Being a part of the entertainment industry requires a lot of dedication, time and consistency. These are powerful words spoken by a powerful and influential gentleman. I’m talking about none other than the DMV’s own DJ Quicksilva. Quicksilva has made a name for himself by becoming one of the hottest DJs in the industry. From touring with Lil' Mo to working with the likes of Janet Jackson, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, handpicked for the Combs Ciroc Boyz by Diddy and many more, Quicksilva has become the number one DJ in the DMV area and the number 12 DJ in the country. But it didn’t happen quickly and easily as it does for some people, he had to hustle and grind since the age of 10 to become the man he is today. He is a business owner, motivational speaker advocating for mental health awareness, and a true family man that believes that success is a journey and not a destination. We recently spoke with DJ Quicksilva about getting his start, work life balance and more.
For more than 25 years, you've set and exceeded the bar as a DJ. How did the struggles of your past develop you into the man you are today?
I’m a firm believer that I’ve never let my past dictate my outcome or where I am going. My past was not easy, but it helped me to be the hustler that I am and the businessman that I am. I figured if I hadn’t gone through these things or had been forced to grow up so fast, I might not be where I am today. I got into the business at the age of 10, and at that same time, I lost my mother. Later, I lost my dad when I was 18. I’ve been deejaying all my life, and these experiences showed me that I had to always grind and always work to get what I deserved.
You got a major start by working with Lil Mo on her tour. How did that moment make you feel and how was it influential to your career?
Let’s take it back a step. That moment happened because of something that occurred that forced us to that moment. Me and Lil Mo were on a radio show together with 105.7 in Baltimore and we both were very successful. The show was number 1. Unfortunately, the station got sold and the entire staff was fired. A very upsetting moment for us all because this was our livelihood. However, if that moment did not happen, the tour wouldn’t have happened. It was a week later that Lil Mo was working on her 4ever album. She called me, asked me what I was working on, and took me on tour. If I had been working for the radio, I would’ve declined that opportunity. It opened so many doors and avenues for me to go from a local DJ to a regional, nationally known DJ. This tour was very instrumental in my life because it came to me when I was at my lowest.
More than just a DJ, you're a business owner and you have an academy that you started. How do you balance it all? Wife, kids and a career? Any tips for our readers?
One thing I will say is, it’s not easy as I make it look on social media. It’s a lot of hard work, dedication, consistency, and most importantly a lot of sacrifices. Being a successful person in multiple businesses, there are times where I must make tough decisions. I’ve missed family events at times because I have to be somewhere. As much as I love my family and put them first, the industry doesn’t care. It sounds bad but most people don’t realize that most of these businesses are not loyal to you. If you can’t meet them where they need you, then they move on to the next one who will. There have been many times in my life when making these tough decisions hurt because I never want to put my family second. In this business, if you want to remain successful and have longevity, unfortunately at times that happens.
Tell us more about your academy Quick and Easy DJs. What is the mission behind it and how has it grown since its beginning?
The mission is simply to create DJs and to show people that becoming a DJ can be a life-changing experience. When I first started, it was a hobby and I didn’t know I could get to this level by just Deejaying. However, the mission for me is to show people that this can be a career path and to keep the culture going. Over the years, the DJ culture has shifted because most DJs are digital now. Many of them don’t have the skillset, so I want to make sure that the skill of Deejaying never gets lost. We teach how to master that skillset, how to make easy transitions, and how to blend. We teach our DJs not to depend on the digital, but to depend on the skillset and become a dope DJ. This is something I want to do nationwide and within 5 years, have this going in every major city.