Joël Waldie aka Home Cookin’

December 21, 2018

Entrepreneurial skills: a musician’s best friend!

Joël Waldie, aka  Home Cookin’, was born into music, so it’s no surprise that he decided to embark on a musical career almost 10 years ago. Preferred medium: DJing. Secret weapon: the ability to play musical instruments. Challenge: navigating the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.


“Music has always come easily to me,” says 33-year-old Franco-Manitoban Joël Waldie. He was born into it. His father, Bruce Waldie, always played and taught music, and conducted choirs and ensembles. “He made us sing and started teaching us piano when we were six or seven years old. Later, when I wanted to play guitar, my parents always supported me.”

While Joël may have come by music naturally, that was not the case for sports, which is why he chose to focus on volleyball in high school, while continuing to do music on the side for fun. “I worked hard to develop my athletic skills and I succeeded. I played for some very good university teams. But I knew that sports would be temporary, unlike music.”

Indeed, his sports adventure came to an abrupt end at the age of 24 when he suffered a severe bout of arthritis. That’s when he started taking music more seriously, with the idea of making a career of it.

After a stint with a Jimi Hendrix tribute band, he turned to house music as a DJ with a repertoire consisting of a heavy mix of rock, funk, swing, and classic blues, like Led Zeppelin and James Brown. “That’s what I’m known for. I’m considered a rock-and-roll DJ.”

“I draw a lot on my knowledge of instruments to create a soundscape. I even plan to play the guitar while I mix. Very few DJs are also instrumentalists like me. All they know is music on the computer.” Joël adopted the name Home Cookin’ to emphasize the importance he gives to putting his own ‘homegrown’ stamp on his music.

Was volleyball a waste of time on his musical journey? Absolutely not! “Sports taught me to give it my all, to be disciplined when I work. I’m able to keep focussed for 12 hours straight in my studio because I’ve understood how my mind works. Without sports, I don’t think I’d be able to focus so intently on my music. And that’s something that’s helped me succeed.”

Nerves of steel and a willingness to work hard are also key ingredients for success in entrepreneurship, something close to Joël’s heart.

“With all the changes in music consumption, social media, and so on, it was very important for me to make my own decisions, connections, advertising, and recordings rather than being tied to a label. I didn’t want to have a studio, an arranger, or a radio station imposed on me. I wanted to create music without constraints, for the simple pleasure of making music. That’s actually what motivated me to become a DJ. It’s easier to maintain control over your music.”

Indeed, with the huge boom in technology, festivals, and internet streaming over the past 15 years, Joël believes “it’s very doable to make a name for yourself and earn a living performing, and also to make your own professional recordings for as little as $3,000 to $5,000.”

That said, you still need to know who to turn to for entrepreneurial expertise: choice of name and logo, communications techniques and networking, distribution strategies, and how to navigate the system and find your own niche. “Entrepreneurship is an area that I’m not very knowledgeable about. It’s a challenge. But CDEM is helping me a lot with the process.”

Home Cookin’ is working on an EP of at least six songs that should be released in early 2019, as well as a website. And to further enhance his reputation as a performer, he’s just purchased a Seaboard, which allows him to create “almost any sound imaginable” on a single keyboard! “That’ll really boost my live performances.”

Home Cookin’ on SoundCloud

Home Cookin’ on Spotify