Q&A With a 10-Year-Old DJ

We had the opportunity to speak with DJ Niel Mac (real name, Niel McLellan), a 10-year-old DJ with dreams to make it big in the EDM space, to understand how he is already paving the way for his future and how this trend translates to the next generation of Plurals. The youngest cohort of grade-school Millennials are dreaming big and taking the notion of getting ahead to a whole new level. Young Millennials are finding their passions early on and using the fast-paced world of instafame and online accessibility to their advantage. We’ve profiled the rise in super-niche interest Millennials and it is no surprise that some of their focus on what’s unique and up-and-coming has intertwined with the distinctive world of EDM. Built on escapism through intense dance and music in a shared cultural environment, EDM has become an integral part of the young Millennial experience, and the maturity of its after-dark culture has transfixed even those too young to actually attend festivals. The kids rounding out this generation have unfiltered exposure and access to what is beyond their reach, and being raised in a world that increasingly values the entrepreneurial spirit, they are making their passions a reality, despite their young ages.
 
Ypulse: When did you discover your passion for DJing?
DJ Niel Mac: It was about two years ago when my Dad told me that there was a music festival coming to town, the Sun City Music Festival in El Paso, Texas. I went with my dad, and after seeing a lot of the DJs I thought it would be really fun to be there up on the stage and play for so many people, make people happy with music.
 
YP: How did you get your start as a DJ?
NM: I started with a small silver mixer that I found on Craigslist and a small computer with 100 songs. There was a talent show audition at…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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