When you tell people that you are serious about getting into the music industry, you might find that you face some resistance. People will tell you about how competitive it is, and how the chances of anyone making it successfully are incredibly low. People will tell you that it is a process that takes a lot of time and money, and how many of us have plenty of both of those these days? People will also tell you that your priorities should be elsewhere and that pursuing your passion is not what you should be doing. What you need to remember is that anyone who makes it as a professional musician must face those comments, and they will have listened to the people who help them on their journey instead of knocking them back.
But making it as a musician is not something that you can accomplish by putting your head down and doing it all on your own. This is as true for aspiring DJs as it is for people who want to start a band. Music is something that connects people. It connects listeners to performers, and it connects artists to the people who can help them find their audience and make their work as great as it can possibly be. If you want to make those connections, you need to make sure that you are asking the right questions. Here are a few that you should be asking yourself and the people who can help you.
What Kind Of DJ Do I Want To Be?
Let’s start with a fundamental one, shall we? What kind of DJ do you want to be? Do you want to be the DJ who is connecting with crowds at nightclubs and music venues, setting the tone and orchestrating the entire night for people who are finally allowed back out after months of lockdown? Do you want to be a radio DJ, spinning a combination of classics and new material, helping to unearth hidden gems and highlight up and coming acts? Or do you want to be the kind of DJ that people come to when they have a huge event planned like a festival or a wedding to deliver the kind of vibe that they want? Your answer to this question will absolutely dictate the kind of journey that you will go on and the preparation that you need to undertake.
What Kind Of Equipment Do I Need?
Following on from the point above, you are going to have to figure out what kind of equipment you need to be the kind of DJ that you want to be. Back in the day, DJing was all about the turntables, getting out there on the ones and twos. These days, things have changed. There are plenty of expensive highly advanced pieces of digital DJ gear that you can pick up, but today the cornerstone of any DJ’s set-up is their laptop.
What you are going to need is to make sure that you have enough space on your computer for all the different songs and the software that you are going to use, and you are also going to need DJ software. This is what helps you to create a set from scratch, helping you to make the perfect mix. A DJ Controller is also an essential part of any set-up because these will help you manage EQs, speed and volume. There are a wide range of different DJ software and DJ controllers on the market, so you are going to need to do your research.
You’ll also need a good pair of headphones, obviously, and you are going to need a microphone if you want to make yourself heard over the noise of the crowd. If you are wondering where to start with your equipment, PIRATE has put together a detailed guide on how to DJ. Their comprehensive blog covers all the steps that you’ll need to start your journey.
How Much Time Am I Willing To Spend On This?
We do not need to tell you how difficult the last eighteen months have been. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, the pandemic has been brutally tough on all of us. For a lot of people out there, the struggle with COVID-19 is not over as we are still learning about the long haul. As a result, we are all hustling to make sure that we have enough money to pay our rent and our bills, and to look after the people in our lives who have been affected by the pandemic.
Getting serious about your music is a process that does require a lot of time and energy, and you will have to make some choices about what your priorities are. What you need to remember is that no one becomes a success overnight, but it also does not need to be an endless struggle. If you want to make sure that you are spending enough time on your passion project, then start by creating a timetable. Create a set time that is yours to practice and to plan.
Who Do I Know?
If you are serious about becoming a DJ, then you are going to need to start getting your name out there. While you may not have connections right out of the gate, you might be surprised by how many people you can reach out to, either for advice or for an opportunity. Networking is a huge part of the industry, and if you are not sure where to start, then it’s time to work on your social media strategy.
Think about your brand, from your DJ name to the work that you can share and put out there. Look for venues or promoters that might be interested in what you have to offer and do not be afraid to pitch yourself. This is a process that may take a lot of time, but you need to remember that building relationships will help you in the long run. If a venue doesn’t give you a slot the first time you ask, be gracious and keep an eye out for the next time they have an opening. If someone tells you thanks but no thanks, thank them for their time and ask them if they have any advice that could help you next time you approach someone. Don’t burn bridges, keep building those relationships.