In the Phone Booth with Dylan Jenet

Dylan Jenet

By: Gordie Tamayo

A fighter’s journey to glory can be daunting. Years of grueling training, unwavering faith in an unguaranteed future and being one among a sea of many, battling to separate themselves from the masses is only part of the gamble. All of which is one punch away from ‘lights out‘ and a change in career on the horizon; talk about risky business. And although the school of hard knocks is a regular backdrop for the storyline, some are fortunate enough that their talent supercedes all else; luring industry giants to put their reputations and resources on the line to develop ‘the next big thing‘. In years current, the boxing world has witnessed such a spectacle in the development of the young and flamboyant Adrien Broner.

Once heralded as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather’s throne, Broner was becoming marketed as the ‘future of boxing’. Those corporate dreams came to an immediate pause once hard-hitting Argentine Marcos Maidana landed on the scene. In what was meant to be the event that would usher Broner into a PPV attraction, quickly became a one-sided lesson in humility. Broner’s lifestyle outside of the ring has been nothing short of chaotic and it all appeared to catch up. Even the most powerful management and promotional team in the industry could not contain this time bomb; if anything they encouraged it and used it as a marketing gimmick. Overnight, Maidana quickly became the people’s champion by not only humbling Broner, but by revealing the force feeding of Broner as the face of boxing to a fanbase that values humility and hard work over arrogance.

Broner fell victim to a marketing engine moving him along too quick. Fast money and a fast lifestyle that not everyone can successfully balance was only part of his problem. Once he met a legitimate test in the ring, his lack of experience cost him big; not just in the pocket book but in credibility. In the fight-game, credibility is not something easily won back. In Broner’s case however, it is not out of reach. Humility can bring out the champion in a person should they have it in them and having ‘big brother’ Floyd Mayweather a phone call away doesn’t hurt either.

The music industry can be susceptible to similar pitfalls, which is why it was refreshing to read that 16 year Dylan Jenet believes in humility and hard work as instrumental components to achieving success in the music industry. One could say that the stars have seemed to align for the arrival of their latest prodigy. Most recently signed by Universal Republic Records with Stevie Wonder as her Executive Producer alongside Joe Simpson and Corey Rooney managing her career, DJ is surrounded by a team capable of complementing her advanced talents. We could write volumes on how her voice laces tracks with ease but we will ask you to boldly #PressPlay if you havn’t already and hear for yourself.

We @TheTitleFight had the opportunity to invite DJ “In the Phone Booth” with us to speak about her career, how she maintains focus at her age with such a level of success and what’s in store for her future. We even tested a little of her boxing knowledge. So knuckle up. It’s time to step “In the Phone Booth.

@TheTitleFight : First off, props on being selected to step “In the Phone Booth” with us. Out of thousands, your music and story shone bright and we are humbled to be speaking. At such a young age you have already amassed a solid resume. Talk to us about how you got started.

@DylanJenet : Well, Thanks so much for selecting ME to be a part of The Title Fight and inviting me In The Phone Booth, I’m humbled by that. As a Teen, there’s not a lot of ways to even get in the running for great opportunities like these. Because of RN, I have been able to submit for many opportunities that most Teens would not be able to.

I really BELIEVE that I have been chosen by OUR Creator to do GREAT THINGS. So in believing, I’m focused to succeed and have been BLESSED to have parents that also BELIEVE. It is because of them being my parents that I have been able to do all of the things that I have been doing since the early age of 6. I deeply feel that things also happen for a reason, a reason bigger then ME or “just singing”. It’s a lot deeper then that. My parents moved us from Manorville, NY to the Hamptons when I was 6. Because it was summer and no school, to meet other kids, my parents signed me up for acting camp. They already knew that I LOVED to sing but being new to the area, we didn’t know anyone. That gave me the BUG to really JUMP IN!

 

@TheTitleFight : Some attribute age with experience in the music industry. The same is done in boxing. However, sometimes we see fighters with solid amateur pedigrees with more ring experience than others who have transitioned into the pro-ranks. Do you see yourself having been developed the same way or through the fast-track?

