We had the good fortune of connecting with Sugi Dakks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sugi, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I think many don’t realize that becoming a musician is exactly that. Starting your own business. And so the same struggles, the same barriers to entry, the same business plans, trial and error, navigating legalities, all apply to being a musician. It is called music business because it is the business of music. I only say that because I think many musicians, including myself, come into the idea of being musician from just a music standpoint. We all work really hard on our craft and our musical abilities, but never invest time into learning other skills because we don’t think we need them. I had to learn the hard the way by racking up a lot of loses because of my lack of knowledge and experience in the other categories. I personally have found as well that good business coincides with good relationships. Honest communication and a sense of openess from both parties is pretty crucial for anything good to come out on the business end. Just like in friendships and relationships, the more both sides can come to a clear understanding, the more they will want to work together and both be beneficiaries. So that’s kinda how I approach most situations nowadays. And it helps me notice the red flags more easily, because you can pretty easily spot when someone is lying to you or trying to manipulate you. That never ends well and will never lead to any great business ventures. And I obviously still have lots to learn only really paying attention to these things over just the past couple years. So maybe I’ll have greater insight in the next years.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I got my BA in Jazz Piano Performance, and during that time got really invested in Hip-Hop music and Spoken Word poetry. So I would say my music is a blend of all 3 of those elements. I love the musicianship of jazz, and having the musical knowledge to go where I please harmonically. I love the groove, the aggression, the expression behind rap music. And I love the honesty and connection behind spoken word poetry. So I do my best to get really good at all three of those things and mix them together to make some Sugi Dakks special recipes. To your question of was it easy, and obviously that is no. But I try to embrace the challenges, because the greatest innovations always come out of the greatest challenges. So having struggles is not always a bad thing, because there are many lessons and nuggets of knowledge that can come out of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in the city. Obviously we’d hit the beach to get that out of the way early. Spend the whole day there so we don’t feel the need to want to go back again lol. Gotta get the finest boba in LA, so gotta hit up Monterey Park of course. Gotta hit up Dim Sum because duh. Gotta hit up my secret taco stand spots, will not give the location, gotta keep on the dl. And then do the typical hikes and nature things of course. Idk, there’s lots to do in LA, go skating. It’s too much sometimes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?