Alex Cecil is a professional DJ who plays a variety of beats at hot spots like No. 8 in the Meatpacking District, The Box in Nolita, Pink Elephant in Greenwich Village and Sienna in East Hampton.
Cecil, 28, was a product manager at Citibank for five years until he left in 2012 to pursue his new career. He lives in Nolita.
Why did you switch careers?
I was in Paris in this store Colette and they have this beginner DJ set (equipment) and so I got that and brought it back to the states. And then I started rushing home from work to practice and I just did it for hours upon hours and after a few months ... I really loved it and then I got some professional equipment ... and then I decided to just go for it and pursue what I love doing.
What are a pro and a con of your new career?
A pro is that I love what I do, working is fun, which was never the case before. A con, I’m pretty much on a different schedule than everyone.
Looking back, do you wish you became a DJ originally?
Yes — when I was young I played the cello for 12 years and I was really good at it but I didn’t like practicing ... and so I went into math and then finance and then Citibank ... but I’m happy to have it, better late than never.
Citigroup’s second quarter profits are up 42% from the same quarter in 2012 — does that success make you regret leaving Citibank?
No, not at all. I really believe that if you do what you love then you have the best chance at being successful, because in every industry people are driven by people that actually love what they’re doing.
Do you have any advice for our readers who are considering a career 180?
If you’re lucky enough to have a passion, you should try to follow it.