The team at Marquee aren’t the only one’s happy to take home three ITM Awards in consecutive succession. Behind every great DJ are key team players sharing the ride to success. Shaun David Barker is exactly that… the marketing guru behind the Stafford Brothers (3 x ITM #1 DJ’s), formerly tyDi (2 x ITM #DJ’s) and more recently Timmy Trumpet. We caught up with Shaun to find out his secrets when it comes to nurturing national DJ’s into the international spotlight.
You’ve worked with several of Marquee’s resident DJ’s. What do you look for in an artist in order to work with them?
There’s no surprise Marquee are working with artists like tyDi, MaRLo and the Stafford Brothers as they really are among the very best that Australia has on offer. I work with artists for a number of reasons but none more important than believing in their viability as a brand. My particular skill set is best exercised in developing artists beyond the realms of just being a great DJ and Producer. Work ethic, attitude, vision and of course raw TALENT! Artists who know what they want to specifically achieve as opposed to “I want to be famous.”
What makes artists like Timmy Trumpet, tyDi and the Stafford Brothers different from other artists?
I’ve been very fortunate to work with great people. These guys are all amazing, both as artists and individuals. They work harder than most and are very grounded in everything that they do and that’s what really made me want to invest in them. I couldn’t imagine working with pre-Madonna’s. The artists you mention all deserve the success they have rightfully earned. When you dedicate such a large part of your life to developing the careers of others it’s very important to respect them. It has never been just about the money for me. Achieving life goals with people who work hard and deserve success is truly a rewarding experience.
Above: Stafford Brothers, Shaun David Barker, Timmy Trumpet @ ITM Awards, 2013
What are some of the highlights in your career so far?
You never forget your first! I remember the night that tyDi was named the number one DJ in Australia at the ITM Awards. It was almost dead silent… I don’t think anyone in the room expected a 20-year-old Trance DJ from Brisbane to take out the top spot but we definitely partied that night. He worked so hard and did his own thing which was very different to what the other more commercial artists were doing at the time and that made the celebration all the more special for us. Since then he has achieved so much in his career and I’m very proud to have managed him in the early stages. He is an exceptional producer and I’ll always respect him as an artist.
When the Stafford Brothers achieved three times platinum sales in Australia with ‘Hello’ I thought it would be hard to beat, and then Timmy Trumpet went on to top that with ‘Freaks’. Both of those records were very fun to work on and will go down as some of my favorite experiences in my music career.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career so far in the music industry?
Making it in America. It really is the wild wild west out here in LA. It’s very hard to separate the bullshit from the moneymakers and making it in Los Angeles is as challenging as you would expect. Competition is always fierce and there’s a line – in front and behind you – of people who are all willing to work harder and smarter than the next. Since I moved to the States it’s been an uphill battle to get to the top but we’ve had some big wins along the way and the challenge is always exciting. I wouldn’t trade the position I am in now for the world and I’m looking forward to what comes next for all the artists I’m working with.
Above: Chris Stafford, Matt Stafford & Shaun David Barker on set of ‘The Stafford Brothers’ (FOX8)
Any insights you would like to share on the future of Aussie DJ’s and Dance Music?
I think we’re going to see younger and younger artists rise to the top and I certainly hope that we see more women as well. There are some extremely talented Aussie DJ’s doing very big things like Tigerlily and Alison Wonderland and I certainly hope to see them making their mark overseas very soon. Hopefully it will encourage other women to take up DJing at a younger age and not be put off by the current state of affairs in a male driven industry. Times are always changing and I look forward to a day where the stage is equally divided between sexes and the top of the Beatport charts reflect the same.