Tell me about yourself.
Hi, I’m Paul O’Brien.
I’m currently studying in the Masters of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Queen’s University, while I intern as a Business Relations Officer at ID.
I was randomly born in Seattle but spent my whole childhood and teenage years in Ottawa. I completed my undergraduate studies at St. Francis Xavier University, where I majored in Political Science and International Development. Afterwards, I completed a one-year Bachelor of Journalism program at King’s College in Halifax in 2015.
After graduating, I bounced around Halifax, Calgary, Ottawa and now Toronto, while focusing on developing my career in digital marketing and music.
Why did you join Influence Digest?
I’m really excited to be working with ID.
Particularly to nurture my skills in multimedia and event management. This company has huge potential and I hope I can help contribute to its future successes. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to experience the ins and outs of a rising startup company. Having dogs at the office is also a nice bonus.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself continuing to grow both my musical career, as a producer and DJ; and my involvement in entrepreneurial ventures. I also hope to have traveled all around the globe.
Tell me about your music producing career.
I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 years old, and guitar since I was 11.
About 5 years ago, I started really getting into producing electronic music/hip-hop and mixing beats.
In my undergrad, I started DJing at clubs, and finally launched my own project, “Wildfire” in 2015. Since then, I’ve made some solid steps forward – having released a song on Steve Aoki’s label, Dim Mak Records, and DJed around Eastern Canada and in such places, as Croatia and The Dominican Republic.
What some other hobbies of yours?
Aside from playing music, I love sports, traveling, the great outdoors, concerts, festivals, photography, hanging with friends, my family, etc. I played hockey competitively throughout my childhood but decided to “hang up the skates” when I started university. As for traveling – I went on exchange to Lille, France in my 3rd year of undergrad, and got bitten by the travel bug ever since.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Explore new opportunities, make new friends and take risks – especially while you have minimal responsibilities. Dive head first into your interests, become an expert, and be willing to fail, fail and fail again until you reach success. Rinse and repeat.
What is the morning routine of Paul O’Brien?
To be honest, I’ve never been a morning person.
I think it might be due to my genetics. With the limited time I have before work, I’ll usually chug back a few glasses of water, sip a cup of coffee, drink a smoothie, bump some tunes and jet out the front door.
I attribute all of this to staying up late most nights. I’m usually either working on music at home or socializing with friends. I hope to become an early riser one day, but it’ll take some drastic changes.
Who do you look up to?
Hm…off the top of my head…Lebron James.
Lebron is a true professional, as well as an incredible athlete and one of the best basketball players of all time. More importantly, he’s a great person who cares about helping the world and making others better. I admire his strong leadership skills and relentless work ethic. It seems the older he gets, the better he gets.
On the music side of things, I look up to Diplo, as I would like to follow in similar footsteps to his career path. He has a strong entrepreneurial and forward-thinking mind, creates all styles of music and travels all over the world. Not a bad gig.
What is one of your biggest accomplishments?
Most recently, I had the chance to play a DJ set at a huge club in Montreal called, “New City Gas,” in November of 2017.
I opened up for one of my favourite producers from the Netherlands, San Holo, in front of a couple thousand people. A night I won’t forget.
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Special thank you to Paul O’Brien for taking the time to interview with the Influence Digest team!