How To Be A DJ Anywhere In The World

Turn your next holiday into a working vacation!


One of the best things about being a DJ—other than providing the soundtrack for parties every night, if you’re lucky—is that you can do it just about anywhere in the world. Are you looking to travel? Are you interested in learning more about music from around the world to help you launch your career as a producer? Then research your top 10 destinations and pack your bags, but don’t forget to carry on your DJ equipment!

But before you go wheels up, you need to make sure you’re ready to be a DJ anywhere you want to go in the world.

Learn The Language

One of the first things you want to do when you hit a non-English speaking country is make sure you know the language. This doesn’t mean you need to spend the next six months with Pimsleur in your headphones, but it does mean you need to know the basics (hi, where’s the bathroom, how much is this, etc…) as well as a few DJ-centric phrases such as where’s your DJ and Can I gig here.

No matter if you are on vacation or you’re going to Madrid solely to hit the DJ scene; it is important that you can speak the language at least a little if you want to be a DJ anywhere in the world.

Just because most people speak English doesn’t mean they all do…learn the language!

Get A DJ Buddy

Once you’ve decided on a location, find a local DJ to act as your buddy and city guide. The easiest way to do this is online through DJ forums and social media, but you can always hook up with a few DJs once you land. Trust me when I say it will be easier to have a buddy before you arrive so it’ll be easier to navigate the city, find the best clubs to DJ at and help you translate your remedial language skills.

The best reason to get a local DJ buddy before you get there is to make sure there is at least one other person you know who speaks English. It doesn’t seem like a big deal now—we speak through the music, and all that—but when you’re in the thick of it you’ll be grateful for your buddy.

DJ around the world_madonna-avicii

Find The Scene

Another time a DJ buddy will come in handy is finding the right scene to fit your style. As much as those not really into the club scene love to pigeonhole DJs, we are not cut from the same cloth and we don’t all share the same musical taste.

This is exactly why you want to be able to find your scene if you want to know how to be a DJ anywhere in the world. You’ve packed up your best tunes and you’ve been creating new mixes with every stamp on your passport, now you just need to find a crowd who will appreciate your sound. If you’re a hip hop or house DJ, chances are that an EDM crowd won’t give you the response you’re looking for, so you need to find “your people” to truly test your international skills.

Play Up Your Big City Skills

Even if you’re from Van Nuys or Syracuse you will be well-served when getting a DJ gig anywhere in the world by playing up the nearest big city. You’re a DJ from LA or New York, you will automatically be granted 10 additional “cool points” from other DJs and venue owners.

Trust me; having big city roots in your DJ past will give you more street cred. Just go with it and make the most of every opportunity you get to wow a crowd from the DJ booth.

Say “Yes”

This is an important part of being able to be a DJ anywhere in the world. Even if you’re not on vacation, especially if you aren’t on vacation, you should make an effort to attend a few clubs nearly every day. Check out the scene, get to know club owners, DJs and get a feel for the crowds. This is the research leg of your job as DJ; to find out where you have the best chances of getting a gig.

Say yes to invitations to exclusive gigs, not-so-exclusive gigs, unusual gigs, festivals and even impromptu street gigs. Anytime someone invites you to play or attend, say yes and make it your mission to get there. The more you know about DJing in any given city, the better your chances are of being able to DJ anywhere in the world.

Hopefully you will have reached out to a few DJs and venue owners before you arrive so that when you get there, you have a few leads on gigs. Set up appointments and meetings once your itinerary has been set and don’t forget to send a demo and other promotional materials ahead.

Don’t forget to make sure you’ve packed your essential DJ equipment and have power outlets that correctly match your current country. 

I hope I helped you learn how to be a DJ anywhere in the world. 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 disk jockey, wherever you want to DJ!

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