Get It Magazine Interview Jarryd Sunkel
If you haven’t met him in person, then chances are you’ve seen him at a wedding, event or on social media. Best known for rocking the dance floor at weddings, Jarryd has also become popular for his very cool Instabooth, which allows guests to have their photographs taken in front of a backdrop and instantly printed out or emailed to them. A very hot trend at the moment!
But Jarryd’s has not been an easy journey. It’s taken sheer determination and an unfaltering will to succeed to turn the 37-year-old entrepreneur into the successful business owner he is today.
Not many people can say they started their career at the age of just 10 years old. But from the moment Jarryd played the music at his mother’s 40th birthday party 27 years ago, he was hooked.
Jarryd was diagnosed with severe epilepsy from a very young age, suffering from up to four or five seizures a day and eventually ending up hospitalized and once even in a coma.
His severe medical issues led to Jarryd leaving school when he was in Grade 10. “I was never really academically-inclined and even though I would’ve loved to participate in sport, I couldn’t because of epilepsy. I spent most of my time working on computers.”
But Jarryd found his happy place in music. Unable to drive (he couldn’t get a driver’s license because of his medical condition), Jarryd struggled to find a job and ended up going on East Coast Radio’s Big Favour where he was offered a job at an internet café. At the age of 18 Jarryd followed his interest in photography and printing and found a job at a printing company. “The salary was very small though and I needed to do something else. My love was for music and I was desperate to be a deejay. I was told I couldn’t because of the loud music, but I proved them wrong.” That, Jarryd says, is one of his favourite things to do in life – prove people wrong when they tell him he can’t do something.
“I took an R8000 loan from my dad, bought some gear and started my own deejaying business. I now own more than R1 million worth of sound gear and I deejay at about 55 weddings a year.”
The music, Jarryd believes, actually helps to control the epilepsy. His last seizure was nine years ago and he now has his drivers license. He has been deejaying at weddings for over 16 years.
“Life is all about attitude and people’s negativity toward me is my motivation. If you tell me I can’t do something and I will prove you wrong over and over again.
By far one of Jarryd’s most unique traits is his abounding enthusiasm and positivity. “I pride myself on having loads of energy and giving 250 percent to every bride and client I work with. I’ve built myself into a brand and for me it’s all about personal interaction.”
The Instabooth, Jarryd says, has been a very exciting addition to his business. And although his dad, Howard, now works with him, Jarryd still pretty much does everything himself, from maintaining his equipment, editing photographs and meeting with clients.
“Although I do on average about 55 weddings a year, if you tell me any one of my bride’s names I can tell you exactly what date they got married and where.”
Asked how he makes sure the music is right for the crowd Jarryd says it’s all about experience and being able to read people. Many couples, he says, make the big mistake of hiring a cheap deejay and this can make or break your party.
As someone who is planning his own wedding for June next year (he is engaged to Emma), Jarryd says he understands the huge costs involved in weddings. “But I really believe you shouldn’t skimp on the cost of your deejay. He is the guy who stays right to the end, when the flowers have fallen to the ground and the photographer has left. It’s not about just pushing play on a playlist, it’s about being able to build the party up and make it into the best night of your life.”
Details: www.kznweddingdj.co.za / 076 501 2505 / www.facebook.com/kzn.wedding.dj