Disc Jockeying’s Next Big Star: Rezident Travy

In 2006, nestled in a valley of approximately 10 miles square, overlapping a portion of Reno, Nevada, the future of entertainment awakened “The Biggest Little City in the World” like a pandemic with no antibiotic to stop the spread. How did a then 17-year old create rapture amongst his fellow entertainers? Where did he come from? An ambitious, fearless and determined character managed to unintentionally set the precedent on how every young aspiring disc jockey should conduct themselves when entering the well-known, saturated field of DJing. Introducing disc jockeying’s next big star: DJ Travy.

Photo Credit: Chris Brake

It would be another four years before he could legally crack open a chilled bottle of that bitter but oh-so invigorating taste, yet here he was making his presence known in the 21-and-up Reno nightclub scene. If Reno was sleeping on Travy, they were definitely awaken when word spread that there’s a 17-year old on the scene landing gigs in Reno’s hottest nightclubs. This caused quite an uproar with his predecessors who’ve been involved in entertainment for many years. What differentiates this young man from his peers is his ability to remain a humble student of the game no matter how much rejection he acquired. Everyone but one fellow entertainer completely shut Travy out. That entertainer is Amplified Entertainment’s DJ Jazzy Gems who is acknowledged for providing Travy with the opportunity to spin at 21-and-up clubs.

“I don’t blame them at all. If you’re 24… 25 years old and you’re

making great money, why would you let someone who’s 17 come

in and take your spot? Take your thunder? I wouldn’t.” (Ha, 2013)

In an effort to keep track of everything he was doing and legitimize his trade, Travy founded his first company, Truckee Meadows DJ’s, which is still in operation today. Most 18-year olds are thinking; college, freedom, etc., but not Travy. He was thinking business. With services that expanded beyond the nightclub scene; corporate events, weddings and private parties, Truckee Meadows DJ’s boomed. It wasn’t long before Travy was able to purchase his first home at the young age of nineteen.

“I wasn’t trying to take jobs. I was just trying to do what I wanted

to do.” (Ha, 2013)

Here’s a young man who’s taking every step necessary to ensure success in an industry full of big names that possess thousands of followers who repel at the idea of a “kid” landing their gigs. Yet he humbly respected his predecessors no matter what obstacles they ensured he would face, started his own business and bought his first home. That’s impressive no matter how old you are and deserves its respect. During a personal interview on June 13, 2013, Travy was asked if his competitive nature is the driving force behind all that he’s accomplished thus far. Without hesitation, Travy responded; “Absolutely”.

“I was real competitive growing up, still am. The only thing you

control is your attitude and your output. If you have a good

attitude and you’re working more than anyone else, then

you’re good.” (Ha, 2013)

Regardless of Travy’s accomplishments, the big names before him understandably continued to disregard him in the Reno nightclub scene. His continuous effort to earn a name in his field of entertainment and validate the summation of all his efforts led Travy to change the plan. In January 2012, he made the courageous decision to leave his hometown and relocate to San Diego, California. As in any type of art, it is reasonably expected for anyone to pay their dues upon infiltrating the area with their talent and craft. Therefore, moving didn’t necessarily solve the problem; however, it did open the opportunity to expand to a larger network and add to the accomplishments Travy brought with him to San Diego.

With gaining the credibility he deserves as his vision in mind, Travy wasted no time making crucial moves to validate his accomplishments by entering 3 DJ competitions over a 10-month span. Two of those competitions occurred in San Diego and one was conducted in Hollywood. Keep in mind now, no one in Southern California heard of DJ Travy. He had yet to even build an audience in San Diego. His competition, however, included over 20 popular and well respected DJ’s who came accompanied by big crowds. Travy competing as the underdog, crushed the contestants in all three competitions.

“The crazy thing is I expected it. I went into it knowing that I was

going to win. I didn’t expect any other outcome because for me, I

wouldn’t allow that.” (Ha, 2013)

Photo Credit: Chris Brake

As in any industry, unfortunately it’s not enough to possess the skills and talents needed to outperform the market. Of course winning 3 competitions, who’s contenders included well-respected DJ’s, provides Travy with an advantage within the core group of people who can recognize talent. However, there are other aspects to being an entertainer that are equally important such as; networking, branding and marketing. Some DJ’s have mastered their disc jockeying skills, but fail miserably in the area of networking, branding and marketing. Others have great public relations and a corresponding brand, but possess what Travy refers to as ‘watered down talent’.

