DJ NEENYO @ Prophet Bar 3/30/14

On 3/30, I’ll be coming to the Prophet Bar in Dallas to serve up another helping of hard dance. At the moment, I’m thinking of opening with some psytrance and then closing the set out with some hardstyle. I’m really excited to bring the harder styles of dance music to a major venue. My timeslot has not been locked in completely, but it will more than likely be after 10:00 PM. I want to play for the older, drinking crowd. So come on and get your drink on and dance your ass off for awhile.

Tickets are available online now. You can get them now at a discount, but be sure to get them as soon as possible, because the sooner you get them, the cheaper it is. See you there!

https://tickets.aftonshows.com/DJNeenyo

Smoked Out Saturdaze Feb. 8 @ 365 Hookah Lounge

There’s a new hookah lounge that just opened in Garland, TX.  The place doesn’t look like much from the front, but it’s easy to find by the bright, color-changing strip lights in the windows and the big, colorful sign that reads “365 Hookah Lounge”. The inside is very nice. It’s decorative, yet spacious enough to dance. There’s plenty of sitting space including couches and chairs with tables and some TVs to watch while you chill and smoke. Probably the best part is the hookah, which starts at only $11.99, compared to other places that charge upwards of 15 dollars. As a DJ, the other best part to me is brand new sound system, which consists of 2 massive PA speakers and a big-ass floor sub. It’s a compact setup, but it puts out a lot of power.

It’s a place worthy of coming to again and again. On Febuary 8th (this upcoming Saturday), I’ll be bringing the bass for all who come out to chill. Swing by and show some support to these guys who run the place. They’re really laid-back, and they keep a chill, drama-free environment. It’s usually a low-key place, but we’re trying to make this a weekly event for people to come chill and dance to some good electronic music, so come out and show us some love.

If you like genres of dance music not normally heard in most clubs, then you’ll like the atmosphere.  One one hand, I’m bringing some super spacy chillwave, and on the other hand, a heaping load of hardstyle and hard trance. Expect some deep house and old school dubstep and breaks as well.

You can RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/199685680226071/

Gothica Music Festival and New(ish) Releases

So first I want to say thanks to everyone who made Gothica Music Festival possible. There are too many to name but many thanks go to DJ OMG and Gypsy Masters for giving me the opportunity to get involved in this event. Also shout out to DJ Seven, RoboJoe, and DJ S.Y.E. for repping the harder styles of dance music and giving us underground ravers a stage to call our own. There a hell of a lot of mud walking from stage to stage, but we being dedicated as we are made it work and found paths to travel that wouldn’t ruin our shoes. There was plenty of room to dance and camp and the weather was perfect for dancing (it kept us warm without breaking a sweat). Thanks to the people who brought concessions for everyone and DFW NORML for coming out and supporting us. Thanks to the fire spinners who provided some extra entertainment for the night, and to Dallas Event Audio for the massive sound system. It was a great night and I look forward to the next one.

That being said, let me just announce that I will be re-releasing 2 of my tracks within the next week through Synbot Records. Why re-release a track, you may ask? Well, I just had two of my best  and recent tracks, “Kick It Off”, and “Dark Nether Remix” professionally remastered before they go on Beatport to be sold worldwide. Seriously, they sound so much better. Much better than I could ever make them.

You can find the previews  on my soundcloud page (soundcloud.com/dj-neenyo).

Release dates will be announced soon. Stay posted and keep the PLUR alive! Deuces!

5. My Skills

I think, for the most part, I am very skilled at what I do, though I could  always be much better. However, the issue for me is not really how much better I need to get as an artist. I will have plenty of time to practice my acting and my mixing and production skills. I get better each day just by applying those skills. My biggest challenge lies with patience.

As a perfectionist, I always want to do everything right. I can’t settle for anything less than the best. Every artist knows that you can’t become a master at something overnight, otherwise nobody would revere and respect talented artists.

However, I am one of those people who loves the process of getting better, but also hates the thought of never being as good as we wish we were. When I was first starting out as a DJ, I was always so frustrated at the fact that gigs didn’t just appear as soon as I started announcing that I was a DJ. I just wanted to play for an audience. I wanted to dive right in without having any experience in dealing with negotiations and catering to various artists. My music library at the time was limited to “uhntz uhntz” club music. I became very bitter and annoyed that I had no gigs. That wasn’t just starting out, either. Even so much as a couple of months ago, I was going through the same slump. I just couldn’t figure out why every other DJ I knew seemed to be getting gigs and record deals and I wasn’t.

I realize now that I was being impatient. I’m still very young, and I’m still starting out, and yet now I’m playing at a 5-stage, 55 DJ festival. Looking back, I can’t believe I’ve gotten as many gigs as I have for only being a DJ for 2 years. I’m already signed to Synbot Records for crying out loud. I’ve been producing for less time than I’ve been DJing. I’ve always had an ear for the dynamics of electronic music, but for the longest time I lacked the technical skills to apply that artistic talent. Once you start something, it takes time to become established at it.

