Reader Adi writes: “I am a 15. I currently live in India but I was born and brought up in New York. I’ve been playing/making music for 11 years now (I’ve performed violin in an orchestra worldwide). A bit less than a year back I got into electronic, and I mainly make progressive, house, trance, electronica and electro-pop. I have some originals as well as a few remixes, and many friends think they’re really good. I love composing, and think that there may be a future for me here, but now I don’t really know what to do: This city is not the best for young talent because you only get DJ gigs if your dad’s a studio head or something.
“But anyway, I like composing more than DJing, and would only really want to DJ my own productions/my versions of others’ songs (and of course a few other songs). My question is: What do I do now? Should I send demos to different labels? Should I try to DJ (maybe I’ll get a gig or a friend’s party…), and if so, do I need to buy and learn to use turntables? Basically, how can I get myself out there?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
We would advise you to build a following on Facebook, Twitter, whatever social network makes sense for you, maybe have your own website too, and to publish one song a week, month, whatever you’re comfortable with on YouTube, with an accompanying video (shoot it on your phone, whatever), and then publicise it to your network. If you stick at it, eventually one of your songs will “go viral”. At that point use a service like TuneCore to get your tunes into online stores – people will want to pick up on your back catalogue too at the same time so you’ll get a lot of interest when one sing “sticks”.
DJing gigs and other interest in your music will follow from that, and you should learn to DJ on your laptop – if you choose to use Ableton Live as your software for producing and DJing, you could even learn to DJ with the same software you compose on, but whether you do this or just use Traktor or something, there’s no need as a recording artist to learn to DJ on decks.
That’s only our advice though, and we’re sure our readers will have ideas to share with you too…
What would you advise Adi to do? Have you been in a similar situation? Are you someone who describes themselves as a producer first, and a DJ second? Please offer Adi your advice in the comments below.