Alongside Corey Llewellyn and Andrew Edgar (the REAL founders of Digiwaxx), I helped develop a fledgling brand into a household name.
At the time, Digiwaxx’s core was DJs from all walks of life: radio DJs, college DJs, club DJs, satellite DJs, pirate radio DJs, hobbiest – anyone who spun vinyl, digital vinyl or CDs.
And our base was huge.
So as Digiwaxx grew, labels became wholly focused on the mainstream DJs (radio, satellite, mix show), and less on the others.
As technology started to change, so did the appetite for DJs, who became less enamored by Digiwaxx’s methodology of sending daily email blasts (sometimes up to ten in a day).
Where our open rate used to be well over 90%, we’d be lucky to get 50% and by the time I left Digiwaxx, our open percentage was below 10%.
Mind you, by that time, we had well over 25,000 registered DJs, so 10% still represented a fair number of DJs, and our reach was worldwide.
Fast forward six years, and I’m now working with another brand, that’s catering to DJs.
This time, the focus is exclusively college DJs, and the name of this brand is, appropriately enough, CollegeDJ.
Now, you must know, that CollegeDJ was started by my younger brother, Celestine, who never understood the allure of Digiwaxx.
Through my eight years with Digiwaxx, he was constantly pointing out areas where we could improve or risk obsolescence.
As is typical of older brothers, I ignored his entreaties, opting instead to tow the party line, and follow the initiatives we had set, with blind allegiance.
Even as our stats started to decline, labels balked at the price for our service, and the grumblings (about the frequency of blasts or the failure of labels to respond to requests from smaller DJs) from our membership became louder, I stayed the course.
When I finally did leave, it was just as my brother was launching CollegeDJ, at Penn State, as the antidote to Digiwaxx.
CollegeDJ has quietly become the standard bearer for college djs across the nation.
Every day, CDJ publishes articles about label signings, new artists, and the latest music releases, keeping its membership and readers up to speed on the goings-on of the music industry.
Four or five times a year, CDJ puts out a mixtape, CDJ Sound Check (now on it’s 7th volume) featuring the music of underground, up-and-coming, and established artists alike.
And now, in it’s second year, CDJ hosts an annual music festival, which brings together all the brightest talent in music and DJ culture for a full day of panels, music performances, DJ battles and partying.
This year, the CollegeDJ Music Festival takes place Sunday, November 11, 2012, from 7:00 pm to 4:00 am, at the storied Sullivan Hall.
I’ve been working quietly behind the scenes, doing a little here and there to help ensure the success of the event.
Two years ago, CDJ brought out the likes of Najee, Zuzuka Poderosa, DJ Valissa Yoe, The White House Band, and others.
But this year’s line-up is sure to raise the bar.
I can’t talk about it until the confirmations are in, but rest assured, it’s going to be off the chain!
With over 16,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and over 18,000 followers on Twitter, CollegeDJ has certainly struck a nerve with a significant niche audience.
It probably doesn’t hurt that the founder of CDJ is an SEO/SEM/social media ninja – with a Ph.D. to boot!
Make sure you mark your calendar!
And if you’re an artist, and would like to perform, make sure you reach out to CollegeDJ right away!