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Life & Work with Garett Cadilenia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Garett Cadilenia.

Hi Garett, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
As a kid growing up, I was always musically inclined. I remember my Dad would play guitar around our living room while my Mom would sing along. There would always be music playing around the house. Fast forward to middle school, I picked up the same guitar my dad would use and taught myself how to play. Unknowingly, this would lead me to the start of my musical journey. Playing on stages in different bands throughout middle school and high school, I learned how to play all different styles of music from punk, rock, pop, classical, R&B and more. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school where I was introduced to a new instrument, turntables.

A couple of us would get together and practice everyday after school. I learned from one of my best friends, Jordan whom I knew from middle school, taught me how to mix and blend songs together. After getting my hands on a pair of Technics 1200’s, the rest was history. It wasn’t until I met Gabe and Aaron who I met in high school, where we formed a collective of homies called BNT. Together we would DJ house parties all over Carson, Torrance, Long Beach, OC, LA and beyond, crafting our party rocking skills. Over the years, relationships were built and that’s where I graduated from DJing house parties to having club residencies.

I remember being introduced to fellow Carson resident DJ Butch, where I joined a nightlife promotions team called TastyLBC.

From there, being the self-taught learner that I am, I continued to build my skills, not only as a DJ but as a patron in nightlife. I continued to build on relationships and kept trying to be better as a whole. I’m grateful to say that DJing has taken me to places I never imagined I’d be. Playing music for people from Hollywood, San Fransisco, Las Vegas and New York and everywhere in-between to even having my own billboard! Currently, you can catch me at my residencies at Lock & Key in Los Angeles, Rodeo39 in Orange County, Rewind OC, as well as parties across Hollywood, Los Angeles and beyond.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Growing up in Carson, CA as a first-generation Filipino-American, being a DJ was definitely not a career choice my parents had in mind. I knew it was in their best interest for me to be in the medical field, I was able to graduate Pharmacy Technician school and land a stable job. After about doing that for about a year, I realized my potential was not being fulfilled so I decided to dedicate myself to the craft. Even though I still had to make ends meet, I still wasn’t getting booked as much as I needed. But I knew playing music for people was something that I knew made me feel alive, so I did whatever it took to make that dream a reality. After years of having different side jobs and feeling like maybe I should start thinking of a backup plan, I still felt that this was a calling for me. I knew that there was something in the universe telling me something, to not give up, that this was bigger than I am. That’s when I decided I would go full-time. I knew I made the right choice because the day I got let go from my last job was the same day I found out my DJ billboard was put up. Funny how life works.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Being a student in the game, I am constantly learning, being around people that genuinely care and having good work ethic is what separates me. Knowing that I’m around like-minded individuals that are constantly pushing themselves is what I strive for. I am always looking for inspiration wherever and whenever I can, as I’m always trying to reinvent myself. Having a good work ethic and staying humble, I feel, will get you far in life. Try to stay above water, stay busy, stay working, rest when you can. Treat everything like it’s your first project like it’s your first day as an intern, is how I try to treat things. Stay hungry.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Everything happens for a reason. Whether it be gigs being canceled, getting overshadowed, undercut, or feeling like you’re not good enough, it’s all part of the process. I was once told that luck is preparation meets opportunity. Always try to stay ready because you never know when that opportunity presents itself. I feel like there were many missed opportunities that maybe I wasn’t ready for or that I wasn’t the right fit, but I try to never take it personal. That each mistake is a lesson learned. It’s not what happened to you, it’s how you handle it that builds character. That everything that’s happened to me along the way, good or bad, molded me to who I am today as a DJ and a person.

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Image Credits:

All photos taken by Ergel Cadilenia (@errrgephoto on Instagram)

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