Going back to your career and everything you’ve done in Memphis, did you produce and rap at the same time or did you start off as a producer or did you start as a rapper in the beginning?
I started out as a producer and I tried to rap. But more like doing producing than writing. Then I just started rapping.
What do you use for production?
I use all kind of stuff. I use all the MPC’s. I got a lot of old keyboards and all that. I use pretty much everything.
I see that you have your store, all the merchandise and all that. How do you keep up with all the new stuff that comes out? Like when a new MPC comes out, do you always buy a new one?
I do but depending on how much the new ones has changed. I’d go ahead and sell the old one and get a newer one. But I keep most of my old ones. I don’t really chase the technology though. I mean I like new things, but I’m not going to get every new one that comes out. You know, depending on how much it changes.
For other producers that are on the come up, what’s the best way for them to pitch to other artists?
I don’t even know how to answer that. Back in the days, I went to the record labels office and tried to get in touch. But I guess nowadays, you can reach them out through social media and all that. Soundcloud is a great platform and you can draw so much attention on that.
Going back to what you said earlier about people trying to do to get in your face, what are some of the things you’ve experienced that would turn you off from wanting to talk to someone else about their music?
The wrong place and the wrong time, you know? Don’t try to talk to me during my dinner with my family, or me at the urinal, you know? You’ve got to have a sense. You have to know what’s right and what’s wrong. You just have to know how to talk to other people.
As independent artists get bigger, it comes up all the time that they want a manager and all that. So at what point would you feel like someone should get a manager?
It depends on what the person is. Some people need it from the beginning and some people don’t. And some need it once the record starts striking. I don’t even have a manger. Managers never worked out for me. But when it’s getting bigger and bigger, that’s when you need to hire someone to manage you.
What are some of the mistakes that you see that are some independent artists making right now?
One of the biggest mistakes is when you try to sell your demo to big artists. There are a million rappers on the street that are trying to sell their CD’s. And another thing is that these artists are trying to sound like the next hottest artist out right now. You just sit your ass and come up with your own sound.
What do you do for fun, what do you do beside work and music?
I just like to hang out. I do real estate also. I like doing interior decoration and stuff like that. I’m really into that right now haha.