My Conversation

With DJ Bliss

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Ever met someone who stands out?

They have their own vibe,
They have their own timing
They have their own style.
They have a voice.

They exude leadership qualities, in the sense that, they don’t look for a path to follow, they pave one for themselves.

Music might be the source of inspiration and the way my guest has established his difference, but he is so much more.

He is the owner of Bliss inc.
He is the owner of beats and cuts. Barbershop visited by celebs.
The Founder of 411 nights.
And the founder of Selekt- a talent agency.

He is a content creator.
A social media influencer.
Ambassador to many brands.

My guest has gone from being fired from his first gig, because he was trying to learn DJ-ing on the job to becoming the resident DJ at prestigious clubs and a household name for us folks living in Dubai.

The name known by celebrities around the world.

The name that hosted the 2019 special Olympics in Abu Dhabi, the F1 Grand prix.

And, one of the iconic faces that launched the one year countdown to Dubai’s 2020 Expo.

He’s the boy you’ve seen on TV.
The boy you’ve heard on the radio.
The boy you’ve seen at some of Dubai’s hottest clubs.

The artist.
The entertainer.
The performer, pioneer and pinnacle figure for music in the UAE.

My guest today is DJ Bliss. Aka, Marwan Parham Al Awadhi.

If you’re in Dubai, you will see him. DJ Bliss is everywhere!

  • He’s never looked far ahead. He figures out what he needs to do now.
  • “I don’t know where I want to be in 10 years. But I know what I’m going to be doing.” (DJ Bliss)
  • From the start and over the course of our conversation, it was apparent. Negativity in any shape or form doesn’t register in DJ Bliss’s mind.
  • Fatman Scoop’s T- Shirt reference – Negativity Never Wins.

Growing up he was in his own space. His own thoughts.

  • He doesn’t feel special. He just aims to think and do different.
  • 14-16 He ran the school’s radio station. He wasn’t hanging out and getting in with the cool kids at school. Instead, he asked himself, how could he get in? The answer: DJing.
  • He talks about how he started DJing, by just having songs.
  • “If you had songs. You were good”. (DJ Bliss)

He went to college and studied computers.

  • “I never thought I would DJ full time. I was going to get a 9 to 5 … doing it (DJing) part-time … I got good at it … people liked it. It became the life that I lived.” (DJ Bliss).
  • The summer before college, he began DJing at the Wonderland Theme Park, but was eventually fired.
  • That had become the first time he saw professional equipment, which excited him.
  • He had responsibilities.
  • “But All I wanted to do was mix songs”. (DJ Bliss)
  • He figured out how to mix an N-sync and a backstreet song together.
  • He continued on to say:
  • “I didn’t tell my parents when I got fired. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. How am I going to tell my parents I’m fired?
  • So, he’d still go to the theme park to hang out.
  • He learned everything he needed to do.
  • “If I didn’t do what I did over there to get fired, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today.”

Rented DJ equipment whenever anyone booked him for a show.

  • While he had the equipment, he would continue to practice through the night, harnessing his craft.
  • His first opportunity to DJ came while in college.
  • Although he had a license to play, he was underage and could not leave the box to be on the club floor.

On Failing:

  • No one ever posts on Instagram saying, “Having A Shit Day”.
  • “I have zero fear of failure. I will try and do anything.” (DJ Bliss)
  • I’ve failed many times.
  • “Those failures taught me to do the next thing right.” (DJ Bliss)

First released song with Kardinal Offishall, was bad.

  • But it was his first song.
  • If the first song hadn’t been released, the deal with the Chrysler Beats by Dre would never have happened.
  • “The people who pulled me aside to say, ‘You made a mistake, your career is over’, where are they right now?” (DJ Bliss)
  • He goes on to further say: “I’m in this world for myself … I was born alone … I’m gonna die alone.”
  • He doesn’t care how he’s viewed.
  • He of course wants to create content that resonates with others.
  • “First and foremost, it’s about me, how I feel about it. The way I connect with it.” (DJ Bliss)
  • The opinions of close friends matter.
  • “But how they feel about me doesn’t.” (DJ Bliss)
  • He’s doing it for himself,
  • Making reference to horses with blinders.

He knows what he wants to do, and goes for it.

