DJ Skee Talks Skee.TV Beginnings, Success

By Ronnie Gamble  |  06/02/2009

DJ SkeeDJ Skee has become a bonafide force in the world of music over the past few years. After getting his start under music vet Steve Rifkind as a teenager, learning the marketing side of things, Skee branched off and has been on a steady climb every since leaving the SRC Records nest.

From marketing to DJing, he's excelled in almost everything he's attempted. From hitting the ceiling in the mixtape game, to moving on to satellite and traditional radio, it seems there's nothing this 25-year-old kid can't do. When talking to Skee, you can tell he's gratefull and proud with how far he's come in a short period of time.

"I dreamed about this when I was kid, really worked my ass ... you know?" Skee told BallerStatus.com in a recent interview at his Los Angeles offices. "I'm only 25 now, but I feel like I'm 50 with the work I've put in over the past few years. It's all been well worth. I'm blessed with the opportunities I have and I'm always gonna take advantage of it."

That's the key to Skee's success, taking advantage of every opportunity thrown his way. You give the DJ an inch, he takes a foot, a tactic that's helped him dip his hand into everything he exposed to. As of late, that's been videos.

If you keep up with music online, especially hip-hop, Skee.TV is one of your regular destinations. Since launching his SkeeTV YouTube channel, he's garnered somewhere around 40 million views from over 300+ original videos -- including interviews, behind the scenes footage, and actual Skee.TV produced music videos.

Despite its massive success, DJ Skee didn't really have a plan laid out when Skee.tv was birthed. He just felt he should take advantage of the access he has to celebs on a regular basis, and did just that.

"Skee.tv actually started because I was doing stuff with Verizon on their VCast network. They offered me a position to come in and have my own channel there," Skee explained. "I evaluated it, but say 'Hey look, why just get a paycheck over here when I can go out ... let's doing something new.'

"This was before people were really doing web video. Before YouTube and all that stuff really, really blew up. I said 'Look, I'm around all these people in the studio, on tour, or whatever is it.' I grabbed one of the people I worked with, bought a camera, and ran around and started shooting stuff. Along the way, we gotten over 40 millions views across all the platforms and mobile," he continued.

Since then, Skee.TV has grown into artists' go-to place when they need that extra viral push, and along the way has turned into a full-blown production house, directing music videos and offering a marketing plan along with it.

One of their most successful campaigns came with The Game's video for "Dope Boys," which Skee says did so well, it helped him leverage his services to several other artists and labels since.

"We got like a million and a half views like the first day or two. That was for a low budget, street single that we did," Skee recalled. "We did a deal with Universal where they actually let us put it up on our YouTube page first, as opposed to putting it up on their Universal ones, which they never do. A couple weeks later, they put out the Game and Lil Wayne video. Bigger budget video, main single, and it had Lil Wayne on it, who at the time was the biggest artist in the world. They got 1/3 the amount of views in a week that we got in a weekend from it. That kinda sealed the deal of what we do."

Just last month, two Skee.tv directed and produced videos helped up Skee's profile even further. Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On" hit no. 1 on BET and a video for David Archuleta debuted on "American Idol" in the same week. You'd think DJ Skee would expect things like this by now, but no, he's just as surprised as others.

"I never, in a million years, thought we would be a real production house, let alone one of the biggest," Skee admits. "Literally, we're no. 1 on BET and 'American Idol' in the same week, which is nuts. I thought we were gonna be a cool site where we had tons of different videos, like a network posting all kinds of other stuff. Now, we've gone kind of opposite. We're almost like a Hulu in the market."

Despite having his named stamped on all the viral content they publish, Skee credits his team to Skee.tv's success. Without them, he says its growth wouldn't be possible. Because, contrary to how it may seem, he doesn't direct each video. He works with his team, brainstorms, and completes every job in a "collaborative effort," as he puts it.

Today, the company boasts, at least, 15 full-time employees, and has a list of music video credits that include Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On," The Game's "Dope Boys," Chris Cornell's "Long Gone," and most recently the New Boyz' hit single "You're A Jerk."

Its success wasn't without road bumps though. At first, when he tried to pitch his music video services to labels and artists, they blew him off. Why? Because what does a DJ know about directing music videos?

"It's a gift and a curse being a DJ and kinda where I'm at on that side. A lot of people don't take you serious, at least when you're first talking about videos," Skee revealed. "People are like 'Skee's doing videos? He's just trying to do it all. It's just some generic whatever. They're probably aight, probably not that great.' But, with whatever I do, you're not gonna see my name on it if it's some hokey dokey whatever. It's gotta be the dopest sh** ever."

The future of Skee.TV includes the launch of their official website, the addition of new directors, and of course, a constant stuff of new, original content.

Stay locked at Skee.TV, and/or subscribe to their YouTube page at YouTube.com/SkeeTV.