DJ isnt all about glamorous clubs, fierce parties, and jetting around
to killer locales to entrance the masses with your own brand of musical
wizardry. The life of a globetrotting DJ can be far more complicated and
challenging than you might think. Scoring the right gigs, struggling through
tedious business negotiations and facing complex legal issues are all tricky
matters. Thats why some DJs enjoy the benefits afforded by retaining
a professional manager. And if they want top-notch representation, theyve
probably already sent demo tapes to George Dellinger of the Brooklyn-based
managing artists, Dellinger spent two-and-a-half-years as manager at New
Yorks Twilo, where he learned the nightclub business from owner Phil
Smith and made many valuable industry contacts. Working closely with such
legendary DJs as Danny Tenaglia and Frankie Knuckles, Dellinger realized
that theres a niche out there that needs to be filled; these
guys need managers. But it was actually the underground dance group
Sunscreem that would become Madtizzys first client.
Pride Weekend of 1997, Dellinger brought the English band to New York to
perform at Twilo. Inspired by the groups conspicuous absence from
the American spotlight after their mid-90s success with hits like Love
You More, Dellinger offered to sign on as Sunscreems American
manager. Believing that he could help them reestablish a presence in Americas
underground club scene, Sunscreem accepted his proposal. Dellinger soon
resigned from his hectic post at Twilo and began his rewarding new career.
Before long, he says, we had a hit song with Catch
which went to #2, and over the next couple of years I took them all over
year in Miami during the Winter Music Conference, Nat Rue of the now-defunct
Whirling Records suggested to Dellinger that he approach Circuit icon DJ
David Knapp about managing his skyrocketing career. Persuasively pitching
himself as somebody who can worry about all the things that you dont
need to worry about, who can organize your schedule, handle your contracts,
do your [record] deals, and handle your money so that you dont have
to worry about it, Knapp agreed to a six-month trial run under Dellingers
direction. The relationship flourished and continues to this day.
Billy Carroll, Barry Harris and Lydia Prim systematically followed. One
by one I added them as I felt I could take on a new artist and not diminish
my attention to the others, Dellinger explains. Practically cornering
the market on Circuit DJ management, Dellinger promptly helped each of these
artists achieve remarkable success in an extraordinarily competitive business.
Whether its traveling to exotic countries like Japan or Israel, coordinating
a photo shoot with GQ, or negotiating a contract for a domestic gig, Dellinger
is involved every step of the way offering his advice and expertise.
is more than just a business, its a family. Each persons talent
and marketability is carefully considered along with his or her personality
before Dellinger invites a new DJ to join the Madtizzy tribe. Its
a difficult choice to bring on someone who you trust enough, whos
smart enough and knows everything that you know, who knows his music and
knows what the DJ world is about, he admits. Accordingly, when David
Knapp inquired about developing new talent under Dellingers tutelage,
he didnt hesitate to bring him on as a partner.
continue to spin at nightclubs and events around the world, including an
upcoming date at Do-It! at Joy here in New York City, but his weekdays will
now be filled by his new duties at Madtizzy. Of his first few months working
with Dellinger, Knapp declares, It has had great reward, and the family
experience that George creates at Madtizzy has been wonderful, and it will
be exciting to extend that out to new DJs. I want to concentrate on their
gigs because they all really want to expand on their DJing. Eventually,
Knapp would like to take on some vocal and visual artists as well to make
Madtizzy a veritable one-stop agency.
the potential of Knapps new role at Madtizzy, Dellinger enthuses,
How cool for one of these young new up-and-coming DJs to have him
as a manager. What a great resource. Narrowed down from a long list
of candidates, three fortunate DJs Chad Jack, Jason Ojeda and DJ
Ra will soon benefit from Knapps vast experience and impressive
reign as one of the Circuits top DJs. Dellinger will also add veteran
Miami-based DJ/producer Eddie X to his distinguished stable of entertainers.
in New York since 1995, Jack started out with a live mix show on the radio.
This led to gigs at The Tunnel, Limelight, Hush, the Pavilion and Blue Whale
on Fire Island and frequent bookings in Toronto and Montreal. As a domestic
buyer at Eight Ball Records, his influence has already impacted the industry,
but it was his heavily played (unreleased) remix of Whitney Houstons
Fine that thrust him into the spotlight.
Jason Ojeda may not yet be familiar to the gay community, but his production
team, Mind Trap, has remixed some of the hottest records in recent years
including Movin Up by Mike Cruz, Missing You
by Kim English and Abigails You Set Me Free. Dellinger
envisions Ojeda following in Barry Harris footsteps, an enviable career
path that will allow him to develop his own identity apart from Mind Trap
while increasing his visibility on the gay party scene.
The modern DJs world is constantly evolving, and
Madtizzy Productions is perfectly poised at the forefront
of the latest revolution to help redefine and promote the
maturing art form. George Dellinger and David Knapp will now
work together to make sure that our parties are staffed with
the Circuits most talented DJs while mentoring new discoveries
to become the stars of tomorrow. At the end of the day, though,
as Dellinger gently reminds us, Its nice to have
somebody basically just looking out for your best interest.
We should all be so lucky.