Mel Payne DJ Lady Mysterious: The Dual Entrepreneur
By Shade Bowman
Being an Entrepreneur can be extremely overwhelming and time-consuming, but to manage not One, but TWO different careers all the while being a full-time student can be even more of a hand full. It takes a very determined and driven individual to single-handedly successfully balance the two.
We had the opportunity to catch up with DJ & Barber Mel Payne to see what a typical day is like for her.
"A normal day for me starts usually between 4-6am. I think about the day that I have ahead of me, try not to take a Loc or 2 out because of it, and try to do things in order so that it will run as smooth as possible. I meditate, recite affirmations, answer emails, or any business text messages I missed the day before. I get to the barbershop between 9am-11am depending on my client's schedule. During any breaks I take, I am usually studying (Also in school full time in an Acceleration program for a BA in Music Business) or working on my weekly projects due for school. If my homework is completed, I am marketing both companies on social media, studying another barber cutting a client, or working on music for my next event that week while having lunch. If I have no DJ bookings that day, I am usually working at the barbershop until the last person is completed (between 7pm-9:30 pm). On my way home is when I make any personal calls, do something to relax me in any way to release any stress I dealt with, and finally usually in bed by midnight. I thank God for allowing me to get through my day, think about what I learned and where I need to improve on anything. Example, it is now 11:34 pm and I am just finishing up on homework after getting in at 10 pm from cutting clients. Lol!"
With such a busy schedule, it seems as though it'll be difficult not to double book working two demanding gigs, so we had to know..."How do you manage your busy schedule between DJing and being a Barber? Have you ever been double booked?" Using a daily planner or even a calendar app nowadays can be detrimental to an Entrepreneurs livelihood since we typically use technology for everything. But we were eager to hear how Mel balances her everyday schedule and her response was, "I honestly have no clue!!! It is not easy with managing, marketing, or working in both fields and doing everything by myself. I don’t book appointments to cut if I know I have to Dj. Now I double book DJing gigs a lot..lol But I have other Dj's in place to make sure things continue to run smoothly." Having others in place is truly a smart move for someone with Mel's schedule. Some entrepreneurs battle with themselves at times because they feel a team would be substantial in helping reach their goals, but when you're so used to getting things done, it just comes naturally. Since being a Barber and a DJ are on two totally different spectrum’s, we'd like to find out, "Which are you more passionate about? DJing or being a Barber?" Mel stated, "Music will forever be my 1st love. It completes me and allows me to communicate with anyone when I don’t feel like talking." Which makes perfect sense, music is a universal language and so many of us can relate to one another through song.
"If you could eternally be stuck in one year's music scene, which year would it be?" Mel Payne stated "I would say the early 2000's. I was living the life with my dance crew. We would have practice days after college class so we would have different routines by the time we made it to the club that following Friday," is how she responded.
"What is your opinion regarding the difference between old school vinyl DJing and modern DJing?" Having experience in both areas Mel states, "It was really time-consuming carrying vinyl. I feel like it made you focus more on knowing how to put your music in order for when you go searching to play the next song and keeping the party going. Today allows the setup and breakdown process to be more convenient for the DJ along with the venue. I love it but I am grateful that I have been apart of both old school and modern." It's a plus when Entrepreneurs can adjust with the times to best benefit them with future endeavors.
"Where do you think the scene is headed 5 years from now? Will you still be DJing?" Sometimes we can't see pass the futures that we create in our minds, but not Mel. Focused on setting a standard she informs us that, "With the way, technology is going, I think the party scene will have a major change that will make a Dj work harder to solidify a weekly spot. And Yes, I will definitely still be DJing, just on a much bigger scale." Dj Lady Mysterious in this one for the long haul.
Being on the party scene, I'm sure there have been tons of unforgettable nights but..."As a DJ, What single night out has been the most memorable?" Pondering long and hard she replied, "If I have to pick just one of them, I would have to say when I opened up for R. Kelly down the Royal Farms arena." As an Entrepreneur, Mel is grateful for all of the opportunities that she's been given thus far. Opening up for a Legend like R.Kelly is one for the books! There's up and coming DJs that inspire to have life changing experiences as well, now "What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?" Like any true leader her response was to, "Create your own path, never stop building, growing, practicing, and learning the craft."
The transition from DJ to Barber may come as a bit of a surprise to readers who may not know Mel's story. So, of course, we had to ask, "When did you begin cutting hair? Did you always want to be a barber?" In response, Mel stated..."I started cutting hair Aug of last summer. I was laid off from my job in May and mentally dropped to an all time low. I stayed to myself for about a month and made the decision that I was going to take a step out on faith and see if I am doing the right thing. I have literally always been fascinated with the art of a haircut and said to myself… that’s what I want to do so let’s get to it!!!" The true definition of a dream chaser, nobody can make our dreams come alive like we can. Some Barbers have a certain style of cutting which makes clients wait in line to sit in their chair. Knowing that, we questioned, "As a Barber, what about your particular style made folks gravitate toward you?" Being relatively new to the game, she replies..."I think because of how I just broke out and dropped out of nowhere with a new career while being a female DJ that brings a lot of attention to me. This career by far has been the hardest for me because I am the rookie on the team looking become
great." So far we can tell that Mel is one who likes to perfect her crafts and we all know that saying, "The student always outshines the teacher". Some males may still be on the fence when it comes to allowing a female to cut their hair so we asked, "Have you ever been treated differently because you're a female barber?" Even though there have been female barbers for years now she informed us on her experiences by saying, "I get treated differently every day because I am a female that cuts hair. I have had men laugh in my face when the other barbers send someone back to me to get their haircut. Comments like “You’re a girl”, you can’t cut hair… “You’re a girl, don’t you belong in a salon? You have to have tough skin with both careers I work in because it is a Male dominated industry. So you have to ignore the hate but also use it to motivate you to be the best you." That's all we can do is be the best us, there's no competition when you want everyone to win. Whether we are booking for her an event or waiting in line to sit in her chair, we will eventually come in contact with Mel Payne.
Booking & Support:
FB: Mel Payne
(Dj Lady Mysterious)