DJ PupDawg

Now claiming Boston as home, DJ Pupdawg grew up in West LA, eventually finding himself hanging with the wrong crowd. His parents saved his life by moving to a new LA area to get him away from that lifestyle. It was there that his love for music grew stronger, he got connected in the community, and he began DJing. It was never easy, and he hustled every step of the way. Tune in to hear DJ Pupdawg’s incredible, inspiring journey to be successful as a DJ in the music world, against all the odds. Now he has worked with and entertained the best in the biz. He’s known for working with major artists, including J. Cole, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, and Sean Paul. Listen in to learn his secret sauce to never giving up on your dreams to create the life that you love.

Click to Read Transcript

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Underdog. Today, I have a super awesome guest, DJ Pupdawg. Even though he now claims residency in Boston, his hard-working West Coast roots seem to have served him well. DJ Pupdawg has worked with and entertain the best of the best in the music biz. He’s known for working with major artists including Jay Cole, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Sean Paul and he’s now consulting and mixing for Samantha J – a fresh new artists out of Jamaica signed to Columbia Records. As Samantha J’s official tour DJ, he rocks the crowd with this young rising superstar. Currently, you can catch up in the mix at six different radio stations Monday through Friday, 12pm with the back of the day buffet 5pm with the five o’clock traffic jam 6pm the mix at six to kick off his night show until midnight. Outside of radio DJ Pupdawg, DJs for Samantha J and Kat Dylan on tour and is finishing up his DJ album no color lines. Today, I welcome to you DJ Pupdawg in the building. Welcome, Welcome. Welcome everybody to underdog we have a super, super, super special guest here the top dog beat number one dog, DJ Pupdawg, Hold on I have an intro for you. Okay. Oh, we got DJ Pupdawg in the building. He deserves the most appropriate introduction. So, welcome, Paul.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

How you doing? I’m great. I’m blessed families healthy got a roof over our head. I’m employed. I’m in my studio. Can’t complain, man.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

I love it. I love it. Oh, thank you So, much for taking the time to be here today. And you know, being willing to tell your story. I cannot wait to hear it. I think right before our call. I was mentioning to you that I’ve been listening to you since I was nine, nine years old. So, back in the day.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

It’s even six years is perfect.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Yeah. I’m still young. I’m still young. And I absolutely i mean, I’ve always since I’ve listened to you always had such a beautiful positive fun energy. It’s a great vibe. And like you could almost feel that through the radio. And I just remember that just even as a kid. So, just throughout the years listening in So, I’m So, blessed to have you here today. I really can’t thank you enough for being here. Like it’s just it’s amazing to me, because it’s like this is a gentleman that I used to listen to on the radio and like here he is right now. So, this is a really cool experience for me. So, thank you.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

For having me on, I know what you’re doing. I’ve always been watching you for a long time. You have good energy. And when you asked me about this, I was like hell yeah, support my sister all day. Come on, man.

 

Pamela Bardhi

You’re the best, Pup. You’re the best. But So, yeah, I mean, I know you got such an amazing story and So, much to tell us for sure. So, I guess we can begin. I mean, obviously you’re a DJ, you kill the game out there you’re slaying it. Where did sort of where did everything start? Like, tell us about your story sort of how did everything begin? Sort of from the beginning to sort of where you’re at now.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Just you know, obviously a podcast shorter version, the love of music when I was really young. I started DJing when I was a really young, I didn’t even know I was DJing Actually, I was doing like house parties with cassettes and stuff. And then I would get like somebody else’s tape deck that was at the house party and I was just always in charge of having the newest music having that fun music and when house parties happen within our friends. It was always like, oh Pup, what are you going to bring for music, you know, like are what are we listening to? So, it was just always in me to kind of be in that world. And I saw my friends bow and Craig out in junior high school, they were actually DJs and kind of watch them a little bit. I loved it. And I remember one day, kind of just fast-forwarding rules. As we’re as we’re talking but in junior high, I was practicing while I was walking on Air DJ, right? I never that’s why I love this Underdog, this thing you have because it’s exactly kind of like you know where we all kind of fit in but I was walking in practicing Air DJing is the junior high. I remember there was a locker right next to me. And two kids are walking this way. And they’re like, oh, leave the Indian kid alone. He’s DJing you know, and it was beautiful. They were kind of making fun of me I was, it was one of those. It was a school there was a lot of Indian people, some are Pakistani, but you know, everybody’s Indian if you’re brown kind of deal. So, it was one of those, they were making fun of me. And I was, in my mind, I think that’s where it triggered. I didn’t realize that at that time. But since it’s stuck in my head So, much, and they’re still talking about this day, I think that was my motivation of that underdog of like, I am going to be that DJ. You’re making fun of me right now, but that was my clicking point of like, I’m going to show you too. I don’t know who you are right now but I’m going to show you, too, that I am going to become a big DJ. it just kind of worked on that and you know, work my way up from clubs, to house parties to being at the right club at the right time with a radio personality in there. Eric Covici, before social media didn’t have no idea what he looked like I kind of gangster my way into the clubs. That’s a whole different story. And he liked what he heard and brought me on the show did, I walked into the radio station did one guest spot for the first time in radio ever, it was late at night. And I said that was going to be, this one I want to do for the rest of my life and kind of work my way to making that happen.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s crazy. Oh my God, I love it. So, before the music, was there anything that you sort of what were you doing growing up? You know, like, was, because there’s always there’s always a different story, right? You know, like, for me, I was like, I’m going to be in marketing and events and that everything got to like shifted. So, it’s like, were it was there a separate career path that you had sort of planned out? Prior to DJing? Or…

