Multi-hyphenates come in all forms these days. But we think Mick might have the coolest string of titles we’ve seen: DJ-entrepreneur-podcaster-investor. And we’re not the only ones taking notes; Mick’s been featured in Forbes and Coveteur and he even has his face on posters plastered around NYC. But there’s more to him than just headlines and titles. Here, get to know New York’s most enterprising DJ.
Let’s start at the beginning, how’d you get into DJing in the first place?
I grew up in Ohio and I played drums in high school. When I learned that I couldn’t bring drums to a dorm room, I decided I’d bring two turntables instead. So, I taught myself how to DJ and not long after, my dorm room became the college radio station. Then I’d do local parties, followed by regional parties, that became commercial radio and then that became national mixtapes, and then I moved to New York City.
When did you realize you were going to make it as a DJ?
One of my favorite groups of all time is De La Soul and I got to open for them in Cleveland in 1997 and it was like, oh shit, this DJ thing could really happen. Because just a year prior I had bought their album and it’s still my favorite album to this day. And I somehow talked my way into opening for them.
What are some other major jobs you’ve booked since ‘97?
I’ve DJ’d a couple afterparties for the Grammys, I did Miguel’s wedding, a few parties on the beach in Cannes for Cannes Lions and I once did a party on top of a mountain in Davos for the World Economic Forum. I’ve also DJ’d in Dubai, India, Tokyo, South America; it’s taken me to see the world which is pretty, pretty awesome.
That is pretty major. But now you do more than just mixing great music. How did you branch out from DJing?
I started working a lot of events where instead of it being the cool people or the pretty people, it was the really smart people, the really rich people and the really well-connected business people. I began to realize that I’m creating influence around these crowds and for four hours, I get to be the center of their attention. So I decided to leverage that by trying to make them as happy as I could while crafting genuine relationships. From there, I started investing in a lot of startups and now I buy a lot of startups and it’s awesome.
Is there any crossover between your two careers?
Well, I look at my portfolio as a mixtape. I want a little bit of this and a little of that. But it really reminds me of when a rapper would send me a song and ask ‘do you think I’m going to make it?’
Think about it, sometime in our lifetime somebody didn’t sign 50 Cent, Kanye, Biggie or Drake. But someone did, right? My goal is to try not to be the person that didn’t sign those guys and to be the person that did sign them. That’s venture capitalism in a nutshell. Everyone comes and plays you their song, their song being their pitch. But not everybody is the right person to help. There’s people that I helped that other people couldn’t help and vice versa. It’s the same way with music. If Jay-Z didn’t sign Kanye, he probably wouldn’t become the Kanye we know. But if some guy we don’t even know signed Kanye, he might have still been big but he needed that exact backing to become the artist that he is.
Tell us about your approach to IG.
DJ Instagrams usually suck. And once my career started shifting, in that I was doing other things besides DJing, I realized that I should be showing my life as a person. Whether it’s fatherhood, investing, travel or even just the same shit that everybody posts about but just aesthetically better. I recently started collecting vinyls on my trips and posting those. And people really enjoy that content; I would have thought my followers just wanted to see more cute kid pics or rare sneakers but people have been loving the vinyls.
Is there a method to your posting?
Well, I have a little secret algorithm, which isn’t so secret, but it keeps my grid kind of balanced between the music stuff, the family stuff, me and also some of my new fiancée stuff, since I just got engaged.
Congrats! But we’re curious about the algorithm. Do you actually plan what you post?
No. I don’t plan it like that. I think that’s a bit corny for a personal Instagram. But I try not to post like two pictures of my kid in a row or two of me in a row. If I just have two really dope things back to back it’s worth doing but, two of me doing nothing is kind of boring. That’s the diversity of it.
Well, what will we be seeing on your IG coming up –– at least from inside the DJ booth?
I’ve had a bunch of events out in the Hamptons this summer, a bunch in California and throughout the Midwest. Honestly, I’m really grateful to be working again. And, you know, it’s really nice to not be DJing in my kitchen anymore.Let’s Talk