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EXCHANGE: Elgin teen entrepreneur takes on music
ELGIN, Ill. (AP) - Breje Whitt was only 15 years old when he began performing onstage with a nationally renowned Christian rock band.
Two years later, the Elgin teen is running his own DJ, sound and lighting company.
Where he goes next is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure - music is going to be his life.
“Music is what I want to do, but I don’t know where it’s going to go,” said Breje, 17, a senior at Westminster Christian School in Elgin.
“I might be doing sound stuff full time or on the side. I have had other possibilities with other bands. Once I graduate, we’ll see how that goes.”
Thanks to the work he did with them in 2011 and 2012, along with other work on the side, he said, he saved up $25,000 to start Diamond Cut Productions about three months ago. He bought a van, lights and sound equipment, hired an attorney and purchased insurance.
“I went big,” he said. “I’m not going to get two speakers and be satisfied with that. I really knew what I needed and wanted, and spent the money.”
His gigs in 2013 included a church party on New Year’s Eve in St. Charles and a couple of school events. This year, he’s already lined up two summer weddings and the annual Cal’s Angels 5K Run in the suburbs, he said.
There are still some work-related things Breje can’t do legally, at least until he turns 18 in April.
“I’m not old enough to be the president of my business,” he said. “I am the owner, but my dad is the president.”
“Because he’s 17, the only thing we did is, we had to sign bank stuff,” he said.
Rick Palmer, athletic director at Westminster School, said Breje gave up a promising athletic career to pursue music and sound. But Palmer saw Breje’s talent firsthand when his son hired him to be in charge of sound at his wedding ceremony. The results were outstanding, Palmer said.
“If I would have known Breje was going into DJing, I would have reached to him sooner to do the reception, too,” Palmer said. “He has just a pure heart of wanting to serve people.”
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