@DylanJenet : I don’t know a lot about Boxing but it always seems to me to be rich in history and traditions and things like that. I kind of relate it to how my Grandfather was into Jazz, also deep in tradition and how he taught my dad the things he did. My father wanted to make sure that I started “paying my dues” at an early age. He taught me that anybody can write a resume but few can build one with a strong foundation. That building a resume rather then writing one would provide me with a strong work ethic and all of the tools necessary to succeed as an entertainer. By building strong relationships with those at the top of their game would allow me to network and learn from the best. Not to worry about competing with those around me that were good but to practice and work hard and to travel far to NYC where my competitors were not just locals but from all over the world. If I could compete there, I could compete anywhere. No fast track here, I have been groomed for this and sometimes didn’t even realize that that was what I was doing at the time.

 

@TheTitleFight : As noted, you have a star-studded cast from Universal Republic to Stevie Wonder, Joe Simpson and Cory Rooney in your corner. In the fight-game this is the equivalent to being a young Manny Pacquiao. How did these relationships come about?

@DylanJenet : Again, I hate to keep repeating myself but I really do believe that things have been happening for a reason. Nothing happens by chance but by design. After performing on TV’s Showtime At The Apollo, I was approached by their Musical Director- Ray Chew and he said that he felt that not only was I a good singer but he felt that I had the “IT FACTOR” and wanted to mentor me. At just 8 years of age, he began mentoring and teaching me a lot of different aspects of the business. He allowed me to travel across the country to show me up close and personal what it was really all about. I met Mr. Stevie Wonder through Mr. Ray twice but it wasn’t until I recorded a song written by one of Mr. Stevie’s close friends Miss Kimberly Brewer that he really became interested. She was very instrumental in not only BELIEVING in me but also in having Mr. Stevie hear me performing her song. Mr. Stevie can’t see me but sometimes when a person loses one of his senses, the others become more sensitive or improved so when I was told by Miss Kimberly that Mr. Stevie loved my voice, that was just over the top for me. An Icon with what I felt was like a SuperHero with enhanced hearing just said he Loved My Voice.

Wow. He wasn’t choosing me because he thought I was pretty but that he LOVED MY VOICE. Mr Joe was introduced by a social media friend and Mr. Cory was brought in by Mr. Joe. Mr. Joe has the background as a manager dealing with branding and marketing which is VERY important. He also advised that he BELIEVED that I was a world class artist and wanted to build a strong team to make sure we moved successfully. In bringing in Cory Rooney, he brought in a creative director like no other. The combination of Mr. Joe and Mr. Cory together leading my team is now why I call them MY DREAM TEAM!

 

@TheTitleFight : In some cultures, boxing is a trademark of pride. In the ring, a warrior spirit leads one into battle where a moment of glory outweighs the potential risks that obviously come with trading shots. Some say this is crazy. To a fighter though, this goes beyond the ropes. They are representing their people and become a voice for those who don’t have one. Do you carry a similar sense of pride with your Montaukett Native American background and if so, how does this influence how you represent yourself?

@DylanJenet : I see that you have done your research very well lol, I BELIEVE very strongly that I carry the plight of MY TRIBE with me at all times. I wish I knew more about my ancestors but I have been taught the truth about how MY TRIBE was robbed of their dignity, our rights and land were taken away and that history needs to be corrected. For some reason, it is in me. I really can’t describe it a whole lot except I need to do the right thing to not only bring awareness to us being wronged but also to show that by working hard, doing what needs to be done regardless of anything else, my ancestors could be proud knowing that I fought for them. I will not let them down.

 

@TheTitleFight : In boxing, a world title shot opportunity can be perceived as the pinnacle of success; aside from capturing the world title itself. Is there an ultimate goal that you are striving for in your career similar to that title shot?

@DylanJenet : Most definitely. That Title shot to me is the GRAMMYs. Both of my parents took it seriously when I was just 10 when my mentor Mr. Ray said that if we were serious about having a shot at superstardom, we should join her as an associate member of the GRAMMYs. That way, our peers would be the Best in the World. By rubbing elbows with the Best, I would learn more there in a few events throughout the year then I would all year by not becoming a member. After looking into it, we realized that I was too young to be an associate member. My dad joined me anyway at 10 years old saying I was older. I have been a member for 6 years now. My parents even take me to the Grammy Museum and also to the actual GRAMMYs. Flying to California from NY because I was a member of the GRAMMYs- WOW! I always felt special. I even entered one of my recordings into the Native American Music Awards and at 13 actually won Best POP Artist, which was out of this world.

