JN: Happy New Year, brother! To start, what does a professional DJ and social media influencer, that gets to travel to the best hotels, drive the best cars and enjoy the greatest experiences for a living get up to over the holidays?
BF: Ha, well damn, life sounds ok when you frame it that way! This year for the holidays my wife and I took a trip to Japan, Australia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. We spent last year with both of our families doing a joint Christmas, so we figured we’d do our own thing this year. It was one hell of a trip, actually still on it as we chat, but now heading to Dubai to DJ the opening of a new club.
JN: Brendan, you’re an Ontario boy, and this is the first and only magazine in Ontario cannabis dispensaries. What are your thoughts on legalization?
BF: I grew up in small-town Ontario—the town of Durham, not the region. Always need to clarify that fun fact. Things have changed so much since the 90s and there’s now so many benefits to legalization and I’m all for it. I think it’s an important step to take for Ontario, for sure. I believe the research on the plant is still just in its infancy and that over the next decade they will find so many more uses for it. I’m not super well-versed, but from what I have been able to learn so far, it should have an overall positive impact. I would hope, anyway.
JN: This feature is our inspiration feature. Can you share your story of how you got started and the work you put in all the way to your first big break?
BF: I got started DJing after moving to New York to work for a friend I used to ski with. He hired me at his start-up company, but didn’t have much of a salary to pay me. I was moonlighting as a caterer/waiter for the first year and then I fell into DJing. A friend of mine worked managing a restaurant, so he would invite me to come eat for free (super helpful and needed). It wasn’t busy on Mondays so I would bring my laptop and we’d teach ourselves how to DJ. We played there for a bit and the owner heard me one night and moved me to Friday nights, opening for DJ Marley Marl (who you may recall as referenced in Biggie’s track Juicy). It was wild to be opening for him and I started to take it way more seriously from that day onward. From there, I just treated it like a business rather than a hobby and started to grow my network, DJ for free just to prove myself and keep perfecting my craft.
JN: When did you know it was working?
BF: I don’t really have a clear “big break” moment that stands out. It’s been a constant grind with a ton of milestones along the way, including playing the main stage of Coachella while DJing for Theophilus London, which was wild. But as I write this from 40,000 feet en route from Hong Kong to Dubai, it’s crazy to look back and think that a free meal and desire powered this journey.
JN: What have been your most memorable moments?
BF: You know, Coachella. Met some icons along the way, played some incredible parties all over the globe, forged relationships with some of the most amazing people that I call friends, but most of all I have just had an absolute blast doing it. Don’t get me wrong, like any job you fall out of love with it from time to time and need to fall back in love with it, but when you find it again, it’s amazing. I remember starting to think I was over it a couple years ago.
JN: What happened?
BF: I was ready to hang up the skates for good when the Seinfelds hit me up to play Jess Seinfeld’s Good+ Foundation Charity annual summer party at their house. I went there excited to shake some hands with the guests, but ended up playing a super fun set which had their chic AF barn party going wild. Even had Howard Stern out there showing off some moves! They said that for the past five years no one had ever danced at that event and thanked me so much. Obviously there are a bunch of factors in making a good party, but I like to think I was one of them in that instance and it reminded me that I not only love my job—I’m good at it.
JN: Instagram, YouTube—when did this all start and when did it become a business/rev channel for you?
BF: I joined Instagram shortly after it came out. In its infancy, it was just a place to post cool-looking pictures, as we know. Slowly it grew and so did I. It became a calling card for everything I was up to. I realized pretty early on that handled correctly, there was a business to be built around it. Wish I'd thought the same thing when YouTube first dropped, but instead I’m just getting my feet wet now and absolutely loving it. It’s way more of a grind than Instagram, but I enjoy the storytelling aspect of it. It’s starting to take form and the business side of it is ramping up. Excited to see what the effort I put into it this year brings!
JN: What have been some of the best experiences that have come out of being an influencer? Don’t be modest, what’s been the most ridiculously lavish experience and what’s been the most enjoyable?
BF: For teenage me, it’s the cars. I’ve driven nearly everything it feels like. Obviously, there are a ton I haven’t, but it's just super fun to have access to all that stuff. But honestly, travel is so important to me—it’s so inspiring on so many levels. And to be able to leverage Instagram to do it alongside my wife—there’s just nothing better. We have been to so many crazy places, seen so many beautiful beaches, hotels, mountains, waterfalls. Truly blessed.
JN: This magazine is all about living your best life and we want to provide readers with tips every edition to help them achieve that. So here are some rapid fire questions for you.
JN: Three books that have greatly impacted your life?
BF: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, Richard CarlsonnThe Celestine Prophecy, James RedfieldnWhy We Sleep, Matthew Walker, PhD
JN: Best financial advice you ever received? Best financial advice you can give?
BF: Put a little money away every month in a high interest account and don’t touch it. Compounding over the next 50 years of your life will be worth it, even if it’s $20/month. Also, be happy with what you have, there’s always someone with less.
JN: In the last few years what new habit(s) has most improved your life?
BF: Meditation 1000%. Highly recommend.
JN: Three favourite in-home exercises.
BF: Burpees, push-ups, lots of stretching.
JN: Three most frequently played artists on your February playlist.
BF: Drake, Lord Echo, Camelphat.
JN: Best dish you make at home.
BF: Pad Thai, but damn, it’s been a minute...
JN: Three things that make you happiest in this world.
BF: My home, my health, my wife.
JN: I know you’re a car guy, so last one, for fun, three favourite rides.
BF: Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. Lamborghini 400 GT 1967. Vintage Land Rover Defender—custom built, and coming soon!
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