Reader Riot13 over on the Digital DJ Tips Forum writes: “In the area I live, DJs are not willing to be mentors. Maybe this is because the business is so cut-throat in my area (many DJs and few centralised clubs), but even at events I have DJed, I have not been able to connect with other DJs; they are all more concerned with outdoing each other. This is not something that I am used to, as in my former city of residence all my friends were DJs as well.”
“I have attempted to contact mobile companies and DJs alike. I have used Craig’s List to search for mentors and even attempted to contact the DJs for hire regarding mentoring. However, after looking over the past year, I have not been able to find a DJ willing to mentor me or even meet up to mix together. I don’t have any friends in my current area that are in the EDM scene, so I can’t even mix with them and bounce ideas around. I know that having a mentor really helps your all-round growth as a DJ, and I am hoping you can provide some guidance on how to go about looking for a local mentor I can spin with. I’m not a rookie any more and really feel that I could benefit with some veteran experience.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
I sympathise. I was lucky when I was making the move from DJing as a hobby to doing it full time to meet a DJ who ended up mentoring me. In my case it was not so much in the art of music selection and programming (I’ve always been very particular that that is something personal to you as a DJ), but in promoting, marketing, getting yourself out there, getting people through the door, building a fan base, offering something different – and dealing with the industry you’re working in. The way it happened for me was that I played a guest spot or two at my mentor’s club night in my hometown of Manchester, England, and our relationship grew from there. It was invaluable help and saved me lots more time in trial and error that I’d undoubtedly have had to go through otherwise. (So thanks, Dave Haslam!)
But it’s only one example, and I’m sure there are lots of readers who have successfully found DJ mentors, so I’m going to throw this one open.
So over to you – have you found a good DJ mentor? Have you mentored DJs? How should our reader progress from here?