If you have always wanted to be a DJ, know that now is a great time to become one. There are more outlets for DJs than ever, and the barrier for entry is much lower than it has ever been. If you want to start this year, know that there will be challenges, but it’s far from impossible. You will simply need to adapt your strategy and take advantage of new opportunities. Here’s what everyone who wants to be a DJ in 2021 should know.
What Type of DJ Do You Want to Be?
The first thing you have to know is that there are tons of different types of DJ. Some DJs work on corporate events specifically. If your idea is to become the next Tiesto, you may not have thought about the benefits of starting on corporate gigs. Not only is it good money, but you might start getting steady jobs. Also, these will be much less stressful than working in front of an audience. You have a much wider margin of error and you’ll get the chance to earn your chops.
You can also become an entertainer DJ who works at weddings and private parties. This is another low-stress job where you can get familiar. Next, you have your club DJ. These are very common and we’d say that the majority of DJs today fall into this category. This is great if you manage to get a residency, and can be used as a springboard to becoming a performer DJ. You also have DJs that are more like producers, but still perform their tracks live.
Getting the Setup
The next step will be to start looking for equipment. The good news is that you don’t have to invest in expensive turntables or buy and carry around crates of records. You can get started with nothing but a laptop, but you may want to invest in either a DJ console or an all-in-one controller. A DJ console will be connected to a computer and you’ll be able to sequence and mix the tracks on the console. With the all-in-one controller, everything will be controlled on it, so you won’t need a controller.
It’s usually recommended that you find good software and start working from a laptop. This will allow you to start getting some practice in and see if you have the skills for it.
You then need to get some hours under your belt so that you can hone your skills and be comfortable in front of a crowd. While you will get experience doing jobs, you can’t come in cold, and just like any musical artist, you will have to get some practice. If you want to practice, we suggest that you rent studio time instead. This will give you a chance to get familiar with audio equipment and give you more room to work. Also, everything will be soundproof, so you can play tracks at the same volume as you would play them at a gig.
Start Marketing Yourself
Now comes the hard part, and that is finding jobs. While getting jobs when you’re a new DJ might be difficult, you have many ways to get jobs today if you’re ready to do the work. Chances are you’ll get your first job through word of mouth, but that’s good. This will give you a chance to make a name for yourself. It’s also important that you record every gig that you do as it will play a central role in your marketing strategy.
You will also need to find yourself a DJ name. While some go with their government name, having a name like Tiesto or Deadmau5 is much catchier and will make your brand easily recognizable. If you don’t know how to choose a DJ name, Pirate.com has a great guide you should check out. They run down a number of tips on choosing a DJ name as well as a few examples of great DJ names you could inspire yourself from. They also explain why having a catchy name is so important.
Next, you will need to build an online presence. You cannot start getting gigs if you don’t have a website and a solid social media strategy. The good news is that you can get a decent DJ site on a place like SquareSpace and it will be more than enough to get you started. From then on, it’s all about increasing your visibility. While you can try showcasing gigs, another option would be to become a resource on everything surrounding DJing or the music industry.
So, if you want to become a DJ in 2021, these are the first steps you’ll need to take. It’s then up to you to do the legwork to get a steady clientele and continue fine-tuning your skills.