We had the good fortune of connecting with David Sustaita and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi David, how do you think about risk?
I don’t have a high risk tolerance or a low one, I’m pretty much in the middle. I’m very careful when it comes to risk, but that doesn’t mean I’m afraid of it, they key is to be calculative and intentional. There’s the saying of “high risk high reward” which is quite true, but knowing when to take risk and leveraging that timing can take a lower risk situation and give you a higher reward.

Having a career in music as a producer/mix engineer and in video as a cinematographer/editor is a very high risk, low reward kind of place to be in and it seems counter intuitive to how I view risk. This view of the career is why a lot of people give up or don’t chase full time. I barely went full time as of roughly February 2021 in the middle of a pandemic, and was only doing this on the side as I was in college, working at a grocery store and living at home. The past 4-5 years prior, in no way would I have been able to go full time into what I’m doing, and I made sure only to do so once I was able to calculate my risk level in this industry to go down, meanwhile purchasing all the business assets I would need so I wouldn’t have to later. It’s still a risk now as my wedding approaches and a new living situation following, but prepping for this season of life over the years has severely mitigated the level of risk, and has given me the reward of being able to live and be my own boss.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So my art. There’s plenty of songwriters, mix engineers, producers, videographers, editors and colorists, but there is very few people who are all of the above, and even fewer who have a strong demonstration of skill in those areas and how they all interact with one another. This is a very unique advantage that I have that sets what I do in each area apart from others. There’s a saying that a jack of all trades is a master of none, but I don’t believe that. I believe that if you have become an expert in one field, you can easily transfer that discipline that you acquired to a new venture if you’re truly passionate about it. I love audio and I love video, but I would have never found any of it without music. What excites me most, is when people ask what I do for a living I get to say “I make dope music and play with cameras all day”. 10 year ago-me would be screaming haha.

This road has been one of the most difficult ever though, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. These industries are almost entirely based on word of mouth, and your marketshare is only worth as much as the marketshare of the people you work with. Your skill and aptitude has almost ZERO correlation with your success, because as someone in the music industry as a mix engineer, your success is entirely based off of the success of the artist, and that success is entirely dependent on the money they can invest into their business/art. And I can’t blame them, this crap is expensive haha. I’m still learning how to overcome these challenges every day, and I love to offer marketing advice to my artists and video clients since I have a degree in marketing and media productions to help them achieve their goals, but I can only do so much. My lessons I’ve learned along the way is to always make friends, never burn bridges, and let people talk, shut up and listen.

I may be in the business of making music and making videos, but above all, I’m in the business of making friends

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When it comes to this stuff, I kind of suck at it haha. I may be creative when it comes to creating things, but not so much for hangouts. I would definitely invite them over to the studio to hang out and vibe, there’s been plenty of times where I’ve like 7 people in the studio, cramped, all of us just having a good time. Aside from that, if they like coffee I’d try to go to different coffee shops around, if there’s any shows going on it’s always cool to go and support the homies while they play, and inviting a new person into the local scene is always fun. I’m a pretty big foodie along with my fiance and one of my hobbies is cooking so I would definitely go and get a nice bowl of ramen or something if they’re into that sort of thing!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s so many people who have been integral in my support to where I am now and where I am headed. I was very fortunate enough to have parents that paid my college tuition and still supported the idea of me being a freelancer/entrepreneur in an industry that most people are never able to make it in. I’m far from making it, but that support and the people and connections I have made along the way from being in college has had such a compounding effect. Even though I’m not currently using my degree to work under a corporation, the people I have met from it have given me opportunities that I otherwise would not have had, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am. I’ve had many mentors and people who have believed in and opened doors and helped me along to success in some way, but the biggest help of all is God. Without God, this wouldn’t even be imaginable. Looking back in retrospect I can see many of the ways God positioned things in my life years in the past to mold me and my ambitions to now.

Website: https://www.davidsustaitaproductions.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/david_djent/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-sustaita/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davidsustaitaproductions

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY38O5SNhv-viYCvVnnEaYw?view_as=subscriber

Other: Linktree: https://linktr.ee/David_Sustaita Video Portfolio: https://spark.adobe.com/page/pSHoxTyS8eZrR/ Wedding Film Website: https://www.dspweddingfilms.com

Image Credits
Alyssa Garcia Isaiah Wootten

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