DJ battles have been around for decades as a way for DJs to showcase their skills. While it takes hours of preparation and practice to put together battle routines in the hope of winning (and you can get whole courses on how to do it, such as our own Scratching For Controller DJs course – free sample lesson here), what isn’t talked about sometimes so much is what a DJ can gain from competing.
So while here at the NAMM Show 2020, we gathered up a three DJ battle champions to get their perspective on battling and what they’ve gained from putting in all that time.
Watch on if you’ve ever wondered if entering battle competitions may be a way to forward YOUR DJ career…
Lazyboy’s story reads more like a movie. This multiple-time cancer survivor is one of the most respected and creative turntablists in the world. This past year Lazyboy won the Red Bull 3Style US Finals after thinking of not even competing due to cancer-related complications. Lazyboy really knows what it means to put it all on the line for the craft that you love, and it shows in the passion he puts into his sets.
DJ Dynamix is a Los Angeles native, who is a DJ battle veteran, being a five-time Red Bull 3Style US finalist. Dynamix made the conscious decision to enter the 3Style battles because he was aware of what a great branding opportunity it could become if he did well. His turntablism skills and awareness of how important marketing can be for a DJ have turned his successes in battles into DJ residencies in nightclubs around the USA.
Deception was heavy in the DJ battle scene at the peak for the turntablist boom of the early 2000s. He and his crew Nocturnal Sound won multiple ITF World Team Championships, which were some of the most competitive battles at the time. Deception and his DJ crew were part of the purely analogue days of DJ battles, which gives him a different perspective compared to typical battle DJs of today.
Battle DJs dedicate seemingly endless hours of their lives to come up with new battle routines. Some battle out of the love of competition, but for others it is as a way to boost their DJ brand to gain more bookings. Every DJ’s reason may be different – and as long as you are passionate about it and prepared to put them time in, there’s no reason why it can’t be both!
• Also see our interview and demo with Craze on the new Rane Seventy mixer.