DJ Envy is one of the most recognizable names in radio as a part of the number one syndicated morning radio show The Breakfast Club with Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God (the show is featured on REVOLT TV and iHeartRadio every morning live; check out the times here). Together, they’ve interviewed some the industry’s most talented entertainers and other public figures like former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Hart, Chelsea Handler, Michael Eric Dyson and countless others.
RESPECT. had the opportunity to speak with Envy about his new single “Text Ur Number” featuring DJ Sliink and Fetty Wap. In addition, the DJ talks about some of the challenges that he and his wife Gia Casey face trying to raise their children in today’s society, his favorite non-entertainer interview and some of the business ventures that he is involved with outside of the The Breakfast Club.
RESPECT.: How did you, DJ Sliink and Fetty Wap come up with the concept for “Text Ur Number”?
I wanted to create a single that crossed all genres of music, I’m a DJ and I make appearances all over the world. When I was thinking about which artist to work with, Fetty Wap came to mind. I saw his success with his singles “Trap Queen” and “My Way” and how his work has crossed over into Pop music. I told myself that he was someone that I need to work with and Sliink as well, because of his background in EDM. I wanted to have a record that had a mixture of EDM, Hip Hop, and that New Jersey dance music.
RESPECT.: When it comes to your music, is it something that you do yourself from the ground up? Or is it usually a collaborative effort?
At this point in my career, I tend to come up with musical concepts and ideas. For instance, I recently collaborated with Fabolous and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. I had a sample in my head that I wanted to lay some lyrics on. So, I researched the song and then sent it to a producer and asked him to come up with a concept. He came back with a dope concept, and I sent it over to both Fab and A Boogie, and they killed the beat.
RESPECT.: Being that you are a father of five children. How difficult has it been for you to raise them in today’s society?
Access to social media has triggered some conversations sooner than my wife and I would have liked, but I would want them to come and talk to us rather than get the information on social media.
RESPECT.: You are mostly known as a host on the nationally syndicated morning show The Breakfast Club. What are some of your business aspirations that you would like to share with the public?
Of course, it is The Breakfast Club [first]. I am also a co-owner of a juice bar called Juices For Life with Angela Yee and Styles P from The LOX. I am a part of a 30-year-old soda company called Top Pop Soda and it moves 50 to 60 thousand cases a month. I’m involved in real estate, a podcast (The Casey Crew) and the merchandise that comes with it. Hopefully, you will see The Casey Crew on television in the next couple of months.
RESPECT.: Where do you see your career headed in the next five years and is film on your radar?
It is always an option. When I started Djing I took a lot of acting classes and made a couple independent films as an actor before people knew me as the public figure. Film is always an option for me I just love the art. So If I can be a part of anything in the entertainment business that would be my interest.
RESPECT.: You attended Hampton University, have you thought about partnering with the university and developing coursework the help bridge the gap into the music industry?
I haven’t talked to them about any crossover work, but I’m always being asked to speak to the students at Hampton and other institutions across the country. I think the best way enter the entertainment industry is through internships. Learning from the outside side looking in is great, but the best way to experience it is through interning. We do have an internship program at Power 105.1 with The Breakfast Club and that allows individuals to come up and learn the business while getting paid to participate in our internship program.
RESPECT.: You have had the opportunity to work with some of the best acts that the entertainment business has had to offer. Who have you enjoyed working with the most and why?
I love working with Swizz Beatz and Fabolous; they both are always working to improve their craft. 50 Cent is someone else that I enjoy working with and I have learned so much from him. His work ethic is amazing; he will answer his phone at 4AM or at 2PM in the afternoon, he is always working. 50 is always concentrating on what’s next, whether that is being an executive producer on Power or his partnership with Effen Vodka, or his comedy show.
RESPECT.: Who has been your favorite non-entertainer interview to date?
Minister Louis Farrakhan and the reason why is because I disagreed with some of the things that I saw about him in the media. I did not want to interview him, but my wife advised me that I should address my difference of opinion with him. After interviewing him, it turned out to be the best conversation I have ever had.
RESPECT.: Can you tell us about the Spin Fire App?
Through the app, you get paid “per spin” by artists who want their music played at clubs and events. I thought that was a genius idea because there have been numerous times in the club that artists want you to play their records. Instead of buying the DJ drinks to spin their records they can pay through the Spin Fire App to have their records played to the masses.
What can we expect from DJ Envy headed into the first quarter of 2018?
Another single, hopefully, an album (Just A Kid From Queens) and The Casey Crew with my family. I really enjoy what I do at The Breakfast Club. I get up every morning looking forward to interviewing the guests that come on the show. In addition, regarding the music, I enjoy releasing concepts that allow people to think outside of the box.
RESPECT.: When it is all said and done what do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be that DJ Envy changed the music industry and what I mean that is I feel that I made being married with kids fun and cool. Before me, I really don’t remember anyone pushing their families to the forefront. If you ever look at my Instagram and videos my family is always in matching outfits.
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