Published on September 10th, 2020 | by Crystal Willis0
Interview: Celebrity DJ Mark Da Spot Shares Highlights of Working for Prince and Justin Timberlake
The Hype Magazine had a chance to catch up during quarantine with one of the hottest celebrities DJ influencers on the planet, DJ Mark Da Spot. In our interview, DJ Mark Da Spot shares details about his experiences being put on by Justin Timberlake before moving from the Bronx to Los Angeles, CA, and his favorite memory of DJing for the legendary Prince.
Known for his scratching skills and ability to create mash-up blends with all types of music including: Hip Hop, Reggae, Rock, R&B, and Pop, he has become known as a “Crowd Mover” and in turn, one of the most sought after DJ’s in town. He’s been seen spinning alongside popular celebrities such as Prince, Hugh Hefner, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Hart, J.Cole, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and NBA superstars Michael Jordan & LeBron James. Annually, Mark Da Spot participates in events for NBA All-Star Weekend, Espys, CIAA, SXSW, Pro-Bowl, Essence Festival, Oscars, BET Weekend to name a few.
Here’s what DJ Mark Da Spot had to say:
What impact did growing up in the Bronx have on your career in entertainment?
“Living in the Bronx influenced my career tremendously. I spent majority my childhood at Ceder Park which is like the Birthplace of hip hop. My interest in Djing started off watching my uncles DJ. I became interested in how they were in complete control of the crowd, and this was a crowd full of Caribbean people. That is when I realized that Djing is a craft you have to master in order to have control over your crowd. Also, watching and being around people like Kid Capari, Fat Joe, and Big Pun, just to name a few, was very motivating because I was able to see Djing and performing through a professional lens. “
You credit Justin Timberlake as a top celebrity that helped you solidify your career as one of the top DJ’s in the world. Tell us how you connected with him and how that came about?
“Well I use to have a limo company, and Justin Timberlake became one of my clients. He was very interested in my customized cars and I think that’s what made him a regular customer. I would give him my mixtape CDs and played them when I chauffeured him throughout the Big Apple. One day he asked me to DJ an MTV after party for the music group Nsync. Although I had been Djing for years, this was my first celebrity booking, so I made sure I was on point. After that event I became his full-time Chauffeur and DJ. We went on tour together and when it was time for Justin Timberlake to move to LA, he asked me to come with him. That’s how I got to the west coast. I became familiar with the Hollywood area and industry, from chauffeuring Justin Timberlake around the city. We worked together for about 8 years and when he pursued his career in acting, I continued Djing and networking on the West Coast. “
You used to DJ for BET’s 106 & Park. What is your most memorable experience from the show and do you think they should bring it back? Why or Why Not?
“I have several memorable experiences working for BET’s 106 & Park. One of my favorite memorable experiences is when I was able to bring DJ Mustard to the show to DJ with me. I just remember him being so young and excited to DJ on that type of platform. Helping young artists reach their dreams is always a memorable experience for me because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for others giving me that chance. But I definitely believe 106 & Park should make a comeback. Their daily content and energy were amazing, and I honestly believe that’s what the world needs right now. Also, I want to take the time out to show my appreciation to Terrance Clayton for being the person to give me a chance to DJ on BET’s 106 & Park.”
You’ve DJ’ed for countless celebrities like Kevin Hart, Christian Audigier, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Hugh Hefner. You’ve toured the world, but not many DJ’s can say they’ve toured with Prince. Can you tell us what you loved most about working with Prince or a memory you’ll never forget?
“Working with Prince is one of the best highlights of my career so far. Being around and touring the country with Prince was a wonderful learning experience to say the least. I admire how he handled business, he wasn’t demanding but he was very particular on what he wanted and how he wanted it. But he kept to himself and we actually didn’t speak directly to each other during the first year. It wasn’t until I was Djing a private event for him and he politely tapped my left shoulder and said, “Mark you are playing that record a little to fast”. That was memorable because we worked together for at least a year and those were his first words from him to me. After that night we spoke on a regular basis. We had several discussions about the industry business, and he would always compliment my ability to entertain and rock the crowd. Imagine Prince telling you “you are incredible at what you do”, that alone is priceless. I am truly grateful to have worked with him and I feel that same gratitude towards my brother Nipsey Hussle. I also want to give a great thank you to Kevin Hart for giving me the chance to tour the world with him and the Hart Beat team.”
As the West Coast Brand Ambassador for 50 Cent’s Le Chemin Du Roi and Branson Cognac, what advice would you give to talent seeking to connect with brands and expand their influence?
“Promote yourself! I take pride in prompting myself and my brand. From my business cards, to my customized laptop with my name on it. I intentionally put my best foot forward when it comes to promotions. I believe everything starts with you first, and once people see how serious you take your business, they will trust you to grow their business. I see so much potential in 50 Cent’s Le Chemin Du Roi and Branson Cognac and I am proud to be the brand ambassador for the west coast. I look forward to making history and being a part of the team. I want to give a huge shout-out and thank you to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Rene Castillo for giving me a chance to push the brand out here on the west.”
What nugget of advice do you give to DJ’s aspiring to tour, work with celebrities and get paid well doing what they love?
“This goes back to my previous answer, I believe it starts within. If you truly believe in yourself then anything is possible. Once you have that firm belief in yourself and vision, you will become motivated to promote yourself heavy. Even going back to the beginning of my career. What initially attracted Justin Timberlake to me was the effort and money I put into my vehicle to make clients comfortable. He was also impressed with how I integrated to promote myself as a DJ. Throughout your career you will have to do some events pro bono just to get your foot in the door to network and build relationships. But know your worth at all times, or people in the industry will try to tell you how much you are worth. Just believe in yourself and be patient in the process. Last but definitely not least is show your apparition to God by being grateful during every step of the process. Every brick counts in building a skyscraper, never forget that. “
What’s next for DJ Mark Da Spot? Radio is an obvious “next step” for this Crowd Mover. Currently a resident DJ for 1Oak , Ballet Hollywood Wednesdays, Entrée & VIP Fridays, Argyle Saturdays, and summertime daytime party PentHouse Hollywood he also travels to Scottsdale, AZ for several monthly gigs. He continues to maintain Top Floor Entertainment as well as other business ventures. Recently signed to OnCue Agency based in LA, for DJ Mark Da Spot, the sky truly is the limit.
Most recenty DJ Mark Da Spot Became the West Coast Brand Ambassador for Curtis ’50’ Cent Jackson Branson Cognac and Le Chemin du Roi Champagne who also won Gold in San Diego international Wine & Spirits 2020 Challenge.Tweet