big daddie THE DJ – VirDiKO.com is the Solution
Words + Interview By Lucky Smith
The art form of the Disc Jockey (DJ) is one of the original elements of Hip-Hop and has manifested into something special. New Orleans native big daddie THE DJ created a special niche that has kept him active in the music buisness for quite some time. He takes pride in his company VirDiKO, a system created to make it easy for artists to get their music to a mass amount of DJs. Check out our conversation to see exactly why “VirDiKO is the solution”.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m “big daddie THE DJ”, a professional Disc Jockey with 35+ years of music industry experience and the Founder and President of VirDiKO.com, a premium Global Music Service to professional DJ’s. #MoreThanARecordPool
What made you want to become a DJ?
I am a New Orleans, LA native and music runs through our souls from an early age as it is an integral part of our rich culture. I’ve always had a love for all types of music but while staying with family during my summer vacation of 1986, I was introduced to two Technic 1200 turntables, a realistic DJ mixer and a milk crate of 12-inch vinyl Hip-Hop/Rap records. It is safe to say that the rest has been a fun history.
What makes a great DJ and helps one stand the test of time?
In my opinion and regardless if one is a turntablist, remixer or party DJ, a great DJ must first love what they are doing and also practice on a consistent basis! In addition, great DJ’s are pure music lovers therefore they have the ability to adapt and evolve with new sounds, new music genres and new technology which are ultimately keys to longevity in this business.
For example, a large number of DJ’s exited the business when technology transitioned from vinyl to CD’s and then more exited the business when technology evolved from CD’s to .mp3 and now computer DJ programs such as Serato. Staying committed through all of those changes requires passion and a love for the craft of DJing and the results it delivers.
What was your biggest moment as a DJ and why?
I get asked this question a lot and it is always tough for me to identify one moment. I really love the art of DJing and having provided my DJ services for thousands of events. I’ve had the pleasure of DJing small events for a few people, mid-size events with an audience of hundreds and festivals/concerts with thousands of attendees.
All of them were big moments for me but the simple fact that I have been able to provide the music soundtrack for so many of my client’s special occasions and most memorable moments is the best feeling. Guests will never forget the DJ that they shared an awesome music experience with. The bad news is they never forget a bad music experience either so DJ’s must always bring their A-game. My belief is that every time I DJ an event, I am interviewing for the next opportunity.
How do you determine what “a hit” will be?
Picking hit songs is truly a sixth sense for DJ’s. One must have a trained ear on which songs to select that will fit your DJ style and more importantly songs that will satisfy the ears of your audience. I consider myself a party DJ and the music I select must move the crowd. Important fact: A good DJ can make an audience like a bad song if he/she delivers it the right way.
Have you ever heard a record you felt would never catch and it blew? What about the opposite with a flop?
Great questions! Yes…I had an opportunity to hear Old Town Road by Lil Nas X shortly before it was released and I did not believe that song had any chance of success. For the Hip-Hop genre it was a shot from left field and I thought the song was extremely different from what was dominating my playlists.
I even had the opportunity for Lil Nas X to perform at a VirDiKO Mixer and declined because I did not feel it fit the format. Nonetheless, I was dead wrong and you know the rest of the story. For your second part of the question, I can’t use the term “Flop” because I have the distinct pleasure of hearing plenty of songs daily that could be chart topping hits. Nothing is wrong with the song but the issue is non-existent or failed marketing and promotion plans for the music project.
So, what is VirDiKO and why the need for it?
VirDiKO the company started in 06’ and the website launched in 07’. The company mission is to safely, effectively and efficiently provide a source of new music to our global database of DJ’s. I was motivated to start the company based on my many years of DJing and not being able to gain access to new music in a proper manner. This was a major issue for many DJ’s I met throughout the years. The solution is VirDiKO.com.
How was it getting people to buy into your vision?
It was extremely hard to gain the trust and support from the artists, DJs, labels, etc. and although it has gotten easier over the years, we never stop cultivating our business relationships. You have to realize that in 2006 I had a new start-up company with an unfamiliar name and was attempting to make an impression in this massive music business. I learned very quickly that I had to show and prove results. I was up for the challenge and had to stay true to my business strategy.
Approximately how many DJs do you have in the network?
Team VirDiKO is proud to have more than 5,000 registered DJ’s at VirDiKO.com who are located in 100+ countries around the globe. We too reach many more DJ’s via our general database and through our strategic partner program. Good news…I welcome your readers to visit the VirDiKO DJ Directory on www.VirDiKO.com.
How does a DJ or artist get into your system?
Clients and DJ’s can easily and quickly register for an account at www.VirDiKO.com/cp. For clients such as records labels and independent artists, they should register and login. Once logged in, they can select their preferred music promotion package, submit payment information and then upload the song (in .mp3 format), song artwork, contact information and social media information. As for DJ’s, registration is not required as the main VirDiKO Music Library is available at all times and currently has more than 15,000 songs in it. The registered DJ’s are offered an option to upgrade to VirDiKO PRO which offers valuable and additional benefits for a price of $10 per month.
As an artist in the VirDiKO system, what is the best thing they can benefit from?
The overwhelming answer to the question by clients is the direct feedback and song rating of their music from DJ’s around the world. VirDiKO.com has thousands of DJ’s visiting daily and they are all listening, reviewing, rating and downloading new music uploaded by our VirDiKO clients and artists.
You also do an event right after SXSW. Tell us about that and how long have you been doing it?
I am proud to announce that this year will be our 10th VirDiKO Music & DJ Networking Mixer in Dallas, TX which is always scheduled on the Monday after SXSW. It is currently the largest music networking event in the region that focuses on bringing all stakeholders of the music industry together for a night of recognition, creating new connections and reinforcing existing relationships.
Why did you decide to do it after SXSW?
Dallas, TX is the home for VirDiKO. The objective is to capitalize on having the large number of music industry professionals and DJ’s in the region and who are traveling from or through Dallas from Austin (only a couple hours away) all under one roof for a very special evening.
What is your take on artists saying they don’t need DJs anymore?
That is an unfortunate and very shortsighted mentality in my opinion. I firmly believe that DJ’s have been since the birth of Hip-Hop and will forever be a cornerstone in the music industry.
With streaming being the popular thing, what advice would you give fellow DJs to stay relevant?
With streaming technology being here to stay, I suggest all of my fellow DJ’s educate themselves on how to monetize and maximize the vast opportunities with these various platforms. Money is being made on Twitch, Soundcloud, Youtube, etc. This approach goes back to DJ’s being able to evolve in an ever changing music industry.
If you could give some advice for those trying to be in the music industry, what would it be?
It is very important to understand and accept that you will need a BUDGET. Whether an artist, producer, DJ, etc., financial investments will need to be made. Other important keys are #2: SIMPLE – Never complicate systems, processes and/or your product. #3: EFFECTIVE – Make sure your product delivers what is advertised and generates positive results/returns. #4: CONSISTENCY – The journey will not be easy and the success rarely comes overnight but just STAY THE COURSE!
How can you be contacted for more info? Any last words?
Thank you for this opportunity to be featured in one of the dopest music industry publications. If any of your readers would like more information they can visit www.VirDiKO.com, message @VirDiKO on all social media platforms or email: info@VirDiKO.com.