 

DJ Pupdawg

Yeah, I wanted to be a marine biologist. And then because I loved, and I love animals, I love water. And you know, when you’re a kid, you go to SeaWorld, and you know, hearing those places are really bad for those animals. But again, when you’re, as a kid, you don’t know that and I was like, I want to help these animals, I want to train these animals. And then you know, we didn’t grow up with a lot of money. And when I heard that, you know, those jobs are definitely done from love, which is great for the spouse as well as doing it. But you got to come from a well-off family, because you only going to make about 24,000 after getting your masters, you know, and all that. At that time. I don’t know how true it is. But when I heard that, I was like, No, my job is to take care of my parents and 24,000 I’m not going to do that. So, kind of got away from that. And then just worked a lot of jobs man I did, I was in the banking world. I worked at Burger King for five years. Not that that was my career, but that definitely gave me a hustle mentality. And then I worked at the bank at the same time while I was in school and loved every minute of banking worked my way up from a teller all the way to a loan officer. And then while I was DJing on the side, doing a lot of parties and stuff like that, my bank manager at that moment, was like, yo, you love music, you love DJing you’re good at it, you do a lot of gigs. You know if radio is kind of where you want to go, put two feet in and go. Banking is never going to go anywhere. And Shasta my girl Robin, you know, Union Bank in California, she’s still there, she still runs it. And I was like, you’re right. And I put both feet in and kind of went after radio, did a bunch of side jobs, you know, like part time gigs at guitar centers and stuff like that. But I knew that radio was where my focus. I wanted my focus to be at So, kind of, you know, did that from there.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Crazy dope. So, crazy, dope. So, you were saying, you know, the mentality of taking care of your parents, that’s very first-generation talk. Right? You had come to the United States when did you come to the US?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Well, I came really young. My slogan on air is Pakistan to LA to Boston. That was, I was born in Pakistan. Left when I was really young. But I still rapid, heavy. Left when I was six months old and been in LA and then now almost half, Still LA So, got five years beat on me like, but it’s almost half and a half now with Boston. So, I don’t know how much longer I can call la like my home, because it’s definitely like almost split now.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Oh, my God. No, I just find it fascinating, you know, So, I came to the I actually left Albania when I was six months old and went to Italy and then came here. So, it just always fascinates me because every first-generation person that I meet everyone who came here from another country, it’s always about your family, you know, So, that to me just struck right away. Because I mean, you could tell it in your hustle and everything like that, you know. It’s, I’m the same way to you know, when it comes to my parents, it’s like, Alright, you know, I got me great, like, but, you know, how do I take care of the family? So, I really love that. I really, really love that. So, what was it sort of like So, you might shave for six months old, you came to LA first, So, what was that whole experience like in the beginning for you?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

