Nightlife can be an incredibly tricky business, but Eddie Dean has managed to get it down. From Pacha NY to Schimanski to his latest venture- bringing Tiesto to The Brooklyn Hangar- Dean is an unstoppable force in the dance world. We sat down with him to learn more about surviving the industry.
How did you start your career in the electronic music business?
I started by accident, believe it or not. I was in Real Estate. I knew people that connected me and with no experience my friend and I took over a failing pub in Bay Ridge in 1989. From there, we opened Pacha and now we are where we started in Brooklyn.
What is the best part of the business?
I love the preparation and the planning. I love putting events together. I get excited to see the faces of people that come to the events and let loose and enjoy everything you work so hard for.
What are the biggest challenges?
It’s New York City. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. It’s something that really rings true. It’s an extraordinarily competitive market and it continually amazes me how people underestimate the competition. If you don't do well, you will learn quick. You have to be on your toes and alert 24/7. People are competitive. The more competitive it gets, the more I love it.
What career advice would you recommend to someone just starting off?
Luck lasts so long. You need to be committed. Prepare to take some falls along the way. Not everything comes easy. It all rings true in this business. Nothing goes according to plan and you get a little bit better every day. It’s very expensive to be wrong in NYC.
As the EDM industry continues to grow, what do you think the secrets to longevity in this business will be?
It’s a form of music, it’s like everything else. There are different genres. Tastes evolve and we live in a great age. Kids can get a hold of a laptop as bedroom DJ’s and producers and make music as much as a guy could years ago in a recording studio. There is constant creativity. You need to evolve with the times and the demand while they reinvent themself. The secret is to listen to your heart and your audience.
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 started off with live music and I evolved and opened my first NYC club in 1999. I started doing more electronic driven stuff. As that evolved, I evolved with it. For example, David Guetta and the Black Eyed Peas was a turning point. People couldn’t comprehend that David Guetta was the DJ at my clubs. I evolved with the demands as it because popular.
What does electronic music mean to you?
It’s a form of art. It’s a genre that’s limitless with today's technology that is always evolving, changing and shifting. Electronic music has boundless opportunities for creativity.
What cities/regions do you think electronic dance music is best thriving?
Bigger cities like NYC, LA, Chicago and Miami because of the population and size of the cities. It’s everywhere now though, even in smaller cities. It’s boundless.
If you weren’t in the music biz, what would you be doing?
I wouldn’t be working for somebody. I would be doing something that would not consist of having a boss. I always have been an entrepreneur and love finding ways to create. Maybe something in Real Estate or even teaching, or sports coaching.
Where do you see the most innovation in the EDM industry (i.e. Music, experience, nightclubs, behind the scenes, etc) and why?
The levels of production. The creativity is endless. The imagination and the utilization of new technology and video is always improving. It becomes such a big business and all aspects are continually evolving. Music is full of advancing technology everywhere you look.