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I think it was Biggie who said every basketball player wants to be a rapper and every rapper wants to be a basketball player. In my world, every CMO wants to be a DJ … at least for a night. Those are my closest friends — angel investors, brand strategists, CMOs, guys who do awesome, creative things in business but who also respect my contribution to the creative cycle as a self-managed and super blessed entrepreneur/DJ/consultant/whatever else it is that I do (it changes daily). But it’s definitely a two way street.
I recall being on a flight to deejay a party for Twitter 2 days after my son, Myles, was born, reading about their new awesome paternity policy, and feeling wistful. That flight changed my perspective on time, values, and relationships. I don’t come from a rich family. We don’t have nest eggs and trust funds. It’s pretty much work your ass off or die trying. Thus, I know every decision I make daily can affect the financial (and mental!) health of both myself and my son. Deejaying that night, seeing thousands of people with their hands in the air (and mine too, but with hospital bands around my wrist) made me appreciate the benefits and curses of having such a unique, flexible lifestyle and has, moving forward, enabled me to maximize it on both sides.
Fatherhood is a transition for all guys. If yours doesn’t look like MICK’s, it might look something like this …
My career has been atypical. I’ve gotten to perform around the world for the biggest names in music, film, business and media, but I don’t even consider that my job. Being a DJ is a gift I was born with and could do with my eyes closed. My day job, really, is running my night job — dealing with brands, organizations, investors, and building relationships so I can continue to grow the brand. I’m also fortunate to be setting up investment and advisory roles to help secure Myles future. I never got stuck into the “being in nightclubs at 3 in the morning, 2,000 kids on ecstasy on a beach, doing hookers in Ibiza” life. Those stories are better to tell during dinner parties, but truthfully, my life is a very focused, faith-filled and measured approach that has been preparing me for fatherhood without me even knowing it.
Before Myles, if I was gonna fly all the way somewhere, I’d stay for a few days. Now, I’ll switch that return to a 5 AM flight. I’ll spend more time in the air than the destination to get back to my family. His nursery is right next to my office, so when my wife wakes him up in the morning and pulls him out of his room, she tells me the first thing he does is look in my office to see if i’m there. He’s 10 months old and already putting that together — I’m amazed by that. Those sort of things change your lifestyle, your mind state. I thought I was really focused and driven before, but now I’m really focused.
There is something surreal and calming about watching your son in total bliss in his crib while Kanye is rapping about his swimming pool.
Jon Stewart used to offer his viewers a quick “Moment of Zen” and Myles has helped me find mine. Sometimes I’ll be at some outlandish event watching things go down that I can’t even legally describe on this family-friendly website — and in between songs, I’m checking my Nest Cam to make sure he is sleeping comfortably. There is something surreal and calming about watching your son in total bliss in his crib while Kanye is rapping about his swimming pool.
I’ll check the camera before I walk into the venue, once or twice while I’m deejaying, and then again on the way home. Not for protecting the house or any real “parenting” reason, just to be a part of it. Watching my wife feed him a bottle in the morning or watching him play in the living room lets me mentally stay a part of it while I’m gone for work. That’s been a hard adjustment for me, having this awesome family at home and wanting to hang out with them.
I’ve actually figured out how to combine my work and Dad time in unique ways. My son was chosen by one website as one of the “20 Coolest Babies In NYC” (I do realize this is hilarious) and I’m going to deejay that party. Let us get some fun, musical bonding in. I occasionally will do some daytime events, where the vibe is more chill. I do a special in-store appearance for Bergdorf Goodman a few times a year and my wife always rolls in with Myles. By the time my set is done, Myles has made way more new friends than I have. He is quite the ladies man.
I realize this will get both easier and harder as we progress down this path, but I’m pretty excited about it. I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to turn out, but I am confident it will be a fun and amazing journey along the way.
Mick Batyske is an entrepreneur, investor, consultant, and A-list DJ who’s released more than a dozen mixtapes and spun private parties around the world for brands and celebrities from LeBron James to Kanye West. He resides in Brooklyn with his wife, son, and 2 cats.