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DJ Spell – The Art of Following Your Dreams (#9)

Paperback Guerrillas podcast episode #8 – Sam, Warena and Pera break down the kaupapa of Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I knew from a very young age that this was what I wanted to do for my life.” — DJ Spell

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Paperback Guerrillas Whānau exclusive: my favourite taonga (treasured idea) from this kōrero was how the stepping stones of success and reputation can build our path foward. You can read about it on our Patreon page here.

DJ Spell is a world champion turntablist, B-Boy, graffiti artist, beat-maker, te reo Māori tutor, musical tutor, graphic designer, and an artist in general. But more importantly than those credentials, and like most of our manuhiri on the show, he’s someone who is doing the mahi he loves, and as a result, loves the life he’s living. That’s what I’m most interested in sharing, so that’s what we spent most of our time talking about.

Some of his DJing credentials:

  • 1st place in: NZ Red Bull Thre3style Battle, Australasian IDA Battle, NZ DMC Battles (twice). World DMC Online – first NZer to win an international DJ competition
  • 2nd in the World DMC DJ Battle
  • Many, many more.

In this remote kōrero crossing the Covid lock-down borders of Aotearoa and Australia, Spell shares his journey from growing up in Hamilton under the wing of Aotearoa hip hop legends, to where he is now, travelling the world as a turntablist, living a life he loves. We talk about quitting the dream, doubling down on one focus to become great, the art of thinking differently, mentors and his intentional learning and practice routines. 

Spell talks about finding passion as an artist and how feedback makes a difference to confidence.

We also talked a little about learning and the number of different lanes of art Spell plays in, here he is in the lane he’s most known for: being a master of the DJ artform.

Mauri ora,

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Resources and mentions

Question: what was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Comment below and let us know!

He mihi nui, a big thank you, to Trek One for the choice intro music (you can hear more of his music on Spotify here.)

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