I got into this such a long time ago,” Eddie McDonald says. Little did he know DJing reggae parties in New Jersey would eventually lead him to something far bigger.
McDonald took his skills to New York City, met Light Group founder Andrew Sasson and, in 2002, relocated to Las Vegas, where he opened up Light at Bellagio and Sasson’s other properties, Jet, the Bank and Caramel. He also created the Light Group’s corporate program director position, a gig integral to his growth as a DJ and as a businessman.
Fifteen years later, McDonald is spearheading his own concept, Music Artist Connection. He describes MAC as a full-service entertainment entity that will focus on what he knows best, like DJ bookings, event planning and sound-system design and installation. “[It’s] pretty much everything I was doing for Light Group, but all on my own,” he says. “You name it, we’ll do it.”
McDonald has teamed up with Play Management for this week’s MAC launch party at Light—now at Mandalay Bay, of course—featuring DJ Skribble (currently featured on TLC’s Project Dad), New Yorker Lodato and Vegas’ G-Squared and Adam DJ.
With his humble beginnings decades behind him, McDonald has some advice as he gears up for his agency’s big debut. “Take chances,” he says, and eventually, everything will come full circle. “Reggae never had a [following] out here, and now, 99 percent of the stuff you hear has this old-school, dancehall flavor.”
That stick-to-your-guns commitment continues to drive McDonald’s efforts. “What I’m most excited for is giving my guys work and really working for them now, using all the connections I’ve built to help out some of the younger guys. I’m trying to bring a different approach to it. I’m learning as I go.” Music Artist Connection Launch Party at Light at Mandalay Bay, February 15.