Chances are good that if you came of musical age during the early 1990’s or earlier you have an intense passion for a specific type of music. Whether your musical passion leans toward Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, Dead Kennedys or Nirvana, there’s no denying that these artists and their genres produced a community of like-minded individuals more concerned with the music and the culture of the music.
Unfortunately after the wave of grunge swept the world in the 1990’s it seemed the music industry hit an inevitable and irretrievable low. The market since then has been saturated with pretty much the same type of repetitive pop music. In fact I hear many DJs complain that all genres from rock to hip hop, sounds the same.
If you don’t fall in line with the commercial heavy hitters, can you survive as a career DJ?
Who Are You?
Before you even start worrying about how you will possibly survive the inundation of commercial songs, you should figure out who you are as a DJ as well as a lover of music.
If you love nothing more than bobbing your head to the latest and most overplayed songs on the radio, chances are good that you’ll fit right in with the current wave in clubs playing from New York to London to Bangkok. If however your get off on hearing actual artists with a passion for music and doing something new, then you may need to find other ways to forge your own path within the music industry.
If commercial hits don’t really get your blood pumping, then you’ll have to fight and use every ounce of determination you can muster to stay afloat during this current commercial phase.
While it is true that right now the trend is toward pop hits, a little bit of research can help you find crowds more receptive to your particular brand of DJing. Remember that while the younger crowds go crazy for those popular hits, many older crowds tend to have a fondness for a specific type of music.
This means you need to hit up places you wouldn’t think in need of DJ services. Private clubs with an older customer base are more likely to appreciate independent or underground artists who have been influenced by their musical idols. If you truly are a music aficionado then do your homework and find venues looking for musicians such as yourself.
This can help you survive in a market saturated by chart toppers.
Find out where there is a void in the musical scene for your style of music, and get yourself there. Trying to be the next deadmau5 or Tiesto won’t work because they are still around; you need to fill a void where you fit without changing yourself or your style.
One thing that is especially important to remember about this commercial trend is that it’s just that; a trend. Music tends to be cyclical, although it seems this current cycle has lasted a lot longer than disco, folk or grunge, this trend won’t last forever.
Rather than trying to change your style to fit the trend, stay strong and know that when the musical pendulum swings back toward creative and unique sounds, you’ll be one of the most in demand DJs around.
If you know where to look you can still find crowds who appreciate something more than homogenous songs that differ slightly from one track to the next.
Keep It Intimate
One of the best ways to survive until this wave of commercial fodder has died out is to find small intimate venues packed with those who appreciate new music. Whether it’s small clubs, underground parties or music festivals, these smaller venues can provide a stage for you to play the type of music you want to play rather than chart toppers.
Whether it’s a private club or private big money party, these smaller venues can help you survive when the big clubs aren’t looking for DJs who play unique and interesting tracks.
Create Your Own Opportunities
The best way to keep your DJ career thriving in this age of artists indistinguishable from one another you’ll need to create your own opportunities. This may mean starting your business sooner than you planned, but it will also allow you to control the venues, the audience as well as your cash flow.
If you’ve done your homework then you know exactly what type of person is susceptible to your brand of DJing and you can make opportunities around that. Keep in mind however that this may mean you need to relocate to where your style is appreciated, but it will allow you to play what you love while your career thrives.
There will always be demand for DJs producing something interesting and new and unique and it is your job to find out how you can fit into that community without becoming yet another commercial DJ. Besides, how long can a DJ survive playing the same music everyone has on their iPod?
I hope I helped you figure out where your DJ styles fits. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a successful disk jockey!
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