When, from what I remember it was it was different because, you know, we grew up in a place it’s called West LA. It’s not like really bad from what people see like the South Central’s and the contents, which, even in those places, there’s some nice areas, but of course media shows all the bad spots. You know, even in West LA it’s like it’s like a little bit nicer. But again, not Beverly Hills and not content, you know, like it’s probably a little bit in between very Mexican heavy, no Indians, no brown people like it was barely any of that. So, It was hard. I had a hard time fitting in I didn’t know where I belonged. I thought I was Mexican for a long time because they, you know, it was all that was around me. And I kind of was accepted by a group of individuals that I kind of took me in. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of gangbangers, but you know, I felt like, I had protection. I felt like I was part of something. And when you’re that young, you’re easily influenced because you’re So, different. That, you know, either I was getting my ears flicked, or, you know, people said that smell and stuff like that. So, you wanted to be part of something that’s, you know, loving. And that’s, you know, unfortunately, So, they tell, says was a group that I kind of got in with Luckily, I didn’t get jumped in or anything like that. But I was, I thought I was one of them. I honestly, was wrapping them. I was doing all that stuff. But you know, I didn’t get it. Luckily, didn’t get to that that level. But that was my kind of like, you know, trying to find my agenda, which is kind of ironic, because it was Mexican. They had nothing to do with me. It was around me, there was no brown people at that time next to me, you know.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Yeah. And I had a very similar experience as he was talking about that, you know, So, like, come from Albania, there was really no abundance that I knew when I came in. Right. So, like, here, I came from from Italy. And I have my parents were speaking Albanian, I had, you know, Italian with me. And then going into school there was like, everyone was Hispanic. I went to school in Chelsea. That’s where I grew up. And like, nobody knew like, what Albania was like where I was, and it was like, No, no, like, oh, but you have curly hair. So, you’re Puerto Rican. So, it was like, that’s like, that was like my crew that like I sort of affiliated with. So, it’s just So, funny. The parallels, like just hearing you hear you talk about is So, cool. It’s just So, interesting. Because it’s like, when you’re a kid, you just, you know, you don’t know, you’re just like, I just want to fit in, you know, someone you know. No, that’s amazing. That’s what it is. And then So, you eventually got to an internship in LA at a radio station, right?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Yep. So, this happened after. So, during Junior High’s, when I was getting into a little bit of trouble, and I was getting caught up with the wrong crowd. When I graduated junior high school, literally the next day, my parents took a three week. We took a drive from LA up to Canada, all the way to Toronto, came down to Florida and came across. And it was like a family trip. And at that time, there was like, you know, I’m going to totally date myself, and, but it wasn’t like cell phones and stuff like that. So, then three weeks being away from everybody, I lost contacts with everybody. And we came back and throughout the trip, my dad would stop everywhere, every So, often and make phone calls. And we’re like, what is he doing? What is he doing? And then halfway through the trip, he’s like, Oh, we got the house. And we’re like, what are you talking about me, my brother. And he’s like, Oh, we bought a house in the valley. And we’re going to move there when we get back. So, they already had a game plan of not coming back to the apartment I was in. They didn’t tell me and my brother this hour. Definitely didn’t tell me. Somehow, he did, right. Because now I’m like, away from my friends for three weeks losing contact, and we’re moving over the hill, which is going to be even more like nobody’s driving. We’re not, I’m not old enough to drive. Nobody’s going to be driving, I’m going to lose contact with all my friends, which kind of was I think, now that I look back at it, it probably saved my life. You know what I mean? But they knew what they were doing. They had to get me out of the situation. Plus, they weren’t wanted to get into a house me and my brother getting a little bigger too. So, then when I moved to the valley, is Northridge big earthquake was and stuff like that. I started hanging out with more Indian people, I started getting more involved with my community. I played basketball and from Monroe, and then I hung out with my community and I worked at Burger King at the same time. So, that’s when I started finding myself, I got a little bit more serious with DJing my parents said, I can go into DJing after I graduated high school, my grades weren’t So, great. So, they were like, you know, once you graduate high school, you’re more than welcome to. I started college for a little bit messing up there. My parents, like you’re paying for college. So, if you’re going to mess up, it’s on you. Like, you know, you’re wasting your money. So, why don’t you go to college when the time is right. Because again, why waste your money kind of do not deterred me from it, but at the same time, I was paying for it. So, they’re like, be smart with your money, you know, right. But then I kind of just went full fledge DJing and in the valley, and the Indians out there, the Pakistanis and everybody, my community, the smiles definitely, like, you know, supported me and got me to where I am, I think.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s amazing. So, that just pretty much catapulted you into your internship, which then eventually just kind of just blew everything up for you. Fascinating. So, like, oh, man, I just have So, many questions and So, many things she’s like, So, you would say growing up, but what were some of the biggest struggles for you, you know, unlike How did you sort of overcome them? Because you had I mean, they, what do they call it, they call it like, I mean, the underdog is always against all odds, right? So, it’s like all these obstacles So, like, not only are you just a kid growing up, but you’re a first generation kid growing up, and like you got a totally different mentality and like, it sounds like being in the for the valley. what was that place club?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

West LA.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

West LA. Yeah, So, it’s just it’s just fascinating to me. I like all the different sequence and but how communities really played a role throughout that whole process and how it can really define you, right? Like I literally was just talking to someone about energy. And my article in Forbes just got posted today. It’s like, what do you look for somebody in business, I’m like..