“The problem is that with DJing you don’t see what the

performer is doing. The performer is on stage behind a

booth, whereas, if you’re watching someone play the guitar

you can see there’s six strings and you can visually see how

good they are. If every venue had a video camera on the DJ and

on the booth, then yeah that would be a huge advantage. But

right now, you look at a lot of the guys who are making six-figures

and doing well and a lot of it is a pre-recorded set, it’s more of a

show then it is on skill, which is completely fine because you’re

paying good money to be entertained but that’s why it’s watered

down because it’s not necessarily about skill or the talent

anymore, it’s how good of a show you can do, branding and

marketing, not necessarily the best product.” (Ha, 2013)

It’s evident that Travy is a skilled DJ who recognizes the importance of branding and marketing as well. However, he refuses to subscribe to the gimmicks and over-glorified self-promotion techniques others utilize to build their “fan” base. Travy openly admits that branding and marketing isn’t an area he is skilled in. He came to San Diego knowing that not only did he have to prove he possesses talent, but also brand and market himself. Within the 1½ years he’s lived in San Diego, Travy proved his worth by murdering 3 competitions and is currently working on his branding and marketing via the services provided by Rezident Management Group. To further enhance his skill set, DJ Travy is returning to the roots and doing things manually rather than digitally.

“A lot of people are just pressing buttons these days and

I think it’s much more impressive to do things manually, chop

up the sound yourself, still be able to scratch and still be able

to manipulate records. DJing is ‘disc jockeying’ and no one seems

to be jockeying discs anymore. They’re pushing buttons.” (Ha, 2013)

Travy’s former high school history teacher and DJ, Chad Sawyer, is recognized as one of Travy’s influential figures (outside of family). Through Sawyer, Travy learned the importance of preparation and the significance of having all basis covered when opportunity presents itself. Clearly, he took that advice and ran. His current goals exceed DJing as his character is one that seeks to make a difference in the world. In addition to entertainment, he currently works for Mogl, an organization headquartered in San Diego that focuses on solving hunger.

“When I started getting older and having more struggles and I

wasn’t breaking into the scene like I wanted to I was like shit why

am I even doing this in the first place? And so I was thinking

about; what is DJing? And who does it benefit? I’d say 90% of it is

nightclub based, party based, heavy drug and alcohol use.

Totally fine if you do it responsibly, totally chill with me, but I

don’t want to be the one pushing that. I think that what I would

do is more awareness [in reference to kids and the younger

generation]. If I had the ability to get in front of people and people

who are listening to me I’d tell them turn the fucking TV off, turn

off the mainstream media, do more self-expression, creativity,

get out, quit playing video games… A lot of selfie’s. It’s a lot of

self-benefit and I just don’t get it cause it’s like what does that do

for everybody else? Any benefit to you is a benefit to me why

don’t we benefit from each other? Everyone just kind of seems

like self-promotion which is why I don’t think I’ve been very

successful in branding myself as a DJ.” (Ha, 2013)

Ever since the future of entertainment awakened “The Biggest Little City in the World” like a pandemic with no antibiotic to stop the spread, he’s made a conscious effort to make solid moves in the entertainment industry to ensure his success. He didn’t give up or become a cocky youngster just because those who paved the way before him rightfully refused to make it easier for him. He humbly did what he had to do to pay his dues and gain credibility as both a business man and a DJ. He may have changed the plan by relocating to San Diego, but he never once changed the goal. He didn’t let the fact that he had no audience, no name, no brand or solid marketing destroy his dreams. Instead he turned each obstacle into a mission of “how” do I achieve that? Ambitious, fearless and determined. Without a doubt, DJ Travy is disc jockeying’s next big star. Whether you’re a young aspiring DJ or entrepreneur in active pursuit of your dreams, Travy has one piece of advice for you;

“Enjoy the process. The journey is more important than the

outcome. Something I wish I would have known earlier on in life.

Make sure you are always having fun.” (Ha, 2013)

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Ha, T. (2013, June 13). Interview by JC Imperial. DJ Travy: Personal interview.

Author Disclosure Statements

Jessica Imperial donates income from writing to support suicide awareness and prevention programs. Charitable disclosure card is publicly disclosed here.

Contact Jessica Imperial for writing services and/or to view current business license.

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