This week on The Journal we are speaking with Jo Petit of The Dream Band, one of Ireland’s most popular, in-demand Wedding Band and Corporate Party Band. Founder and Lead Singer Jo Petit commands great showmanship to entertain crowds with his sensational vocals and charming presence.
1. Tell us why you love what you do for a living, and, why you love working within the wedding industry?
I have always been passionate about music, from an early age. Growing up in a developing country, I was lucky that my passion and talent went hand in hand. Not only could I do what I love every day, it was also a source of financial security which many others around me did not have. The reason I love what ‘I DO,’ especially when it comes to the wedding industry, is how music brings people together. Often at weddings, people have not seen each other for a long time and music helps people come together seamlessly. There is so much love in the room and I feed off that energy.
2. What are your all-time favourite songs to perform? Have you any secret favourites you recommend for the drink’s reception or wedding party?
Choosing an all-time favourite song for me is difficult because it all depends on what kind of mood you are in and on the occasion. People will recognise from my own style of performance that I have a profound respect for the legends that brought us soul music. When it comes to weddings and the different elements of the day, for example, the drinks reception and the after party, I would have my go to songs that I know will get guests in the right mood. I like to let guests know from the first beat what they can expect from the performance. Most entertainment acts normally begin the drinks reception with a slow tempo, but my advice would be to flip it on its head. ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations would be my favourite mid-tempo song for the drink’s reception followed by Ben E King’s ‘Stand by Me.’ Who doesn’t love those songs?!
3. What is your career ‘pinch me’ moment that really stands out in your mind? A moment you are proud of, that highlighted your passion for what you do.
I am honestly so appreciative for every opportunity where I get to perform in front of an audience. I cannot compare highlights! I have performed in arenas for thousands and in front of royalty; to this day, the biggest pinch me moments in my career come when I see my hard work being recognised and appreciated by others.
4. What are your goals and aspirations? What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing a career in the Entertainment Industry?
Creating a highly sought after reputation and brand for my band, The Dream Band, was my goal for many years. Seeing that come to fruition and meeting so many incredibly talented musicians, I now aspire to launch my company Empire Productions to that next level. I would love to see the talent in this country be properly recognised, and for the musicians and acts under Empire Productions to be valued for their talent and skills. Ireland is spilling over with incredible musicians and to see them succeed in their performances is my motivation.
My advice for other people in the industry would be not to take things personal and to hold firm when it comes to your vision. Not everyone will like your ideas but if you are confident in what you are bringing to the table, you just need to get it in front of the right people.
5. Who is your aspirational figure? Someone you admire that has helped you on your career path or continues to inspire you.
I imagine many people would expect me to mention a well known artist that I have followed throughout my life, but the person I admire the most and who has had the biggest impact on my career is my wife and business partner, Kelly. There are many doors that you knock on in this industry and many knockbacks, many promises made and barriers to push through, my wife has always been the one who encouraged me not to give up and who set the foundations for what we have today.