Shayne Odum, professionally known as DJ Shanomak, has been in the DJ industry for three years. He currently works as a DJ at 97.7 FM, where he has worked for the past two years. We were able to catch up with the DJ to learn a little more about his start in the industry and his views regarding success in Mississippi.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: How old are you?
DJ Shanomak: Just turned 25 on Sept. 24.
JESSICASIMEN.COM: Are you originally from MS? Shanomak: I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and graduated from Horn Lake High School.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What’s your educational background? Shanomak: I graduated from Tougaloo College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2011.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Any children? Shanomak: No kids, no wife. If ya’ll have a most eligible bachelor slot, run this through again!
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: As far as your industry, how did you get your start in the business? Shanomak: A lot of things happened at the same time. I hosted events on campus, applied for an internship at 97.7, they liked what they heard and the rest is history. I interned under DJ George Chuck also. Everything happened around the start of 2010 and there’s been no looking back. I’m still at 97. I’m also a member of the worldwide Violator All-Star DJs Coalition, a well known brand in the music industry.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What’s your take on success in MS in this business? Shanomak: Wow, in Mississippi, man being true to the craft and being true to the business… One of the things that helped me is keeping business relationships separate and my friends as my friends. What I get from Mississippi, some of these people are focused on trying to be someone’s best friend when you really don’t have time for that. When I say being true to the craft, at the end of the day, it’s a survival of the fittest type of thing. A lot of people call themselves DJs or hosts, but when they have not put in the true dedication to be really good, they’ll probably only last 5 or 6 months top. You know the difference when you go to an event and only a few songs are OK? Ya know, can you rock a crowd 3 or 4 hours? Do you have longevity? I’m looking at a DJ setup at my house. You have to practice and really be invested.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What does being a Mississippian mean to you? Shanomak: Man, that’s a tough one. I think that one of the things I’ve realized especially about people in Jackson, people really just like to have fun and go out to the club every weekend. Everybody doesn’t have a movie theater in their home. This isn’t New York or Cali. People like to see what other people are doing. That’s one of the things I enjoy as far as DJ’ing here and even though partying has changed, people like partying in Mississippi more so than in other places.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Who are your musical influences? Shanomak: Growing up, I listened to a guy named DJ Devin Steel at K97 FM. He’s still in Memphis. Even though that’s another radio station, I still like DJ Finesse, and musically as far as artists, I’m a big Kanye and Notorious BIG fan.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What’s something that people can easily recognize you by? Shanomak: “Who’s that bald headed guy DJ’ing?!” They see a bald headed guy in the DJ booth, they know it’s me. I really don’t know honestly. What do people know me by? The way I DJ, I don’t really use too many gimmicks. I get a lot of bald headed jokes. They’ll say, “I was wondering who was djing and I knew it was you because of that bald head.” A lot of people notice me by my voice so I guess my voice sets me apart from other people
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Any other thoughts for up and coming DJs? Shanomak: I say two things: work and dedication. I literally DJ 8 months to myself and to a close knit of people before I did a club or wedding. When I say every day, I literally mean every day. Literally, it was 8 months before I got my first gig. It takes time and when you finally get that opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. When the lights are on, you have to make your mark. Someone gave me a chance for Capital City Classic and I went and did it and it’s been no looking back since then. Just make sure you’re ready. Step into the bright lights and do your thing. One bad thing and it’ll be over for you real quick.
This interview was a part of our annual Mississippi Month feature. Like what you read? Share it using the hashtag #JSMississippiMonth!