A couple of weeks ago I made a decision that terrified me. I turned down my usual NYE gig because for the first time in over 10 years, I felt that I needed to. I currently have a full time job as manager at a live music venue located at the Carlton Hotel called Salon Millesime and we are hosting a major NYE party. I have written about this place many times on my blog. One of my primary responsibilities is booking the talent and curating the 'sonic landscape' of the establishment. This will be the first year since 1999 that I will not be in the DJ booth as I enter the new year. The first year that I will not have my headphones wrapped around my neck, the first year that I won't know what the first song will be and in truth I am terrified and my stomach has turned around in circles over it all.
It suddenly dawned on me however that the experiences I have encountered with this job have been truly extraordinary. I have produced concerts with some of my most talented friends including N'Dea Davenport and Carol C. of Si Se. I have assisted in engineering the sound for performances by artists like Ne-Yo, Estelle, Pras, Lil Kim and Miguel. I have handed the mic to artists like Jay-Z and Kanye. I have booked and toasted with legends in the making like Esperanza Spalding, Eric Lewis and Bob Mover. Last night I was talking to Talib Kweli as he was spinning at Millesime about booking him for a concert next month. I might not be DJing as much, but what I am creating and working on is so much greater than any DJ set could ever be. If anything, I am still DJing and selecting the music but through a much stronger and significantly more distinguished medium. To curate, produce, engineer and host live concerts with such incredible talent is actually a dream come true. They say success is not what and how much you achieve, but it is knowing and embracing success AS you are achieving it.
I have a had a lot of opportunities handed to me in life, but this job did not come easy. This is a position that I worked really hard to acquire and in order to be great at it, I must continue to work hard. In fact this might be the first "real" FT job that is truly fulfilling me.
I might be slightly shifting gears but I will never stop spinning. I will continue DJing at least once a week. I will continue writing about it too. I realized that the thing that makes my stomach turn about NYE is realizing that I am actually evolving, I am growing, I am achieving and succeeding and I find it to be simply terrifying. The world always seems so much safer with my headphones on but I have big things that I need to do and I can't accomplish any of them, if I continue to hide behind the DJ booth.