10 Questions with ... Rod Carrillo
January 19, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
The path has taken me from nightclub DJ/promoter to Power 1490, KFMA, WWDX, KNRJ and KAJM. Now I run five music labels, entertainment law firm and deal with super-creative people for a living.
1. You've worn a lot of different hats throughout your career. Of the following which is the hardest to do and why: Program a radio station, run a music label, be a touring DJ, remix and/or produce a song...
Running a successful music label is by far one of the hardest tasks I have ever encountered. The complexity of tastes, personalities and growing trends are a daily occurrence. The amount of courageous conversations that I have had to give over the last 10 years would drive people insane.
2. What's the biggest difference when programming a song for the clubs, versus programing a song for regular rotation on the air?
The luxury in radio is that you have a research component and also similar formats adjacent to your markets that you see what is working for the format. When it comes to the label and clubs, it is about following your gut and relying on your past experiences to make those calls. Radio does not take those chances anymore in my opinion.
3. You started out as a mix show DJ and later in your career programmed a radio station, what's the best advice you could give to an upcoming mix show DJ?
Keep grinding away at your craft. Don't forget why you fell in love with the art. Always listen to your inner voice and follow your instincts. Many people will have opinions, suggestions or thoughts regarding your career choice and what is best for you. Only you know what is best for you. Never forget that.
4. How do you find new music for when you DJ?
I get it from colleagues, promo services or I make it, ha-ha.
5. How do you find new music as well as talent when you are looking at signing music to your label?
At first, we would seek out talent from all over the world. As we have become more established, the acts present themselves to us and we have been very lucky in weeding new and old talent through our system.
6. Your label is doing well in other territories, including Europe and Latin America. What do you attribute this to and how can you utilize this success to get a foothold in America?
We have been successful in providing music for an International niche that has become very loyal to us. We have been lucky in the timing of certain projects, getting the artists right before they break or have some kind of touring or sales success. It is like we have been doing this thing for so long that people are coming to find us cool now and we are thankful for that.
As far as America, there is a huge disparity on what is really successful or not. With the manipulation of social numbers, footholds on charts and the list can go on. Personally, I have always been proud that we have done it the indie way. Just being an American-based indie with over 30 releases yearly for the past eight years, I find success in that.
7. The way you get the word out about events is very different today as opposed to when you started. How do you utilize social media when it pertains to your events?
It is a mix of both social presence and local level support by venues, supporting stations and promoters. Social media is only worthwhile when we spend additional resources on a said campaign or event. With the monetization efforts of these social businesses over the last couple of years, it is no longer a grassroots tool for us, but rather another paid stream to spread the word.
8. How do you and the artists on your label use social media to increase awareness?
Social media tools are used by our artists now more than ever to keep an ongoing dialogue with their fans on a day-to-day basis. I see it as keeping a relationship going with their P1s and if successful, then friends of those loyal followers will join the conversation.
9. What time management strategies do you utilize to get you through a day or a week? What's the best advice you could to someone who needs to multitask as much as you do?
Prioritization and planning are key in getting through my week. I set allotted times daily for e-mails, calls and meetings. I am usually planned out two to three months in advance. I have a great team surrounding me so I am kept on schedule about 90% percent of the time.
The best advice that I can relay is that you need to keep somewhat of a schedule, keep the stress in check and realize that things will always work themselves out. Surprises will always try to derail your set goals but that is part of the ride in being a multi-tasker.
10. If we were in a car ride for the next two hours, what would I hear you play?
Depeche Mode, Chase & Status, Rudimental, Daft Punk and Major Lazer (not the pop stuff for sure).
If you could remix a song for any artist in the world who would your dream remix be for?
I am a person of the now so at the moment it would be Rudimental; I think they are just brilliant. I am also a fan of Professor Green.
We're in your hometown; where are we going to get something good to eat?
If you weren't working one night and could go see any artist or DJ perform, who would it be?
Must-have travel item?