So you’ve produced some mixes and polished your skills but now you need a gig. With so many DJs out there these days, getting a gig is not always easy. Here’s how to secure a DJ gig
There are often many people to talk to when looking for a gig. Generally, promoters and event organizers are the best start. So often you need to win over Promoters; they will link you to several venues. However, Don’t hesitate to approach and interact with club owners, a long term relationship with them could secure recurring gigs or residency.
Who Are You As A DJ?
Before you go out looking for gigs, make sure you have identified who you are as a DJ. If you are not assured of your skills and style, you will struggle to sell it to someone else. You need to determine what distinguishes yourself from the rest. Then use this to pitch yourself to promoters and bookers to show them why they should book YOU and not someone else.
Part of defining yourself as a DJ is to do what you can to be different. With so many DJs out there, you need to stand out. Music is a lot more accessible and making music is easier these days. But it has encouraged many to slack off and use the same music as someone else or use same old songs from the charts.
When creating a mix, be unique by blending popular songs- to cater for the audience- with songs that not many have heard before – to make you stand out. Don’t be lazy and find a blend of songs that’s unique to you and works well.
Establish Your Music
This is a no brainer, but make sure you feature on all the necessary social networking and music sites. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud, Mixcloud and so on.
Then you need to post and share effective media on a regular basis. You should plan to share a list of different types of media every month. It could include photos, unreleased tracks, and mixes from the past, a new mix or maybe a commentary on the music industry. This will not only increase your fan base, but keep your social profiles interesting and up to date. It will attract promoters and build as many communication channels with them as possible.
Create a mixtape cd to hand out to promoters and club owners politely and non-intrusively. Make sure it’s not too long, has an interesting beginning and has a logical sequence of music which correlates to the flow of the crowd’s energy of what it would be like if played in a gig.
Practice On A Regular Basis
This doesn’t just mean creating mixes and being well rehearsed. It’s the continual research of music so that you have a good grasp of what’s out there. It also includes organising your digital data and knowing your library well. You should know what songs go well with each other, when to bring them in and their break downs and build ups , so that you can build an a cohesive set that responds to a crowd. This will ensure you are always prepared when an opportunity comes up.
It doesn’t matter how good your music is, you need to network to get a gig. You need to know the right people- whether it’s the promoters at your local bar or club, or the owners or a DJ. Always be willing to socialise and meet people.
Get Fans And Followers
You need to show promoters and bookers you have a substantial support and fan base. A promoter will offer you gig more likely if they know a lot of people will come support you. So share your music and media with as many people as possible, also bring your friends to promoter’s events.
Get To Know Venues
This is another given; you need to know the places where you think you could get a gig. Become a regular – get to know the events, the music and the crowd. You have more of a chance of being offered a gig if they know you. Become familiar with the staff and owners of the venue – you can find out more about how to get a gig. If you know a lot about a club or event it will
Get To Know Other DJs
Befriend other DJS. Ask them how they started getting gigs and find out who to talk to. Don’t ask other DJs for a gig, but if you know them well enough they could also talk to a promoter about having you open for them.
Support Other DJs and Clubs
Show support to clubs and other DJs by not only going to their events but promoting their events on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Promoters and other DJs will appreciate this and they are more likely to remember you. When you are at a event, approach a promoter and introduce yourself. Don’t say you want a gig straight out, rather chat casually about the event, music etc.
Throw Your Own Party
Create your own events whether small or big, where you can show your skills. Invite as many people as possible particularly other DJs and people in the music industry. Make sure you promote your own party as much as possible- this will show promoters that you could promote their party too. This
Don’t Let Rejection Get You Down
Be patient. Don’t allow rejections to get you down or affect you. There is often more of a supply of DJs than demand for them so rejections are inevitable. Ask why you didn’t get a gig and always keep networking to maintain a presence till you are offered a gig.
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