After returning to the United States from a successful world tour with the late rapper Lionel Pickens (AKA Chinx), the murder of his friend and mentor has visibly affected the demeanor of DJ Amazin, helping him develop into a wiser man with a broader business sense since the tragedy. We caught up with him this Saturday at a photo shoot in a warehouse in Brooklyn working on what he called “his other job.” We managed to find time to reflect on his new business venture, Deauxp House, and being the former DJ of Chrisette Michele and the aftermath of her decision to perform at the inauguration while he was running around between managers, stylists, models, and their associates on a busy weekend.
Q: Since everything that happened almost three years ago with the murder of Chinx, how much has your life changed?
A: Drastically. I knew that I had to slow down for safety reasons. Once you have a family, you have to think about them with every move you make. That situation made me realize I had to grow. I’ll always miss him. That’s my bro, man. I learned so much from him, and I’m thankful for the opportunity he gave me. Thankfully, I linked up with Chrisette Michelle shortly after.
Q: What was it like working with her?
A: She’s great. I’ll always have great respect for her as an artist.
Q: How did you feel about her decision to perform at the Trump Inauguration?
A: I knew while we were on tour that she had decided to do it and feature a live band. I was shocked at the kind of response the news was getting once it became public. It seemed like the media was trying to make it into something just for headlines. Knowing the kind of person she is, it bothered me that so many people felt comfortable speaking negatively about her.
Q: Would you agree with the notion that Black women that are associated with Trump are especially chastised by the media?
A: Well, people aren’t hiding their racism anymore. I think that’s what we see in the media and everyday life. I know with Chrisette, she didn’t go into the performance with any ill intentions, so the stuff that was being said didn’t matter. I think she handled herself well through the whole thing.
Q: You bring up a good point: Closet racists have come out the closet as of late. Have you seen any changes in your day-to-day when compared to last year?
A: The way I move, and the people I run around with hasn’t changed. What has changed is the seriousness of our conversations. I feel like I find myself having less and less “water cooler conversations.” Especially now that I’m in two different industries, music and web marketing, I’ve caught onto the fact that most people realize how important this time is. We’re not just watching and reading now; we’re talking about how the news relates to us more and more.
Q: Can you think of any recent examples of stories that have bled into real life?
A: I saw an interview a few days ago with LeBron get torn to pieces where he was criticizing Trump. But then as time went on, I heard from more people taking his side. That’s important to see.
Q: Do you feel that artists and athletes have a social obligation to speak up?
A: I do feel there is an obligation. People look up to you when you’re in the public eye. Some 5-year-old kid might be watching T.V. right now seeing a DJ for the first time and is astounded by it. There are kids right now playing basketball because they want to be the next Lebron. You should speak up when you think it’s right. Just don’t pick every fight. Not every war is your war. But when people ignore what’s going on it leaves that space where opinions start get dumped on them.
Q: What drove you to a field as competitive as Web Marketing?
A: I started Deauxp House not too long ago with a friend of mine. We just saw a lane for African American voices in the advertising and marketing fields. I’m thankful for how quickly we’ve been able to grow our client base. We’ve got a lot in store for 2018 that I can’t give away yet, but Deauxp House will be a familiar name.