You may have heard Robert Oleysyck’s name associated with great respect. Afterall, as one of the early pioneers of the West Coast underground music movement, dating back to the early 1990s, he was truly one of the founders of the Las Vegas scene. But how can someone whose name for so long has been attributed to music sets and late-night crowds find success in the multimedia arts industry? “Create with purpose, stay humble, and always dare to be different, blazing your own path,” said Oleysyck. “Be open to learning, growth, and discovery.”
A genuine Renaissance man, Oleysyck has already enjoyed an illustrious career as a Nightclub DJ, Audio Engineer, Producer, Music Programmer and Music Director in Las Vegas. Robert now runs an all-in-one creative multimedia agency, All In Creative, reflecting his natural progression and evolution He not only has a gorgeous online print store, but is also an emerging YouTuber, with a dedicated channel, Robert Oleysyck Creations, masterfully merging music, poetry, video, and photography into digestible pieces of inspiration. His story of triumphs and tribulations through the arts sector is not only inspiring but gives lessons to many aspiring entrepreneurs globally.
You Are The Sum Total Of Your Experiences
Artists are not made–they are born. “I’ve always been drawn to the arts and creativity. As a little boy, you’d rarely find me without a camera, using Print Shop on an Apple IIe, painting plaster craft figures with my Mom, or taking art classes in grade school,” said Robert. “Although I always liked music, it wasn’t until I was 10 when my best friend turned me onto Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 radio show and Billboard Magazine that I began to truly appreciate it and started buying 45’s and making mix tapes.”
“Meeting my DJ mentor, Greg Gallagher, was a random chance encounter which is a story in and of itself, and I’m eternally grateful for his generosity and kindness. Due to my penchant for drums, rhythms, and timing, I was a natural at the technical aspects of DJing and picked it up quickly. So, I started gigging with him at college bars and frat parties, but I never thought of it as a career. It was simply a way for a starving college student to make money, and since I was so young, I was just going with the flow, finding myself and just growing up!”
A Pioneer of the West Coast Underground Music Movement
Robert self-describes as a “music sponge.” “In my formative years, I became a music sponge,” he reflects. “Whether it was from radio, tv, club collections, the record store, or other DJs, I’d consume and mentally process whatever music came my way, which included several key moments in an ongoing evolution of musical expansion. Amongst many others, hearing Front 242’s “Welcome to Paradise” for the first time shook me to my core. Hearing Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers for the first time in 1995 was also pivotal. I’m still a music sponge.”
Robert was a resident DJ at the Palladium in Las Vegas, a massive warehouse-style club where he played to several hundred people–if not thousands!-every weekend. You can picture it: the dance floor was the size of a roller skating rink, with an enormous overhead moving truss system.
“It was the best and biggest sound system I had ever played on at that point,” he said. “I had hit my stride, not only mastering the technical skills but incorporating my experience with music programming, a vital aspect of entertaining and leading a crowd through a night with story and intention, all while being a music sponge, amassing a huge mental and physical library of music.” Ever interested in the science and understanding behind what worked, Robert wrote down every song he played, rating the crowd’s reaction and how well he executed the mix or transition.
A true innovator, he played music for the masses that no one else was at the time. The Palladium gave him the window of opportunity to create and weave a multi-dimensional format composed of the ’80s, ’90s, Modern Rock, Pop, Industrial, Goth, Techno, and Underground Dance Music into a cohesive experience.
Robert started his four-year residency at Utopia in February of 1996. It was one of the biggest underground dance clubs on the West Coast, rivaling places like Twilo in New York. “One of the most memorable was playing a remix of ‘Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine’ at 5:30 in the morning. Someone opened the back door, and a golden light pierced the room, shining on a girl dancing on a platform dressed in a white gown, almost as if it were set up beforehand, right out of a movie,” mused Oleysyck. “Chills, I tell you!”
His reputation in the music scene has much to do with his work ethic, dedication, meticulous nature, and easy-going, humble personality, which reflects on his need to make whatever he does the best it can be, no matter the medium. However, Oleysyck is best known for contributing to the electronic music scene. He is known for his seamless mixes and transitions and for being a “DJ’s DJ” – actually enjoyed and highly regarded by other DJs for his technical merit, music selection, and creative programming.
Artists Make Songs & DJs Turn Them Into Hits
Oleysyck attests that playing Future Sound of London’s “Papua New Guinea” every night was also pivotal, as this represented his desire and ability to educate while entertaining so many people. “They would ask me what it was, and being able to turn people on to new music and expand their horizons was and still is a huge thrill for me,” he said.
