2022 Insights from Chika Takai

Meet Chika Takai, a sought-after international DJ who performs in many high-profile forums including NBA games as an official DJ for the Atlanta Hawks, and at corporate and community events in the U.S. and Japan.

We recently caught up with Chika, and here are some insights from that interview:

What were the biggest obstacles for you? (Please go deep here)

Moving from Tokyo, Japan to a new culture and not knowing the English language were my most obvious obstacles. It accompanied its fair share of sleepless nights, but time and hard work turned out to be the best remedy. But entering an industry where I didn’t see anyone that resembled me was the most challenging obstacle. Looking at the Atlanta entertainment industry from Japan, I didn’t really see anyone that looked like me…an Asian female. It was also a very male-dominated industry. Regardless of the landscape, I have had to pave a new road as the underdog and work every day to overcome this obstacle.

What helped you breakthrough?

The keys for me were having an unwavering belief in my abilities, commitment to personal growth and turning my differences into advantages. I felt my collection of experiences and exposures gave me a competitive advantage within the industry. I was able to take nuggets from multiple cultures, influences and learnings from across the globe to create content that was fresh and new. Adding my existing global knowledge with my new everyday learnings was my formula for success.

What are three, specific things women can do now to move them closer to their goals?

1. Stay in a constant state of learning. Industries are constantly changing and what it means to be successful within those industries changes, as well.

Commit yourself to learn your craft better than anyone else and pursue professional development. A crucial part of your development is identifying mentors who can guide you, and most importantly, hold you accountable.

2. Don’t be afraid to take risks.

If you believe in yourself and your abilities, risks shouldn’t be avoided, but sought. The greatest risks are the risks we don’t pursue. No one can reach their fullest potential without taking some risks, so get out of your comfort zone and be willing to do things you wouldn’t necessarily want to do or could even have imagined doing.

3. Don’t be afraid to be a trailblazer.

You will never know what you are capable of if you give in to an unclear path or uncertainty. In the absence of a clear path, create one. Some of the best opportunities are hidden or hard to find. Put fear to the wayside, take bold decisive actions and create your own opportunities.

Thanks so much for your time, Chika!

Chika Takai is a sought-after international DJ who performs in many high-profile forums, including at NBA games as an official DJ for the Atlanta Hawks, and at corporate and community events in the U.S. and Japan. Takai moved from her native Japan to Atlanta, GA in 2014 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and became an Atlanta Hawks dancer for six years, eventually being named Team Captain before moving into a DJ position with the team. She founded the nonprofit The Study Abroad Foundation of the Arts (SAFA) to create professionally, academically and culturally enriching study abroad experiences for those in various industries including the arts.

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