This Monday will kick off the 25th (!) annual International DJ Expo at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, which is all set to be an explosive four days packed with music, workshops, music, events, parties and music business seminars. One of those seminars will be led by Adam Weitz, executive producer of A Sharp Production, who will be teaching everyone in attendance how to write their own success story…and how to make it stick. The esteemed Mr. Weitz has spent the better part of his two decades not only perfecting his day-to-day business skills, but passing his infinite wisdom to others out there who are in the creative process of building their brand.
Adam will take his knowledge front-and-center at the convention this upcoming Wednesday, August 12th, but before he schools all of those who are attending, he was gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to sip some music business tea with Philly Mixtape, where he spilled about the early creative process of A Sharp Production, just how to make it through those dreaded rough business days, and just what it takes to make your brand work in the rapidly changing world of today’s music business.
If there are any readers out there (Philly Mixtape included) that are looking to build a brand, a business, or just need some inspiration, this is the music tea for you. Read on and get to know the very well-respected Adam Weitz and all of his credible business advice below.
PM-Kicking our music business tea off, spill for everyone about how you got started in this crazy business…
AW-As a third generation entertainer, I started singing at the age of five and began performing at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, and corporate events in my Father’s wedding band when I was thirteen. I first learned the DJ craft in my early teens, and after having developed my skills in Live music and DJ Production, I took these abilities to a whole new level when I started A Sharp Production.
PM-What was that early creative process like starting A Sharp Production?
AW–I incorporated both the live music and DJ backgrounds for many of the events we worked.We offered a DJ production along with a band for very reasonable rates, and the clients loved the intermix of both elements at their events. At the time, the adults commonly would respond best to the live element while the children seemed to prefer the DJ. As time went by, both groups had an affection for the DJ production, and the adults love when we would add even one or two musicians to a party to add the live element while, at the same time, not requiring an entire band at the event.
PM-Now, this is something that all new entrepreneurs face-those tough days when it seems like the whole world seems to be crashing down around your business. Any words of wisdom you can serve out for those young entrepreneurs out there who face those dreaded days?
AW-With the opportunities of working for a production company in the past, I had built the foundation for success and was able to buy out my partnership. As words of wisdom, I recommend learning to understand money and how it works. Success in this industry can be a flash in the pan. Sometimes the economy is great, and you feel like you’re on top of the world. Other times, the economy can stink, and people are only going to want the very basics. Everyone will still have parties, but you have to watch your money. This becomes an easily misconstrued variable. We must remember it’s not only about entertaining. It’s about understanding business.
PM-What would you say is the one thing that has kept your company strong after two decades in the business?
AW-Our construct of business for the employees and sub-contractors we house is a good mixture of a corporate environment for potential growth as well as future areas we develop. We encourage our employees to work for opportunities to grow. By allowing employees to reach for new goals, we keep their interest and maintain the motivation they have to learn new things. With this in mind, they get better, and the company runs more efficiently. Offering rewards to those who accomplish these goals motivates others to follow in certain employees footsteps. This is the same mentality we must keep with our clients
PM-What are some of the biggest mistakes you see fresh-on-the-scene companies making today?
AW-I see many companies who are all sizzle and no steak. They put up fancy websites with a lot of pictures and videos which may not be theirs exclusively in order to win a contract with the client. They get in over their heads and don’t perform with the integrity that they should. I advise them to offer what they know and deliver it with true professionalism. If they decide to offer something with which they are not familiar, the result could be a disappointed client. Despite the years it may take to build a business, nothing can destroy it faster than word of mouth from clients who expected something you didn’t deliver.
PM-Let’s talk about this year’s International DJ Expo. Can you spill for everyone about what you’ll be presenting at this year’s convention?
AW-This year, I will have the honor of presenting a fantastic, one-hour seminar on the subject of understanding the essence of being an Unconditional Entertainer in the service industry. I think it’s important for younger members of our entertainment family to attend a fresh course in some of the most important daily routines and practices they need to incorporate in order to represent discipline before their employees, so they will know a certain way of doing business in your company is essential. Leadership, among everything else, is vital to the longevity of a good business. Therefore, I believe attending a seminar on becoming an Unconditional Entertainer is important.
I will also have the honor of performing on Wednesday night up on the stage with Big Daddy, and I get to watch my headline entertainer Jay Berkovitz go for entertainer of the year.
PM-What do you hope everyone in attendance will gain from your seminar?
AW-I hope they will get a healthy idea about running a business, working with others, and communicating in a way where everyone focuses in the same direction. I also wish to help others get a clear idea as to whether or not they are truthfully representing their business or masquerading for inauthentic purposes.
PM-Besides your presentation, what else are you most looking forward to at this year’s expo?
AW-I always look forward to seeing my fellow colleagues from around the country who have come from near and far to visit the exhibits, attend the seminars, and learn new lessons. I very much enjoy networking and meeting people who are new to the industry! I think it’s great that this industry has grown strong, and one of the things that I truly enjoy is being able to re-establish old connections with people who I haven’t seen in a few years that, unfortunately, couldn’t attend last year. It is very important to incorporate new network relationships, and since things can be done so well digitally now, there are people
who can offer services to help out on your parties from thousands of miles away. This is a great opportunity in today’s modern era of entertainment.
PM-Let’s go out with a little music. The one album you can’t live without is…
AW-Billy Joel’s The Stranger. I am a huge fan of his music, and that
album, in particular, is one of my all-time favorites.
PM-One last sip. Your favorite summer anthem of all time is….
“1,2,3,4(Sumpin’ New) by Coolio is my favorite for two reasons – one because he used the song “Fantastic Voyage” [by Lakeside] as a back beat, which is a great disco song, and two because it reminds me of going to the beach when I had downtime and I was able to party it up myself and enjoy the relaxation of being at the shore!
For much more on A Sharp Production, groove on right here.
For more info on this year’s 25th annual DJ Expo, put those headphones on and go right here.