It used to be the case that everyone grew up wanting to be a football player or in a band. Today, it is more likely to be a football player or a DJ, and I hate to break it to you kids, but unless you are the right build and have enough natural ability, you ain’t going to be a pro football player.
But you can be a DJ and in actual fact there has never been a better time to seriously think about becoming a professional DJ. Forget the doomsayers and what we like to call the “it was great in ’88” crew – they’re just bitter that things have changed – a lot. Luckily they’ve changed for the better.
So why is now the right time to start a DJ career? Here’s why:
Well for a start electronic and dance music has never been as popular as it is right now. Since it first emerged as a genre, there was always a patronising majority who thought it would be a fad that would go the same way as glam rock and disco.
But electronic and dance music has grown, diversified, and evolved. There are hundreds of different sub-genres, all of which enjoy a hardcore base of fans who are willing to spend money to see their favorite DJs and buy their music.
Nowadays electronic music is everywhere and as a DJ that means there are more opportunities than ever before to find work and make money.
2. More festivals and clubs
Playing live is likely to be what you really want to do and also the easiest way to make money. And there are more opportunities to DJ live today than has ever been the case in the past.
While big nightclubs are seeing their popularity decline, smaller clubs which play more niche specialist music are booming all over the world. These clubs are always on the lookout for the next big DJ with the next big sound, and there is no reason why that couldn’t be you.
Then there is the explosion in festival culture. From three days of peace and love in Woodstock, almost 50 years ago now, there are now countless festivals large and small taking place globally. These days most of them probably have a focus on some form of electronic or dance music and that means opportunities to play.
3. It’s easier to learn
If you are a novice DJ, or know you still have room for improvement, then learning is easy. The internet is packed with advice, and sites like this very one exist purely to provide high quality DJ training, wherever you are in the world. Get yourself the equipment and you are ready to start learning – just bring love of music and a passion for DJing.
There is also the opportunity to get continuous feedback on your work by posting videos on social media, YouTube and other more specialist sites like chew.tv. These will allow you to learn where you need to improve and what skills to focus on improving.
4. Established DJs are mentoring and starting their own labels
More so than ever before, those DJs who have made it to the top are doing their best to help the next generation through as well. Many of their labels might be small and not well known, but will nonetheless serve to put young DJs in the shop window and help get their music out there to a wider audience.
This means there is whole new world of opportunity for DJs to get signed; once the single biggest barrier to making money from DJing.
5. Working remotely is on the rise
The rise in remote working and freelancing is also a boom to the budding DJ. It means that if you are not earning enough to focus on music full-time, you can still earn a living elsewhere, while having the flexibility to fit your regular workload around you music when necessary (all of our team at Digital DJ Tips work remotely; they can file videos and articles from airports, work on them before gigs, whatever).
It is no longer a choice between your music career and a life on the breadline, or a regular career and food on the table. Now it is quite possible to do both. Thanks to tools like VPNs, which allow you to work securely and anonymously online no matter where in the world you are, as well as access geo-restricted content online, remote working is becoming a reality for millions.
Depending on your circumstances, you can make music your side project, or your regular job your side project. Nowadays, thankfully, the choice is yours.
6. Self-releasing music
Lastly, there is the option to record, release, share and sell your own music. As recently as ten years ago, this was beyond the reach of many DJs.
Now, thanks again to the advent of online technology, it is possible to record, release, publicise, and share your own tracks from the comfort of your own bedroom. It is also perfectly possible to make it to the top of the industry from such humble beginnings.
So forget anyone who tells you otherwise – there really has never been a better time to be a DJ!
Are you just starting out? If there’s anything we can do to help you, ask away in the comments below…