 

@TheTitleFight : A fighter undergoes countless hours of preparation. Gym work, calorie count and mental preparation are only the beginning. Is there any particular area of your creative process that you find the most difficult to deal with?

@DylanJenet : The hardest for me is the waiting. Things take so long to get going. My Mom and Dad always have me involved in things that benefit me in the long term as well as searching for meaningful opportunities to perform. If it makes sense, we do it, always as a team. You would think that things would move so much faster but reality sets in and I am quickly reminded that this is a business and while making moves is good, we must have a good reason to make moves and those moves need to be focused and deliberate.

 

@TheTitleFight : Trainers can and usually are a fighter’s most important arsenal. They can help fix the most subtle flaws or turn a fighter’s strength into an unstoppable force. They also help a fighter mentally envision the battle ahead and once in the ropes, lead them round by round in believing they have what it takes through the finish line. Is there any person(s) you lean on the most like a trainer/mentor?

@DylanJenet : Wow, I have been given a host of trainers and mentors throughout my entire life. Of course there’s my parents but professionally there are the teachings, lessons and advice from people at different times of my life. Several vocal coaches (Bob , Ilana Martin, Boris Buriev and now Valerie , dance teachers and music lessons. People like Gladys Knight, Betty Wright (my 1st official Vocal Coach), Ray Chew, Alyson Williams, Barry Eastmond, and so many others but right now vocally it’s Valerie (she’s a technician who has had a tremendous impact in such a short time), My Management Dream Team- Joe Simpson and Cory Rooney who together have a host of knowledge that I soak up like a sponge.

 

@TheTitleFight : Are there any particular fighters you are familiar with or that you can say you relate to?

@DylanJenet : When I toured with Disney’s Broadway production of The Lion King to Louisville, Kentucky, I visited the Muhammad Ali Museum and that taught me a lot about a lot of things, not just boxing. I really can relate to the historic things that Muhammad Ali had done that transformed him from the ring. How he fought for the people and for the things that he believed in. He made a stand and was jailed for boycotting the draft to the US Army and helped to make boxing a Main Event, and brought Celebrities and the “In Crowd” to the boxing arena.

 

@TheTitleFight : Word on the street is you are in the midst of re-doing an un-released Brandy hit with producer Rodney Jerkins. Care to share with us some exclusive details about this project and how it is coming along?

@DylanJenet : WOW, you really have done you’re homework… lol All I can say right now is that things are amazing and I am forever grateful for being BLESSED! I would like to update you on a REAL answer when I am allowed to.

 

@TheTitleFight : Watching you in action is motivation. Any tips you would like to share with observers who are looking to gain momentum like you have been able to accomplish?

@DylanJenet : Well, I have been taught that LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT! It’s easy to sit home and watch TV, play video games and so many other things with your free time. I have mostly chosen to do things that have or will eventually pay off in the future. One thing is trying to stay on top of my social media. It’s very difficult to do it and be real at the same time. Devoting time everyday to wish FB friends a Happy Birthday when it’s their big day, the little things that mean so much. Use every opportunity as just that- an opportunity. When someone gives you a business card, make sure you make notes for it (where you met etc) and send them a Thank You note, text or email. If someone tells me to call or that I can reach out to them for any reason, I usually do. When you follow up, people remember that.

 

@TheTitleFight : Anyone you would like to give a shoutout to or any last thoughts?

@DylanJenet : Most of all I would like to Thank OUR CREATOR for choosing ME to be SPECIAL and to be MORE then just a singer. That shall be my tool to do the things that need to be done in this world. Mr. Stevie and Miss Kimberly for being the GOD GIVEN ANGELS to help make me soar. My Mom and Dad for all that they continue to do to make sure I stay on top of my game and ALL of my Mentors, Friends, Family and Fans (Sometimes I refer to them as MY DC’s (Dream Catchers)… Also, Thank You again for allowing ME to be a part of TheTitle Fight’s “In The Phone Booth”. I will always remember this interview because you really seemed to get to know ME up close and personal before you interviewed me, lol you get an A+…

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