Home Forums The DJ Booth How important do you think it is for DJs to also be producers nowadays?

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  • #1008983
    Phil Morse
    Keymaster

    We always hear how to get big success as a DJ, you need to also produce. But how true is this for you? Have you achieved the success you were seeking without having to produce your own music? Please share your experiences and thoughts!

    #1008984
    Hee Won Jung
    Participant

    I think its a matter of what you want out of what you are doing. I have been in the scene since the late 90s and have always loved DJing. Even to this day I love spinning music…I love being able to Bang out the music i love and see the reaction of people on the dance floor. I have tried and tried and tried to produce but i think i am a little to ADHD to be able to sit down and put copious amounts of time into making a track.
    On the flip side of things…i have spent 10 hour sessions in ableton and accomplished absolutely NOTHING but loved every minute of it.

    I would love to become a major producer but its not very high on my list of ToDo’s. Currently i spent most of my off time promoting events and shows, and i am continually using that as my gateway into being able to quit my day job so then i can focus all my time and effort into Producing.

    #1008992
    G-Bee
    Member

    If you want to get booked as a headliner at festivals and stuff like that, then yes it’s very important to start producing tracks. I would say even more important than learning dj skills.

    On the other hand, if you don’t have the urge to become an A-list dj, then of course it’s not important. I would actually say it’s more important for producers to have a deejaying background than the other way around. Not because of better gigs, but because you’ll learn the way tracks are built in a very “hands on” way.

    #1008997
    D-Jam
    Participant

    I’ve found that as a DJ alone, you have to have something to make you “famous”. So you could land yourself a celebrity girlfriend or a reality show and thus you might blow up. If you want to make it beyond that, then the industry is unfortunately tied to the mess that you need to be producing…mainly to get noticed.

    I’ve only seen guys grow to being known locally and occasionally playing elsewhere on DJing alone. Many others who aren’t producers are either promoters or running labels. It’s just gotten extremely hard to only be a DJ and “make it”.

    It’s a shame too since you see how these big fests have become more about making an appearance over playing a solid set.

    #1009000

    D-Jam, post: 25102, member: 3 wrote: I’ve found that as a DJ alone, you have to have something to make you “famous”. So you could land yourself a celebrity girlfriend or a reality show and thus you might blow up. If you want to make it beyond that, then the industry is unfortunately tied to the mess that you need to be producing…mainly to get noticed.

    I’ve only seen guys grow to being known locally and occasionally playing elsewhere on DJing alone. Many others who aren’t producers are either promoters or running labels. It’s just gotten extremely hard to only be a DJ and “make it”.

    It’s a shame too since you see how these big fests have become more about making an appearance over playing a solid set.

    Was just gonna write something similar to this. I don’t think also being a producer is absolutely necessary, but you will need to have something to make you stand out a lot from the rest. This might be a very developed image (I’m thinking of DJ BL3ND with his mask and Youtube-videos) or as D-Jam wrote a celebrity girlfriend or reality tv-show. That said I think being a producer is by far the easiest way to get noticed, granted that your tracks are, you know, good. 😉

    #1009003
    G-Bee
    Member

    Agreed with the above two posts. But let’s be honest: if you’re deejaying to get famous, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

    #1009004
    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    The thing is I think as D-Jam and G-Bee also described: You can get to a certain level as a DJ alone. You can even earn really huge loads of money either as a good mobile DJ, play in big clubs, even in celebrity spots if you know how to “sneak your way into the in-crowd”.
    But if you want to go past this, you need to produce. I noticed this in my Industrial days in the late 90s. I was playing good underground clubs and some small festival as “warm up DJ” but when I did some remixes of like bands and a singer made a “combo” act with me at a show… then I got in-calls around the clock. Sadly I was too stupid at the time to monetize on that more and my tastes changed ….

    So I think if you want to break past a certain level of DJing you have to have something going for you. I does not necessarily have to be producing, but most seem to chose this path. As D-Jam said you can also go for getting a celebrity girlfriend, land at a radio-station with a wide audience (here in Austria you would need to become an “Ö3 DJ”), look funny, DJ while ironing on the MT Everest for youtube or whatever gets you noticed…

    #1009030
    Norris sk8
    Member

    Living in Manchester and being 21 there is a hell of a lot of competition breaking through as a DJ. I find that nearly everyone I know who is DJing in clubs is either, a really good producer, very good at marketing and DJing very comercial nights or DJing very small clubs and making little to no money out of it.

    I love DJing so much and I practice so much. I really want to get into playing clubs and I do think I am up to it. I have tried producing and have made a few alright tracks but I just cant get into spending so long at a computer making a track, I just dont find it practical enough.

    What im trying to say here is im sure there are many extremely talented DJs who arnt getting to play out purely due to the fact they are not into producing. And there places are more than likely being taken by people who may produce fantastic tracks but there DJ technique is below par.

    Im sure this doesnt apply to all scenes but it certainly seems to be the way as far as DnB, Garage and Dubstep go. Just to add to the problem digital DJing is pretty taboo amongst these genres making it even harder to get noticed.

    If DJing is really what I want to do should I just try to put my impatience aside and improve my producing skills or should I find another way into the clubs?

    #1009044
    G-Bee
    Member

    @ Norris sk8

    If the competition is overwhelming, I agree that you have to do something extra to get noticed. That doesn’t have to be producing, I think networking is most important. But yeah, expect to be underpaid if you haven’t got a name as a producer.

    #1009129
    Strictly T
    Participant

    Norris sk8, post: 25135, member: 2788 wrote: Living in Manchester and being 21 there is a hell of a lot of competition breaking through as a DJ. I find that nearly everyone I know who is DJing in clubs is either, a really good producer, very good at marketing and DJing very comercial nights or DJing very small clubs and making little to no money out of it.

    I love DJing so much and I practice so much. I really want to get into playing clubs and I do think I am up to it. I have tried producing and have made a few alright tracks but I just cant get into spending so long at a computer making a track, I just dont find it practical enough.

    What im trying to say here is im sure there are many extremely talented DJs who arnt getting to play out purely due to the fact they are not into producing. And there places are more than likely being taken by people who may produce fantastic tracks but there DJ technique is below par.

    Im sure this doesnt apply to all scenes but it certainly seems to be the way as far as DnB, Garage and Dubstep go. Just to add to the problem digital DJing is pretty taboo amongst these genres making it even harder to get noticed.

    If DJing is really what I want to do should I just try to put my impatience aside and improve my producing skills or should I find another way into the clubs?

    Hey mate – not sure if it works for your genres but we are in Manchester and just set up our own little night over the last few years, pretty random and underground and made no money but one of the guys has been asked to play at Sound Control off the back of this so I guess he is likely to get paid and it is a start! I think one of their promoters came to one of our nights.

    If you have a group of mates into the same music – I would try and do something yourself, the main nights in Manchester are pretty saturated now and feel all the same I think the city is crying out for smaller more interesting nights. If you keep focussed on the music and having fun I am sure over time you may get your chance!

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