Your Questions: How Can I DJ My Style Of Music AND Get Paid?

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 3 August, 2017


Having to play music he hates for people he feels don’t care is driving our reader crazy. How can I play the music I feel deserves to be played, while getting paid, and avoiding all the hassle, he asks?

Digital DJ Tips member Sean writes: “I’m 43, and I grew in the days of Chicago hip house music along with Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and so on. I DJ for parties, weddings, bars etc, and I’m not going to lie, I hate it with a passion! I really don’t like the public telling me to play some stupid song like Cotton Eyed Joe…

“Now, I don’t hate all the music that is out nowadays, but truth is I really want to be different. Yes I know that this could make or break me, but all I really want to do is make my own mixes and not have to deal with politics or people who just don’t care. All I want to do is make as much money as I can and care about the music I’m playing and give it the respect it deserves. If I could go into a club play my set and leave without taking any requests, that would be awesome!

“I am very passionate about DJing and music and I would really love to DJ with music that is not popular any more but was at one time and make it popular again. What do you think I should do?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

We all have to deal with silly requests, and we all have to deal with politics when we attempt to get paid for DJing in public. It’s a fact of life and trust me, the grass isn’t greener for anyone – it’s just how it is. Sure, you can play to hip, cool crowds or casual drinking crowds or part-time partygoers, or kids or, or… – but the fact is, no crowd is going to be perfect and no venue is never going to give you any issues to deal with.

So really, I think you’re being unrealistic. You either have to find a way to enjoy what you have got going on for you, or have a rest, recharge and work out what you want to do next in your DJing. If it were me, and I was in love with music I didn’t think I could ever really get a chance to play in public, I’d start a web radio show. At least that way you can get the music how you want it, while also neatly avoiding politics and requests.

You ain’t gonna make any money directly doing that, but who knows, it may just lead to a booking or two where you’re asked to play exactly the same thing.

Have you ever felt this way? How did you tackle it? Is Sean being unrealistic, or do you think there is a way for him to play what he loves i public and get paid for it? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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