Over To You: Should I Take A Gig Playing Music I’ve Grown Out Of?

Last updated 1 October, 2017



calvin harris
Our reader started out DJing EDM from the likes of Calvin Harris (pictured) and Tiesto, but now he feels he’s outgrown it. So should he take a gig playing it?
Pic from: soundcloud

Digital DJ Tips reader Michael writes: “After almost a year of DJing I have become comfortable with playing in public, many thanks to your website and advice.

“Some of the DJs in my area have told they could get me a gig at a place they have played at, a place I have been to and know the crowd and music. The gig would be helpful in getting my foot in the door of my local scene – however I know I would have to play the music they expect.

“The music is the quite popularised hard electro/”EDM” style that plays in 80% of the clubs where I live and pulls easily the biggest crowds. I will not deny that I started out playing the music of the Calvin Harrises and the Tiestos of this world, but with time I moved away from that and have grown a strong passion for a mixture of deep house, indie and nu disco.

“My question is: Should I take the gig for the quick stepping stone into the broader, popular scene which I have no passion for, or should I continue pursuing my passion and get into the niche market?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Good question, and there’s no easy answer. If it were me, I’d take the gig and try and get a set together that crossed over into what I liked, so I could learn something artistically from it while at the same time benefiting from the foot in the door you speak of. Real DJs play; pretend ones sit at home wishing they were playing!

But then again, if you really despise it, it maybe wouldn’t make so much sense to take such a gig.

So I guess it depends to an extent on how far away you feel you’ve moved from that scene, and whether you think you could do a small bit of “education” as you entertained.

I am sure many readers have faced similar dilemmas though, so I’d like to throw this one open to see what our audience thinks.

So – over to you. Would you take the gig and get the experience and exposure, or would you hold out for a gig where you could play what you wanted? Please leave your advice for Michael below.