726. Corporate Superstar Turned DJ, Wants to Help You Unleash Your Creativity, Too
“I just want to help people unlock their creativity in a massive way, whether it’s teaching them how to DJ or guiding them along so they can learn from the path that I take.”
Amani Roberts is a Washington, D.C. born-and-bred creative who has been a DJ since 2008. Amani’s hospitality career has spanned over 25 years. He is the Chief Musical Curator for his company, The Amani Experience, which specializes in providing music for events, creating original music for commercials or videos, team building activities, creating remixes and teaching students of all ages how to DJ. Amani also hosts a weekly podcast called “The Amani Experience Podcast” where he interviews creative professionals from all over the world about why they took the leap from corporate life to the creative life.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“The key thing I learned about working with people when I began a part-time job with Marriott Hotels is that the quickest and easiest way to break down the typical barriers that exist between us is to ask them where they are from: what town, where did you grow up, how long have you lived there? Typically people become more comfortable, less stressed and easier to engage with. This lesson has stayed with me my entire career of building solid relationships.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“When I was still in college at Howard University in 1995 I went to see a DJ named Biz Markie, who was also a highly talented rapper, beatboxer, actor and more. He set the crowd on fire that night—we were all singing along and totally caught up in the energy of the experience. At that moment I knew I wanted to be a DJ. So while I was focused at the time on getting a ‘traditional job,’ and did, in every city that I lived I would seek out the performing DJ’s, get exposed to different kinds of music and different DJ styles.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“My career had been thriving with Marriott for 15 or so years in various roles in management and marketing and I was fortunate to win the highly coveted Chairman’s Circle award for the top 2% of performers on several occasions. When I got to Los Angeles I found the entrepreneurial spirit to be much higher than on the East coast. People encouraged you to pursue different ideas and passions. So about one year after I moved here I got up the courage to start my DJ business.”
Steps to Success from Amani Roberts
1. Journaling is a powerful way to get in touch with what is truly lighting your fire every day, even if you spend only 5 or 10 minutes a day jotting down the experiences that worked well for you or not well for you and why.
2. Take the first step once you begin to connect with that inner passion for something however small that step may be. Start exploring!
3. Share your ideas with someone you trust who can give you honest feedback based on their experience of knowing you as a family member, friend or coworker.
On His Bookshelf
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Artist’s Way A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julian Cameron
Connecting With Amani Roberts
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Careers: Disc Jockey (DJ), Hospitality, Management, Marketing, Sales
Topics: Creativity, Hospitality as a Career