10 TIPS TO BECOMING A DJ IN THE DIGITAL AGE
By Carmen Greger
The Rhythm of Success: Turning Beats into Business
In an era where beats are the new currency and playlists the new portfolios, becoming a DJ is not just about spinning vinyl; it’s about spinning dreams into realities. The digital age has transformed the DJ from a mere music player into a pulsating heart of any event, be it a booming house party or a classy wedding. This is your guide to not only joining the ranks of these modern-day maestros but also becoming the lifeblood of every party.
1. The Digital Deck: Your Gateway to Groove
Start with the basics: software. Forget the clunky turntables of yesteryear; today’s DJ thrives on digital dynamism. Applications like Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ, and Traktor Pro are your arsenals in this rhythmic war. They’re user-friendly for beginners yet packed with features that even the pros salivate over. Turntables rock and definitely add to the cool factor effect, but nail the software basics and get your dj groove going first.
2. What’s in a Name? Everything!
Your DJ name is your brand, your identity. It’s what people will chant as they dance to your beats. Think DJ Jazzy Jeff, Daft Punk, Moby, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Luminn or Fat Boy Slim- names that resonate with their style and persona.
Consider checking out Brandcrowd, Adobe Express, Wix or Looka to design a logo that speaks to you and moves your audience. Be creative, be unique, but most importantly, be you.
3. Tech Talk: Computer & Connectivity
A reliable computer is your best friend. It’s the engine that drives your software and your music. But don’t forget about digital access. In the age of streaming, platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify are your playgrounds for discovering new tunes and creating killer playlists.
4. Social Media: Your Digital Stage
Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are more than just social media; they’re your launchpads. Showcase your mixes, tease upcoming gigs, and engage with your audience. Remember, a DJ’s journey isn’t just about playing music; it’s about building a community.
5. The Power of Live Events
Real house parties, school events, proms, sweet 16s, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings – the list is endless. Each event is a chance to showcase your talent, build your reputation, and expand your network. Every beat you drop is an opportunity to gain a fan, or better yet, a client.
6. The Art of Storytelling Through Songs
A DJ doesn’t just play music; they tell a story, set a mood, create an atmosphere. Your song selection and style are your narrative tools. From hip hop to R&B, from electronic dance music to indie pop, each genre lets you convey a different emotion, a different vibe. Add some inspirational personal commentary in the mix for an elevated experience; people are organically more receptive to positive messaging when their bodies are in motion, their minds are quieted and their moods are enhanced by natural endorphins.
7. The Look: More Than Just Music
Your attire, your demeanor, the way you address the crowd – it’s all part of your act. Align these with your brand, your message. Whether it’s a flashy suit or a casual hoodie, make sure it screams ‘you’.
8. Ten Tips to DJ Stardom
1. Know your audience and tailor your music to them.
2. Continuously update your playlist.
3. Engage with your audience, both online and offline.
4. Network with other DJs and industry professionals.
5. Invest in high-quality equipment.
6. Practice relentlessly.
7. Be adaptable to different event types.
8. Keep up with the latest music trends.
9. Develop your unique message, style and voice.
10. Have fun – it’s contagious!
9. The Business Behind the Beats
Running a DJ business isn’t just about cranking tunes; it’s about contracts, marketing, branding, and financial management. Keep your business savvy as sharp as your beats.
10. Double the Fun: The DJ Duo
Consider teaming up. A DJ duo can bring a unique dynamic to the stage, blending two styles, two personalities, and twice the energy. Double Trouble could be a fun, edgy and ambitious name to use for the above pair as their mission in moving the masses to unite to the beat and win the fight against world hunger or climate change.
Bringing It All Together
As you embark on this journey, remember, you’re not just playing records; you’re creating memories, you’re setting the mood, you’re the pulse of the party, and perhaps even the music behind a movement. With the right mix of skills, passion, and business acumen, you can turn this into not just a career, but a lifestyle.
In the words of Rihanna, “DJ, please, won’t you turn the music up?” As a DJ in the digital age, you’re not just turning up the music; you’re turning up lives, one beat at a time.
The life work of a DJ, vibing with wit, edginess, unique artistry and sophistication, informs, unites, moves and inspires. This article is a call to arms for all aspiring DJs to utilize the universal language of music to craft an uplifting personal message, hone in on a positive and productive mindset, and embrace the digital age to invigorate individuals, unite the masses and become the heartbeat of every party. With the right mix of music, mission, business sense and style, the world’s next great DJ could be you!