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Let me just turn off real quick.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

I was featured in Forbes today. And like, that’s what I talked about was like, you know, I’m like, everybody talks about being this, get like this guidebook to, like, help your clients and like, you know, just like all these logistical things. But the most important thing when you’re dealing with somebody is like, their energy, like, what’s the energy like, right? So, like, who you surround yourself with, really affects who you are. Because imagine what you would have become had you been in West LA. And on like, moving across the valley, like, your parents saw it. And I think that that’s really, really incredible. And they saw the potential and they were just like, they had to get you out. Because I think if they had told you…

 

DJ Pupdawg 

oh, yeah, I wouldn’t have gone on that trip. No way. Not that time. I was, like, again, I thought I was a banger. So, it was just like, you know, I was, again, everything my parents said, like, yeah, whatever, whatever, you know, every kid goes through that I get it. I think it could have been bad. I really honestly think they saved my life. So, I was around the wrong people. And it is what it is. And now you know that the people that I’m around now, man, all of us, like, you know, knock on wood, we’ve all done well, for ourselves. I got a couple of doctors in my crew, though. There’s like 40 years of friendship between five of us. And yeah, there’s 18 kids between five of my best friends. Like that’s how, you know, we all grew up together, and everybody does well. And I think, we all motivate each other because we all want to take nice vacations. And if all of us are doing well, one person not doing well is not going to be I can’t make that trip with you guys. So, we can all somehow be motivating each other by just working hard and like being able to take those nice vacations, you know?

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Absolutely. Absolutely. So, how did you land the first internship because I feel like I mean, you’ve always been passionate about music, and you were kind of killing it. So, I was wondering, like, did the radio station find you? Or did you find?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

the Fast Forward version real quick. Again, I was an Indian DJ, I was doing Indian parties. I was doing a lot of Indian, you know, like getting hired by Indian people. And it was great. You know, that’s my core. That’s my foundation. They supported me. But I didn’t want to be known as an Indian DJ. Yeah. Right. So, at that time, there was records, and nobody understood what I really wanted to do. So, what I used to do is I used to go to clubs by myself with records in hand, and kind of scope out who’s in the front, this is this is a trip, like, you’re never going to believe this. It was a bunch of young people on the front, I would like kind of walk in and be like, Oh, yeah, the owner called me and kind of just gangster my way onto the decks. And you know, tell the DJ, like you’re supposed to be on right now. If I attempt anything, right? Don’t get me wrong. I would go to the front. This is why I did it myself. Because it’s embarrassing as hell, right? And nobody would get it. Your friends aren’t going to understand what you’re trying to do.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Yeah.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

There’s been times where I go up, and there’s a bunch of young kids. And I’d be like, yeah, the owner called me the owner. I didn’t see him. He’d be like, No, I did it. You know, or vice versa. If I see a bunch of older people, I’d be like, Oh, the promoters called me. Promoters on the back be like, no, he did not have to do the walk of shame with my records. And then you know, they give me props. like, yo, nice try. That one time that I hustled my way in sharks club in Irvine. It’s weird. It’s an OC. A lot of people know now because the TV and stuff like that, but it was a shark club gangster my way into there, it was one of my homegirls birthdays, somehow pulled my way up onto the turntable, the guy that was DJing there clearly just did it for a check. Because when I was like, Yo, I’m supposed to get out, he’s like, cool, I’m going to go get a drink. You know, he didn’t care at all. He’s like, go ahead if you want to do the work. And that’s the night that Erica Beachy was at the club. And when he brought me on to do a guest set on the show, I loved it. And I tried to figure out how I can get into radio and the best way was interning at a department. Obviously, you can’t just go right on air, I got into the promotions department worked my way up from there started DJing. Every street team event I went to since I’m a DJ, I would bring my turntables, and instead of just being like that guy who’s like, you know, throwing away shirts and stuff like that. I was a street team DJ. And I gave myself that title because I just knew how to DJ. And everybody knew that when pup is going to come, he’s going to come with the speakers. And that street team gig would be just off the hook kind of deal because everybody else was, you know, trying to be a personality that was trying from the radio, whatever. So, they kind of just moved my way up that way and then started DJing for Steve Harvey’s morning show and on the streets for him, and just kind of  finally got on air A few years later, and then kind of Yeah, worked with him there. That started off with the internship and the promotions department.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s amazing. You just worked your way up. I just find it fascinating. You fascinate me. Okay. So, what was your motivation throughout, you know your entire career up until the point where was it? I mean, even today, probably the motivation is the same. But, you know, throughout your early years, you know, what motivated you to keep, keep going? Was it the love for music or…?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

love for music and the fact that a lot of people don’t think a brown guy could run a hip-hop station? You know, I mean. You know, especially at the moment, how many, even Khalid who’s Arabic, you know, who’s Palestinian, you know, like, that was the closest thing we had to, you know, like a big name. And that only became like, what, 10 years ago, before that, it’s dominated by black culture, you know, and that’s what it is, you know, and So, I think I just use that as motivation. My dad’s a very hard worker, I have that in me to work hard. My mom is the loving energy and just outgoing I got that from her. So, the DJ is perfect world of that, you know, like, you need to have personality to be able to rock to be able to talk to people and you know, So, I got a little best of both worlds. You know, when it comes to the motivation from my family’s hustle my dad’s hustle, my mom to energy, and honestly, to prove a lot of people wrong, including my own culture, who, whenever I went to mosque, or you know, we call it jamatkhana. Whenever I went to jamatkhana, they’d be like, Oh, you’re the DJ, right? Yeah, like, what do you want to do in the future? Like, talking about like, you know, for your career, like, I want to DJ and then even dating girls in my culture, like wasn’t because I wasn’t good enough, right? I wasn’t. I’m the night guy. I’m there. And my, I didn’t start drinking till I was 25. You know, So, people, you know, think of me was I’m in out in the nightlife around hip hop music. I’m doing drugs. I’m drinking. I’m around girls. I’m around girls. Yes, I was around girls. that came with it. That wasn’t me at all. I was just my gear cost a lot of money that I paid for. I was not trying to like lose sight of my stuff.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Oh my god. Wow. So, basically, you dedicated at all to be the underdog and DJing.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Motivation still to this day. Tell me I can’t do something; please tell me I can’t do something.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

