In part three of our Smirnoff Inspire DJ series we swing down to ATL to hook up with The Affiliates Don Cannon.
Don Cannon is a Philadelphia born, Atlanta-based DJ and producer who has produced hits for Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Fabolous and many more. He has also worked alongside fellow Philadelphian DJ Drama on the popular mixtapes series Gangsta Grillz and the syndicated radio show Gangsta Grillz Radio.
What or who inspired you to become a DJ and why?
Actually my uncle inspired me when I was like 5 years old. [DJ’ing] was always like brushing my teeth. I’ve been doing it since I was a youngin’ [and] it just followed me up until now. My uncle was actually a big DJ in Philadelphia. His name is Keith Boyd. He did a lot of party stuff at older venues and had a company named the Music Company. He had a group out in Philadelphia called Concerned Black Men that did a lot of things with the community as activists and with trying to get young folks to go to college. Through there he just passed down the turntable skills to me by buying me records when I was young.
When did you start DJ’ing?
My first DJ set was probably my aunt’s wedding, I was 11 years old. I did a couple of church gatherings and then I moved on to college [Clark-Atlanta University] where I did pajama jams and things like that, that’s how I got popular. Music was something I always did. People played with toys, I played with records.
What advice would you give to somebody now who wants to be a DJ?
First and foremost man you just gotta stay focused. You can’t worry about what everybody else is saying. Just go in and make sure that you’re doing it not because everybody else is doing it and for money; it’s not a job. Don’t be a DJ because you think you’re going to make a lot of money. You gotta do it ‘cause you love it. You gotta be a maniac in order to survive in the music industry. That means doing it with or without money, as long as you can survive through all of that, you’ll be successful in the end.