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Dusty Oliveira Is Making Smart Money Moves as Producer & Music Studio Owner

Photography by Aaron Ybarra.
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The first album Dusty Oliveira remembers buying as a kid was 1993’s Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest. His love for music started early growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas. Everyone in his family had a hand in his musical education – from his mom’s introduction to Tejano to his dad’s soul music to his older brother’s hard rock. The music that flowed throughout the Oliveira household was diverse.

“My parents were kind of like hippies, so they listened to all this Chicano music and a lot of old-school stuff,” Oliveira, 43, said. “My brother was showing me all of the music he liked too. When rap came out, that’s what I started gravitating to; then I discovered house music and electronic dance music.”

Photography by Omar Arellano.
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Today, Oliveira, who is also known as El Dusty, is a music artist, DJ and Latin Grammy-nominated producer. He is considered by many to be the creator of Cumbia Electrónica. On the side, he runs his own music studio.

In Moviendo La Bolsa (Moving the Bag), a custom editorial series presented by TurboTax, Remezcla speaks with emerging artists like Dusty Oliveira to talk about their creative outlets and also discuss the smart money moves they make when managing their finances and multiple streams of income.

Photography by Aaron Ybarra.
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With all these musical influences in his life, Oliveira started thinking that he wanted to follow a career path that would allow him to be surrounded by music all the time. His brother had set up a turntable, mixer and other equipment in the garage, so Oliveira thought about becoming a DJ.

“As a kid, I remember going into the garage and pretending I was a DJ,” he said. “Later on, I started breaking the music down and thinking about how I wanted to make my own hip-hop beats. When I started, I got really good at it really fast.”

Pretty soon, Oliveira was performing shows at roller skating rinks and weddings.

“We would stack up car speakers and home speakers and all kinds of stuff; just trying to figure it out,” he said. “From there, it just kind of snowballed.”

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Since then, Oliveira has gone on tour with some talented musicians like Baby Bash and Frankie J. In 2016, he was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best Urban Fusion/Performance category for his song “Cumbia Anthem.”

“I started getting into reggae music, too,” Oliveira said. “I embrace it all and like to make all kinds of stuff. I draw my influences from everywhere. It all gets blended together.”

Along with his work as a producer and DJ, Oliveira operates his own music studio in Corpus Christi where he invites other musicians to come in and record songs or perform live-stream DJ sets. He also rents out the space to creatives who do podcasts or other media projects.

“You really get a vibe in a place like this that you don’t get in other studios,” Oliveira said. “There’s something about being in a cool spot that you just can’t duplicate in any other space.”

Renting out space in his music studio is another stream of income that Oliveira has taken advantage of since opening in early 2020. Since then, he has made it a mission to make sure he is as organized as possible when tax season rolls around.

Photography by Aaron Ybarra.
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This is when TurboTax can step in and help someone like Oliveira. TurboTax gives its customers the opportunity to file their own taxes with confidence. They also have tax experts who can help users maneuver their way efficiently through their taxes.

“The studio is a full-on business, so I like to keep that separate from my personal expenses,” Oliveira said. “So, if I’m working, I’ll use one of my debit cards for those expenses and use my personal card for everything else. Then, it’s easy to go back and print out my statements and sort things out like that.”

Oliveira said the more organized he is, the less stress he feels when filing his taxes. From management fees to new real estate ventures that he’s starting to pursue, Oliveira likes to go into tax season with clarity.

Once you track all the checks, invoicing and bank statements, things get done effortlessly. TurboTax employs the kind of experts you need to make the experience fast, easy and convenient.*

“The more money you make, the more you have to spend and the more problems you could run into with taxes,” he said. “The more prepared I am, the less I have to do. I’m not the type of person that likes to wait to the very end to get things done.”

Photography by Christopher Li.
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Looking ahead, Oliveira’s finances are likely to get more complicated as he moves into the real estate space. It’s a smart money move for him to invest in properties rather than relying on money to accrue interest in a bank account.

“There’s better places to park your money than a bank,” he said. “To me, real estate is the name of the game. I like to keep my money flowing.”

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