The Ten: Artists of dGi

Marni Golden
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The Ten: Artists of dGi
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In a world where nearly anyone with a MacBook and headphones can call themselves a DJ, only a select few have the talent and drive (and representation) to actually succeed. Helping such artists along the way are the genius founders of dGi Management. Partners Damon DeGraff and Yoni Goldberg have made it their business – not to mention their passion – to develop and nurture the standout stars of this saturated market.

But for dGi, DJs were only the beginning.  The rapidly growing company now represents an impressive roster of celebrity DJs, recording artists, record producers and cultural influencers. From Rev Run to The Misshapes, this client list effortlessly runs the gamut from hip-hop to hipster. With nightly fees soaring into the thousands — on top of numerous endorsement opportunities — DeGraff and Goldberg pioneered their way to the top of this underworld.

We selected a group of artists from dGi who exemplify everything we deem cool.  Click through the above gallery for a look into a world most of us only enter well past our bedtimes.

Photographed by: Spencer Wohlrab

Produced by: Marni Golden

Art Direction: Patrick Biesemans

Hair & Makeup by: Allie Smith

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DGI

The Misshapes: Greg Krelenstein, Leigh Lezark & Geordan Nicol, soundcloud

Song most played on your iPod:
At the moment "Move in the Right Direction" by the Gossip - it's from the forth-coming album.

How did you get into the biz?
Our party Misshapes

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
Perk: Travel

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
Madonna

What's your most memorable career-related moment?
Meeting/working with Madonna & Karl Lagerfeld

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession/biggest lessoned learned? 

If you don't have anything nice to say, say it later.

KirillWasHere

Song most played on your iPod:
Jackie Mason - "Jews & Gentiles"

Party must-have song:
Ludacris - "What's Your Fantasy?"

How did you get into the biz?
A combination of drugs & alcohol gave me the confidence to harass drunk girls at a party with a camera one night three years ago.

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
Perk: Free alcohol. Con: Hangovers.

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
Style: Anything that makes a doorman not want to let me in.

What's your most embarrassing and/or memorable career-related moment?
I forget almost everything I do on account of the blackouts. I have a man crush on Jason Statham and recently I ran out of a party because I was too scared to meet him.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession?
Biggest lessoned learned? Don't become a nightlife photographer, be a DJ. I wish I was.

DJ M.O.S.
Baby I'm A Star every Wednewsday at Mister H in the Mondrian Hotel, soundcloud

Song most played on your iPod:
Michael Jackson - "Baby Be Mine"

Party must-have song:
The Romantics - "Talking In Your Sleep"

How did you get into the biz?
I started out as an intern at Elektra Records in the promotions department for two years, then moved to MTV as music marketing intern. During that time I picked up a residency at Luhan which was a hot spot back in the day and few spots in the lower east side. At the end of my internship MTV offered me a job, I turned it down to pursue deejaying full time. The rest is history. 

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
Getting a chance to travel the world, doing what I love and getting paid for it. Biggest con, doing interviews...lol. Seriously the biggest con would be dealing with drunk people making requests.

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
My style icon growing up was Grand Puba, he was always fresh back in the 90's. Musically would have to by The Neptunes, Pharrell and Chad are geniuses. 

What's your most embarrassing and/or memorable career-related moment?
The most embarrassing moment was having my laptop fail during a party in front of a bunch of people I went to college with. I was so looking forward to killing it, but instead I tanked. The most memorable was deejaying for the President at Tyler Perry's studio in Atlanta, doesn't get better than that.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession/biggest lessoned learned?
The only advice I would give someone is to believe in yourself; if you don't believe it's possible you've already failed.

"He who says he can and he who says he can't are both usually right" – Confucius

DJ Kiss / JaKissa Taylor-Semple, Baby I'ma Star weekly Wednesday night party at Mister H. New style blog: xoxo-kiss

Song most played on your iPod:
"When Doves Cry" by Prince

Party must-have song:
"September" by Earth Wind & Fire

How did you get into the biz?
My husband DJ M.O.S. taught me how to DJ about six years ago. I started opening for him at gigs and then became good enough to do the entire night by myself. I eventually started landing my own gigs and things just went from there.

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
Perk: Traveling the world and working with amazing and talented people.
Cons: The late hours

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
I love all of the 80's R&B and Pop divas and I would say they say are both my style and music icons!

What's your most embarrassing and/or memorable career-related moment?
My most memorable career moment to date would have to be spinning an event recently for President Obama with my hubby DJ M.O.S. We got to listen to him give a speech after we performed and it was an incredible experience to be a part of!

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession/biggest lessoned learned?
Know your craft inside and out and invest time in your marketing early on.

