Today we’d like to introduce you to Sloan Lee.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been involved with music my whole life. I started playing piano when I was around 7 via ‘forced’ lessons but it ended up liking it. I was one of those chorus geek kids as well. My Dad had a huge vinyl collection that he would play for friends just about every weekend.
I started making mixtapes and compilations of music I liked at around 12 for friends and writing songs.
I went through school and college buying tons of music along the way. Found myself in sales and marketing and ended up in corporate which I knew was wrong for me. I’ve always known I wanted to be my own boss and have my own business, I just didn’t know how I’d be doing it with music.
I thought DJing would be my quickest entry point to music again but I didn’t start DJing until 2006 because back then it was much more expensive to get into DJing. A few years after I started playing parties at clubs I got another degree which was audio engineering. I actually wanted a production degree but they weren’t really offering that anywhere at the time. I’ve done some freelance in sound and production.
Around 5 years ago I decided I was was going to do this full time I went head first and have never looked back.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I feel very grateful to be where I am now, but having your own business probably isn’t the easiest thing you can do in life. It’s definitely not for everyone but totally worth it for someone like myself.
Anytime you start a new venture it’s rarely smooth sailing unless you have a lot of help financially or otherwise. When I started I had basically no money or clients and so I was freaking out of course. But, I had to make it work because I knew I couldn’t do anything else. I think it’s only in the last year or so I have stopped freaking out if things get somewhat slow for a bit.
Being a female, I have to be twice as good as any ‘good’ male DJ out there just to prove my worth. I’ve suffered my share of misogynistic comments, tough situations, and sabotaging. Sometimes at events, I still hear ‘oh wow! you were actually really awesome!’ like they weren’t expecting me to be good or skilled. I’ve had women even say this, unfortunately, sexism is endemic in both sexes.. but that’s a whole other discussion.
I do know this is a common reality for so many women regardless of field, and I’ll never let that stop me. I speak out when I need to and I’m still going to do what I’m doing no matter what… so sorry, not sorry you guys!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sloan lee Music – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
These days I can’t even keep up with my social and marketing. I’m so busy focusing on putting together music for my clients- they really come first. I started this company about 5 years ago, it’s female owned and operated specializing in music for diverse crowds in various environments.
I’m a DJ and music curator known for my ability to mix seemingly impossible genres and being a “real DJ”. I’ve been DJing since 2006 and started in the clubs so my thing is keeping people on the dancefloor and engaged. I feed off their energy so If they aren’t vibing, neither am I. I have to get it right and give them something totally customized and original.
A smaller part of my job is that I curate music for settings and events where they don’t need a DJ or live performance, but they want to create a certain mood or appeal to a certain clientele or demographic. Either way, it’s all about speaking to an audience through music.
I’ve always appealed to a more eclectic or discerning clientele but now more people are finding me more because I can play to any crowd or multicultural group. For example, the last 6 months or so have included Indian, Persian, Orthodox Jewish, Bosnian, Latin American, Nigerian (and American) events- so you can imagine how varied the music has to be. My events have also grown a lot in scale and setting.
I think the biggest thing sets me apart (besides being female in a very male-dominated field), is that there’s no type of event or music I can’t handle. I’ve pretty much done it all. I also have a background in production and a degree in audio engineering, which few DJs have. I think that gives me an edge because I know how things are supposed to sound and it gives me unique perspective.
I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’m completely self-taught (with no mentor) – things would have probably been a lot easier if so! My business continues to grow even though it’s just me with some very part-time help. Most importantly, I’m still making my crowds and clients super happy even with all the challenges I faced in my busiest year thus far. I am incredibly thankful.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
This last year has been a whirlwind of events which I’m very grateful for, but it’s left me with little time to keep up with life.
I will be taking a few months off from events to work on some other music projects and do upgrades to my website, social and marketing- I know that sounds super fun! lol.
Any big changes? You’ll see 😉 But me and my DJ business aren’t going anywhere for now.. 🙂
- Website: sloanleemusic.com