9AM w/ Brenden Hill
Name: Brenden Hill
Based: Washington, D.C.
Time of Interview: 9:12 a.m.
What’s your morning routine like?
‘I really don’t have a consistent morning routine. It really depends what I have to accomplish for the day. I also work at night; so my mornings tend to run into the early afternoon. One thing on my agenda is usually grab a quick bite to eat and head out to the gym.’
I’m definitely not a morning person. I feel like I’m nocturnal by nature. The later the day and evening goes, the more productive I am.
I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to play football at Virginia Tech and I was able to accomplish some great things as part of some talented teams. Playing against guys like Calvin Johnson, CJ Spiller and Matthew Stafford; while playing alongside guys like DeAngelo Hall and Kam Chancellor.When I finished college I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and that I didn’t want a traditional career. Sports was something that I understood and was an easy transition for me. I already had the relationships with notable players because they were my former teammates. I hit the ground running and was able to have a pretty succesful career in sports management.
Honestly, I was burnt out. Sports management is a lot of client services; meaning you have to keep your clients happy and sometimes you have to answer for another persons mistakes. By the time I was 27 I had been in sports for about 4 years and I needed a change. I had hit a wall.The two things I grew up with were sports and music. Being from the 757 area, that’s what we were known for. Teddy Riley, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliot are just a few of the music stars from our area. I grew up playing the violin, and singing in chorus, around the time I was becoming burnt out with my career in sports DJ’ing had become big in pop culture.One of my clients and good friends DeAngelo Hall actually had a bunch of DJ equipment laying around his place because he had interest in it at one point; and he gifted the equipment to me. I taught myself and like my career in sports learned on the fly. I really didn’t look at it as a risk because I had already been an entrepreneur so nothing really scared me. I applied my business skills to my DJ career and the rest is history.
It’s funny because when I first started DJ’ing I set some goals and things I wanted to attain. Being the official DJ of the Wizards was one of them. Big Tigger had just left the position to move to Atlanta so I knew it was open. I applied for the position the year after he left but they had hired someone in house that season.This year I applied and made it in for an interview and I think I impressed the decision makers with my versatility. I also come from the sports world so I understand pressure and what that environment is all about, so it was a great fit.
I’m actually starting to get that itch again. I definitely see myself becoming involved with sports management again in some capacity. I have friends who are professional athletes and friends who are still in the business so I’ve never been too far removed. I think this time around I will stay more on the entertainment and marketing side and try NOT to be involved in day to day stuff, that’s what drained me.Sports and Entertainment is my niche.
I’m the brand ambassador for D’usse Cognac in Washington D.C. that keeps me pretty busy. I’ve been with the company for about 3 years and to watch how the brand has grown locally and nationally has been pretty cool. I’m also starting to get more involved with music. I’m learning more about that business in terms of A & R, finding talent, and creating music behind the scenes.
I would encourage them to continue to create and do something unique. If everyone is going right, go left. But in general I want them to keep creating their story and doing really cool shit! I have adopted this city as my home and I want to see us get the national respect we deserve. We have a ton of talented people here across industry but we are only as good as our weakest link. I want to see us be dope from the bottom to the top and have a ton of depth.I also would encourage them to look at things in the market that aren’t being provided or dominated and see if they can provide that service or skill. This creative space here is a business and ecosystem, people need graphic designers, and photographers, and managers, and assistants etc. Find a lane that’s open and come up!