Meet Brian Zisook co-founder and VP of Content Operations at DJBooth and Artist Services for Audiomack a streaming music and audio distribution platform. For over a 13 year span Brian has written over 12,000 articles and interviewed more than 500 artists including Kanye West, J. Cole and Kid Cudi. While attending Illinois State djing for WZND he met the owner of DJBooth back in 2006. In the interview he explains his passion for music and gives some advice on what it takes to run one of the best online publications for hip hop news.
Peace Brian where’s home?
Chicago, born and raised.
How did you get into the music business? Mentors??
While attending Illinois State University, I started DJing at the on-campus radio station, WZND. Record labels would service us vinyl for our shows — yes, vinyl. Before graduating in 2006, I met David Macli, the founder of DJBooth. Together, we reformatted the site into a music magazine.
What do you do at DjBooth?
In the earliest days of DJBooth, I did it all. Writer, editor, photographer, you name it. For the past 13 years or so, I have been our Editor-in-Chief.
Who is DjBooth for, your ideal client??
DJBooth is for music fans who love to read about and discover new artists; who enjoy long-form journalism; who want to engage in meaningful conversations about hip-hop and the music industry.
How big is your company, how many employees does it take to operate?
DJBooth operates like a large company but we are actually a very small company. We have two full-time employees, one part-time employee, and more than 50 freelance contributors.
Any new trends emerging in the music business that keep you up at night?
I work 70 hours per week and I have a two-year-old at home. Nothing keeps me up at night. I sleep great [laughs].
What are some apps that you use in your day to day activities you can’t live without?
In addition to my work with DJBooth, I am the Vice President of Content Operations and Artist Services for Audiomack, a digital streaming provider and artist discovery platform that reaches 2.3 million daily active users. I am on Audiomack ALL DAY, constantly looking for new artists to highlight and write about. I also have an unhealthy obsession with Twitter. I hate it.
Any podcasts, music sites or blogs you follow to keep you ahead of the game?
I’m not loyal to many platforms or channels, but Genius creates some great video content. Pitchfork often creates excellent editorial content, as does Vulture and Passion of Weiss. In terms of podcasts, I enjoy Rap Radar interviews.
Favorite classic mixtape Dj?
DJ Clue. Hands down.
Favorite Saturday morning cartoon back in the day??
ProStars! Featuring Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky.
Advice for someone wanting to following in your footsteps?
The best part of my job(s) is that I can do them from anywhere in the world, assuming there is electricity, WiFi, and running water. That said, the work is tireless. I am connected all the time, which is often draining mentally and physically. If you follow in my footsteps, be prepared to put in 70-80 hours per week. You also have to love the music. This is a passion, not a job.
Last words or shout outs?
Shout out to you for wanting to highlight DJBooth and the work we’ve been doing over the past 16 years. Please download our mobile app, The Plug, to stay connected to our daily content. Also, download the Audiomack app, it’s the best free app in the music category.
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EDITOR: La Mont R.
IMAGE: Dj Booth