Welcome to a brand new episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
In this episode, we talk with DJ EFN, an American record label executive and DJ based in Miami. Since the early 1990s, he has worked in the hip-hop industry under the banner of Crazy Hood Productions as an album producer and A&R consultant, mixtape producer, radio host, marketing and promotions specialist, clothing retailer, artist manager, and film producer. Nowadays, DJ EFN is known for the Drink Champs podcast, where he is the co-creator and host alongside the Legendary Queens rapper N.O.R.E.
In this conversation, DJ EFN opens up about moments of his upbringing that shaped him into who he is today. He also shares how hip-hop music influenced him and how celebrating the small wins helped him keep going as he made his way into the music industry.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“Paintball was an outlet to let this rage out.” -DJ EFN
Growing up in the eighties in a neighborhood that was somewhat wild while at the same time having issues with his dad was a recipe for inner turmoil for DJ EFN. He grew up harboring a lot of rage within him, but fortunately, he channeled that energy through paintball.
Not only did paintball become an outlet for his emotions, but it was also an activity that kept him off the streets. And because this was something he was so passionate about, he learned to use his creativity more to ideate intelligent and honest ways to practice this expensive sport when there wasn't any money for it.
“One of the traits that hip hop taught me the most is to represent yourself in an authentic way.” -DJ EFN
Aside from paintball, DJ EFN was really into music growing up. He loved all genres of music, especially metal and punk, which emulated the anger he was feeling inside. But it wasn’t until NWA came out that everything changed for him… He found himself listening to a music genre that he didn't think could convey his emotions. And it was then that DJ EFN realized he resonated more with hip-hop and that it was a music genre where he saw himself more represented.
Through hip-hop DJ EFN learned that not trying to be the next person but representing himself with authenticity was the way to go, especially as he began to make his way into the music industry.
“We gotta show the youth that it's ok to age. We're all going to age... if we're lucky.” DJ EFN
Many people can lose themselves and what authenticity is to them when they enter the show business, especially as they age, but not DJ EFN.
As DJ EFN aged, many people told him to dye his beard black to appear younger. But he decided to embrace the changes in his appearance because he understood that aging is something everyone naturally goes through and that his appearance had nothing to do with his abilities to produce. And by showing up as his authentic self, DJ EFN has become a representation that tells young Latinos that it is okay to age, even in the music industry.
DJ EFN learned to represent himself authentically in the music industry. Listen to this episode to learn more:
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