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Interview x DJ Pandol



Here’s one of my interview favorites I conducted which touched upon not giving up – especially during days where you’re completely fed up and miserable from not seeing any light to your career growth.

Meet DJ Pandol, Pioneer’s East Asia DJ Battle Champion of 2011, also CEO of Busan’s DJ Academy “The Skool”.

1. What is the start-up story behind your pursuit as deejay?

There was no real DJ scene in Korea in the 1990s. It was very disorganized and underground. There was no national or even regional champion or recognition to be had.

So, I learned by watching others at first and then I started following the DMC Championship videos. I studied them very closely. Especially DJ Roc Raida (DMC Champ).

I had to order the videos and all my DJ gear from other countries because it wasn’t really available in Korea at that time. And remember, this is well before you could easily shop online. I had to do everything through the post office and magazine advertisements.

I read the Source and DJ Times magazines (imported) to keep up with the scene. Korea was totally different back then.

2. Describe your musical style, what is it like? What are three words that best define it?

turntablism, hiphop, soulfunk.

3. What is your definition of success, and how much of it do you think you’ve achieved?

i think about Success is never final. My definition of success is “keep on my way, everyday.” and how much of it…? hmm just everyday =)

4. What are some recent achievements you’re proud of and would like to share?

Won the 2010 Pioneer East Asia DJ battle.

5. What’s something that’s always running inside your mind lately?

I’ve been practicing everyday for the past month to prepare for the Asian Championship that I won last week so, I am still in a practice mode so to speak.

So I am still spending a lot of time making new beats and party mix set. I feel great doing it so I am in no hurry to change my mindset. A lot of creativity right now.

6. What would you spend a million dollars on?

open the Korean banquet noodle restaurant. (and i’ll buy you big drink. =)

7. What’s one incident that would serve as a turning point to your life?

see no.12

8. What three pieces of advice would you give to others when it comes to life and business?

learn, practice, enjoy.

9. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Last year, I came second in the Pioneer DJ Competition in Seoul, Korea. I had expected to win. So I was disappointed. But, I took the loss as an opportunity to win in 2010… and I did win. So, I guess I can say that my failure just re energized me to face the challenge again.

I don’t get disheartened easily. Which is lucky because otherwise I would no longer be a DJ. This industry is full of challenges but most of them are quite petty. So, I don’t really get that stressed out about them.

10. What’s a typical day in your life like?

teaching my students at my own dj school(TheSkooL). making beat, take a lesson video and review of dj gears, and practice. repeat.

11. What’s one of the highlighting moment in your career? Why is it so?

2010 Pioneer East Asia DJ Battle 1st. cause I’m a first asia DJ Champion in the Korea.

12. What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of being in this industry?

Actually, 4 years ago, I totally had quit the industry. See, in 2006, there had been no official DJ competitions in Korea. Ever. So there was no way to be a legitimate DJ Champion in Korea.

And I was frustrated! I wanted to be recognized as the #1 DJ in Korea but there was no way to do that. I had to go to another country to win! Unbelievable. So, I was fed up with the business, industry and DJ scene in Korea. So I quit.

I deleted all my music, gave away my equipment and “got a real job”. I totally disappeared. Even my industry friends couldn’t find me. I decided that I needed to focus on other things besides DJing.

So, I was working for a computer company and had totally given up. I even quit listening to music! I was through. But, I couldn’t quit. It wasn’t any 1 thing but I just couldn’t go on without living and expressing myself through music. I had even left Busan!

But, after just 1 year, I came back and restarted my career. And now, 5 years later, I am the CHAMP of Korea and Asia!

13. Biggest risk ever taken?

see no.12

14. Who has influenced you most and been your greatest inspiration?


15. How do you go about marketing your business or yourself? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

I don’t know marketing. but still play music a lot of many places. and i have my DJ School, website also (www.djpandol.com). many videos on youtube.

Now I’m making Official Promotion m/v. Use my winning set.

16. In three words, characterize who you are.

dj, cooker, solo. =)

17. How do you achieve balance in your life?

I have no balance. I am 1000% DJ Pandol. My whole life revolves around the music, culture and lifestyle of DJing and turntablism here in Korea. There is no man behind the mask so to speak.

18. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

5years…Busan city. 10 years…Big Busan city.

19. What’s the first thing you would say to the world if all attention was on you?

mic check, 1,2,3!

For more information, check out www.djpandol.com


Now you know why I love this interview. The man went the extra mile (traveling overseas) just to compete, while remaining unmoved amidst all the petty industry challenges.

Success is never final.  “Keep on your way, everyday”.

i think about Success is never final. My definition of success is “keep on my way, everyday.” and how much of it…? hmm just everyday =)

We could all use this reminder as we tend to forget to hone our skills due to our increasingly busy schedule. You need to practice everyday. Like Pandol, he’s always in “practice mode”. I’m sure that’s how he won his competitions and kept his edge.

Every failure you encounter should be appreciated, well-accepted.

Let it re-energize you to bounce back. You’ll only want to work harder. DJ Pandol didn’t crown the competition in Seoul, but he returned and sealed #1 in 2010.



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