When Jordan Sanchez was 15, he started practicing to become a disc jockey. But, after playing in some clubs professionally, he decided to leave the DJ world to major in political science. He went on to law school, but something was missing.
Sanchez was isolating himself from his closest friends and feeling depressed.
Then, he realized his life wasn’t complete without music.
Sanchez, 27, left his law studies at St. Thomas University in Miami and went from spinning school to spinning records.
“I was very depressed while in law school because I was not doing what I like most, which is being a DJ and mentoring others in electronic music,” Sanchez said.
Since leaving law school in May 2014, Sanchez went back to perform as a DJ in several nightclubs in Miami.
While performing, Sanchez met many DJ hopefuls who asked him for help.
During the summer, he started training some of them for free in his studio in Kendall.
“I was unhappy for a long time, and I am happy by doing what I love while helping others,” Sanchez said. “It is not easy because I struggle financially, but I know there are others who don’t have much resources to start.”
To improve his finances, Sanchez is working on another project.
This year, he opened Bad Dog Records, a music label, alongside Miami residents Adrian Moussa, 31, and Paul Avila, 28.
The label is aimed at selling and promoting electronic music online from local DJs and singers.
“We are willing to promote the local movement, and this helps him continue helping others,” Avila said. “The income that we get from the label might not be much, but it get us through.”
With the income obtained from the label and his DJ performances, Sanchez upgraded his DJ equipment.
This has allowed his students to borrow old equipment, so they can keep practicing outside of the studio.
“He is willing to go the extra mile by helping you,” said Vanessa Guzman, 24, one of Sanchez’s students. “He is willing to help you first, and then he will continue doing his own tasks.”
Guzman is the first student who started taking DJ lessons from Sanchez.
After months of training, Guzman was selected as part of the YO YO Girl! Program, in which a group of women play electronic music once a month at Bardot Miami, a club in the Wynwood area.
“Before meeting Jordan, I was very frustrated because I certainly didn’t have the money to buy the expensive equipment and pay to be trained to become a DJ,” Guzman said.
The average DJ setup costs between $1,200 and $5,000, excluding a laptop, one of the main pieces of equipment.
Also, booking a one-hour private lesson from DJ sites such as Scratch.com costs between $125 and $175.
“Besides paying for training and equipment, you have to consider the cost of marketing, so you can build a name for yourself,” Sanchez said. “I had to go through that by myself, but now, because I have a record label, I can also support my students in the promotion process.”
In addition to providing training and promotion, Sanchez asks his students to invite more people to be trained.
Michelle Theurer, 21, is planning to start the training with Sanchez in the upcoming days.
“It is like one of those dreams that you do not know how to start,” Theurer said. “I only dedicate to something if I see a spark, and I saw it when I knew about the opportunity of being trained by Jordan.”
In addition to training students locally, Sanchez is preparing to attend several music festivals overseas with his label partners and other Miami DJs.
One of events is the Amsterdam, a five-day electronic music festival and conference held this week, Oct. 14-18, in which many new DJs can learn from established ones such as David Guetta, Afrojack and Paul van Dyk.
Sanchez said the purpose of this trip is to promote Miami-based electronic musicians currently working with his label, such as the duo Socram & Nnavoj, as well as his students.
“What makes you successful in life is giving back and passing down the knowledge,” Sanchez said.