We caught up with the brilliant and insightful DJ Kidd Kreme a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
DJ Kidd Kreme, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
Friday, March 26, 2021, I quit my job. It was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, a huge leap of faith. I was working at Starbucks for 2 years prior and simply felt unfulfilled. My days were routine, and going to work had become draining. I had been having scheduling conflicts, missing days of work to take gigs, and missing gigs because I had work. We had just gotten a new manager and were becoming increasingly unorganized. It seemed like each day was getting more stressful.
Mid-September I started doing DoorDash to make more money, and I loved the freedom of being able to work when I wanted. I think that’s what sparked the change. After some thought, I realized how much potential I was truly standing on. I could make more money working 4 hours as a DJ than working one week as a barista. It didn’t make sense. I was investing so much of my time to make someone else richer… imagine what I could do if I invested that same time into myself.
So that’s what I did. I put in my two weeks and decided to take that leap of faith. If it didn’t work out, I could always get another job, but I may not always have the opportunities I have now to pursue my dreams. I had an event called Soul Saga at Revery VR bar on the last day I worked at Starbucks and the set was legendary. I had just entered a new chapter in my life, I was doing what I loved, and the energy of the crowd that night was electric. The freedom I felt at that moment was unrivaled. It was an hour of R&B, pure vibes, and people dancing and singing like no one was watching. I wasn’t even getting paid for the set, but it wasn’t about the pay that night. It was a celebration. I was celebrating my freedom with a bunch of strangers, a few friends, and a whole new outlook on life. That moment solidified my purpose in my mind and evaporated any doubt that I held about taking control of my career.
Since that night, I’ve lived the best version of my life. I’ve been happier, healthier, and wealthier than ever before. I’ve done countless events, including weddings, parties, and shows. I’ve traveled to 6 different states (for free) and performed on some amazing stages. I’ve expanded my business, made amazing connections, and captured great memories. Deciding to take a chance on my dreams was the best decision I’ve ever made, and if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it any other way.
DJ Kidd Kreme, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Well, my professional name is DJ Kidd Kreme. Outside of DJing, I’m also a producer and engineer. I’ve been DJing for over 10 years, professionally for at least 6. I started right before 9th grade, around the same time I started producing and engineering. I would practice and do events here and there, but didn’t really go full throttle until I got to college in 2016. I joined an organization called Panther Entertainment Group (PEG) and that kickstarted my career as a DJ. I started doing a lot of events at Georgia State University (including a few Panther Paloozas, GSU’s biggest spring event) and eventually started doing events for other schools like KSU. As I grew my equipment and my brand, I started branching off into other corporate events and weddings.
October of 2021, one of my fellow DJs, Bryce G, connected me with the Reach Records artist Wande for a show out in Cali. It sounded like a great opportunity, so I took it… I’ve been doing shows with her ever since. I’ve also shared stages with artists like 6lack, Derrick Minor, and Hulvey, and DJ’d in at least 6 states and countless cities.
My DJ style is very open format. Depending on the function, I could play anything from Cheryl Lynn to Lil Baby. I love harmonizing genres and time periods to make something fresh and unique. My family is mostly from Brooklyn, but I’ve lived in Georgia for a long time, and that reflects in my music selection. My diversity has allowed me to get into a variety of spaces, and my dedication to quality has allowed me to grow in them.
I’m a firm believer in investing in yourself, which is why I provide all of my own equipment for most gigs, including speakers, lights, controllers, and mixers. Outside of DJing, I do equipment rental, engineering jobs (recording and mixing), and DJ lessons for those who want to learn. I teach everything you need to know to have a solid foundation, as well as what you need to know to continue to grow over time.
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
Absolutely. DJing wasn’t always my main focus. I originally wanted to be an artist. That was what got me into production and engineering… I wanted to make my own songs, start to finish. I think I was actually more focused on production and engineering for the first 4 years of my DJ career. It wasn’t until I went to college and started realizing I could make money from it that I truly started focusing on it. I still had a love for my other crafts, but DJing was getting me paid, so that was what I leaned into. I never stopped producing or engineering though, it just wasn’t where I was investing most of my resources at the time.
When I went to college in 2016, I remember spending my first refund check on a DJ controller. The controller that I had been using wasn’t mine, and it was still back home, so I decided I needed something of my own that I could keep on campus with me. I bought a Numark NV, and that board carried me through all of my foundational years at GSU. I used it for everything… parties, restaurants, and shows (including my very first A3C show). That board was one of the greatest investments I made in myself. As I got more experience, my price went up, and as my price went up, so did the value of my equipment. Fast forward 6 years later, I now own 3 DJ controllers, 8 speakers, and over 15k in music equipment, most of which is available to rent. For the longest time, I was very careful with how I spent my money. Most of the money I earned was reinvested into my business, and over the years it’s paid off tremendously. Knowing how much I’ve spent is also the reason I take great care of my equipment. I’ve never broken a controller, lost a knob, or blown a speaker (God forbid) because this stuff is expensive. When you work hard for something, you make sure you take care of it.
What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
I think it’s a tie between the freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur and the “star power” moments that we get to experience as performers. For the most part, I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and I love that. I make my own schedule, and I don’t have to ask for vacation time. If I want to drop everything and take a trip, all I have to do is book it.
A wise man once said, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” There’s a lot of truth in that statement. I get paid to take trips and party with people. I get paid to make memories and share them with some great people. Entertainment is one of the industries where you get to see the impact you have on someone’s life in real-time, and it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve shared ecstatic moments with good people, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to do so.
- Website: meetkiddkreme.com
- Instagram: @DJKiddKreme
- Facebook: @DJKiddKreme
- Twitter: @DJKiddKreme
- Other: Twitch: @DJKiddKreme TikTok: @DJKiddKreme
Hvbris John & Kym Creative Co.