In the time that we are currently living in it’s always cool when you discover a true Renaissance man, a person that’s knowledgeable, educated, and proficient in a wide range of fields. A few names that might come to mind immediately includes the likes of Kanye “Yeezy” West, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, or Shaquille “The Big Aristotle” O’Neal. As they have all proven that it is possible to turn everything that they touch into gold. Although, they’ve all reign true to being champions at whatever they do, amongst them they all share the bond of having a high appreciating for music, sports, and popular culture. Today we would like to introduce you to a new renaissance man that’s constantly carrying the flag to push all of those cultures forward.
Meet, Mick Batyske better known as MICK, a Youngstown, Ohio native that enjoys nothing more than evolving his workplaces into rememberable experiences by blurring the lines between music, sports, and popular culture. To assure this he makes it his mission to always approach everything he does from a strategic and intelligent point of view to make sure people are having a good time whenever they encounter his work. He might just walk across the street from his Brooklyn home to spin at the Barclays Center during home games but MICK has a hefty track record for working hard if not harder than Kevin Hart to make people have a good time when he’s in a room. Although this is one of his noted homes in the Big Apple, you can also find MICK on the move whether he’s traveling to D.C. to DJ a party for The Obamas, on a flight to Los Angeles to work on the soundtrack for Electronic Arts NBA Live, or heading back to his home state of O-H-I-O to spin a party for the 2x NBA World Champion, LeBron James. What makes MICK join a class outside of just being listed as a DJ would be his involvement with paying it forward and investing in startups including Localeur, Stublisher, Trendable and more.
Batyske’s DNA is heavily embedded in the music scene but he also makes sure to let his passion lead him into finding opportunities to partner with powerful brands to create experiences like djing for Target with his son Myles, cruising around in Los Angeles during the Oscars in a Cadillac CT6, or rocking out at NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Toronto for Complex and Mountain Dew. This makes it easy for me to say he’s heatttttingggg up! [NBA Jam voice] yet there is a lot one can learn from what MICK is doing and what he has planned next.
Although he appreciates this fast pace life he lives, Batyske always makes sure to spend time with his lovely wifeRana Batyske and their son Myles who’s featured on his latest mixtape cover Ready To Boom. If you follow him on social media you’ll find he shares candid moments like impromptu meetings with his wife at WeWork Dumbo Heights or makes time to sit down and spin records with his son Myles while chilling in his Brooklyn home. Clearly, he is a God fearing man that likes to laugh like my man Joel Osteen, values his family, and above all is winning at life thanks to his supreme work ethic.
Luckily for us, I have been able to ask MICK to share some of his thoughts, secrets, and advice on how to find balance and manage life while being a rockstar in his career. Check out the responses he provided while riding on a subway in NYC, below.
What inspired you to want to become a DJ?
I grew up playing drums and piano and collecting records and tapes. Put that all together and you end up a deejay.
What significance has moving to New York City had on your career?
Amazing significance. New York City is the epicenter of it all. Not a day goes by that the resources of living in NYC don’t help me tremendously. Networking. Inspiration. Shopping lol.
You’ve accomplished so much in your career. When did you feel like you finally caught your big break?
Believe it or not, I still feel like I’m waiting for it.
How did you become the Music Curator at EA for NBA Live? What do you consider when selecting the music?
I’ve always done lots of parties for them [Electronic Arts]. They trust my ear. And so we took it to the next level. I listen for what’s new and next, but also try to keep a modern yet retro vibe as well.
You also collaborate with the legendaryDJ Jazzy Jeff to produce a Summertime Mixtape each year. How did you meet Jeff and how does that process go?
I met Jeff in Miami many moons ago and we’ve been friends ever since. We sit down and figure out what songs we haven’t used. That gets harder every year. Then we do our parts – and every year we find a different cover artist – and voila.
You’ve spun events for prominent celebrities, brands, tech companies, philanthropic organizations and more. Which event was the most memorable and why?
Deejaying for and meeting Michelle Obama was a huge highlight. Mega huge. I was such a fan. Lol.
Congratulations on becoming a father last year. What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned about being a father? What advice would you give newbie parents out there?
Thanks. Being a father is really easy and really hard – all at the same time. And I’m just getting started. Advice – stay present. Put down your phone.
In the internet age, we are constantly being flooded with millions of songs (good and bad) daily. How do you go about finding new music? What new artist are you listening to or watching?
I have some top secret sources I can’t reveal lol. New artists: Kanye is kinda blowing them up crazy, but I’ve been loving Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa movement for a while.
You’re also known for speaking on several panels including SXSW, NYC, Digital Dumbo, etc. What message do you always share with listeners and why is it important?
Be yourself. And be a good person. It helps. Trust me.
Investing can be risky. What do you look for in companies you invest in and which one has been the most successful?
All my investments are still growing so we will see how that shakes out – but the number one rule is people > ideas.
What do you want your legacy to be?
My son is my legacy. He is all the best parts of me manifested into a new being.
If you had to pick one song to listen to repeatedly on an island what would it be?
God Lives Thru by A Tribe Called Quest
Who are your top five rap groups of all-time?
A Tribe Called Quest
De La Soul
MICK is ultimately a brand that you’ve been building to do much more than DJ. Do you have a team? Where do you hope to see your brand 5 years from now?
I have me. lol. And my wife, who is amazing. 5 years from now – running a VC and then retiring in Paris a few years later.
What makes you a Stereo Champion?
My belief in God. 100 percent.