  • Whatever fails or comes back around to bite him is a risk he’s willing to take.
  • What he considers as failures is what got him to where he is now.
  • He further comments:
  • “If they close social media tomorrow, what are you going to do? … after DJ I will do radio. After radio, I’m going to do TV. It just happened.”

How does DJ Bliss find himself at the F1 Grand Prix? Platforms?

  • Networking.
  • Having a great team.
  • Put a plan together.
  • Have quiet time to think, be in his own thoughts to figure things out.
  • And (DJ Bliss) leading the way. Being involved, and hands on.
  • You have to reach out to build relationships … and be good at it.
  • He goes further:
  • (DJ Bliss) “Imagine there are ten doors. Behind one of these doors there was a million dollars. What would you do?”
  • (Kevin) “I’d knock on every single one.”
  • (DJ Bliss) Why don’t we do that in real life? I’m figuring this out now.”

“You have to consistently be good at what you’re doing.” (DJ Bliss)

  • He left radio … stayed consistent.
  • He left TV … stayed consistent.
  • He’s not on any traditional media now, yet his career continues to rise.
  • He admits to being an introvert.
  • Wanting to be invited to the party, but not wanting to go.
    He continues:
  • “In my own thoughts. In my own space is where I get a lot of the big answers that I’m looking for.”

He accomplishes these goals through:

  • Meditation
  • Listens to audio pieces
  • Watching TV shows he’s already watched, but knows they help.
  • He drifts into thought
  • Reads a book
  • Disconnects from the world, in order to connect with his subconscious and super subconscious.
  • Avoids social media in the morning and at night.
  • “I don’t want to go to sleep thinking about other people’s lives, and waking up seeing anyone’s lives either.” (DJ Bliss)

Concentration is hard for him.

  • How do you balance life with time?
    A: Having a good team.
  • Values relationships, trust.
  • On hiring.
    A: Experience helps.
  • On Bad Hires:
  • “We don’t make the decision to be honest about the situation (bad hires).” (DJ Bliss)

Doesn’t like the idea of mixing family with business.

  • More of a one man show
  • “I need to be at the helm of the realm.” (DJ Bliss)
  • Knows what he wants
  • What he wants to do
  • Knows exacly what excellence is
  • Knows what is good/bad

What’s excellence?

  • “We all know what excellence is. It doesn’t have a definition, but we are all very aware of.
  • Which to you is excellence, economy, business or first class?
    “First class.” (Kevin)
  • As humans, we absolutely know what excellence is.
  • The epitome of something being amazing, bliss.
  • Then there is regular.
  • DJ Bliss is results oriented.

On getting his name.

  • He had his card printed. Everything was written down, except for the DJ name.
  • Bliss means – highest form of happiness
  • He picked the name well before it connected.
  • It’s how he wants to feel/how he wants people to feel as they watch him.
  • He (DJ Bliss) further explains:
  • “There are no rules. You create the rules.” (DJ Bliss)
  • “You can make whatever you want, out of anything.” (DJ Bliss)
  • “Stop listening to people.” (DJ Bliss)
  • The advice you get form people can be some of the worst things you can hear.

On listening to people:

  • He doesn’t want to hear a lot of opinions.
  • Until he’s decided what he wants to do, he wants no influence while he’s creating.
  •   After he’s created, he’s happy to hear what a few people have to say.
  • He doesn’t want to engage in conversation.
  • He’ll hear what he’s created, and figure things out on his own.
  • “The answer is within you. I don’t think anyone else has the answers for you.” (DJ Bliss)
  • A day – sometimes its great. Sometimes its not.
  • A meal – Sometimes it’s great sometimes it not.
  • A person – Sometime they’re great. Sometimes they’re not.
  • Looking for the approval of others will kill you.
  • The best mistake: (Releasing his first song).

On learning:

  • He considers himself a magnet for learning
  • “I’m self-taught in everything. Radio. TV. DJing.” (DJ Bliss)

On learning from the experience on TV, coming from the radio.

