Side Hustle: Lawyer by day, DJ by night

We all love a side hustle, but nobody does it quite like Missguided babe Melissa. Melissa has been working at Missguided HQ for two years as Legal Counsel. Alongside her full-time job, she spends her evenings and weekends as a DJ.

Melissa DJ

Tell us about how you started with your music career…

It started off as a hobby. I used to go to loads of UK dubstep and dub nights and I was always really passionate about the music, so I decided to buy decks and teach myself how to mix. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now.

When did it turn from a hobby to something more serious?

After I’d taught myself the basics of mixing, I started playing live streams on Bloc2Bloc radio to try and build up my confidence. Playing live on Facebook gave me some exposure, and it didn’t take too long before I started getting approached to play local gigs.

My first gig was at a venue in Manchester which my friends had rented out for the night. It was the first time I’d used equipment of that scale; I looked at the CDJs and the mixer and it was pretty overwhelming, I didn’t even know where the master volume was! I managed to figure it out though and my set went down really well.

What’s your favourite moment in your DJ career so far?

Definitely playing at Outlook Festival in Croatia. It was a last-minute booking and I was given the opportunity to support my favourite record label, Deep Medi. I could see so many of my friends and supporters in the crowd, it was such a great feeling. It was also the first time I’d played through a soundsystem of that size.

I’m often approached to play guest mixes for radio shows/record labels/podcast series, but a highlight for me was playing on Rinse FM radio. It was a Wednesday evening, so I finished work at Missguided and headed straight to London for my set – work hard play hard!

How do you balance being a lawyer and a DJ at the same time?

I just watch a lot less TV than I used to! The time I used to spend winding down watching Netflix series after work, I now spend searching for new music or mixing (I still have enough time to squeeze a few Friends episodes in though).

I also often spend my lunch breaks listening to music I have been sent by producers or promoting my events on social media.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue music?

Everyone does it differently, but I developed my career first and then started focusing on music in my spare time. I guess it doesn’t matter which way around you do it, so long as you’re passionate about it and putting as much effort as you can into it.

I love playing gigs, but with the financial security of my full-time role, I’m able to pick and choose which gigs I play and the genres I play.

Follow Melissa on Facebook or Instagram. You can also give her a listen below…

Shop Melissa’s top picks from Missguided…