9 min 32 sec

Turn It Up to 11! Musical Mash-Ups Provide Passive Income for New York DJ

This New York DJ wants to rock and roll all night... and party every day. After he mixes recordings from classic rock and roll songs, he sells the packaged shows to international music markets.
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What It's About

The walls were shaking, the earth was quaking, and Rockmixx shook this NYC DJ all night long!

Business Model
Skills Required
Audio Mixing & Creativity
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

For those looking to follow in his footsteps, Rafe feels that Rockmixx is a one-of-a-kind product and that there’s only room for one iteration of it on the market.

However, he does see a lesson—and one that can be applied to any industry—in how it came to be successful: research what people in a field are doing, and find the “whitespace,” the gaps that the market is overlooking or ignoring. Then be able to explain the monetary benefits of what your offering can provide to prospective customers.

Fun Fact

Musical mash-ups first came to prominence in the 1980s, mostly through sampling of older soul and R&B music added to hip-hop tracks. Those efforts were often called “remixes,” “blends,” or even “collages.” A famous precursor was produced in 1956, when producers spliced musical snippets that comically dramatized the heavy proclamations of Orson Welles in his “War of the Worlds” broadcast. Frank Zappa extracted his guitar solos for entirely different songs in the 70s.

Mash-ups aren’t confined to music: the art world sees many satirical mash-ups, where artists might, say, put an Andy Warhol soup can in a gloomy Dutch Masters painting.

Notes from Chris

Episode 482

As a guy whose day job is supplying sales support and PR services to organizations around the globe, Rafe Gomez has mastered the powers of persuasion. But even he was surprised when Rockmixx, his side gig of making mash-up recordings of classic rock songs, blossomed from contests to identify all the mashed-up tracks to syndication on radio stations all over the world.

Rockmixx was born of a collaboration between Rafe and John Mullen, a former New York city radio executive. Rafe’s years of experience as a top-rated mix show DJ on a New York station prompted John to suggest producing mash-ups of classic rock hits and invite show listeners to guess which bands were in the mix.

That gambit gained momentum on American radio stations, and when Mullen suggested Rafe try international syndication, the volume of success was turned up to 11.

His syndicator now sells recorded show packages to stations in countries like Finland, Sweden, Mexico, Russia and many more. Rafe’s background in live events, where he would mash recorded rock tracks enhanced by his live disc spin and live electronic percussion gave him the chops to produce the shows.

Rockmixx offers both hosted shows, where Rafe introduces the show and then names the tracks at the completion of sets, and shows for non-English-speaking areas where the hosting duties are handled locally by station on-air personalities.

To get this going, Rafe spent around $1,000 for a computer upgrade with DJ and audio-production software, as well as lots of music downloads. But he uses the same tech tools for Rockmixx as he used in his radio mix-show days from 2003 to 2008. Aside from the occasional purchase of music to add to his library, his expenses are fixed. With a monthly profit of between $2,000 and $4,000, you can say the rock gods have smiled on him.

For those about to rock, we salute you!


  • Rockmixx: Rock out with Rafe's unique musical mash-ups here!
  • Ep. 471, Ep. 474, & Ep. 481: Some of the episodes that also center around finding the "whitespace" in various markets

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"I love to combine familiar (and overplayed) rock hits in a fun and creative way, and also to give listeners around the world a new way to enjoy these anthems. Also, it’s fun to have this alter ego that totally rocks the house and allows me to present and share my unusual DJ skills."
—Rafe Gomez #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau