“Lows of the job? It’s hard to think of any.” The resident Pioneer pro speaks to us about locking himself away to get acquainted with prototypes, demonstrating for Andy C and Derrick Carter and finding inspiration from his Pioneer predecessor Rik Parkinson.
Place of work?
Pioneer DJ (UK).
Product Training & Demonstrations Executive.
How long have you had the job?
Since March 2011.
What does a typical day involve?
I have so many different types of “typical day” during the space of a month. It depends what’s on the agenda. The two main roles of my job are: to support and provide training on the DJ product range for the Pioneer retailers in the UK, and to liaise with DJs of all calibres to provide assistance. This could be generic Rekordbox and product support or more in-depth training requests on products that are due to come to market. I also work closely with the tech managers of the large UK nightclubs to ensure they are satisfied with the equipment, and offer assistance with installs.
When a new product is due to be announced, I spend as much time as possible locked away at Pioneer HQ with a prototype sample. I need to learn a unit inside out before showing it to anyone. Especially if its something with a lot of performance capabilities like the RMX 1000, DJM 900 Nexus or CDJ 2000 Nexus. Retailers love to stick a video camera in your face the second you walk into their showrooms with a new unit, and I want to show off everything that these products can do. So it’s necessary (and fun!) to master a unit before doing so.
I’ll also organise a training tour of the UK (which takes some logistical planning and a lot of motorway driving) and plan and deliver training seminars across the UK for the end user. Anyone who’s interested in learning more about the products is more than welcome to register for the upcoming training tours. Keep posted to www.pioneer.eu/uk/ for details on these.
In between all of this, I run training sessions at the request of established and upcoming DJs in the Pioneer DJ Studios. Prior to a trade show like BPM things are much more office bound as I spend at least 3-5 weeks organising and preparing all the fine details.
Retailers love to stick a video camera in your face... and I want to show off everything that these products can do.
Highs of the job?
During my first week in the job I was asked to supply and install a mixer for Derrick Carter at a London gig, and then to visit Andy C to demonstrate another unit. Musically these two DJs are polar opposites, but I grew up idolising both of them so this obviously blew me away. Over time I’ve become used to it, but getting to work closely with DJs and producers whose music I love is a massive high.
Of course having access to every piece of Pioneer kit prior to launch is the stuff kid DJs dream of, as well as being able to plan and organise my own diary. Being trusted by a very cool boss to do things right and represent the Pioneer brand to a high standard gives me the confidence to perform in this role.
Lows of the job?
It’s hard to think of any. I work a lot of unusual hours which means I work some evenings and some weekends. I also have to travel across the entire UK, but I enjoy pretty much every minute of it.
Of course having access to every piece of Pioneer kit prior to launch is the stuff kid DJs dream of.
Who are the people who’ve had the biggest influence on your career and why?
Anyone who knows Pioneer will know Rik Parkinson, my predecessor as the Product Trainer. I remember watching his skills on YouTube videos way before I had even used the DJM 800. So I’d have to say him. Musically, my main influences are Marco Carola, Einzelkind, Nick Curley, Robag Wruhme (plus many many more). If you watch any of the current YouTube product demos I’m sure my music tastes come across.
How did you get the job?
I was DJing across London and teaching a music production course at the time when a friend told me about the job opening at Pioneer (big up Walliams). So I applied, secured an interview, followed by a second interview, and was then offered the role. I started a week later.
The interview process was fairly unique in comparison to most that I’ve had. Both interviews were two hours long, and consisted of an hour talking and answering / asking questions, then an hour demonstrating the Rekordbox software and flagship CDJ / DJM 2000 setup to the staff team.