Today we’d like to introduce you to Travis Gilbert.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Travis. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I got started as a DJ by accident; originally I had gotten an interest into Techno music in the late 90s with my high school girlfriend listening to DJ Keoki. Shortly after attending college at Southern Tech (now Kennesaw University), which was on the other side of town to Lawrenceville, my high school girlfriend and I broke up. After many days of not coming out of my dorm room, I decided to figure out what my next step was. Which lead me to the local radio station which was only a 1-Watt Station, they hired me to play Trance music on the weekends which lead to play Keoki to early Tiesto and getting an interest in Break Beats, DJ Icey. After my radio show, Kevin O’Shea’s (another student) radio show played and he always had featured local Atlanta Club DJs on his show like J-Love and Huda Hudia. One night, we decided to combine our shows and with the assumption by Kevin O’Shea, they thought I could use turntables and live on the O’Shea’s radio show, I put on the headphones and mixed beats in my head in between the Pro DJ’s sets. And that’s when I became hooked on DJing and bought my first set of 1200’s Pioneer DJ Mixer and started mixing in my dorm room. After that, I took a year of time off of school and moved back home and learned the art of DJing by practicing 8 to 12 hours a day.
All while learning tricks and techniques by being a Left-Handed DJ. My biggest critic was my mom as she was a stay-at-home mother at the time. After my year off, I decided to go back to school to Georgia State with being accepted into the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies for Urban Planning. Georgia state had a 100,000 Watt radio station, which had the show Planet 8 and House Works on WRAS 88.5 Album 88, they could reach up to 5 million people all the way out to Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina. Any major DJ that was a Headliner would be on the radio shows to market their show. I ended up being the resident DJ of the radio show for a time period. Some of Featured DJs on the show were Paul Van Dyke, DJ Icey and Paul Oakenfold along with many local Atlanta DJs. During this time, my goal was to be a Club DJ, there was never any intention of becoming a Mobile DJ until a local Atlanta agent and I crossed paths and he was determined to have me on board his roster. That’s when the realization Club pay for a DJ isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be if you are not the Headliner DJ. So, Dan Jason of Network Entertainment brought me officially on board and that’s where I was able to DJ the Hooter’s International Swimsuit Pageant in South Beach which was Nationally televised and Bad Company, I was also able to land my first Residency at the Masquerade. I also at this time played at The Purgatory on 80s night with DJ Dough Boy. We toured around Georgia with different promoters but I started noticing that with all the notoriety in the Clubs and the amount of work I was getting in the clubs, I was still making more money as a Mobile DJ. My first solo DJ gig, was a Pool Party… a Kid’s Pool Party! I had no clue what I was doing when I was told we were doing a Hoola Hoop contest. With no instruction in front of 150 people, I survived the contest.
Shortly after, I graduated college at the top of my class with a Science Bachelor in Urban Policy Studies with a specialization in Urban Planning and Economic Development. My thesis was the Atlantic station of turning a Brown Field of what is now the Atlantic Station. I had the opportunity to work with the Jacoby brothers on the design, to this day, I still have the Blue Prints of the development. This lead me to work with Surveying GIS mapping in HOV lanes and traffic analysis for different cities throughout Georgia. But, I was still working as a DJ on the weekends. Once my Weekday Project work ended, I ended up becoming roommates with a bunch of DJs in Grant Park. The house consistently had different promoters contacting my roommates for work at the Clubs, which eventually lead to my own residency and leaving me to a crossroads of do I stick with my current Weekday job or do stick with my Club Residency? I took a chance and chose the Club Residency. Eventually, I saw myself being more diverse as a DJ by playing all sorts of genres and decided to take another chance and worked myself into the Mobile DJ industry, working for multiple DJ companies in Atlanta. After years of being a Mobile DJ with various companies, one company hired me on as an Account Manager as well. Becoming an Account Manager lead me to learn how to do all different aspects besides just DJing in a DJ company.
After sometime working as an Account Manager, I had realized that no matter how many hours I worked in the office and on events as a DJ, my salary would always be capped. I ended up leaving the company on a whim with not a full detailed plan as of that moment. After some time, a fellow budding DJ approached me about starting a DJ company with me… I had already thought of this plan but didn’t announce publicly yet. After some discussions, we realized that creating a company together was just not the right fit for us. After that, I stocked up on DJ inventory/equipment. As I was in the process of stocking my inventory, my grandfather had approached me and gifted me my shares of Phillips Conoco stocks from when he used to work for them years ago. With his shares, in July 2010 officially marked when Fonix Entertainment LLC became a business.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, it has not been a smooth road. In my early start as a DJ, I had some people make me feel like I could never make it as a DJ because it was not considered a “real” job or career. In the middle of my DJ career, the Club industry would give you like hours to perform in front of a crowd but the compensation didn’t equal my talent or time. In the Mobile DJ Industry, I had fellow colleagues that felt intimidated by me because I was considered a real DJ who could spin while most could just host a party really well. And, there was also a time where many client’s thought I was the face and owner of the company I worked for which intimidated my boss. As of recently, some of the local competition can be quite gossipy like high school girls when they see a DJ or DJ company making large moves.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fonix Entertainment – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a full service entertainment company that provides DJ services for wedding, corporate events, private events and public events. We also provide, DJ karaoke and DJ trivia services. We also provide lighting which includes dance lighting, uplighting and decor lighting. Additional services we just added a few years ago are wedding coordination and planning, photobooth services, officiant services and casino. We work on a level of doing events for small events all the up to large scale concerts.
I am most proud of the people who make up Fonix Entertainment. We took the time to find DJs, coordinators and our admin team by having all fill out an extensive questionnaire and go through a long interview process, these steps have really proven to me the longevity of a long lasting and happy team! A team that has a low turnover rate and believes in our core values all while giving stellar customer service to each client that we have.
I believe what sets us apart from others is our work ethic within Fonix Entertainment. We take the time to really get to know our clients and learn their vision of what their special event looks like. Because of this, we have been known to our competitors to call on us when they are in need of a back up DJ or coordinator.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the diversity of this city, the diversity of the people that make this city of what it is today. Each person brings something to the table from all walks of earth when it comes to music, food, conversation, etc. I love this city for the music that came out of it over the decades and because of that, a multitude of opportunities have been lead into my direction to make this company strive to be where it’s at today.
The least thing I like about this city is the traffic. Traffic and cell phones combined make traffic go slower than it should making what a 30-minute drive possibly turn into a 1 hour drive.
- – Wedding DJ Services starting at $1,175 for 4 hours
- – Corporate DJ Services starting at $595 for 4 hours
- – DJ Services Private Party, School and Other Events starting at $495
- – Wedding Coordination – Day of – starting at $845
- – Officiant Services starting at $125
- Website: www.fonixentertainment.com
- Phone: (404)803-7731
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/fonixent
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FonixEntertainment/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/fonixent
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/fonix-entertainment-roswell-4
Kalita Owens Conley with 323 Creative Designs and Photography, Me’Chele Key with Preittiest Problem, David Avant, Artstar by Laura Stone