Impatience has been the biggest problem of mine. I try to push through when I need to be happy with how far I’ve come. But my saving grace has been persistence. I have given pitches, demos, phone calls, business cards, and everything else there is to booking agents, club owners, DJ agencies, and record producers.  No matter what, no matter how much of a slump I get in sometimes, I always find a way to climb out and keep going. So far it’s done me pretty well. If I really want something, I’ll keep on trying in every way possible. That’s how you let people know you’re serious. I’ve gotten turned down before, and then I kept working. I tried again, I got turned down. I kept trying, and eventually, the people realized I had talent and was serious. Now I have a record deal and I get gigs.

Another thing that’s helped me that I still need to improve on is networking and maintaining relationships with people in the field. I can network. I reach out to everyone in the scene who I can. I promote and advertise mine and others’ events. The only difficulty is keeping up with all these people. One has to show others that he truly cares about them and what they do, and that he’s not just getting to them for a  job opportunity. I think I need to find the relationships that truly matter the most, and invest more in those.

Finally, contracts and taxes. I’ve learned a lot this semester about taxes and contracts. I never realized that so many expenses can be deducted from the net income when filing taxes. I have always been worried about how I would handle taxes when I’m on my own, and now I feel much more enlightened about it. I still don’t know enough, but I’m at a point where I can understand what I as an artist need to do. More importantly, I need to spend more time on contracts and spreadsheets. The business side of art is something I’ve overlooked. Now that I’ve learned more about it, it makes me want to get out there and make more money. I feel much more in control of my business when using a contract to negotiate terms. I no longer have to worry about getting shorted on pay or bailed on for an event.

In all, I just need to be patient. I have to remind myself that over time, experience and knowledge will come, and that sometimes mistakes are necessary to learn how the business works. I’m still very young, and my career has barely started. And it’s off to a good start so far, so things are all uphill from here. Inspiration will come, money will come, gigs will come if I just keep doing what I’m doing and working hard.

Final EP

So for the purpose of the exercise, I have decided to go with my third elevator pitch since it is broader and incorporates theatre and music. I’m going to keep building on it and finding ways to make it better, but for now it is as it is. In case you haven’t seen it, this is what it looks like:

“To me, live performance is the most powerful way to bring people together. There is so much conflict and disharmony in the world, and yet a single shared experience can help people forget about their differences and act as one. I want to unite and connect people of all walks of life, be it through a riveting performance or the visceral experience of the rave, one night at a time. My mission is to spread peace, love, unity, and respect through theatre and music. By day, I am Jace Covington, the actor. By night I am DJ Neenyo. Together we are one, and we would like to connect with you. Here’s my card.”

Elevator Pitch(es)

So far I have created 3 elevator pitches, each one catering to a slightly different area of what I do. The first two are more related to my music, whereas in the third one, I have attempted to combine my goals as an actor with my goals as a musician/DJ. I am satisfied with all of them, but I would like to find some way condense them into one while still keeping it short and effective.  If you would, please take a look at them and leave a quick comment on which one you like the most. Feel free to tell me why you like it the most, and how it could possibly be combined with the other EPs. If you like, give some feedback on how it could be improved. All feedback is greatly appreciated!

Music is the second voice and an extension of one’s personality. The sounds of dance music and the experience of a live performance is something that brings people of all walks of life together. It is possible for people to forget about their differences and come together if they all share a passion for something. My goal is to share the love of quality dance music and unite people through the visceral experience of the rave, one night at a time.

I do dark, wicked bass lines mixed with assaulting synths and haunting melodies. I’m bringing the underground rave vibe with a dash of funky breaks. I want to show everyone that there’s more to dance music than what’s playing in the clubs. It’s time to open people’s minds to a wider world of sound. 

Live performance is the most powerful way to bring people together. It is possible for people to forget about their differences and come together if they all share a passion for something, be it music, film, or theatre. There is so much conflict and disharmony in the world that we need people who can establish common ground with their fellow man. I want to unite people of all walks of life, be it through a riveting performance or the visceral experience of the rave, one night at a time. My mission is to spread the PLURR through theatre and music.

Gothica Music Festival

This is probably one of the biggest gigs I’ve had in quite awhile, so I’m going to leave this here. It has been confirmed that I will be spinning at Dance Impulse’s Gothica Music Festival. It’s a Halloween-themed event that takes place the day after Halloween. It will be an entire night of hardstyle, hard dance, hardcore, breaks, DnB, dubstep, and all-out raving mayhem. There will be 3 stages, 33 Djs, a costume contest with cash prizes, camping, and 18 acres of awesome! I’m opening for RoboJoe from Synbot Records. You don’t want to miss either set, so bring your camping gear and prepare to rave all night! It’s all going down on November 1 through Nov 2 morning.  Get your tickets ASAP!

