(Original Photo By: Danielle Gruberger)
As we grow up, our dream professions tend to change pretty frequently. It’s quite rare to see a dream stick throughout childhood and adolescence, but even more so when they come into fruition. Farshad Dehbozorgi, otherwise known as DJ E5QUIRE, has not only managed to make his dreams come true, but do so in a number of competitive fields. As both a marketing advisor to some of the biggest names in athletics and DJ/Producer since he was 14 years old, Farshad gives us a glimpse of his journey and how he manages to make it all work.
“This pretty much was my childhood dream. My dream really was to make music and work with athletes, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. You grow up watching 60 Minutes on people like Drew Rosenhaus or the movie Jerry McGuire and you’re like ‘oh there’s no way that’s ever going to be me’ and now I’m here, and like wow this really is me. During the day I try to get as many off-field endorsements for as many athletes as I can, make them some money, stop them from spending money on useless things, and then at night I’m making music.”
Although his passions for music and working in the world of sports have been deeply seeded throughout his life, Farshad took a tough route to get there. During his second year attending law school at Pepperdine, Farshad realized that practicing law was not for him.
“My criminal law professor was a Federal Prosecutor for like 10 years. She’s really well known in the legal field as one of the best. If I remember correctly, one of the first stories she told us was how she liked somebody up, but 20 years later DNA evidence proved that the guy was innocent. The guy was in jail for 20 years. I was like holy shit I cannot live with that on my conscience. That really changed my look on the whole thing, but I was halfway through law school at that point so I said I might as well just finish. I finished, got my degree.”
From then on, things really started to fall into place. Not only did he find himself working in LA nightlife by scheduling appearances for stars like Metta World Peace and building a career working with athletes outside of their sport, but he started to make the transition from DJing to producing.
“I started listening to a lot of the music that was coming out and thinking ‘man, if this particular drop did this instead of that, or if the bass on this was just a little bit better,’ that kind of thing. That got me thinking well ‘why not just do it myself? It can’t be that bad.’ Little did I know how difficult it was [laughs]. Definitely not as easy as I thought. But yeah…a combination of sitting with people and watching how they make music and learning from them, as well as YouTube tutorials helped me out a lot. You learn as you go. I definitely don’t consider myself an expert. I think now I’m starting to really get comfortable with the stuff that I’m making, though.”
More often than not, people these days tend to narrow down their aspirations and follow one thing, but if there was anything Farshad’s upbringing taught him, it was to get involved in as many things as possible. When his parents divorced, Farshad essentially started to live on his own. There were few boundaries and limitations blocking him from what he may have wanted to do, but he kept a steady focus on his future and what would be best for him in the long run. For his parents, that meant pursuing a career in law, but his dreams were driven more towards the idea of taking what he loved, i.e. music and sports, and hustling his way into a career built entirely on his own.
Doing so, of course, did not come without struggle.
“When I first started in music, no one gave me the time of day. I would make things, but I couldn’t get in touch with anybody and no one knew who I was. I saw how social media took off and how everything was starting to become based off of that. I thought okay, well I’m going to map this out and find a way to make people want to know who I am. The biggest struggle was doing that and finding a way to develop it to a point where it would do its own thing on its own. Getting there was very difficult.”
Beyond the music, the struggle in Farshad’s journey has also taught him a great deal about the importance of personal time and memories made with family. Artists spend a lot of time perfecting their craft, playing events, and more, but factoring a second full-time job into the picture can put a lot of stress on not only them, but also the people around them. Whether it’s maintaining a personal relationship, spending time with his father at their weekly poker game, or finding a moment to hit the gym and decompress, Farshad knows that making the effort to step away from the studio here and there is the key to a healthy balance.
In hopes to leave a lasting impression on both the electronic dance music industry and the world beyond its reach, DJ E5QUIRE sees unity, one of the pillars in the dance music community, as an essential component.
“Right now, more than anything the world needs some sort of unity. The political crap that’s going on and the stuff that Trump is doing is just causing more separation and more hate. A lot of things are changing and there’s more hate and violence across the world now than ever. A lot of people have said it in the past, but music really does unite people. At festivals you’ll see people with flags of countries that are not necessarily allies, yet they’re standing next to each other going nuts to the music. If I can make a song that let’s that happen, I’m thrilled. The world needs that unity now more than ever.”
It’s been a long journey since Farshad spent his school nights driving back and forth from gigs in Newport to make it to school on time, then traveling to Spain with Team USA basketball, and now gaining musical support from top industry artists like The Chainsmokers, but most certainly a journey well spent.