I know. So, you’re just like let me let me do it even further. It’s So, funny. Did I did I tell you that I DJed in college?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

You did when we first met you didn’t tell me that? Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

I did tell you that. Yeah, in the back of 2017 I was like, Pup I have nowhere as talented as you but I kind of tried to be in college parties says the same thing for me. I was just always been an entrepreneur by trade. So, it was like I couldn’t stand what everybody else was playing. At like at the dorms. I was like, this is trash. Like where’s the dancehall? Where’s the Where’s everything? You know, I’m like, I’m not listening to country. I’m not listening to Taylor Swift. No offence, So, that you know, but like stuff that actually gets you dancing. So, it’s So, funny, like, So, I really started it just out of love for music, too. I have like a picture with a hat backwards. And I look like a boy. And I’m like two years old. And I just have like headphones on. And I’m just like, So, I’ve always been, I’ve always had an affinity for it.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Well, I remember when I met you, you told me that you wanted to come by Studio and you wanted to you want to, I said I will teach you and I never heard back from you. Music is there but the love of DJing which is fine because you do well and everything else that you touch. That’s totally fine. You know, when you love, your own passion is going to make you go towards it like you do with everything else, you know.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Really the offer. If that offer still stands, I will take you up forever. I’ll just be the fly on the wall just listening. That’s amazing. So, like everything you’ve done in your career today. Because So, when you left LA, what made the transition into Boston?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Okay, So, two things I know people are going to, you know, I knew a radio was going I saw all my DJ friends that were just a mixer on the station, not cracking the mic not doing anything else. That time there was a need for that there was a jock, there was a DJ, there was a production guy, there’s a promotions guy. And I kind of started seeing where radio was going, I’m luckily, I’ve been blessed to kind of see where the business is headed. When it comes to you know, like any business right? Like everyone’s downsizing has been downsizing for a long time. You just got to learn how to do it all. And that’s what I, you know, started doing, I learned how to do. I was in the promotion department for a long time, I could market a station, I can do promotions, I learned how to be on air, I learned all the imaging, I know how to produce, I know how to do production, do imaging, all these little things that you can do as being on the radio stations without being on air. So, I learned all that stuff. As much as I wanted to get on air, that was the last thing that happened in my career. You know, whatever reasons it was maybe, it was for me to learn everything you know, and now I could run the station but luckily I saw that I started learning everything. And the reason I left from LA. Because I started seeing that in LA the program director at that time told me when I tell him all I want to learn how to do some production. He’s like no, no, just focus on your three am make show when I was on at three o’clock or two, three o’clock in the morning is like you just got to be you know, focused on that and you got to Kick Ass in there. In my mind, I was like, yo, if I do that, and that’s the only thing I know, I’m screwed. Because, you know, with all due respect, everybody that just knew how to do one thing is not in radio anymore. You know. And So, luckily, I saw that happening and started shooting my air checks around, air checks are something that you know what you sound like what you mix like. What you know, you are understanding radio, So, I started shooting it around Houston called me in, Boston called me, Houston, I have a lot of family. My mom told sides in Houston; I didn’t want another safety net. I didn’t want to go to Houston and work at a bank part time and have a roof. I know I’ll get fed. If I needed it. I wanted to go and just make see if this is going to happen for me. I knew two people. When I moved to Boston, one of them was the girl I was dating at the time in LA. She came to med school here. We had just broken up. So, I was like, oh, maybe I can salvage this, you know, salvage this relationship. And Boston was interested in me. The relationship didn’t work. Nothing left for her and her family and everything like that. But my career took off. So, I was like trying to you know, she’s over there. You know, hey, I’m here now too, you know. My best friend Heron has a big family out here and basically took me in and it was able to get that family aspects, you know, like I’d never felt like I was without that family because of that. So, I was able to make it work. And then again, when I came here with a bunch of side jobs and did a bunch of stuff, I got the clubs gig before I even got hired. I started doing Caprice, because I would go sell mixtapes on the orange line. Now I have to sell 20 mixtapes a day to survive. And I wouldn’t leave the orange line right there at Downtown Crossing and walk up to people would see when I saw people with CD players in their hands like Yo, pop this in, and then I had to sell 20 a day to survive and then somehow Someone must have heard that mixtape and, you know, hit me up and was like, Hey, you know, you should do our club and I started doing clubs before I even started doing jamming because it was a hire freeze right when I moved here.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Wow. Yeah, God is your hustler. Yeah, hustler you going to do the mixtapes and everything with the Oh my God, I respect that and I adore that died my love more than more than anything, you know, because you’re on the grind. Like you’re there, you’re doing it, you know. So, it’s amazing to see how far you’ve come now, from that. With that said, like, what’s been your most memorable moments throughout your career? Because you you’ve done some really amazing stuff. I know. You’re super humble. I know that. But now we got to talk about talking about the good stuff, and you’ve done some amazing things to get there. What in the sort of is your favorite?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

