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Meet Brett Lehrman of DJ Cookie Policy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brett Lehrman.

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 a musician and a songwriter since I was a young teenager. Hanging out in independent music circles, the music that got played on the stereo at parties when there wasn’t a band playing, was kind of a bummer. One fateful night, I took control of the iTunes playlist and things turned into a dance party. As such, my friends invited me to DJ their Halloween party the next weekend. After that I was hooked. That was about 10 years ago. I had always had an ear for selecting the right song for the moment. A byproduct of environmental sensitivity and obsession with listening to, and collecting music I suppose. But since that Halloween party, I’ve been working on mastering the technical side of the craft.

Part of that time was during my music studies at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Getting to soak up the vibe of that city and its music and arts culture was pivotal and helped shape my style into the genre mash that I embody today.

Since then, I’ve been living on the east coast and holding down different nightlife residencies while also DJing at concerts, special events, weddings and corporate functions. At this point I’ve DJ’ed on 3 different continents and both coasts of The United States. I’m extremely gracious to be make a living doing it as well as freelance design work. As part of the melding of both of those worlds, I’m currently designing a prototype for a sustainable-energy powered mobile sound system!

Basically, I love music and getting spend as much time on it, as possible!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This may or may not be obvious, but with the exception of a small percentage of musicians that get there, there’s not a living wage in music. There’s no clock to punch and certainly no health benefits from an employer. You have to be scrappy, and flexible. To make money, I started in a place that had nothing to do with music, and have been slowly working it more and more into a place where it’s become my biggest source of income. The next step is to get to a point where I can make money only from the artistic side of my music. At the moment there are still aspects of it that are very service oriented, but it beats the $#!^ out of slingin’ lates!

One of the biggest struggles came at the very beginning. I’m the first member of my family who’s been privileged enough to afford the time to even sit and think about art and music. This is because of the hard work of my parents and their ancestors to build up our families into the middle class. That being the case though, it was a tough sell when it came to getting both of my parents on board with paying for a college education in music. In the end it took taking matters into my own hands and steering my own course. Once I realized music was my only course to true happiness and fulfillment, it was an easy decision to make.

DJ Cookie Policy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Because I am a musician before all else, my knowledge of music comes from the ground up. I know how it’s composed. It’s individual pieces. I can deconstruct songs and put them back together the way I like. I don’t limit myself to any one style, type of equipment or genre. I do have preferred tastes though. Everything I like tends to be made with soul and honesty. This crosses many genres but sincerity is at the core. I try to live a healthy lifestyle and spread as much joy as possible while also being down to earth. I look for these elements in the songs that I select, so that I can put them forth to the audience. My goal is to help them feel good and enveloped by the music, without the need for substances or simply as a device to “bump n’ grind” with others to… but what happens happens!

I let the music do as much of the talking as possible, but I’m not shy when it comes to saying the things that need to be said on the mic. I have a background in public speaking, customer service and I generally like people, so I’d like to think this comes across in all my business dealings, communication, service quality and correspondence outside of the performance itself.

At times, the world of DJing can be filled with big egos. As a person, I try to have as little ego as possible. It’s not about me. It’s about the music, and how it makes a room full of people feel. When it comes to the business side of things, I aim to be as personable as possible. I’m not afraid of establishing relationships with my clients and I don’t hide behind a business moniker that pretends to be larger than life or something that it’s not. I have a stage name and a brand, but I’m a person, & I strive to connect with you as such. My professionalism comes into play in the form of delivering a good product on time, and being completely honest about what that product is and is not. For a lot of clients hiring a DJ, it can be a totally new and unfamiliar process. As such, I try to make myself as accessible as possible when it comes to answering queries and helping them through the process.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Quitting my day-jobs, unrelated to music.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Daniela Dawson Photography

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