By Michael Kinney
If you ask DJ Eddie Brasco what he does for a living, it might be best to grab a chair, a cup of coffee and light up a black & mild That is because Brasco is a man that wears a lot of hats in his professional and personal life.
“I am a creative. I’m an entrepreneur,” Brasco said. “My title is deejay, but I’m also the founder of Brasco Creative Works. I do graphic design. I do marketing and consulting. I do a lot of things, man, but mostly in the creative space is where I really roam.”
While that sounds like a lot, what Brasco has created in just a few short years is a burgeoning enterprise where he is the essential product. He has become an influencer when it comes to music, food, fashion and most importantly cannabis. Someone who has the eyes and ears of the culture following him daily.
This skill has allowed Brasco to build his own brand, which now fuels everything he does.
“Dope Vibes Only is my brand,” Brasco said. “That is my brand for my DJ, creativity. That’s where that goes because it’s all about the vibe. It’s all about the energy.”
However, this is not where Brasco’s career path looked like it was heading in his younger days. When he started deejaying more than two decades ago, he thought he had found his calling. Working clubs and parties while also making a name for himself on the radio, he thought he was set for life.
“I’m going to tell you, that was the goal, to get in it and to stay in it and to do it forever. I can tell you probably 10 years into that, I lost that,” Brasco said. “It just became a money thing and it was no longer for fun. It was just a means to an end. The problem is, is when you’re taking something like that and you’re trying to earn a living on it, you can’t do it for the money. You got to do it because that’s what you’re supposed to do and the money will come. It’s going to come.”
Brasco doesn’t call it burnout as the reason he stepped away from deejaying but he needed time away and pursued other business interests. Then after a failed attempt at running a wine bar with his wife, he found himself working a 9 to 5 with AT&T in 2016.
“I was doing wireless sales, man. Don’t get me wrong, AT&T’s a great company. But I don’t fit in any job. That’s never going to be my thing,” Brasco said. “That’s when I realized, this is a really good job and I hate it, so I’m going to do something else. They gave me the option of getting fired or quitting. I took the one that allowed me to come back if I needed to. So, I resigned. They understood this is not where I need to be. My manager actually told me, he was like, “Look, I’m going to make sure that you can get your job back if you want it back in six months. But I don’t think you’re going to need it.” And I haven’t. I didn’t even look for another job.”
According to Brasco, that was the last job he ever had. Since then he has just been living his life and finding ways to monetize it.
Regardless of which hat Brasco is wearing on any particular day, he has made the cannabis industry the central character in everything he does these days. Whether he is deejaying at dispensaries or designing his Dope Vibes Only clothing line, the 44-year old is looking to become one of the faces of the industry in Oklahoma.
“I put a camera in front of me and said since I’m getting paid to be creative, how about I allow people to be part of that process? Let me take all the experience that I got from radio, to deejaying, to art design, to bar ownership management, whatever the case may be, and just see what happens with that,” Brasco said. “I haven’t looked back, man. People, for whatever reason, they like what’s in my noodle. And with the cannabis, it allows me, because I am a public figure, so to speak, I guess, I’m able to use that to influence people in the right way. Be an advocate rather than just a user.”
Brasco said he has been smoking marijuana since he was in college. It has been a part of his life ever since then.
But it wasn’t until Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana in 2018 that Brasco decided to incorporate cannabis into his work.
“If you’re an entertainer, you’re an entertainer that smokes weed. That’s what it was. Now I’m an entertainer, and cannabis is a part of my brand. That’s the difference,” Brasco said. “When I knew that I could make it a part of my brand because it’s the law now, so I say it’s going to be a part of my brand because I’m for that.”
Brasco had one other major reason for making marijuana part of his every brand.
“Just to be real, from a business perspective, the cannabis industry is a revenue stream,” Brasco said. “I’m not going to say it’s just this unlimited amount of money, but it makes a lot of money. People in the cannabis industry understand the value of great marketing, great branding. They understand these things that I hold true, for what I do anyway. It just makes sense for me to align myself with like-minded thinkers and industries that make sense like they need me just as much as I need them.”
Much like the cannabis industry, Brasco’s brand has grown throughout the past three years. He has become a mainstay at dispensaries during the day and night clubs when the sun goes down.
“Cookies is probably the most popular cannabis brand there is. They have two stores in Oklahoma City. I’ve been able to align my brand up with their brand in terms of the entertainment DJ aspect of what I do,” Brasco said. “The cool thing is I’m a part of that marketing infrastructure every time they do something in the market.”
However, when the Coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020, Brasco found himself sidelined. He wasn’t able to go out in public and do what he does best, which was to entertain people.
So he had to find another way to keep himself relevant.
“In the beginning of the pandemic is when I really took the streaming and turned that into the main revenue source and got away from the deejaying because the world wouldn’t allow it anyway,” Brasco said. “I can’t go out into the world, so let me bring the world into me. So that’s what I did. The company itself was Dope Vibes Only. That’s what the company was under Brasco Creative Works.”
Currently, the podcast can be seen on the platform Restream and on Facebook. He plans for that to change in the future.
“if somebody wants to tune into the podcast, man, just imagine them watching a show that’s about music, art, and culture. That’s what Dope Vibes Only is,” Brasco said. “We’re going to talk about what’s seen, what’s heard, and what’s done. If it pops off in the market, if it’s a party, if it’s an artist or something like that and it comes across our radar and we get to personally experience it, we’re going to share that. It’s all about the world through our perspective.”