Her Campus Illinois had Assembly Hall all to ourselves when we sat down to interview sophomore Djordje (pronounced Georgie) Gasic, founder of the music blog Urbana Poppin Champaign (clever, right??). With an obvious passion for music and a drive that has landed him some amazing opportunities, Djordje is surely on the path to success. Read AND watch the interview below!
DG: I was born in Belgrade, Serbia but moved to Michigan when I was about two years old. I currently attend the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
DG: I am an undeclared student in DGS but am looking into majoring in Economics with a minor in Computer Science.
DG: I got involved in the music industry at the age of 15 by making beats. Through that I met my good friend Filip Filipi, who I have been helping manage for the last couple of years under the Filipi Music Group imprint which specializes in virtually all aspects of the entertainment industry; from music production to event hosting, graphics design, artist promotion and marketing. While I was in high school (I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan) I promoted shows for artists such as Big Sean, Mike Posner, Wiz Khalifa, Chip Tha Ripper, and more. This allowed me to start building a heavy contact list at a young age and essentially put my foot in the industries door. I've worked on events and promotions all over the world from the Paris Hip Hop festival to events in my homeland of Serbia.
DG: I believe you can find inspiration in anything so I've always had momentum to keep going and do whatever it is I want to do. People I've looked up to all my life include revolutionaries like Che Guevara, great minds like Nikola Tesla, and hard working people like my own father.
DG: UPC was created my incoming freshman year so I could share my musical preferences with my friends and peers while I was away at school. Since then it has expanded and now includes a full team of people working and writing. We produce a lot of exclusive content such as recaps of many on-campus concerts/shows, exclusive artist interviews, and editorial pieces.
DG: Aside from the staff, which includes writers, graphics designers, video editors, and directors, we are working on a number of projects with on- and off-campus organizations. We are always looking to collaborate with interested students on campus who are creative and music enthusiasts. One of our major projects for this semester is organizing the entertainment schedule for College Fashion Week. This includes booking artists, locking up venues, and making sure that people have good music to vibe to while they're out attending the CFW events. Also, we're currently working on putting together a compilation CD with one of the fastest growing online song lyric communities, Rap Genius. The project is full of up & coming artists, as well as some more established names people will be familiar with.
DG: Working at Complex was an overall great learning and networking experience. Going in, I was initially a marketing intern and was helping with marketing plans for many of their clients. Complex isn't just a magazine, but an entire media network. When companies need rebranding they come to them and get paired up with a new and hip product to essentially be resold to the public with. Some examples are the Dr. Pepper/Big Sean, Reebok/Swizz Beats, and McDonalds Flavor Battle campaigns I was working on. Being the music junkie that I am however, I wanted to reach out to another department I was very interested in, which was editorial. I did what no other intern there (to my knowledge) has ever done and was actually working with both sides of the office, the business people and the creatives. I was able to publish articles for their music, girls, and style channels while working there. This was a great experience because it allowed me to network with virtually everyone in the office, people who I wouldn't necessarily have been able to network with if I just stayed in one department.
DG: That's always a tough question to answer. I hope to be working for a record label in NYC as an A&R or a marketing director. Either that, or my fault-proof plan to make a million before 25 will have been properly executed and I'll be hanging out at an undisclosed location on the Adriatic.
DG: To finish up college and start doing what I love full time. I've been held back and have turned down many great opportunities that some people would given an arm or a leg for, just because I feel its important that I finish school first. And also because I'll be old enough by then (laughs). I remember having to lie about my age a lot when doing business with many of these industry people. No one would take a 17 year old serious.
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