‘Variety’ cover star DJ Khaled shares some of the keys to his success


DJ Khaled is sharing another set of keys, and this time, it’s the ones that led to his success. As Variety‘s latest cover star, he discussed some of those keys, which include handling financial matters on his own.

“I don’t let nobody pay nothing for me,” says Khaled, who watched his parents’ business fail because of a “bad accountant.” “I pay the grass guy, the electric bill for the studio, everything. I don’t trust business managers.”

“I got here by not letting somebody have access to my money, because there’s too many stories out there,” he continued. “One of my major keys of success is to take care of every single thing because it will inspire you to go get more.”

Having made his way around the music industry via various roles, Khaled also learned the importance of owning his masters.

“For the majority of my career, I’ve owned half my masters of everything I’ve done,” he says. “So I always was smart with my business, and it’s paying off. It’s called leverage. Your masters mean nothing unless it’s a good master. ‘All I Do Is Win,’ that’s a good master. ‘Wild Thoughts,’ that’s a good master. Most of my records I produce; sometimes, I collaborate with others.”

Khaled notes that “being consistent” is also a way to win big in music. “On some of my early music deals, I got nothing, but I was so grateful for the opportunity. You know how people complain that they had bad deals and were getting f*****? I said the opposite: ‘Thank you. I learned from this opportunity,"” he said. “Somebody believed in me. I could have gotten a better deal, but I’ll get it next time. I was already telling myself, ‘I’m building for my family.’”

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