Queens New York native Edwin Myles has been a trendsetter from an early age. He started his first business before his 12th birthday; he toured the country with some of the biggest rap, soul and R&B legends of our time before he even graduated from high school; And, at 16 he was the right-hand-man of none other than the legendary Afrika Bambaataa and played a key role in the development of the Zulu Nation. But, while his accolades are many Myles exists today as a humble, changed man that has tasted popularity and success at an early age, survived the lure of fast money and street life and ultimately found his own salvation in God!
Now a 45-year-old born-again entrepreneur, Myles is only at the foundation of his media empire as the founder of the International DJ Trade Association (IDJTA, idjtrade.com), which is quickly becoming the largest DJ union in the country. Having accomplished so much at an early age is uncommon for most but for a 5-year-old Myles, learning to be an entrepreneur was literally just business as usual.
Many would consider his early life a charmed one. How is it possible that an 8-year-old boy can walk around with $3,000 cash in his pocket in 1972? Well when your father is the saxophonist of choice for Stevie Wonder and owns one of the busiest apartment buildings/restaurant/ bars in New York, this kind of thing can happen. Finding wads of cash stashed around the house was a reality for a young Myles and so was hanging with music superstars while watching his father rehearse. As it were, running a restaurant was a part of daily life. I’m sure he was the only 5-year-old kid around that could cook you a burger and fries that would knock your socks off! He was also the only kid on the block with his very own club house complete with its own kitchen and a candy store. With a steady flow of friends from the neighborhood buying candy and hanging out, his popularity grew and so did his “who needs education when you got money,” attitude. By now, he already had an entourage and often took his teachers up on the challenge of supplying the entire elementary school class (and school) with candy. Then, the sudden divorce of his parents made things a little more serious for him and his family. When the financial support from his father ran out, a move to Astoria housing projects brought with it the allure of fast money and street life. It didn’t take long before his pinned up anger from his parent’s recent divorce coupled with now feeling like he had to help provide led him to delve deeper into life and hustling on the streets.
Middle school and high school were a blur as he spent more time in the streets earning the name “Crazy Eddy,” than in class but a chance meeting with Afrikaa Bambaataa at age 16 changed his perspective on life. Myles credits this meeting and its subsequent influence as a major reason for his success today. Under Bambaadaa’s wing, he soon learned to focus his energy in a more positive way and jumped full on into promotions and security for Bambaadaa and the Zulu Nation. Myles started a 24-hour Zulu Nation hotline that brought a new found respect for the organization’s influence and Crazy Eddy found himself involved in some of the most popular and famous events and places of the time such as: The Roxy, Roseland, Studio 54, The Tee Connection, The Disco Fever and movies like “Wildstyle”, “Krush Groove” and “Beat Street.” From this point forward, Crazy Eddy walked a smarter wiser path and became more involved in the business side of the industry as well. Before long, Eddie became involved in management and managed the New York City Break Dancers. In 1986 under his leadership, the group performed for Ronal Reagan at the White House and also appeared in the groundbreaking film Beat Street helping to boost the image, popularity and appeal of the B-Boy style, break dancing and hip-hop culture. Unknowingly he adapted many skills that would come in handy after he and his mother moved to New Orleans the following year.
There he helped his family run a restaurant called Sonny’s Piano Café and he took some time to get married. As luck would have it, his wife’s cousin was in the music business so the three crafted an uplifting spiritual song called “I Believe” that was adopted by New Orleans and became the theme song for the New Orleans Saints in 1987. Their song “I Believe,” sold a staggering 1 million copies in one week helping to uplift the city and - as their theme song - helped propel the Saints to the playoffs that year. From there, Myles took a job with a local company called MAPS, Marketing, Advertising, Promotions and Sales; a position that was tailor made for his magnetic personality. After claiming the top sales position, he created and hosted a live two-hour local TV program on behalf of MAPS called Showtime in New Orleans where he showcased the best restaurants, chefs, local artists, comedians and independent musicians every weekend. With that exposure from “Showtime” Eddie became a force in the New Orleans Hip-Hop community allowing him to establish a record store and sound-scans, which helped Cash Money Records move tens of thousands of units in its early stages. He also played a major role in the early careers of Master P, Heltah Skeltah and Mack 10 while handling promotions for Priority Records which later became No Limit Records. But by 1995 he shut down the record store and took on promotions for both Virgin Records and Rap-A-Lot Records where he solidified his dominant presence in the streets of New Orleans. Over the next few years, Myles worked for Sony Records handling promotions and traveling with Lil Boosie while also assisting Turk and Trill entertainment. His influence and street presence helped Suck-A-Free Records average $500K per year with two-years booked solid and 27-33 shows per month.
Currently, Myles has put his 25-plus years of industry experience and promotional expertise into founding the International Disk Jockey Trade Association (IDJTA). By becoming members of the IDJTA, thousands of indie labels, DJs and musicians receive discounted prices on hundreds of products and services. Through IDJTA, which is free for a limited time, Myles will establish a new benchmark in modern urban marketing and through Edwin Myles Consulting he provide clients with the best in entertainment promotions, marketing and strategic planning for optimum results. When he’s not entertaining clients you can catch him at Londzell’s Martini Lounge in Roswell where he handles day-to-day operations, which “Crazy Eddie” at the helm of this ship and God’s speed filling his sails, all of Atlanta will soon be clamoring to get on board!
To learn more about Edwin Myles and his business enterprises, please visit www.idjtrade.com
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