  • Had to lose weight.
  • Work on facial expressions.
  • Bliss’s first memory of leadership.
  • His father in business, at his table and watching him sign cheques.
  • He worked for his father and learned a lot from him.
  • He learned things of what not to do in business, because Bliss saw his dad, post his hustle and through his success stage.
  • As much as you want to resemble your parents, there are things you want to avoid. It’s important to learn that.
  • What are the great characteristics to take, and what not to?
  • Humans know right from wrong, good and bad, but yet we still make wrong decisions.

On Vlogging.

  • Bliss believes it shouldn’t be a certain way, length of time or timeframe.
  • Doing it his way

On interviewing Mohammed Al Habtoor:

  • Mohammed Al Habtoor father did not give him favors.
  • Worked from the bottom up in the hotels.
  • His father woke him up in the morning, not letting him skip work.
  • To this day, they wake up Saturday mornings, visit and walk through their properties.
  • Super athletic, business minded, travels the world.

On practicing and being consistent:

  • Bliss considers athletes such as LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, the best of the best.
  • They “practice more than anybody.” (DJ Bliss)
  • Some may ask why practice, they are the best.
  • That is the reason they are the best.
  • If you don’t do what you are doing everyday consistently. You won’t get it.
  • “You got to be consistent with what you are doing. But you also have to be persistent.” (DJ Bliss)
  • “The worst advice you could give someone is, “Be Yourself”. (DJ Bliss)
  • Progressive advise that helped him propel:
  • Consistent. And persistent.
  • Going out there, and doing whatever you need to do.
  • “Go over and beyond what you’re supposed to do, to get what you want.” (DJ Bliss)

What helped you progress to the next level?

  • According to Bliss:
    • Eagerness to learn
    • Wanting to learn
    • A need to do bigger and better things
    • Never becoming complacent
    • Model and Study the habits of successful people
  • He references the Book- 10,000 Hours by Phyllis Lane & Rodrigo Coelho.
  • Practice anything for 10,000 hours, you are bound to become good. Bottom Line.
  • Anytime I’m doing anything: “I’m just going to keep doing it, as much as I can, until I get better and better.” (DJ Bliss)
  • Everyone is talented.
  • But not everyone has that mindset.

On being cool:

  • Finding the balance between being me and being cool.
  • I don’t want to lose myself and be cool.
  • Will Smith is naturally cool. That’s him. Which makes him cooler.
  • Google the people whose style you admire, and you can emulate them.
  • Attitude wise, you can’t fake.
  • Looks. Feel Different. Feel Better.
  • “Feeling better, is better than looking cool.” (DJ Bliss)
  • I just want to be me.
  • Being comfortable is the most important thing.
  • You want to connect with people
  • “When you’re comfortable, people are going to feel comfortable with you.” (DJ Bliss)

A haircut. A shave. Dress. Shoes.

  • How Bliss got his barbershop?
  • His barber’s shop was shutting down.
  • He told his barber he couldn’t leave.
  • So DJ Bliss opened a barbershop.

How to get people through door (for business)?

  • He started small.
  • Brought in DJs and artists.
  • Then it all changed when a VIP client came in. Will Smith.

Initially, he would focus on bringing in celebrities, but that model didn’t work. Celebs didn’t want to come in, they don’t want to pay and they want you to come to them. So, he revised that strategy.

Location. Location. Location.

  • Visibility.
  • Put your business where it’s needed.

On Dealing With his current status:

  • “Time is running out…
  • I still need to do more….
  • I never wake up thinking I made it.” (DJ Bliss)
  • I’m done, can relax and it’s been like that.
  • Never has he stopped.
  • Bliss continues:
  • “My job is such a great job, I don’t think I need breaks.”
  • We learn more about ourselves by putting ourselves out there, and doing more.
  • The motto? Do More.

DJ Bliss discussed Writing A Letter To The Universe, so I (Kevin) poked him on it.

  • DJ Bliss has vision boards.
  • Loads of it has come true.
  • Will Smith – His exact same car. Same interior. Same exterior.
  • If you’re setting goals – Set them high, but also realistic.
  • You shouldn’t chase money.
  • You should let money chase you.
  • It’s not about the money, but it is about the money.

How do you get people to come for you?