That selling the CDs, honestly, that’s like, at that moment, you know, I didn’t know anybody in Boston. So, our people don’t go sell CDs on the streets. You know, like, that’s not what we’ve ever done my, you know, we you know, Indians engineers or good with numbers or doctors, lawyers, you know, that’s what we do. So, that moment right there selling those CDs was definitely like, a humbling. What am I doing? Like, you know, luckily, nobody knows me here. So, I’m not in you know, but now I go back and I’m like, hell yeah, I did that, you know, and like, I go back, and I’m proud of those moments because they brought, you know it. That hunger man, you need that hunger in your life and to get to where you need to get to if you don’t have that, I think it’s tough. And then just growing from that – touring with Sean Paul DJing. For Beyonce, whenever she comes out here, Kanye getting invited to Wyoming for Kanye’s listening party, where everybody’s ad like, those are, you know, those are some highlights. There’s a lot, there’s a lot, there’s a lot. But, you know, it’s all going back and being invited, like, Damn, I’ve done some quest shit, man. You really,

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And like, that’s what I mean. Like, it’s So, amazing. Because you tell your story, why you started like selling a mixtape, you didn’t know anybody. And like, look at you now, you know, and you still got So, much to go and like not even to mention, like how many people you’ve impacted throughout the years, you know, through your music, and through your vibes, and through your conversations, and all that. And another thing that I think is really brilliant about you on the business front, and I think you’re amazing as a person, but on the business front, you diversified, like early in the radio world. So, you knew how to do everything. So, you’re like, Ah, you can’t just you’re like, multifaceted. You’re like, ah, nobody’s going to cancel me out because I don’t know how to do this, this and this, you know, like you did it all, which I find absolutely incredible.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

That’s why we’re the companies that right now and IHeart has been really good to me. But I’ve been, you know, in especially in COVID right now, like if I wasn’t rent being able to run the station, I wouldn’t be here right now because there’s So, many Let go’s So, many layoffs. And you know, there’s a lot of people that lost jobs and stuff like that, but you let me go you’re hiring five people. So, in a world of we’re trying to downsize and save money. You’re not you’re not let me going anytime soon. I’m thinking change tomorrow.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

but it’s So, funny. Every time I hear somebody say diversify, if you watch the Dave Chappelle show?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

yes.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Okay, So, you know that Wu Tang commercial. The Financial Planning one.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Oh, no, no, tell me, tell me.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Oh, my God, you haven’t seen that one that one is, I can’t play it because it’s…

 

DJ Pupdawg 

I’m going to look it up though. Dave Chappelle in The Last Stand up. He didn’t know. Okay.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

You look it up the show. Yeah, if you look up the wound, saying, infomercial that they did it was like it was like Wu Tang created like a financial planning like firm. And it was like diversify your bonds, and then a bunch of bad words. But that’s like is every time I hear somebody say diversify, I always think of that. Once you watch it, you’re going to crack up, you’re going to realize but I think it’s brilliant that you did that, that you made yourself marketable, and that it sustains you in business, because you can sort of morph into anything, because you have that skill set. So, I think that that’s really, really, really amazing. And I mean, So, now with everything that you’ve done, sort of like what’s, what’s next? What’s next for you?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

