Brian Henry, known by his stage name DJ B. Hen, is making waves in Los Angeles and beyond. As a DJ, B. Hen is championing “Hollywood’s New Sound” and building a remarkable brand in the process. As a former marketer, he is using those skills he acquired in the corporate world and is creatively applying them to make a name for himself as a premier DJ. We caught up with him to find out how he uses his skills as a marketer to build his brand as a DJ.
DRAKESTAR (DS): How long have you wanted to be a DJ? Who/What was your inspiration?
DJ B. Hen: I’ve wanted to be a DJ since I was 13. At the time, I didn’t have the support of my family. However, after doing damn near everything else, I finally accepted my passion of music and dove head first into DJing. Jazzy Jeff, Cassidy, Rashida, Diplo and the late K-Swift are some of my inspirations.
DS: What did you do professionally before you dedicated yourself to DJing fulltime?
DJ B. Hen: I led west coast entertainment marketing and sponsorships for a major telecommunications company.
DS: How did that experience prepare you for the rigors of entrepreneurship?
DJ B. Hen: Within that opportunity, I captured skills that drove me to create a solid brand for DJ B. Hen. This in turn enhances the viability for partnerships with artists and corporate clients. Moreover, that experience taught me that having passion is essential to your profession. If you don’t love it…you’ll never truly succeed.
DS: What kinds of marketing/social media tactics have you used to gain awareness and build your brand?
DJ B. Hen: [I use] Twitter, Facebook personal page, Facebook fan page, mixcloud, Instagram, email, etc.
DS: How do you think your marketing strategies/knowledge of marketing set you a part from your counterparts?
DJ B. Hen: My particular passion and purpose is unique to me, and me only. Thus, when implementing different marketing strategies for that passion, I don’t seek to compete with my counterparts. Pushing my individuality is more than enough.
DS: What is your brand?
DJ B. Hen: I am Hollywood’s Champion of New Sound. I find it absolutely essential to take pride and actually champion the presentation of new music. So often DJs will stick merely to what’s popular, and that’s just WACK! I challenge myself [to] step beyond what’s expected and provide an ear full of greatness in a way that you’ve never heard it before. It’s what keeps DJing fun!
DS: How do you connect your brand with your audience?
DJ B. Hen: On a daily basis I connect my brand with my audience via nightlife experiences, mixtape listens, tweets and any other form of contact. I’m so keen on emitting positive energy and encouragement to those with whom I have the opportunity to interact. Life is already full of enough tribulations. When you hear my music, I want you to let go of your problems, embrace the moment and sweat it out on the dance floor!
DS: What type of technology (hardware and software) do you engage and employ as it pertains to your overall marketing strategies/campaign?
DJ B. Hen: Just as the saying goes within the hip-hop world “I got two turntables and a microphone!” But seriously, with the advances in technology the barriers to entry within the DJ space have been significantly lowered. The use of Serato and control vinyl is awesome, yet it’s a blessing and a curse. The benefit is that it prevents DJs from lugging crates on top of crates of vinyl records to every gig, however, the downside is that everyone with a Macbook thinks he can DJ! Or even worse…party goers think DJing has become easier “because all you’re doing is pressing buttons.” This couldn’t be further from the truth! Plain and simple – if you don’t take time to master the fundamentals of DJing, technology will become a hindrance and not an advantage.
DS: What advice do you have for up-and-coming DJs as it pertains to self-promotion?
DJ B. Hen: Self promotion is great, however, it’s the experience given from the DJ booth that will drive your brand!
DS: If you would like to add anything else, please do!
DJ B. Hen: It may sound cliche, but cliches are such for a reason. Do what you love, and do it well…the money will come!