“Being able to weave a variety of sounds, styles, tempos, and genres into a cohesive experience has always been one of my strengths, as well as having an ear for the sonic differences; EQing music from different genres, gluing transitions into a set and story, which has always set me apart.”
The Transition from DJ to Photographer
There is more in common between DJing and photography than one may initially think. And Oleysyck is the living proof of that. Robert is now running All In Creative, a multimedia design agency, while continuing to pursue his passion for music.
“Everything I’ve done in my career has been part of a natural evolution and progression. From an artistic, nerdy kid, to a DJ, to an audio engineer and music producer, to a music programmer, to a podcaster, to a voice-over artist, to a music director for theatrical shows, to a photographer, to a video producer, to the owner of a creative agency, to a time lapse filmmaker” said Robert. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to use my knowledge, experience, tools, and adaptability in whatever my next iteration or pivot happened to be, making the transitions more natural.”
“Specific to photography and video production, there are a lot of analogs between them and music, as they share a lot of concepts, approaches, and techniques,” he continued. “ Creating and manipulating sound and light are very similar; things like saturation, gain, contrast, vibrance, and composition all have a place in both worlds. The overall iterative process of editing and refinement is very close as well. The willingness to learn, having an open mind, and being somewhat obsessive has also helped a great deal in making this, or any other transition I’ve made.”
How Oleysyck Stands Out In The Photography World
Beyond just hard work, dedication, passion, and attention to detail, Robert has an excellent eye for detail and an impressive imagination. Embracing video production as a facet of photography has enabled him to stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Additionally, having the ability to incorporate his music and audio skills into video is an essential differentiating asset.
“Picking the right music, editing that music to fit my needs, and incorporating sound design and fx gives me a ton of creative flexibility and latitude – a one-stop shop, if you will, where I’m collaborating with myself, fleshing out whatever pops into my creative mind,” Oleysyck explained. “Time-lapse is a big differentiator – not only do I love it, but not everyone is willing to put in the amount of time and effort it takes to get great results. All that being said, there’s still so much to learn.”
Oleysyck Reveals His Least & Most Gratifying Aspects of Entrepreneurship
“It’s no surprise that the biggest drag has always been the business side. Bookkeeping, accounting, and navigating the back end of seemingly endless websites and apps is my least favorite thing to do, and I often procrastinate on those,” said Oleysyck. “And as a solopreneur and freelancer, it’s always been hard to find the help I need in this regard. I need an assistant. Managing and wrangling it all takes away from the time and energy I can devote to my work. It’s distracting and detracting.”
“The most rewarding part is being able to adapt to and overcome whatever barriers I face,” he said. “Small wins or major victories always propel my inspiration and innovation, and that’s one of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer others – be flexible like water, be open like the wind, and stay vigilant.”
Oleysyck’s Advice For Aspiring Artists
“Art takes time just like any other discipline, profession, or craft. It’s a process, as is life itself. I know how hard that can be when you don’t have a passion for something, but there has to be a willingness to put in the time and effort,” said Oleysyck. “I’m very fortunate that through every twist and turn on my life’s path, I’ve been able to nurture my passions or discover new ones along the way, either through intention or chance.”
“So, find what you’re passionate about and follow it wholeheartedly. It may not be traditionally “artistic,” but even parents, teachers, chefs, or rocket scientists have to think creatively, which is artistic.”
“Ultimately, follow the passion and not the money, but along the way, follow the money when you have to, because so often in life, we all have to do the things that we don’t want to do to get to a place to be able to do what we want to.“One final word of advice. I think most creatives have issues with perfectionism, but it’s only been in the past several years that I’ve embraced the mantra ‘done is better than perfect.’ said Oleysyck.
“Yes, treat every piece or project as a culmination of your efforts, but know when it’s time to wrap it up and move on because all those completed projects are part of the learning process and evolution moving forward.”
Oleysyck’s Future Plans
In 5 years, Oleysyck plans to continue refining his photography, shooting, directing, and narrating documentaries, making time-lapse films, and creating commercials and content for high-end companies, media outlets, and organizations. “Perhaps even sharing my knowledge and experience with others through education and training,” said Robert.
“In 10 years, I’ll continue to do the same while traveling the globe and exploring this amazing planet through my lens, always to bring joy and inspiration to others and hopefully make the world a slightly better place.”