Sunday, September 4, 2011

Who is DJ Cassidy?

Earlier this week while discussing business and life between riding waves in Spring Lake, the topic of the Kim Kardashian wedding came up. My friend and colleague DJ Greg Nice mentioned that it was DJ Cassidy who performed at the Kardashian wedding.  Greg proceeded to provide a brief dossier of this celebrity DJ.  Curious to learn more, I sought to answer the questions, "Who is DJ Cassidy?" and "what lessons can be drawn from his success?"

Cassidy Durango Milton Willy Podell grew up on the Upper East Side in Manhattan where he continues to reside.  In 1991, he asked his parents to buy him turntables and a mixer for his tenth birthday, and DJ Cassidy was born!  DJ Cassidy's resume is awe-inspiring.  His clientele includes Jay-Z, Diddy, J. Lo, Kanye West, Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Russell Simmons, Mary J. Blige, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton and Victoria's Secret. In 2009, DJ Cassidy was hired by Barack Obama to perform at the President's Inaugural Ball.  Jay-Z, perhaps the sharpest mind in modern music, recently told the media that "DJ Cassidy is my favorite deejay" (accordingly, he spun at Beyonce and Jay-Z's wedding reception).

Other interesting facts about DJ Cassidy - he is a huge fan of Michael Jackson, and a very sharp dresser having been featured in print ads for Tommy Hilfiger, Fila and Rockport.   To see Cassidy's 20 favorite Michael Jackson tracks of all-time, click here.

Below are several video clips starring DJ Cassidy.  Following are five takeaways - contributing factors towards Cassidy's success, some of which can be applied to our own careers as mobile DJs.  Of course, it is unlikely that Diddy will be calling us anytime soon to DJ his next party in the Hamptons, but small changes can yield big results towards our success! Interestingly, DJ Cassidy cut his teeth on the mobile DJ circuit prior to making it big in the corporate, celebrity and club scenes.  Watch him flex his emcee chops on the Barack Obama inauguration video clip!

5 Takeaways for Success from DJ Cassidy

1) Have a passion for the music that you play!  Your audiences will feel the difference.  In the case of DJ Cassidy, he is so passionate about collecting music memorabilia that he uses valuable kitchen cabinet space to store some of these items!

2) Position Yourself in an Active/Affluent Market.  As I understand it, DJ Cassidy was discovered  while performing in affluent New York City.  For those DJs domiciled in suburban markets with a limited nightlife, it may make sense to re-locate or consider marketing your services in more active and cosmopolitan areas.  A small piece of a big pie may be better than a big slice of a tiny pie.

3) How You Dress and Carry Yourself is Important.   While most of us lack the naturally good looks of DJ Cassidy, we can all make an effort to dress better, show some style and accessorize!  Technical skills are important, but one of the distinguishing factors between a regular DJ and a celebrity DJ is image!

4) Make the Music Your Own.  While DJ Cassidy draws from a wide musical range, I was surprised to learn that many of his selections are similar to the tracks that the working mobile DJs of the New York Tri-State regularly use in rocking parties.  However, as demonstrated in the Barack Obama inauguration video, DJ Cassidy takes these classic jams and stamps them with his own personality.

5) Success Attracts More Success.  From a mobile DJ to New York party DJ to international club DJ to celebrity DJ to fashion model to an endorsement from Coca-Cola.  Cassidy has clearly parlayed his successes in a relatively short period of time.  For those of us whose careers may be stuck in a rut, it's important to remember that we are always just one party away from getting our big break that could set off a positive chain reaction of events.  Of course, the harder and smarter one works, the better the chances for this opportunity to emerge!


Website:  (the music section contains some of Cassiday's favorite songs and download links).

Twitter:  (his preferred social media platform)

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