Life Before Fame: Boring Jobs DJs did Before They Became Famous

djs before they became famous
img via Steve Aoki's movie "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"

Everyone dreams to one day be rich and famous, but how many actually make it. Ever wonder what your favorite Dj’s did before they made it?

Some of the biggest names in the EDM world surprisingly had some of the lamest jobs on the planet, who would have known.

Here’s a list of some of your favorite Dj’s and their previous day jobs:

Calvin Harris

You might know of him as the world famous Dj that he is today, but what did Adam Richard Wiles do before that? You guessed it, he was a grocery store employee for many years back in his hometown. In an interview with USA today, Adam revealed he benefited greatly from his height, which allowed him to reach things on the top shelf. It gets worse, he also claims to have worked at a fish market, later getting fired on his birthday. How do you go from working in a fish market to being the highest paid Dj two years in a row?

Richie Hawtin

Wow, you thought Calvin Harris had it bad, wait until you hear what Mr. Hawtin was up to before he made it big. Considered to be one of the leading figure’s in the techno scene today, Richard worked as a video store employee and also had a short stint with America’s most unhealthy fast-food chain, McDonald’s. What a combination right? From flipping burgers and renting out old porno movies, Richie Hawtin has established himself as one of the biggest names in the techno world.

Eats Everything

Eats Everything, aka Dan Pierce says he worked as Dj as a youngster but admitted he just wasn’t making enough to support his wild habits. Married at the time, Dan states his wife forced him to get a regular job and to start acting his age. Starting with manual labor jobs, he eventually ended up working three long years in a recruitment center making phone calls all day long. Miserable and close to giving up, he decided to give music one more shot and eventually wrote his hit ‘Entrance Song’. Now touring the world and appearing at massive festivals, what a switch-up.


Although I wouldn’t consider this next profession to be lame, compared to touring the world as a famous Dj, I’d say it’s pretty lame. Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo once worked as an after-care school teacher in Philadelphia helping children with behavior problems. He would later quit due to what he called, a lack of respect for teachers and his profession. I guess you could say Diplo never stopped teaching, just now he’s teaching people to twerk instead of teaching children how to read.


This legendary producer/Dj is said to have laid the groundwork for many of the Dj’s working today. Most younger ravers today may not even know of Moby, but besides that he’s played at all of the massive festivals including Coachella, Electric Forest and EDC. Before all of his fame he was once a golf caddy in hopes to save up enough money to buy a David Bowie’s album which he states influenced him to take up music production.

Steve Aoki

Steve Aoki grew up being the son of the man who founded Benihana, quite big shoes to fill. Steve states that there was a lot of pressure to impress his father, being that he was the heir to the Benihana restaurant chain. His first job was working in the restaurant as kitchen help, later becoming a telemarketer in his college days. Not only was he doing that, he was also a messenger boy for a greasy fast-food place, yikes. Eventually he would start his own label named ‘Dim Mak’, and now rakes in over $20 million dollars a year while putting on impressive performances across the world.

Laidback Luke

Lucas Cornelis Van Scheppingten, better known as ‘Laidback Luke’ started his teenage years in graffiti artistry. The Dutch producer/Dj states he grew up wanted to become a comic book illustrator, and used graffiti to express his ideas. This would go on until a member in his graffiti crew was obtained by police and would later snitch on Lucas. This would lead to Laidback Luke’s first arrest, he would then solely focus on music and leave the graffiti in the past. Smart move.


A random fact about Kaskade that might shock you is that he’s a devout Mormon. Rarely do you ever hear about famous Dj’s, raves and religion all in one conversation. While attending school at Brigham Young University, Ryan Raddon claims he was alienated by his fellow mormons due to his love for house music. At 19 he did two years of missionary work in Japan, after this trip he decided to focus on music. Kaskade is known to not drink and also attend church on a regular basis.


Another day job that is definitely not considered to be lame is modeling. That’s exactly what the Nervo twins did before pursuing music. By the age of 16, Olivia and Miriam Nervo were modeling for the Australian Chadwick Modeling Agency. They would later be accepted into the Opera Australia Academy, but eventually would drop out to pursue a songwriting career. The two twin sisters are still modeling to this day while juggling traveling the world and being famous Dj’s, that’s some major multi-tasking!