That’s a big question. Because my contracts coming up to it an end. You know, in radio, they start talking, negotiating about six months before your contract ends. So, it’s definitely coming up. I’ve always wanted to go into artists management, I was going to leave the last contract signing, I wasn’t going to resign. And, you know, the company was all about it, they backed me up, they were like, Whatever you need, you know, they pull exit, I was going to be able to say goodbye, you know, to the listeners, because in radiography notice but it’s a forward momentum business. Like if someone gets let go, they’re not letting you say goodbye. It’s just, you know, like men hacking me, it’s just the way it is, it happens, but they were going to let me do all that stuff. I was going to leave with, you know, with good terms. And then six months right before my contract ended, they gave me the what will it take to keep you here? So, I started laying out some of the stuff including being able to manage artists being able to be in the studio, being able to travel and DJ for artists if needed, you know, for tour comes around, because that was kind of limiting me to a certain degree being able to because I wanted to get into that. And they greenlight it everything, you know, even the money wise, they didn’t meet exactly where I wanted to meet, but they lowball me, you know, like, So, they gave me everything and you know, that was a lot of love. That meant a lot because obviously, I’m valued and I was able to start working with artists, you know, I started touring with Samantha Jay, did the Sean Paul run anytime an artist comes in town or if they want me to do like a northeast run with OBO? I’ve DJ for those guys, you know, it’s anyways, like, there’s no, no hesitation of like, Oh, well, what about your shows? It’s, I’m going to get my shows done from Toronto, you know, I’m going to, I have a mobile unit where I can travel and be on the radio in Boston. And it actually sounded cool. being like, Yo, I’m in, I’m on the road right now with Sean Paul, you know, in Ontario somewhere or Calgary and you know, but right here with you Boston still, you know, and that’s tech. Luckily, with technology, I was able to do that. So, it kind of looked good for the station too once in a while I was on tour with some huge artists. So, and then managing wise, you know, I was part of Samantha’s, Samantha Jays team got signed with Columbia, Kat De Luna. I was part of her management team. And then I started developing a couple artists myself, Red Hot, who got signed to Akon than a Boston girl. Yeah, we worked together for a long time. We didn’t you know, we had different visions, still got love for our show. We’ll help her and consult her and help her whatever she needs. But we’re not working together. But that’s, you know, So, I’m developing that I just found another girl from BC. Rada, is her name. She’s a dope r&b, very, I see. You know, I hate doing the comparison thing. But like, the more of the shot day and the Aliyah and that out of her. So, working on developing her right now she’s a third year BC student and very smart, you know. So, she’s got her business down to and that’s what I’m working on the side. So, hopefully, with this next move, I don’t know. Am I, am I going to asked again, to let me continue or am I going to go two feet in? I’m, that’s what I’m contemplating right now.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Right.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

What feels right to you. Wow. That’s amazing.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s amazing. And now, a couple more questions for you. What would be your biggest piece of advice to anybody listening? Like, whether they’re starting, you know, they’re trying to find their purpose in life or really anything, you know, or if they’re facing something, you know, they’re trying to get into the music business or trying to start a business different things, what would be your biggest piece of advice?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

In anything that you do like music, non-music, first, you got to do it with love, right? Like, you’ve got to have love for it. And then you got to work hard, man. I mean, it’s not going to, you know, people like to get to the mountain and get dropped off by a helicopter but not realizing that you’re going to come tumbling down because you didn’t you didn’t realize how steep that mountain was, you know, and that’s how fast you’re going to come down. Just grow, just keep growing. I know as the 16, 20, 22, 25-year-old. It’s frustrating and hearing like, Oh, yeah, I got to work hard. I got to keep going at it when the time is right. But I honestly believe it is what it is. That’s true. As you get older, you really start hearing other people tell you that and now you’re kind of regurgitating it to other people, because it’s, why do you hear that So, much, because it’s So, true. You know, So, it’s got it, you know, and that’s now that I’m, you know, you’ve been listening to you for a long time, I think I’m in that place where I can be like, yo, you just got to work hard, and you can’t, you got to do what I love, and you can’t expect money. Now, don’t, don’t get that twisted, give. But we, if you’re thinking, you’re going to go, you know, you’re going to become this six figure, you know, by doing what you love, that comes with time, and I only started getting paid like, five, seven years ago, like, where I can save money, you know what I mean? Before that, it was like, everything went to investing in myself, I still invest in myself, I still, you know, will pay for different marketing stuff that’s going to build my brand, you know, like, nobody’s paying for that stuff. Now, I know me doing that is going to get the back end with the endorsers and stuff like that, because the bigger I get, the more they’re going to mess with me. So, my ROI on myself, which is return on investment, I’m going to invest in myself, you got to believe in yourself, you got to invest in yourself.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Absolutely. Absolutely. And congratulations on the wedding, by the way, that’s a side note. But congratulations. It was beautiful. I’ve just realized I didn’t mention that this whole time. So, just kudos to you on that. And just everything that you’re doing. Now, I have one last deep question for you.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And I always love this question. So, what would your older self tell your younger self?

