Faculty Spotlight: Jaime “Black” DeMedici

 Jaime Black
Jaime Black has a storied history of being actively involved with Chicago’s entertainment scene. He’s constantly integrating cutting edge technology to spread his message and his newest challenge is sharing his passion for entertainment with a new student generation of millennials. In the following interview Jaime shares his story, his passions, and thoughts on the future.
What is your story?

Jaime: I began my work in the Chicago music, entertainment, and culture industries at the age of 15, with an internship first at Loyola’s college radio station, then a now defunct major market commercial rock station called Rock 103.5. I was lucky enough to land those internships my freshmen year of high school through a mix of determination, perseverance, and attending events/networking. Shortly after ending up at Rock 103.5, the station flipped formats, and the DJ I was working with – Chris Payne – went to an alternative station called Q101. I worked with Chris at Q101 for thirteen years. First as an intern, then as a paid producer for a decade on the station’s Chicago music program, Local 101.

In addition to working on Local 101, I started branching out into other ventures, including promotions, music journalism – both in print and online, and in 2005, I launched my own podcast series, Dynasty Podcasts. Dynasty Podcasts focuses on interviews with and programming around Chicago’s music, nightlife, and culture communities, and stands as the first ever and longest-running music podcast in the city of Chicago’s history. 

In fall of 2013, I began my career of teaching at Columbia College, joining the Business & Entrepreneurship as a full time lecturer in fall of 2014. I currently teach Intro To Management, Entertainment Marketing, and Self Management And Freelancing.

How would you describe yourself in 3-5 words?

Jaime: Tireless. Looking to innovate. Adaptive.

What projects have you been working on recently?

Jaime: In addition to teaching at Columbia, I continue to produce weekly podcasts at DynastyPodcasts.com. I also produce some digital content with Public Hotels in Chicago, and collaborate with the City of Chicago’s DCASE office on live industry events.

Does it relate to what you do at Columbia or our community?

Jaime: To me, everything I do comes from my own passions. I’m extraordinarily fortunate in that I never found myself working on anything I don’t believe in. So, the digital work I do with my podcast, or for different brands, that ties into innovation and entrepreneurialism. Both of these themes are very much present in the DNA of the college.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Jaime: I’m inspired by artists that have been able to adapt and evolve over time, and achieve career longevity. That to me is a big goal – to always be doing something new, because the second you stop innovating, you get left behind. I’ve seen that too many times.

How does your time outside the classroom influence your time in the classroom?

Jaime: My time outside of the classroom is either spent creating, collaborating, producing events, or traveling to conferences or festivals (or very occasionally for an actual vacation). All of that feeds into my inspiration for how I approach my curriculum. It also continually evolves my understanding of the world around me, which is essential in staying current with technology, culture, etc., for my classes.

What words of wisdom would you give to the current students?

Jaime: Start creating right now. Like, today. Right this minute. You don’t have to wait until you graduate or until someone gives you money or permission. If you’re a filmmaker, start making videos and put them on YouTube and Vimeo. If you’re a photographer, showcase your work on platforms like Instagram and Tumblr. If you’re a musician or producer or a podcaster or storyteller, you should be on SoundCloud. Start building your work and make yourself a portfolio. Go after opportunities. If there aren’t any opportunities, make your own, with your own content. Get to know your peers at Columbia. The people you’re in class with are creative minds you should be connecting and collaborating with.

Ultimately, just get yourself started. Utilize the resources at Columbia. Connect with your fellow students who are also ambitious and eager to learn and create. We live in an age with so many platforms to cultivate and showcase your work and your art, there’s no reason not to get started today.