We had the good fortune of connecting with Corey Bright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Corey, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My wife Crystal, randomly asked me one day if Engineering was my passion and I answered “No”. She then asked “So what is your passion?” It didn’t take me but a second to reply “music”. Now there are many avenues that you can pursue in music, however the one that came to mind was DJing. I remember being younger and staying at my grandmother’s house in Louisiana for the summer. I would record songs from their radio stations in Louisiana because I felt they played better songs not knowing that I pretty much was making myself a mix tape back then. Fast forward to being older, whenever family would come by, I would basically “DJ” the family functions using my laptop and YouTube. So DJing was a no brainer in understanding how I could pursue my passion for music. I feel that music is truly the universal language. My wife and I went to watch a live Latino band one night and we had the greatest time dancing and listening to the music even though I had no clue what they were saying. African drums play and everybody has to move. I have a successful career in Engineering however when I DJ it’s a totally different world. I DJ for the love of music and not because of its monetary rewards. I’m able to express myself in a way that I can make others feel my joy, my hurt, my thoughts. I can communicate and tell stories through music. I can do an at home set for 8 hours straight with my wife vibing out in the background. I can’t say the same for Engineering.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
DJs are usually known for “reading the crowd” and that is something that I do well. Now what sets me apart is that I read aside from the crowd that’s up dancing and having fun. I pay attention to the lady or guy still sitting most of the night or the grandma who needs to hear a oldie at the family reunion. I feel that everyone deserves a chance to enjoy what I enjoy. My goal is to reach the ones who seem unreachable with music. I got to this point professionally by volunteering and putting my gifts out into the community. I tell children when talking about entrepreneurship that chasing money is not the gain. Especially when you first get started because you are not as good as you think you are. I began with volunteering at pep rallies at high school without pay. My first gig in front of people was for my family reunion. You have to show your worth. If you keep at your craft, someone will notice. I played at the volunteer gigs as if I was getting paid. Then the people attending there saw my talent and asked for paid services.
Was it easy? Of course not. Most things worth working hard for don’t come easy and I overcame the challenges through perseverance. If you want to get something done you can’t worry about criticism and people who doubt. Believe in yourself and in the fact that YOU CAN. Go and be great at what you do. Success can’t be achieved with mediocre mindsets.
I have learned that giving back will always bring about a brighter pathway to success. Also make your own decisions and don’t be afraid be make mistakes along the way. I have learned that if I am going to be serious about DJing that I have to research my craft. Find others that are doing what I’m doing and are successful at it. Research their beginnings. Overall I have learned to have fun in the process of it all. You should be enjoying your art.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So most surely we’d hit up a live music spot. Houston has some cool areas for live music in the Midtown area. I would call up The City, a live band group out of Houston, to see where they’d be playing that week. Hit the Improv for some live comedy shows or bowling and games at the Dave n Busters. Knowing myself, inviting them to just relax at our home and watch movies or playing some video games would even suffice for the hangout spot. For the peaceful experience, going fishing in the Galveston dikes would be ideal and if you want the more fun filled experience then visiting places like Top Golf or the Skating Rinks in Houston would be nice. I love to cook, so when it comes to food places, I could fix up something at the “Brighthouse” but if we were to step out, Sparkle Hamburger, a local burger spot, would be the place. This Is It for all your soul food needs and if they want seafood and drinks, most surely Pappadeaux by the NRG stadium. I hear the Houston Sauce Pit has a good vegetarian BBQ Truck near the Turkey Leg Hut for all my friends who have laid aside meat and I couldn’t let them leave without tasting some of Houston’s finest veggie burgers and garlic kale from Sunshine’s Health Food Store on OST. Houston is so filled with amazing places and things to do that we’d definitely have to do a 2nd trip.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Besides my wife Crystal, I would say my mother because I have always been around music from a young age. When I was young boy, she would play classical music in my room. Listening to that music would help me to relax and go to sleep. I was also involved in the church choir with her. I have had the privilege to work at the theater district in the city where I would hear the orchestras and ballets. My mom was a big part of my enjoyment of music and one of the first people to introduce me to music. So I surely owe her a big shout out for leading me to discover and understanding the joys of music.
Cedric Gutter of OnyxView Photography