For years, DJ Sharad’s worldly travels have been sponsored by the word MUSIC.
Jealous? You shouldn’t be. This gentleman has defied all odds, simply by practicing one philosophy, Consistency. #getfamiliar
Terry – Who is DJ Sharad?
DJ Sharad – DJ Sharad is a deejay first. Everything else comes afterward. I play music from all over the world and for all types of people. I never once said or felt that I am strictly a Hip Hop, Reggae, or a Bhangra deejay. I’m diverse. I started spinning back in’ 93 and was heavily influenced by Hip Hop and Reggae. Due to my Indian heritage, I always had a love for Bollywood and Bhangra music (even though I didn’t completely understand the language). I eventually started playing all types of music including disco, house, freestyle, Latin, Arabic, and even more so when I started deejaying private events. And from there, the DJ SHARAD movement was born.
Terr y- A lot of music industry heavyweights (past and present) were products of Queens, NYC. How has being from “The Q-boro” helped prepare you for your current stature?
DJ Sharad – Queens is a special place for me. I was born in Queens to immigrant parents. My dad is from India and my mom is from England (via Kenya via India). Shortly after I was born, my parents saw that Queens was changing, so we ended up moving to Long Island. I actually grew up and went to school on LI, but I never lost touch with my Queens roots. I think understanding the culture of Queens has helped me to understand the pulse of the world. When you walk down Queens Boulevard, Main Street (Flushing), Jamaica Ave, Liberty Ave (Richmond Hill), you end up walking around the world. Queens is a melting pot of immigrant communities. When I understood at a young age that we are all really the same, it was easy for me to apply that when I took my DJ style all over the world.
Terry- Let’s talk a bit about your DJUSA event company and its composition?
DJ Sharad – DJUSA was my brain child. What is now an international DJ Agency handling over 500 events a year started out as a small little mobile DJ company in my parents’ basement. By the time I was 21, I had gigged all over the world. My popularity within the South Asian community was booming and I became inundated with calls for more gigs. I ended up forming a collective (of up and coming DJ friends) who were dope and I could rely on and DJUSA was born. The original business model was simple, if I was booked, I would pass the gig to the next DJ in line. We started back in 2003 in a small office in Floral Park, NY and now are headquartered in Woodbury, NY. We have 2 sides to the business. Our core is the talent side which is made up of some of the dopest DJ’s and event hosts in the private event industry. The other side to our business is event production consisting of staging, sound rentals, lighting & video design.
Terry- Something that really piqued my interest in you was discovering that you are co-owner of The Ultimate Sneaker Expo. How did this venture come about and do you consider yourself a sneaker head?
DJ Sharad – Ultimate Sneaker Expo came out of being in the right place at the right time. I ended up meeting the owner of Ultimate 575(Michael Siegel) a few years ago on something non sneaker related. I was wearing a pair of BHM Spizikes (the all yellow tennis Ball joints) and he immediately asked me if like sneakers. I said “Yeah, I like sneakers”. A conversation ensued and we discovered we knew DJ Clark Kent who, Siegle explained, wanted to do a Sneaker Expo at his venue. I told him it was a great idea and he set up a meeting with Clark and Ultimate Sneaker Expo was born.
I am also a co-owner in another company called SM EVENT GROUP and when we divided up Ultimate Sneaker Expo responsibilities, we ended up situating it so that SM would handle the web, branding, marketing & promotion, and entire event production for Ultimate Sneaker Expo. It’s been a great run and we are just scratching the surface with what we are planning to do. Within our first 3 shows we received over 5,000 attendees. This helped put LI on the map as a very viable market for sneaker retailers, brands (both established and up & coming), and most importantly the consumer.
As far as me being a sneaker head, I don’t really know what that means. I do happen to love Air Jordan’s and a few other types of sneakers. I also wear sneakers every single day of my life. I also like to hang out with people who like sneakers and I also like to talk about sneakers.
Terry-With all that you have going for yourself business wise, personally, how do you stay grounded?
DJ Sharad – Staying grounded is very important. It’s easy to get caught up in extra nonsense when you are consecutively involved in multiple projects and businesses. I choose to keep a tight circle. I believe in my team and that every player has a position. We treat this like a sport. I have an incredible group of people around me on a daily basis, all of whom are my family. I also have an amazing and supportive wife which is very important. A woman that supports you and helps you out daily is a gift from god. It’s hard to find that. I was lucky. I instill a simple attitude in the work place which is to be efficient and always work as a team. We started with nothing and are still working everyday like we have nothing. All of our offices are situated in the same building from DJUSA, DJ SHARAD INC, SM EVENT GROUP, ULTIMATE SNEAKER EXPO, and my latest project ALTERED STATES. We come in early and leave late. This is our life, this is our lifestyle.
Terry-Talk about the first time you considered yourself to be famous?
DJ Sharad-I am far from famous and do not really choose to be. I am about my business and that’s really it. Fame is over rated anyway. See life is not about how many twitter or Instagram followers you have. It’s about what you are doing for you and what makes you happy. As long as I can provide for my family, then I am good. Fame doesn’t excite me.
Terry-Your event calendar reads like a Rolodex from the 80’s (#FULL). What upcoming gigs do you have and where?
DJ Sharad- Oh man, my DJ & Event Production schedule is a little crazy. We just got back from Cancun. I am currently on a flight to spin 3 days in Mauritius. When I return, I’ll hit Miami to DJ a few exclusive private events (One will be at the Versace Mansion). Before years end, I’ll have another gig in Montego Bay, Jamaica and then for NYE, I’ll be playing a huge South Asian party in NYC. In February, we have NBA All Star Weekend in NY and partnered with Funk Flex to co-produce his personal Sneaker & Lifestyle Show. We also have a ton of international dates currently coming in. It’s good to be busy! I thank my god everyday to be in a position to always have work.
Terry-What does the future hold for DJ Sharad and Co?
DJ Sharad-The future has endless possibilities. With DJUSA running smooth the goal is to keep it tight, keep the crew tight and keep our quality high. With SM, we are about to explode and have a lot of momentum built up through the sneaker shows and corporate clients including Ferrari, Nike, Adidas, and a few more who have been supporting us tremendously. On the DJ Sharad side, I am finally starting to work on some music and will be putting together a few projects in 2015.
Terry- Any Social Media links?
DJ Sharad- All my Social Media are: @djsharad
And to view videos of my work at www.YouTube.com/SMEventGroup
Terry – Any Final words?
DJ Sharad: If you love doing what you do, stay passionate, stay working at it, and always stay humble. I constantly learn and try to be better. Consistency is the key to success.
Interview Conducted By @SirSocialiteTee