RYB 957 Interviewing a REAL ROCKSTAR About The Music Biz and Determination with Dino Jelusick

Welcome to episode 957, I'm happy to have you here. Today I have a unique interview that I am excited to share with you. I'll be honest, I did this interview for myself but I am also really glad that I get to share it with you too. 

Today I have Dino Jelusic on the show. I was introduced to him by one of my guitar heroes. He has an incredible voice, and I am in awe of him. I actually reached out to him via Instagram to see if he would join me on the podcast. We didn't know each other before I asked, I just reached out to him, and he agreed to come on. The lesson here is to never be afraid to ask someone for something. You never know what's possible unless you ask for it. 

Back in the day, I wanted to be a rockstar myself, but I eventually had to give up that dream. However, I still love music to this day. I have always enjoyed music, the creative process, and being an artist. I'm fascinated by the entire process and know that it can be a very difficult business to be in, especially if that's your main profession. 

During my interview with Dino, I'm going to ask him questions about his most recent album and the process of creating music. We'll also discuss what types of struggles he's had to face over the past year and how the pandemic has changed his music career. It's going to be a great conversation with a living, breathing rockstar! So let's get right to it. 

How Dino Discovered Music

I actually got into the music industry back in 1997, when I was only five years old. I started my career by singing on a talent show for children. As a kid, I had no idea what would happen in the future, especially when my voice started to change.

I sang at a lot of festivals around the world, and it was an incredible opportunity. I actually became a big selling artist in Europe for a while, sang at a lot of concerts, and even released an album while I was still a kid. 

However, as my voice changed, I did struggle with determining if that would change my musical career. Thankfully I eventually discovered how to sing in the upper range and felt like I could do something great with my voice.

I was invited to audition to sing for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and I got the gig. It was an incredible experience, and I was so grateful. I was able to match both the low and high register, which gave me an advantage over other singers. 

Dirty Shirley 

I'll let you in on a little secret. The record label l worked with didn't want to include the song that I liked the most on the album. They didn't think that people would like it. However, I knew that it was great. So George and I had to go back and change up the song a bit.

We were able to get permission to include it as a digital download. I ended up filming a video at my house for that particular song. In the end, a lot of people agreed with me that it was the best song on the album. I am so glad that I kept pushing to include it and really proud of how it turned out. 

 And a lot of other people felt like it was the best song on the album, so I'm glad that I kept pushing to include it because I was really proud of it.

My Time With the Trans-Siberian Orchestra 

I also had an amazing time singing with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It really was the best gig that you can get in the industry. The experience was incredible. It is such a giant production and includes two arenas a day with a ton of lights and music. It's really cool, and I am so lucky that I was a part of it for so long. 

I grew up in a humble environment and always had to work hard. It took a lot of time and dedication to get where I am today. I knew that I just needed one big chance to show myself and reach certain people, and I was given that by working with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 

When I would come home from tour, it was always nice to come back and play at small clubs again. I've played in so many arenas I can't always remember all the names of them. It's so different to play in small venues but I like it just as much. When I'm playing for a smaller crowd, it's a much more intimate and personal experience, and I'll never get tired of it. 

How I've Overcome The Struggles Of The Pandemic 

The pandemic hit the music industry hard, including me. However, I was really lucky because I've graduated from university and I have a job teaching singers. I also do a lot of work for Nickelodeon and Disney.

That's what I've been spending my time doing while I'm back in Croatia. I don't necessarily want to label myself as a mainstream entertainer. I'm much more complex than that. However, I did have some big touring plans before the pandemic. Everything fell apart last May when it was apparent that the pandemic would have a long-lasting effect on the entire world. 

At the time, I made the decision to focus on building out my social media presence. I spent a lot of time focused on making videos that I could post to YouTube and Instagram. It's been a great way for me to connect with some incredible people that I wouldn't be able to reach otherwise.

I've done a lot of collaborations over the past year. For most of them, I haven't made any money, but I was able to get some great exposure and get my name out there. I see it as an investment in myself that will pay off in the near future. 

Being present on social media right now when everyone is at home has been a great way to boost my image and network. The plan right now is to go out and help other people in the industry and build up my network and connect with their audiences.

 It's been an incredible journey, even though things haven't gone as planned the past year. I've done a ton of videos during the pandemic, and it's been pretty exhausting but well worth it. I've noticed that every time I post a new video, I reach new people. It's been a great feeling being able to expand my connections and work with some incredible people in the process. 

I feel like it's my time to shine. My dad is my manager, and there are times that we fight a lot about my future. At times he wants to take a break and relax a bit. However, I feel like it's my time to shine. I want to work hard, network more and get my name out there. People really like my voice and the fact that I can also write music.

I have doubted myself in the past, and I still do at times. It can be easy to feel like I don't belong in the industry. However, when I hear what other people have to say about me, I know that I am destined for great things. I don't want to quit singing just because of the pandemic. I want to shoot for the stars until I feel like I'm ready to live a normal life. 

When I perform live, I don't need to push myself. The audience always gives me the energy and emotion that I need. I do like singing in the studio, but singing live is my favorite. 

Final Note From Scott 

That was such a great episode. As a musician, Dino is a brand. He has had to work hard to get his name out there and make money. It hasn't been easy during the pandemic, but he's made it work. I hope he has inspired you to continue working toward your own dream. 

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“Remember, I'm here for you, I believe in you, and I'm rooting for you! Now it's time for you to take action and go rock your brand”! 

Take-Aways From Today’s Episode 

  1. How I Discovered Music (11:02)
  2. Dirty Shirley (19:46)
  3. My Time With the Transibearn Orchesta (26:36)
  4. How I’ve Overcome The Struggles Of The Pandemic (30:05)

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