You can find more information about the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1420347561520399/1422035814684907/?comment_id=1423709254517563&ref=notif&notif_t=event_mall_reply

Motivation (what drives the Neenyo-mobile)

To be honest, I have always been self-driven. For as long as I can remember, I have always had an inner drive to succeed, not just to be better than others, but to better myself. Ever since elementary school, I could never bring myself to settle for average. Of course, back then I was a bit of a “surface learner”, considering only grades as the main determining factor of excellence.

Of course, I have matured a lot since then. The older you get, the more you realize the value of learning for your own good. Nowadays, I not only think about how the knowledge and skills I learn in school can be instrumentally good (that is, good in ways which it can be used to reach an end), but also intrinsically good (simply, good for me as a person). Whenever I come out of a class, I think about how well I understand the information, how I can apply it to my business as artist, and how it connects with the subject matter of other classes. After all, if you don’t fully understand something, then what’s the point in taking the time to learn it? If I’m going to learn something, then I will keep at it until I know that I can successfully apply it to my own life.

More importantly, if I ever decide to learn something new, then I want to be the best I can be at it. When I started drawing at 4 years old, I started with a simple desire to be as good as my cousins because I looked up to them. When I discovered how fun drawing could be, I kept doing it because it was fun and because I always wanted to be better at things. The same goes for DJing. I started DJing on a laptop for fun 2 years ago, and once I realized how fun it was, I kept practicing and getting more music to add to my sets. I knew that if I got better, that there would be no end to what I could do. Eventually I got serious and invested in CDJs. Laptop mixing wasn’t challenging enough anymore. I kept practicing and over time I could mix by ear. It eventually got to the point to where DJing wasn’t enough. I got tired of mixing other people’s music, and so I decided to create my own. I always had ideas of songs in my head that I wished would be made, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized that no one would ever make those songs but me. I watched tutorial after tutorial on how to use FL studio. My thirst for knowledge and my desire to create could not be sated.

I think that’s the best thing about me as a person. Once I find something I want to learn, I attach myself to it like a leech and I suck up all the info I can about it. It started with drawing, then animation, then dancing, then acting, DJing, and music production. If it’s something creative and I’m given freedom to explore, I will put my heart and soul into it. Every single creative thing that I do is a means of expression. I love creating music because it’s an extension of my personality. I have ideas in my head, and my objective is to replicate those ideas as closely as possible. The better I get at something, the closer I get to reproducing those ideas exactly.

That’s why I can never settle for average. If I have the ideal finished product in my head, I want what I produce to BE that finished product. I’m not going to compromise quality just so I can finish or to have “something”. If it’s not what I want it to be, then it’s NOT FINISHED. I am my own harshest critic and a perfectionist. I have re-recorded a mix over 10 times just to get 1 transition exactly the way I want it. Sometimes being a perfectionist is a curse, but it is generally a blessing. It’s what sets me apart from the status quo and gets me recognized. It’s the reason why I’m at SMU to begin with.

Among other things that motivate me are the values upon which my parents raised me. M parents have taught me the importance of doing my best from the very beginning. They have always been loving and supportive, and so I always worked hard to make them proud. I want to show them that all the years of work and sacrifice for me were not in vain.

Another strong motivator is my own conscientiousness about the future (this goes back to my inner drive to master and succeed). When I get older, I want to be able to support myself and the ones I love. I have a certain image of who I want  to be, and I won’t let myself become less than what I strive for. My dad and my uncle both worked themselves to the bone for decades to support their families. They are real men because they step up and take care of their loved ones in times of need, and I have more respect for them than any other men I know. I want to be like them, only I want to make a living using my mind, not my hands.

And of course, there’s money. Money makes the world go’round, so they say. Money is only a big deal because we need it to survive nowadays. We’re the only species  on Earth that has to pay to live (that is, we pay to live much more comfortably than animals). But money is only an instrumental good. It is not intrinsically good for anyone as a human being. It’s only a means to an end. That being said, I like the ends that it leads to, but I only want money because I want to live the lifestyle that I want to live. I want to make enough to pay the bills and then some. The last thing I want is to live a life plagued by hardship and poverty. I DON’T want to be a starving artist. But no matter what, I wouldn’t stop doing the things that I love if I wasn’t getting paid for it. Hell, I’m already doing a lot of gigs for free. Even if I had a crappy day job, I’d still be making music and I’d still be DJing.

Why? Because for me, it’s a release. Making other people while doing something that makes me happy is the most rewarding experience anyone can have. When I want to cut loose and escape, I’ll get behind the decks or open up a DAW and start making the first beats that pop into my head. It’s enjoyable, and I’m honing skill, so it’s a win-win. Money can always be made somehow. I just want to make money doing something I enjoy. Every artist in the world is chasing the dream, but what many of them don’t realize is that the chase is the dream, and the chase never ends.