55 year-old David Solomon is co-president of Goldman Sachs. One day, Solomon might even replace Lloyd Blankfein as CEO. Until then, he also doubles up as a D.J.: Solomon’s alter ego is D.J. D-Sol. And D.J. D-Sol plays “commercial” dance music at monthly gigs at venues in the Bahamas and New York before chilling his his the day job helping to run Goldman Sachs.
Andy Purnell can empathize. He too worked in banking whilst D.J-ing on the side. But he wasn’t nearly as senior Solomon (he was just an analyst in Barclays’ securitized products division) and unlike Solomon, he didn’t stick with finance. Since 2015, Purnell has been a D.J. full time.
Purnell says it’s not easy working in banking and playing music professionally. “I didn’t sleep much,” he reflects. “I would work long hours in the bank, but I would also DJ every day on the weekend typically – I almost never had a day off.”
Leaving banking to become a professional D.J. isn’t exactly a cake walk either though. Bankers think they have it hard, but professional D.J.s possibly have it harder. Bankers travel, but Purnell says D.J.s travel more. They also work all night and are typically self-employed so don’t have paid holiday. “I’ve just got home for the first time since June,” Purnell says, adding that he now gets even less sleep than previously and spends his time flying around the world. “I just flew back from Bulgaria this morning where I played a festival for MTV – I was there for less than 24 hours. That’s not at all uncommon,” he adds.
Even so, he doesn’t miss banking – much. “I miss working with one of my very good friends and I miss having the resources to be so up to date with the world economy – but otherwise I am much happier doing what I do now.”
Purnell says banking’s great if you’re a student with a genuine interest in finance and a great work ethic. However, he says he found the finance industry lacking in positivity and bereft of a true team atmosphere. “Look at what I did yesterday,” he says (referring to the photo above). “I didn’t get that kind of buzz when closing a deal or making money – it’s good to see smiles and energy!”
Maybe Solomon could spread some vibes at Goldman by playing his tunes at the start of the next town hall? It might be just what the bank needs after what’s expected to be another weak quarter.