Four Key Takeaways from The Keys by DJ Khaled (For artists!)

Here are my Four The Key takeaways from The Keys: 

 

1. 🔑 Major Key: Stay Fresh.

"If you want to be treated like a boss, you've got to look the part." 

DJ Khaled even says it's good to get a haircut twice a week. The logic here is, you never know when you will get a chance to prove yourself. You might meet Jay-Z tomorrow and you should have great hair at all times just in case. Although Khaled does recognize that not all of us can afford twice-a-week haircuts (until we've made it, that is), he is a huge ally for self care and respecting yourself through dress.

This does make sense for your everyday visual artist - while I prefer to have paint-splattered clothes in the studio, it is nice to add a good piece here or there for wearing to shows and museums. 8) 

 

2. 🔑 Major Key: Pick up the Phone.

Khaled tells us: "If you have a situation, you pick up the phone. You set up a meeting and you talk among grown men and grown women." 

It's easy to resonate with this major key because... sometimes you can't solve everything through email, Twitter, or chat. It's much better to pick up the phone, take time, listen, and solve problems as grown men and grown women.

While Khaled loves Snapchat, he isn't the biggest fan of social media or the culture of online witchhunts. "I can't imagine a bigger waste of time. Who has all this energy to stir things up? People who aren't successful and people who aren't working hard, that's who."

I loved this piece of advice from DJ Khaled because, as artists, we need to work on our work - stirring up trouble online is a short term game to win attention. Good work and solid art are the keys to longterm success. 

 The book THEY don't want you to read

The book THEY don't want you to read

 

3. 🔑 Major Key: Real Talk, Don't Jetski at night.

Just search Youtube for DJ Khaled Jetski Night. You'll see why this is a Major Key. 

The incident of the jetski at nighttime also made DJ Khaled more famous. When Khaled got lost on the water and started up his SnapChat app to document the experience, it showed that he cared about his fans and that his fans cared about him. When he was in trouble, he couldn't call the police, he couldn't exactly call home... but he could call his fans in the time where he needed them most. Like the poet Saul Williams once said, Vulnerability is Power.

Yet... be careful about Jetskiing at night.

 Art I made in 2015 of DJ Khaled Jetskiing at night

Art I made in 2015 of DJ Khaled Jetskiing at night

As far as how to not jetski at night as an artist ... I suppose it is a matter of having fun and taking risks, but not taking too many risks. 

4. 🔑 Major Key: Keep Two Rooms Cooking at the Same Time.

In this chapter, DJ Khaled reveals that as a producer, artist, and CEO, he knows how to do every job, even the smallest, most menial jobs in his organization. He stays humble. Knowing all the parts of the machine and working on at least two projects at once keeps up the momentum in his production studio. 

In our world where focusing is as prized as gold, and where industries push their best and brightest into hyper-specializations, it is nice to know that at the end of the day, it's not only okay to be a renaissance man, or a jack-of-all trades ... but... it's cool. It's a good thing to have experience in every dimension of your business. It's okay to take on more than one project at once. In fact, crossovers of knowledge and overlaps in projects can fuse together and make the most rare and valuable beat of them all: something new.

The practice of keeping two rooms cooking at the same time works for visual art as well. When the paint is drying, it's good to start another painting or pick up a new drawing. With the technology and resources that are available today, artists are able to be so multidisciplined. #D animators can be poets, collage artists are businessowners, and sculptors are painters. Never limit yourself. Or, as Khaled would say "Don't play yourself."