  • Hard work.
  • Dedication to the art.
  • Focused on the brand.
  • I see cool things from travelling or browsing the Internet.
  • Inspired by everybody … skill of X, brand of Y.
  • I want to be like a Ryan Seacrest, DJ Khalid, Jazzy Jeff.
  • Took all the good things, and brought it together into what I do.
  • I don’t believe in keeping the secrets.
  • “There is room for everyone to eat and be successful.” (DJ Bliss)

What he would tell Younger DJ Bliss at age 20.

  • He started V-logging in 2009 – A day in the life of…
  • He tried again a few years ago. It didn’t click.
  • His wife did a makeup tutorial video, it blew up. (100,000 subscribers, 17 million views on her video.)
  • “Life is exactly how it’s supposed to be…
  • We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be.” (DJ Bliss)

On Planning for the future:

  • Focused on what he can tell himself to do tomorrow.
  • That is what will make the difference.

His lesson for his son Zayed – whom he talks to already.

  • Be a good person.
  • Be kind
  • Be loving
  • Be the best version of yourself.
  • Keep God close to you
  • And your family.
  • He wants him to grow in a life that is better than what they have.

On gratefulness:

  • Grateful to be alive
  • For having done what he has done so far.
  • Super grateful about everything that’s happened.
  • Grateful for every day.
  • Goes to sleep grateful for the day … what happened … even his meal.
  • He wakes up practicing being grateful, and open for what the day brings.
  • He refers to Islam, and how one of the fundamentals is being grateful to God for everything (Alhamdulillah)
  • He is actively grateful – this is a recent practice DJ Bliss has been applying.
  • “If you go to sleep every night grateful for every little thing that happened. Your life will be so different, that you would not believe it.” (DJ Bliss)

DJ Bliss Daily Ritual.

  • It’s stuck to the mirror in his bathroom.
  • 20 Morning Affirmations:
    1. I have an abundance of energy.
    2. I’m free of pain.
    3. Today is my day.
    4. Today I will change my life.
    5. I’m strong. I’m beautiful. I’m loved.
    6. Unlimited energy will find me today.
    7. Today I’m a magnet for ideas.
    8. I will be a giver of love today.
    9. The sunrise fills me with confidence.
    10. Whatever challenges come my way, I can overcome them.
    11. Today I will learn and grow.
    12. I will be a better person today.
    13. I will help someone today.
    14. I love who I see in the mirror.
    15. Success will find me today.
    16. I’m grateful for another day to shine.
    17. Today is full of possibilities.
    18. I will be fearless today.
  • He then Bangs on his chest and roars like a Lion.
  • “Try it for 30 days, and see what it can do for you.” (DJ Bliss)

It has changed his life.

  • He got into through Earl Nightingale & Napolean Hill
  • “What is the price you’re willing to pay for a good life?” (DJ Bliss)
  • Everybody wants a better quality of life.
  • But who’s willing to pay the price?
  • This is powerful ritual.
  • We are all aware that if you hear a lie enough times, you start believing it.

On Opportunities in the coming 5 years?

  • Within yourself.
  • Spend more time with yourself.
  • You can figure so much out.
  • Nobody cares about excuses.

How will history remember DJ Bliss?

  • A pioneer in the things he touched on.
  • Pushing the music/culture beyond the United Arab Emirates.
  • When people think the UAE – They will say, DJ BLISS

Advice in 60 seconds:

  • Figure out what you want to do.
  • You will find that answer within yourself.
  • Once you’ve chosen your aspirations, go out and give it your all.
  • Everything over and beyond to make it really great.
  • Don’t be afraid of failing.
  • It might fail. If it does, that’s fine.
  • Then you just repeat the process over again.
  • Give it your all.
  • Don’t be in that ‘I’m kinda gonna try this, and if doesn’t work then I can always do that’.
  • No. Literally just go all the way out.
  • Push as far as you can.
  • People usually quit, just before things become successful.
  • Push through as hard you can, and see where it leads you.
  • Do whatever makes you happy.

Success For Bliss:

  • Growth in fan base and followers.
  • Not social media, but connecting with his content, music, art – just himself.
  • His main goal is show people more of what he does.
  • As Bliss says:  “Once I let them into my house, they’ll hang around.”

The confidence to do large stages.

  • It’s a little nerve-wracking going on stage.
  • The point right after nerve-wracking.

@Wizz kid afro beat artist.
@Ryan Seacrest
@DJ Khalid
@Jazzy Jeff

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