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Whoo, man, what would I tell myself. First, get out of that damn gang. If you probably give me an attitude, like, Yeah, whatever.  The main thing is that just do it with love, be kind man, especially in the world that we live in. Now, everyone’s going through something like you just really have to be kind. I know, I know, we live in a world of social media don’t get caught up in that is So, much wasted time, you know, and you’re not going to get the time back. That’s the biggest thing, you’re not going to get time back time is not going to stand still, man. If you love something, you know, if you follow me on stuff, you might see, I try to motivate as much as I can, you know, like, this is the Sunday post, you know, I think I just posted last Sunday, you know, it’s been embedded in a lot of people’s head that Sunday’s your rest day, it’s been embedded in your head by those people that didn’t rest on Sundays, you know, that have gone to where they need to get to, like, cool, you can rest, but just know that it’s going to take you one day longer in your life to get to your dream. Because, for me, I’m going to rest when I die. That’s the cousin of death. And, you know, luckily, my body can function off a few hours. And because I love what I do every day, every moment that I wake up in the morning, I’m thankful that I woke up. And then the next thing is, I get to do what I love. And that comes with working at Burger King for five years, while DJing on the side, working at a bank for God knows how long, working at guitar center, one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had, because I’m not a salesperson, I can tell myself, you know, but those are all things that, you know, got me to understand how much I really wanted this and work hard to make sure that I was going to be a full time employee at a radio station and get benefits and not have to get a side gig. You know.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s amazing. So, man, you’re amazing. Yeah, I got to give it to you. And like, I just can’t wait to see what you continue to do in the future. And I mean, no matter where your journey takes you, whether it’s just strictly artist management, or if you choose to do both, you know, like, I Oh, man, you’re going to crush it no matter what, no matter what.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

And management. I know if anybody watched it, when people watch this, I get a lot of people that come up and like, Yo, I got this artist that you want, I want you to manage I have, I have Pat just like I have passion for DJing and the music I play. I’m a commercial music head. That’s why I do So, well on Jimmy. Like it. I love Drake. I love Rihanna’s I love the Chris Brown’s. And that’s why it works for me people that are like, you know, hardcore hip hop heads like, yo, you know, you’re not playing that hardcore stuff. Well, you know what? Honestly, that’s why it works for me because I do love commercial music. Yeah. When it comes to artists, I’m not just going to manage, you know, someone because there’s a bag in front of me or there’s opportunity, because I already know, you’re, you want me to manage you because the connections I have, I’m not an idiot. But working with me is actually going to make it harder for you to blow up in Boston because there’s a conflict of interest in it. I can’t blow you up out of Boston because then guess what, you’re not going to get the credit. Because there’s going to be like, Oh, the only reason you blew up is because of Pup and you don’t want that in the back of your head anyways, So, I look for artists that I’m passionate with, which is reggae and r&b. Those are two of my favorite genres. I’m a big, you know, I believe in that, that that music and that culture and So, every time I’ve met somebody is a bit. That’s because I’m passionate about it. I can sell that I believe in it. And I think that’s where the pureness if you believe in something and your pureness, it shows without even saying anything, you know, So, if I’m, if I if someone throws 100,000 in front of me was like, Yo manages hip hop artists. I’m just, I wouldn’t be, I want to take your money because I’m not going to be able to show that like, Yeah, let’s go after this guy because it’s just not who I am. You know what I mean?

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Right? You got to believe in the product 1,000%. Otherwise, it’s like, what’s the point and plus your name stands behind it to, you know, your, your name, your brand, your reputation and everything. So, I know, without a doubt, you’re going to crush it, you’re going to crush the matter what you do it. I So, appreciate you being here today and sharing your story seriously, it’s So, uplifting and amazing and inspiring. And thank you So, So, much. And now we’ve got to let the people know where to find you, Pup.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

I bet again, I’ve limited myself which is for my own mental health, you know, DJ Pupdawg on Twitter and Instagram. You got you just got bear with me. It’s about timing. There’s going to be a time like today I was getting my tag done. So, for four hours, I was on my social media and I was talking to people, but you know, it’s rare. But it was that those people you know that saying that my responses, anything special or anything like that. But if you’ve hit me up, and I was able to respond to you today, that was, there was timing, you know, like, and that’s all it’s about. So, follow the journey. If I can motivate you in some way, it’s DJ Pupdawg and, yeah, let’s connect. Let’s build. Let’s go and eat that. Don’t ever tell anybody you want to build because I run away from when someone says build. Because again, like me and Pamela did me and her I’ve known you for a long time. You didn’t tell me right at the beginning, yo, let’s build together like because they’re not going to like oh god because that’s just naturally needs to happen. And then badly years of staying connected with somebody. Just be real with somebody and know that it’s not a one-way street, you’re going to build.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Absolutely, yeah, what I always say is, let’s get it. That’s like, that’s my big thing is like, because I know the person I’m talking to has their goals. And it’s like, and then I have my own. And it’s like, we both have the same mindset. So, anytime I say that to somebody who just knows they’re like, yep, let’s get it like, that’s just what it is. And you know, it’s about empowering each other to go out there and get it.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

This is your road. This is their road. And if you’re meant to just get it, it’s going to happen when it’s going to happen.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Absolutely.

 

DJ Pupdawg 

Just go get it. You do that.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Thank you so, So, much.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with DJ PupDawg