We had the good fortune of connecting with DJ Kewl Brez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi DJ Kewl Brez, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
In the beginning it was just about the fun of DJing and making music, so I would put time in when it was convenient. As gigs became more frequent and the crowds became larger, I realized I needed to make time everyday for music to not only become a better DJ but also give the people a better show. I’m reminded of a quote, One labors for that which one loves, and one loves that for which one labors. I love playing, mixing, and creating music, but now I know my love comes with the labor of nurturing that love. Labor comes with getting up early, staying up late, and sacrificing for the love of music.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of none. Music is so fluid and changes from each block, city, state, and country you go to. I’m ALWAYS listening to music, I’ll forget my phone but never leave without my drive with my latest music on it. I listen to music from Germany, India, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Rio, Iceland, and so many more places. Good music is just that, it doesn’t matter where it comes from. What sets me apart is I always infuse numerous genres and time periods in my sets. Always digging for music keeps my ear sharp and I’m always looking for new sounds to introduce audiences to.

I started playing music at age 10 for my neighbors and friends on my mother’s one turntable with her albums. In high school, I progressed to doing basement parties and making tapes for my friends. Being from Chicago, house music is my first love but in college, I was exposed to numerous types of music which expanded my desire to play different genres to all types of crowds. Music has blessed me to play for 5 people in a dive bar in Florida and 2,000 on New Year in Dubai. I love entertaining and seeing the amazing effect music has on people, because it has the same effect on me.

It has absolutely NOT been a smooth ride, LOL. In the beginning, I was struggling to buy gear and music (on vinyl) and learning how to spin like the DJ’s I admired. Getting to play in a club was my dream, because that was the measure of a good DJ when I was younger. I passed out hundreds of mixtapes to clubs and promoters, that way didn’t work. I found out where a way doesn’t exist, you have to make your own. I started throwing my own free basement parties with 5 people, that turned into 50-100 people paying to get in. I then had to turn that momentum into playing regulary and improving my skills.

My struggle comes from being very critical of myself and what I put out to people. I always feel like that set wasn’t good enough, it has to be perfect. I used to always feel that people are listening with the most critical ear, instead of looking at the crowd and seeing they are having a great time. I’ll work on a project for weeks and after I record two hours of music, I’ll erase it because I heard something I didn’t like, or thought of a better song to put in the intro. I had to get over the need to be perfect and just put out good content. When I let that need to be perfect go, I started to enjoy playing again and giving the crowds a better performance.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diegos weather allows for outside activities year round. First stop is Carnitas Snack Shack in Embarcadero. The staff is outstanding, the food is great, and the views are spectacular. Louisiana Purchase in North Park is a New Orleans style restaurant. The staff is friendly, the food is authentic, and the vibe is mellow. Pacific beach, Ocean beach, and Imperial beach are some of the best in the country. A walk thru the Gaslamp Quarter downtown San Diego showcases some of the best restaurants in nightlife San Diego.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Albert Ray Collection and Dr. Lawrence Willis has been an integral part of my success. Whether it’s been providing fashion for looks during photo shoots and events or opportunities to DJ during fashion shows. His guidance and mentorship has been pivital in my success and I’m sincerely appreciative.

Website: www.djkewlbrez.com

Instagram: @djkewlbrez

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJKewlBrez/

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