Oz Akgun and his company Ozmozis have been building their name in Toronto as one of the premier promotion companies that have been bringing stellar talent to their city over the past 6 years.
They have been crunching through their Road to Ozmozis series, eight shows (4 progressive underground & 4 trance) that lead to their final 200th show on New Year’s Eve.
We sat down with the talented industry insider to learn more about how he got into the business, his passion, and more!
How did you start your career in the electronic music business?
What started as a small idea turned into something much bigger. I’ve always wanted to give my contribution to music, as it;s been a passion of mine since I was 10. My first job in the scene was working coat check at This Is London back in 2007. Shortly after, we began hosting events in 2009 as we felt that we could make a difference in the Toronto scene forming a community of music lovers.
What is the best part of the business?
I would probably have to say that being able to connect people and knowing that you’re making a difference in their lives by giving them a safe haven on the dance floor to let go of their weekly life stress. I can’t begin to even tell you how many people approach me at a show to thank us for organizing the event. A simple hug can make that much of a big difference for someone, and it’s all about love on the dance floor. This is why I love what I do! Not to mention, being able to travel to various conferences around the globe to spread awareness, meeting many industry people from various parts of the world.
What are the biggest challenges?
You have to be on top of everything constantly, but short breaks to recharge are key to your success in this business. This isn’t your typical 9-5 weekday job, we’re on call around the clock. Many don’t like to discuss this but depression and mental health issues are a common thing in the music industry, we all have our deep struggles. This is why it’s so important to maintain a healthy balance as this fast paced industry can really break you down fast.
What career advice would you recommend to someone just starting off?
Don’t be short-sighted and have a long term mindset if you want to achieve the best results. Success is not handed to you on a gold platter, you have to work for it! Many people give up too early in their journey. It’s important to remember that building anything takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Get out there and connect with people in the industry! Surround yourself with successful and positive people, who have similar goals as you. Together you can make a bigger difference. If it wasn’t for the help of my amazing team who strongly believe in what we’re doing, none of this would be possible today.
As the EDM industry continues to grow, what do you think the secrets to longevity in this business will be?
It’s very easy to get lost in this chaotic business. There will always be someone talking this, talking that, don’t pay attention to those people. You can’t make everyone happy, just focus on the right aspects surrounding you and spread positivity to the people around you. If you feel like you can make a difference, preach the need for change. But always remember to stay humble and stick to your fundamentals, ultimately that will determine your success of longevity in this business.
Did you start off as a fan of electronic music and then became involved on the business side, or did business bring you into the electronic music world? Describe that process.
I come from the dance floor, so the process was definitely being a fan first and foremost of the music. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to be able to work with legendary artists who I grew up listening too on the dance floor. Not too long ago I sat down with John Digweed and Carl Cox over dinner, which is a privilege in itself.
Where do you see the most opportunity in the EDM industry (i.e. Music, experience, nightclubs, behind the scenes, etc) and why?
I think there is something for everyone in this industry, especially if you’re a fan of the music. You can find your niche within if you explore what makes you happy. At the end of the day you have to have love for what you’re doing.