Through interviews and personal stories, my goal is to highlight individuals that are following their dream(s)/passion(s). By understanding their journey, it may serve as an inspiration for the next person, thus creating a cycle of goals, hard work, and success! It’s no surprise that Justin “DJ Omega” Gaines gets the spotlight for this Dreamworld interview. If you don’t know about him, you’re missing out and I’m here to tell his story so that you can be on the lookout from this moment forward. DJ Omega has taken the art of spinning and turned it into a lifestyle and I’m not talking about the iTunes DJ that plays music at a friend’s wedding, I’m talking about a true DJ with knowledge of the craft and its history!
His journey through the business began at the young age of 12 while walking through a mall when he saw a DJ performing; from there the rest is an amazing ride to the top. Getting excited and thinking to himself how cool it was, he put the wheels in motion to make it happen. Justin began getting advice from other DJ’s, saving his money from allowance and snagging around-the-way jobs until he was able to buy his first turn table. He started booking gigs at the mall and skating rinks throughout the Philly and South Jersey area, perfecting his skills along the way. He moved up to booking gigs at teen clubs in Philly, then working/interning at 103.9 for the next three years. At the age of 17 he landed his own radio show, which aired on Saturday mornings with its intended audience being high school kids. By the time college came around he moved on to one of Philly’s biggest radio stations, Power 99, and was a regular guest on NBC 10, which turned into a regular program for the next three years.
As if that isn’t enough excitement to last a lifetime, that was just the beginning for this star. He began working with State Property and while in the studio, ran into Wale; from there, magic happened. Wale dropped his first album and began touring, bringing along DJ Omega for the next two and a half years. He’s back to the hustle and grind where he started, DJing at clubs throughout the U.S. (Miami, Vegas, Philly, New York City to name a few). He’s been featured in The Source Magazine, XXL and Complex and is launching his own snap back hat line with Wale, Mitchell & Ness, Meek Mill, Big Sean and Big K.R.I.T. Here’s some of my interview with DJ Omega where he explains the feeling of so much success, how he landed some of the biggest gigs of his life and how he remains humble through it all.
Who are some of your inspirations?
Kid Capri, Jazzy Jeff, DJ A-Track and I also read a lot. One of my favorites is the story of Malcom X since it relates to struggle.
How do you remain so humble in the midst of your success?
I’m very humble! We all sh*t and bleed, nothing separates me from anyone else…I’m cool as hell, I follow my dreams and ambitions.
How do you maintain your drive and hustle?
I’ve been DJing since 12 and I had to step it up to mainstream. This isn’t a phase, this is a career choice for me! I could easily go to school, but it’s not for me…if it’s your passion, it doesn’t feel like work. It was love at first site! I looked in The Source and said “I’m going to be in this magazine one day…” and I did that!
I look towards the future.
What’s in your future?
Ownership, franchising…I’m a business minded individual…I want more residual income.
You do work on the East Coast and West Coast, would you ever move to the West?
Depends on the opportunity.
What’s your pet peeve about the industry?
DJ’s back then were known for their record collection. Now DJ’s bring their computer and push a button all night! It’s a slap in the face towards the culture…it’s easy for DJ’s now…they need to leave it to the professionals.
What do you think is your God-given purpose in life?
Self preservation and procreation. I want to keep the good cycle growing.
Are your parents supportive?
I have the greatest parents in the world! They weren’t supportive at first, but they never hindered me from doing anything. My mom used to drive me to clubs for work and I grew up in church.
What changed their minds?
Seeing me on TV and being on the radio…they knew I could really do it!
What advice can you offer others trying to do the same thing?
Practice! Everyone has music, but it’s your style that differentiates you from the pack.
Are you in a relationship now and are they hard to maintain with your success?
No girlfriend and absolutely! A lot of girls can’t deal with the lifestyle.
What do you look for in a partner?
Ambitions. They have to have something going for themselves. They would have to have their own life outside of the union and bond. It allows you to miss the person.
Where have you traveled (outside of the U.S.) doing what you love?
London, Paris, Japan, Switzerland, Amsterdam
Who are some artists that you have you worked with?
Kevin Michael, Wale, State Property, Beanie Sigel, Killa Mike, Big Boi, Kevin McCall (works with Chris Brown), to name a few.
How do you reach out to big artists; is it all about who you know?
It’s all about who you know and the relationships you build. And musical directors…once artists reach a certain level of prestige, they like musical directors.
So in regards to your hat deal, how did that happen?
I sat with the President and CFO of Mitchell & Ness to pitch the concept and idea for the program and they backed the idea. It’s going to be $50-$100 per hat and 50 hats per artist will be sold; it will be limited edition.
When will you be able to sit back and say to yourself, “I made it!”?
When I have grandchildren and I’m in a rocking chair (lol). I will just tell them to look on my Facebook page (lol).
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell that DJ Omega is a package deal: humor, drive, fortitude and most of all the skills to make a name for himself. I’m a fan of his work and have been for quite some time, but as you can see I’m not the only one taking notice. Keep it up and thank you for visiting the Dreamworld!
To check out DJ Omega visit: http://www.djomega.net