Jesse Marco
I just put out a single on Big Beat/Atlantic records called "Daddy Cool." I’m currently on the College Dropouts Tour with nightlife photographer KirillWasHere, doing shows at the 10 best college parties in America.

Song most played on your iPod:
The Smiths - "Hang The DJ"

Party must-have song:
Jackson 5 - "ABC" 

How did you get into the biz?
I've been deejaying since I was 13. A friend of mine got turntables for Christmas, and I fell in love.

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
I get travel a lot and see amazing places and meet awesome people, but I'm always working and always on the road, so sometimes I miss my own bed.

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
DJ Premier, Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, The Smiths, DJ AM, Z Trip, biggie, The Doors, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Prince, Parliament, Ramones, Bob Dylan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley.

What's your most memorable career-related moment?
Playing for a sold out crowd at Terminal 5 in NYC.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession/biggest lessoned learned?
Do what you love. Too many people are doing things for the wrong reasons. If you love what you do and work hard you will go far.

dBerrie

Song most played on your iPod:
Ghost Society - "Better Days", Gotye - "Somebody that I Used to Know" (dBerrie Remix)

Party must-have song:
Mark Foster, A-Trak, Kimbra - "Warrior"

How did you get into the biz?
I sold unmixed CDs to friends I burned and eaching songs off of Napster in Middle School.

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
Not staying in one place/not staying in one place :)

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
Early Daft Punk

What's your most embarrassing and/or memorable career-related moment?
Going to the airport for a gig and then leaving my laptop backpack in the trunk of a taxi. I never got it back.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession/biggest lessoned learned?
Find yourself a style that's different and stick to it. Hard work really does pay off.

Marla Joy, recording artist

Song most played on your iPod:
It changes every few months, but right now, “Little Black Submarines” by the Black Keys

Party must-have song:
Peace Frog (DJ MOS Remix) by The Doors

How did you get into the biz?
I ask myself that every day

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
Perk - moving people, con - bullshit people

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
Style Icons: jagger '69, Jim Morrison, Kate Moss. Music Icons: Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Aretha, and Stevie.

What's your most embarrassing and/or memorable career-related moment?
Most embarrassing – Breaking my entire front tooth with a microphone on stage while on tour with Citizen Cope. Memorable - Prince asking to come jam with me on stage.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession? Biggest lessoned learned? Advice?
You’d better be crazy to do it, and get used to ramen noodle soup for a minute. Biggest lessoned learned? Timing is everything.

DJ Ruckus and Rev Run, soundcloud
Ruckus has two songs releasing this summer: Upcoming Remix: Lenny Kravitz "Can’t Be Without You" (DJ Ruckus vs dBerrie Remix) and a single being released on Dirty Dutch Records: DJ Ruckus VS Glow in The Dark feat. Hot Rod "I'm Fu**ed" Up

Song most played on your iPod:
Thome Yorke - “BLACK SWAN”

Party must-have song:
Daft Punk - “ONE MORE TIME”

How did you get into the biz?
A product of hip hop and an episode of Fresh Prince when I saw Jazzy Jeff cutting and scratching a classical record during a family gathering at the Banks’ house. And then a donation of a set of Technic turntables to the Turn Gregory Jewel Andrews into DJ Ruckus Foundation!

What's the biggest perk/con of your job?
The biggest perk is the travel, and the biggest con is the travel!

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
Style Icons: Definitely my cousin, Lenny Kravitz. The leather jackets, accessories, etc. I definitely owe it to him. Musical Inspirations: DJs: Mark Ronson and DJ AM. PRODUCERS: Swizz Beatz, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Rick Rubin. 

What's your most embarrassing and/or memorable career-related moment?
Playing a closing set after DJ AM at Crobar at the beginning of his ascension to the biggest open format DJ in the world. MEMORABLE NIGHT: Playing in front of 40,000 people at the Dirty Dutch Blackout in Amsterdam.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession/biggest lessoned learned?
Study the old and the new of a genre. Learn how to separate yourself from the next DJ by selecting not what’s just on the radio and finding your sound. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED: Read the crowd and do what you know how to do not what you think the room expects or you or what you’ve heard someone else do.

Damon DeGraff & Yoni Goldberg, founders of dGi Management

Song most played on your iPod:
Bob Marley- "Could You be Loved"

Party must-have song:
Michael Jackson- “Want To Be Startin Somethin"

How did you get into the biz?
A little luck and taking advantage of the opportunity that was presented to me. 

What's the biggest perk of your job?
Making other peoples dreams come true.

Who are your style & music icons, inspirations and/or mentors?
Tom Ford, Bob Marley, Richard Branson and my mom.

What advice would you give to someone entering this profession?
Take advantage of your opportunities.

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