While the pandemic has brought nothing but misery for established and aspiring artists up and down the country, there are those who have well and truly made the best of a bad situation. A prime example of being Chester-based Omar Meho, who before the pandemic was well on his way to hitting the big time.
Omar was studying at the University of Brighton when he decided to turn his interest in DJing into a part-time hobby. It wasn’t long before he was spending way more time making and mixing music than studying, ultimately landing him his first gig.
Omar taught himself to DJ from scratch and subsequently found himself playing live shows, making a decent name for himself.
‘I got my first ever residency in Brighton while I was uni. I gigged in pretty much every club in the city, managing to build good relationships with all the club owners as I went,’ says Omar.
It didn’t take long for his talents to catch the eye of promoters overseas, with Omar subsequently spreading his wings and hitting the club circuits in France and Ibiza. Everything seemed to be going pretty perfectly – especially when he was offered a prestigious residency in Dubai.
An offer which, unfortunately, was presented to him at the beginning of 2020. A few weeks later, COVID-19 came along and completely wrecked his plans.
Turning the Tables
Understandably gutted, Omar needed to immediately rethink his short and long-term prospects. There wasn’t a great deal of work available in any sector in the UK at the time, but he still needed to make an income doing something.
‘With Covid coming in and my jobs being cancelled, my family suggested I use my expertise to teach others to DJ,’ he said.
‘It had never really occurred to me to make a business out of teaching DJing; to be honest, I’ve never had the confidence in myself to consider it! But I gave it my best shot and officially launched my DJ tuition business Music Workflow Academy in February 2020. I got my first client almost instantly and that client is still with me today.’
While it was something he had never set his sights on before, 24-year-old Omar transitioned from performance artist to successful entrepreneur, setting up the now thriving DJ tuition business, Music Workflow Academy.
Far from a part-time venture to keep him busy and pay the bills, Music Workflow Academy proved to be an astonishing success story and has so far attracted more than 1,000 students worldwide. He has published a bunch of online courses people can access in their own time and he also provides one-on-one tuition via video call.
‘I was extremely nervous about how the teaching could work virtually, but I tested it with my first student over a video call and it went smoothly,’ he said.
I could share my screen and show them what I was doing on my decks so it worked out really well. It’s essentially a private one-to-one session,’
‘As my confidence grew in the business I was creating, I constructed a whole curriculum which I enjoy teaching. Eventually, I branched out into music production too.’
All in all, the moral of the story is pretty straightforward – where there is a will, there is a way. Even when performing in the traditional sense is completely off the cards, there are still business opportunities available if you know where to look for them.